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Sole Man: Kristian Laliberte

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Every Shoe Library needs a Sole Man.  To celebrate our new Men’s Shoe Salon, we’ve asked a few gentlemen of New York to take our soles for a spin.  We’ll be meeting with one of them each week.

This week we met with Refinery 29 New York editor Kristian Laliberte as he tested Barker Black’s lace-up boots.  Today we caught up with Kristian to get his take on winter dressing and favorite sole styles — as well as perfecting the colored sock.

5th/58th:  Sock Preference? Are you a patterned or solid socks kind of guy?
Kristian Laliberte: Oh man, my sock drawer is so insanely crazy. I love solids in bold colors — pinks, reds, oranges — but I’m also a fan of patterns, too. Go figure. Stripes, polka-dots, stars…really everything but argyle. If you’re wearing something subdued, you can amp up your outfit by rolling up your pants cuff and showing a flash of color.

5th/58th: What’s your preferred winter shoe?
KL: The NYC weather is tough to plan for, so it’s always important to have some water/snow-proof options. I also treat them at my cobbler. That said, I’m a fan of velvet or wool slippers (Stubbs & Wootton or Del Toro), high-top sneakers (just got the sick dunks from the Nike X APC collab), lace-up oxfords in dark browns, and, of course, boots, especially mid-rise models. I’ve been experimenting with some colored laces to lighten up the more somber winter shades.

5th/58th: You have quite a few boots in your closet, how does Barker Black compare?
KL: Barker Black is really just so high-quality. I’m not averse to an on-trend boot that’s not super-expensive, but you really can’t beat a pair you know will last basically forever. The fit is great, and I’ve already received tons of compliments on these — the olive color is unusual and very rich looking, and the height is great with pants.

5th/58th: Have you worn Barker Black before?
KL: Surprisingly no…but now I will all the time!

5th/58th: Do you match or contrast your shoes to your look? Is it a choice of style or comfort?
KL: I don’t think there’s a hard-and-fast rule to pairing shoes with your outfits. It’s really about what you’re feeling that day. If I’m wearing something brighter or bolder on top, I do tend to keep the footwear more subtle, but the whole black/brown thing isn’t my thing — as long as the overall look works, I say experiment. As for comfort, I probably sacrifice that when it comes to something good looking. Don’t get me wrong, if I’m traveling, I will always pack one pair of shoes that can take miles of walking but still work for a nice dinner, but in NYC, I usually wear something more casual to the office and something nicer out — and I’ll wear it even if it’s slightly painful.

Find Barker Black in the Men’s Shoe Library
212 339 3334