There are shoes that are designed for all occasions. There are shoes that are designed for all-terrains. And then there are shoes that aim at accomplishing the impossible: combining both concepts in an all-around shoe that will only look out-of-place at a wedding or funeral.
The Oboz Men’s Arete is designed to be that all-around shoe, the one you consistently reach for on any given weekday even before you know which errands you have to run or what adventures lay in your path. With a clean, attractive exterior kept together by Nubuck leather up top and a high friction carbon rubber on bottom, those adventures don’t have to wait whether they take place in the sunshine or the rain.
Of course, just by looking at the Arete, you’ll get an idea of where its bias slants: it’s an outdoor shoe. It’s great to bring around when hiking or fishing, particularly because its rubber exoskeleton does such a good job of staying intact for outdoor activities. A molded rubber toe round in the front also places a front bumper that should keep your toes pretty well clear of any collision you might expose them to.
As for its wearability in more social endeavors, the Arete makes no qualms about the fact that it is not a loafer, an oxford, or even a chukka boot. It’s a bit utilitarian. But it’s an upgrade over the too-casual tennis shoe look because it does such a good job at integrating its more technical accomplishments with a sleek and settled design. Essentially, the Arete is able to accomplish its most stylish feats by melding into the background; it’s great for casual occasions but might not stand the test of your more formal requirements. Ultimately, at $120, it does all that you ask of it – and just a little bit more.