Today, we’re going to take a little detour from our normal “programming.” For those of you looking for running shoe reviews, I’ll direct you to our sidebar where we have all of our recent reviews listed, but, for those of you looking for a minimalist dress shoe designed by a team with fitness and health on their mind, you’ve come to the right place. Mike, the brains behind Tune Footwear, first came up with the idea for these shoes because of his passion for running, as well as his interest in the minimalist shoe movement. As his professional career progressed, he found there was a need for a minimalist dress shoe in the market, and took it upon himself to design a shoe that offers both style and versatility to the minimalist enthusiast. Thus, Tune Footwear was born.
Brand: Tune Footwear
Name: Ornament Loafer
Color Options: Black, Brown, Tan (pictured)
Model Options: Tassle, Penny, Ornament (pictured)
Other: 13mm stack height
Considering my day job has me sporting business professional, business casual, or preppier casual clothes every work day, you can normally find me also sporting a dressier shoe. However, at this point, in terms of minimalist or barefoot dress shoes, your choices are pretty limited and, depending on the level of dressy you are going for, your choices only continue to get more limited. Take the Vivobarefoot Oaks and the Primal Professionals, for example. The Oaks are a great business casual or casual shoe, but are not necessarily something that would go with a suit. The Primal Professionals, on the other hand, are made for a very niche market: business professionals, who are interested in high quality dress shoes and who understand the benefits of minimalist shoes. The Tune Footwear loafers, on the other hand, offer enough versatility that you can dress them up or down to fit nearly any occasion. That said, the tan color I went with is probably a little more casual than most business professionals look for in a dress shoe, but the black and brown color (in any model) would work well for nearly every occasion or professional setting. To say the least, the Tune’s greater versatility certainly puts them ahead in terms of value relative to the Oaks and the Primals.
The only real complaint I have in the aesthetics department is that I’ve found that they don’t have quite as much shape/sleekness as I like in a dress shoe. I normally wear wing-tips or shoes with a very contoured, slim fit, so loafers are a bit out of my style range. I do realize that a minimalist shoe needs to leave enough space for splayed toes, so achieving a contoured look is more difficult, but I feel that these loafers could use a little more sleekness. I should also note that I have pretty large feet (size 12), which, even in regular dress shoes, can make my foot look larger and wider than it actually is. In a minimalist dress shoe, adding a widened, rounded toe box only amplifies this effect, so be aware that these shoes might look larger/a bit boxy on your feet if you have big feet like me. I do not think this would be the case in smaller sizes.
The Tunes are arguably one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, and are definitely the most comfortable dress shoes I’ve ever worn. They have flexibility that rivals Lemings’ Primal Origins and dominates nearly every other dress shoe in existence. Plus, their 8.9 ounce weigh-in is unheard of for a dress shoe, and is fairly impressive even in the minimalist running shoe category.
The level of comfort these shoes provided me didn’t actually hit me until I was rushing out of the office one night. While jogging to my car, I found my feet going straight into a natural run stride. After years of traditional dress shoes, I couldn’t believe it! I was running in a dress shoe, but for a moment, I was fooled into thinking they were my running shoes.
Overall performance is hard to judge in a shoe like this considering you can’t really test them for running, as we do with all of the other shoes on this blog. With that said, I purposefully took the stairs, stood at my desk, and walked to lunch every time I wore them to test their performance while walking, and to see how long it took my feet to wear out if I was kept standing for long periods of time. What I found is that they are great for lengthier standing sessions, which, as any business professional can tell you, is incredibly helpful at events like press conferences, career fairs, or anywhere else you might find yourself on your feet for a long period of time. The shoes also performed well for walking.
- Most comfortable dress shoe I’ve ever worn.
- Versatility for any situation.
- Great color and model combinations.
- Low price point.
- Larger sizes can look bigger than usual/boxy on larger feet
The Tune Footwear Loafers are a great option for anyone in the market for a pair of versatile dress shoes with a zero millimeter heel-toe drop, a wide toe box, an incredibly low weight, and a great price point of only $99. To top it off, they are very comfortable in a variety of situations and have the perfect amount of ground feel, offering an experience that is unlike any other dress shoe I’ve ever worn.
Steve is an Executive Recruiter at Robert Half Executive Search in Madison, WI with a business degree in Information Systems and E-Commerce from the University of Toledo. Steve loves spending his time away from work; running, gaming, watching movies, checking out new social networking tools/sites/start-ups and blogging.