At press time, the best shoe store for men—and only men—is going out of business. Altman’s Shoes, a Loop mainstay since 1932, announced that it will shutter its doors by the end of the year. The store’s closing is a sign of the times. The Loop’s rising rents are forcing out independent retailers; at the same time, Chicago consumers have learned to expect a wild variety of styles and a kaleidoscope of colors from their footwear. That’s a deadly combination for Altman’s. The shop is, in a way, a throwback, its walls lined with racks of loafers, saddle shoes, suede bucks, boat shoes, cowboy boots and canvas sneakers in an orderly procession from the formal to the casual. It’s a shame to see Altman’s go: especially as dudes are becoming more interested in the craft and meaning of fashion, its knowledgeable sales people will no longer be around to school neophytes about the difference between the vamp and the welt of a well-made wingtip.
120 W. Monroe, 312.332.0667, altmansshoesandboots.com
Audience Choice: Alamo Shoes, 5321 N. Clark, 773.784.8936, alamoshoes.com
Best of Chicago 2014