The alarm rings.  Snooze.  Why is it still dark out?  I wish I lived in California during the winter.

I grab a quick shower and shave, and am out the door less than 30 minutes after that first dreaded beep of the alarm clock.  I’m dressed in a suit and my trusty lace-up oxfords today because I’m meeting with the management team of a potential partner this morning.  Man, those shoes take a beating. 

The city is already bustling with a certain raw energy in the crisp winter air, a subtle reminder of why I haven't left for warmer pastures (yet).  A brisk walk to the subway and down the stairs at the 14th street station.  I’ve managed to avoid the slush puddles that gather at the corner of every sidewalk in New York in the winter and the uptown E is just pulling in – what a great start to the day!  Sometimes you have to appreciate the smaller things in life, right?  

Naturally, since it's morning rush hour, I’ll be standing for the entire commute, sandwiched between fellow commuters.  As we roll into the 42nd street station, the subway lurches forward and then stops abruptly.  I drop my iPhone amidst a sea of dress shoes.  Seconds later a robotic voice exclaims something about “signal failure”.  Ugh.  And I thought the day was going to start of smoothly.  As soon as the doors open, I immediately rush to street level and hunt furiously for a cab.  Unfortunately, empty cabs do not exist in midtown during rush hour (and forget about waiting 15 minutes for an Uber just to sit in traffic once it arrives).  I set of on a half-jog / half-walk through the city, hoping to make it to work on time.  Somewhere between Times Square and Rockefeller Center, after I’ve waded my way through the mosh pit of commuters and tourists, I notice; damn, my heels are killing me.  I wish I had Nike Frees on right now.  Is there anything out there that looks as good as these kick-ass Oxfords but isn’t so damn uncomfortable?  I pause, make a quick mental note to find those shoes, snap back to reality as I’m shoved by an oncoming pedestrian, and continue hustling to the office.

The average New Yorker takes five to ten thousand steps a day, including all of those subway stairs, coffee breaks, and unathletic leaps to avoid puddles in the winter.  In this relentless city, people demand the world from their colleagues and everyone and everything else around them, so why not their shoes?  In a city where looking good is paramount, and comfort often takes a backseat, do we ever ask ourselves if this tradeoff is even necessary?  For the first time since I started wearing dress shoes regularly, I’ve found that you can have both comfort and style in the same shoe.  Shortly after having that “aha” moment while hustling to work, I bought my first pair of Wolf and Shepherd shoes, and haven’t looked back.  With these shoes, I don’t think longingly about getting home just so I can kick my shoes off because they’re just that comfortable and stylish.