Steve Madden Preside Review

8.9
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Steve Madden took the traditional oxford dress shoe and led it down a whole new path with an outstanding eclectic aesthetic. The Preside is a gorgeous, sleek black leather oxford dress shoe with hardware embellishments from top to bottom that add a sense of attitude to any outfit. There is also a red stripe along the seam between the back piece of leather and forefront piece of leather on both the inner and outer side of the shoe.

This shoe features a synthetic leather and rubber sole. The main portion of the sole is leather, with rubber sections in the forefoot and heel for some additional traction to make the shoes more functional. The shaft height is considered low-top, ending just below your ankle to allow for freer rotation. The lining in man-made leather, also known as pleater, faux leather, or synthetic leather. It is usually made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PU (polyurethane).

The lacing system is a closed-lace system with four eyelets. A traditional oxford has a  closed-lace system means that the eyelet tabs are stitched under the vamp. The Preside comes in sizes seven through thirteen in whole and half sizes and medium width. Narrow and wide widths are not offered at this time.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Unique
  • Classic/Chic
  • Quality material
  • Trusted brand
  • Dressy with versatility
Cons
  • No narrow/wide widths
  • Slightly expensive
Brand

Brand

Steven Madden was born in Far Rockaway, Queens to an Irish Catholic father and a Jewish mother. He grew up in Lawrence and graduated from a high school in Nassau County, New York. He has two brothers that are his elder.

Impressively, Steve started out selling shoes out of the trunk of his car with just $1,100 to start. In 1990, he officially founded his company in Brooklyn, New York. Before long, young women who were drawn to chic, funky, and competitively priced footwear began noticing Steve Madden’s focus on keeping up with the times with modern designs.

The Steve Madden company is responsible for the rising popularity of the dressy sneaker. The company continues to stay at the front of trends. It manufactures and markets shoes and fashion accessories for women, men, and children alike.

The brands from the company include Steve Madden, Steven by Steve Madden, Madden Girl, Freebird by Steven, Betsey, Stevies, Betseyville, Johnson, Report, Report Signature, Wild Pair, Big Buddha, Mad Love, and Cejon. There are around one hundred and twenty Steven Madden stores in the United States. And two hundred and fifty more in over sixty-five other countries.
Upper

Upper

The part of your shoe that covers the sides and top of your feet is the upper. It is responsible for protecting your feet from outside forces, such as temperature, moisture, debris, etc. The material you choose needs to be functional for the purpose you need them to fill. For example, canvas or knit shoes will provide a lot of flexibility.

Leather can provide flexibility along with many other benefits. The upper of the Preside is, in fact, leather. It is stain, abrasion, and puncture resistant. Leather is breathable by nature, but it has the added benefit of being able to expel the moisture it absorbs as a vapor, keeping your feet dry and cool all day.

In order to keep your leather looking nice and doing its job to the best of its ability for as long as possible, you’re going to want to make sure you do spot cleans every time you wear the shoes. You will also want to keep a regular schedule for deep cleaning. If you do it properly, you can get more than twenty years out of your leather.
Outsole

Outsole

The part of your shoe that is going to experience the most wear and tear is the outsole. It is what is going to be coming in contact with the ground all day long, no matter what kind of terrain you’re walking on. You want to be sure that the outsole material is going to give you comfort via support, stability, and flexibility. But you also want to be sure that the sole is able to protect you.

Your sole can protect you from many things including moisture, abrasions, punctures, poisonous plants, etc. By providing you with comfort, support, stability, and flexibility, you’re also going to receive protection from unnecessary pain, discomfort, and fatigue.

The outsole of the Preside is made mainly from synthetic leather with a few portions made of synthetic rubber. The rubber is featured in the forefront and the heel of the sole in order to provide targeted additional grip to help reduce the risk of trips, slips, and falls. The leather is the main material so that it can help the shoe maintain its formal, classic appearance.
Airflow

Airflow

Whether you’ve got feet that get overly hot and sweaty or not, you’ll always appreciate a shoe with some airflow. Sweaty feet create odors and bacteria which can lead to foot diseases. All of this is unnecessary and preventable with the right materials. Waterproof materials aren’t going to be able to breathe or have much airflow simply because of what they’re designed to do. If their job is to keep out moisture, they’re not going to be letting much air in either. And they also won’t be very good at ventilating the inside for you.

The upper material used for this oxford style shoe is leather. Yes, it’s a beautiful, shiny black leather, but it also serves its’ purpose in other ways. Leather has the ability to absorb moisture from your feet, keeping them dry. It also has the very unique ability to then expel that moisture as vapor, instead of keeping it all collected and weighing you down. This ventilation provided by the leather is going to keep your feet dry and cool, and odor and bacteria free. If you have issues with foot sweat and odor, you may need an added layer of protection, such as spray.
Comfort

Comfort

At first glance, you’d assume this shoe is all about style and flare and nothing about comfort. That’s an easy assumption to make because of the embellishments all over the upper. The assumption is not correct though. There are a lot of things about this shoe that is going to offer you comfort.

Leather isn’t extremely flexible right out of the box, however, it will stretch more and more as you wear it, and will eventually come to contour to the shape of your foot. This will give you a very customized, secure fit. Walking on a flexible yet durable sole and a layer of cushioning in the footbed are going to keep your feet pain free, comfortable, and less fatigued for a longer period of time.

The toe of this shoe is very slightly pointed, but it does not take away room for your toes in the toe box. It’s never a fun time having to crunch your toes up just to be able to walk around in nice-looking shoes. These are considered low-top, which means they end directly under your ankle. For some, this is more comfortable, because it allows a freer range of motion with your ankle. But some people prefer to have the extra support of a shaft that covers their ankle.
Fit

Fit

The way that a shoe fits when you try it on the very first time is important. You need to be able to determine if it is going to be comfortable enough for long-term use. Are your toes cramped? Can you feel seams that are uncomfortable or irritating? Does your foot slide around too easily or feel too constricted? Does your heel rub? Are they adjustable enough? Etc.

If you happen to have extra narrow or wide feet, you will either want to make sure you try these on in a retail store first or have the option to send them back in the case that they don’t work for you. They do have a four eyelet lacing system that will allow some adjustability, but it’s not going to be enough for some people. You know your feet better than anyone else, so it’s your call to make. The sizes available are seven through thirteen, in whole and half sizes, all in medium width.

The opening is cut just below the ankle, which could be a perfect fit for some but could really irritate others’ skin. It depends on what your feet/ankles are used to wearing. If your skin isn’t used to being exposed or rubbing against the material, it’s going to be irritating at first. You will just have to determine if it’s something that’s going to go away or if you need to wear thicker higher socks, or if the shoe just simply won’t work for you. The leather will, over time, form to the shape of your foot. That includes this section of the shoe, so it may be worth it to stick it out.
Style

Style

You’re guaranteed to be walking in style anywhere you go with a pair of oxfords. Oxfords are characterized by having their shoelace eyelets attached underneath the vamp. This feature is called closed lacing. Oxfords were originally designed as plain leather formal shoes and have since evolved to suit a variety of styles for casual, uniform, or formal wear. Oxfords are also now made with materials other than full-grain leather, including faux and patent leather, calf leather, canvas, and suede. Typically, oxfords are black or brown and either patterned or plain.

Some people wear oxfords without socks because they feel that socks take away from the appearance or they’re following a trend. Wearing leather shoes without socks is not the best idea. It creates the perfect environment for moisture, sweat, and odor problems. Which could also lead to bacteria growth and poor foot health. If you’re that worried about a sock cramping your style, purchase a pair of “no-show” socks. Or go in the other direction with a pair of long, brightly colored/patterned ones.

Having a pair of black oxfords in your closet will prove handy for anyone of any style. Black is the top color to wear for business, and let’s face it when isn’t black appropriate? The versatility you can enjoy from oxfords, especially black ones, make it worth the investment to have a pair on hand.
Durability

Durability

If you’re going to invest your money in a pair of shoes, you’re going to want to be sure to get your money’s worth out of them. Oxfords can be pricey, but they’re also worth it. They’re made from quality materials, usually leather, which will last over twenty years when cared for properly. Leather is resistant to stains, abrasions, and punctures. If cleaned regularly and properly, the lack of stains and scratches can continue well into the life of the shoe.

Oxfords are typically used for more formal occasions, which helps keep them nice longer. With formal occasions, you’re less likely to be trekking around on rough terrain or in moist conditions, keeping the wear and tear to a minimum. The extra support, stability, and comfort provided by the padded footbed and the flexible, durable leather/rubber outsole will also help expand the life of your Preside’s.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you’re a man who’s got a sense of style that’s a little off the main path and you’re looking for a dressier shoe, you may have found your match in the Steve Madden Preside oxford. It is loaded with metal embellishments from top to bottom to add flair to any casual, smart casual, business casual, semi-formal, or formal outfit.

The classic, sleek, dressy look of the black leather will make any man look dapper wherever he’s going. With the added aesthetics, you’re certain to catch the gaze of everyone you’re around. What’s more, the shoe will work tirelessly all around to keep you as comfortable as possible. The leather upper will stretch and conform to the shape of your feet as well as allowing your feet to breathe. The padded footbed and supportive outsole will keep your pain, discomfort, and fatigue low throughout the day.