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Johnston & Murphy’s new waterproof shoe collection is great for business-casual dress codes

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The sentiment that Johnston & Murphy is strictly a traditional dress shoe brand is rooted in its very origin.

Founded in Newark, NJ in 1850, Johnston & Murphy was originally named The William J. Dudley Shoe Company after its founder. It began as a small, house-made brand, but quickly gained popularity after fitting shoes for President Millard Fillmore that same year. Going on to make shoes for every succeeding president thereafter, and consistently offering similar classic styles to the public, have stamped tradition into the ethos of the brand.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but the nearly 170-year-old brand is completely disproving that with a new line of business-casual footwear. The new Johnston & Murphy XC4 Collection is breaking the tradition of classic dress shoes by adapting to the popularity of casual dress codes and athleisure style.

Johnston & Murphy's

Designed to fuse sportswear comfort and functionality with business and workplace-appropriate styles, each shoe in the XC4 Collection features advanced comfort technology, waterproof sock liners, and other function-minded attributes. The combination of materials and technology make them great for professional men who live life on the go. With silhouettes ranging from performance-style sneakers to true loafers and oxfords, there’s a pair for every guy’s style.

The men of Insider Picks fit right in the category of guys who value comfort on commutes and the ability to transition between casual and business casual environments, so we gave them a try. We found them to be more comfortable than traditional dress shoes, dependable for traveling in the rain, and an overall solid buy.

Shop the Johnston & Murphy XC4 Collection now starting  or keep reading to keep find out our full thoughts.

Amir Ismael Insider Picks reporter: XC4 Prentiss U-Throat

Johnston & Murphy's

I decided to go with the XC4 Prentiss U-Throat because it was the most sneaker-like shoe in the XC4 Collection. While its dark brown leather upper is rich and supple like any solid dress shoe should be, its perforated pattern, sock-like liner, lacing system, and reflective accents are distinctly sporty.

Beyond simply looking like a sneaker, the XC4 Prentiss U-Throat has features that make it perform like a sneaker, so you won’t have to sacrifice an ounce of comfort for that versatility. It has a comfortable insole with memory foam cushioning and arch support that’s rather impressive. You can remove it to bring the shoes to the same dimensions as a wide shoe or to insert your own orthotics. They were a little hard to slip on at first, but such is the case with most sock-like sneakers. Once you’re in, you’ll be comfortable until you decide to take them off. I could feel them starting to break in after just one wear, so I know they’ll get more comfortable with time.

What I like best about this shoe is that it’s versatile in style. I wore them with a button up shirt and a pair of jeans and didn’t feel like I was forcing them to be more casual than they actually are. They can also be worn with more formal apparel like slacks.

Compared to some shoes I’ve worn from Cole Haan, probably the biggest purveyor of business casual/athleisure footwear styles, the XC4 Collection is generally less expensive and each shoe is cut wider — something guys with average or wider-than-average feet will appreciate.

The waterproof attribute is also a wonderful addition for commuters who face unexpected weather changes. Granted, they’re not rain boots and can’t stand to be fully submerged in water, but its waterproof bootie handled some pretty heavy downpours and puddles when I wore them.

Danny Bakst, Insider Picks content producer: XC4 Prentiss Moc Toe

Johnston & Murphy's

My first impression of the Johnston & Murphy XC4 Prentiss Moc Toe was that they were incredibly squeaky. Each step I took walking on the hardwood floors of my apartment sounded like a Donald Duck allergy attack. Once I got past the noise, the shoes were really comfy from the first time I wore them. Unlike most sneakers, I didn’t have to wear them in because of the ultra-cushioned pad that lays under your heel.

The next thing I noticed was that the waterproofing was totally legit — I poured some of my water bottle onto my foot and it literally bounced off the shoe. Plus, there’s no tongue, so you don’t have to worry about any seepage coming in from the top of your shoe. The XC4 Prentiss Moc Toes are now my definitive go-to shoes on any rainy day.

Les Shu, Insider Picks guides editor: XC4 Prentiss Plain Toe

Johnston & Murphy's

Normally I would walk right past the Johnston & Murphy shop — the traditional styles are a bit too, well, traditional for me. But on a recent trip to the mall, my eyes were immediately drawn to a pair of XC4 Prentiss Plain Toe sneakers. When did Johnston & Murphy get so Cole Haan, and why didn’t anybody tell me?

When we got the opportunity to try the new line for Insider Picks, I chose the black XC4 Prentiss Plain Toe, which has a brown back for nice contrast and subtle details like two-tone shoelaces — features that are a bit more fun and youthful.

But I also like that it’s based on traditional styling, so I can dress them up with a blazer, or down with joggers. The shoes don’t have a typical tongue, and it’s worth noting that some people might be turned off by the stretch collar design.

The full-grain leather and sheepskin lining are incredibly soft, but the initial brand-new smell reminded me of cheaper synthetic-leather kicks. It will be interesting to see how these hold up, but they feel very well made.

When I put them on, it was the most trying experience — it’s so tight, you really have to shove your feet into them with some force. At first, I thought I had chosen the wrong size or they run a bit small. However, once I’m wearing them, they do feel comfortable when I walk, as the leather is stretchy, but there is some discomfort from the tight pressure placed on the top of my feet. It turns out that the footbed is removable to accommodate wider feet, so that was a problem solved. However, after removing the footbed, I found the shoes a bit loose and less supportive. I can’t tell if the shoes will break-in over time, but if you want the footbed, I recommend going up half a size if you have wide feet.

The XC4 Prentiss Plain Toe is waterproof and provides thick cushioning and support, and I was able to test out both features during a downpour. As I was running to catch my train, I was very surprised by how comfortable the shoes were, even more so than many of actual running shoes. I definitely felt the cushioning as my feet hit the pavement. And the pair was a champ during the heavy rain: I ran through puddles without ever getting water inside, and the shoes dried pretty quickly and there are no signs of blemishing.

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Save Up to 50% Off on Allbirds’ Black Friday and Cyber Weekend Sale

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Allbirds Black Friday Sale

It’s no secret that Allbirds is our favorite sneaker brand. Not only does the brand make stylish activewear shoes, but they’re also eco-friendly and sustainable, which makes us feel even better about buying from the brand—especially when they’re on sale. Right now, Allbirds’ massive Black Friday sale is on, which means you can save up to 50% off sitewide.

This is Allbids’ biggest sale of the entire year, so whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone on your holiday shopping list or just need a new pair of sneakers or sweats, now’s the time to treat yourself. Grab some of the brand’s best-sellers like the Tree Dasher 1s, Wool Runners, and Natural Leggings. Allbirds’ Black Friday sale runs through December 2, but we suggest shopping sooner than later—it’s selling fast!

Allbirds’ Black Friday Sale

Men’s Wool Runners

Allbirds Shoes

Women’s Tree Dasher 1

Allbirds Shoes

Men’s Tree Toppers

Allbirds Shoes

Women’s Wool Runners

Allbirds Shoes

Women’s Wool Runner Fluff

Allbirds Shoes

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QUIZ Clothing Reviews

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QUIZ-Clothing

About QUIZ Clothing

1 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

Just like any other British fashion brand, QUIZ Clothing is also known for its aesthetics, timeless designs, and sophistication. The brand offers a premium range of clothing pieces for all age groups and both sexes at quite competitive prices. One can easily rely on the brand to get the best of both worlds.

Precisely, QUIZ pays a lot of emphasis on offering the latest trends and cakewalk-style-driven looks without causing a dent in buyers’ pockets. It caters to the fashion-forward women and men who are quite particular about clothes, fashion, and styles.

The brand leaves no stone unturned to offer a versatile range of fashionable and trendy clothes, accessories, and shoes for almost every occasion and outing. That’s why the brand has been growing with each passing day.

Currently, it has over 250 stores across 13 countries, including the UK, Armenia, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Ireland, Pakistan, etc.

Quiz Clothing Review

2 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

Shopping for trendy and fashionable clothes is one of the most satisfying and rejuvenating activities. Most of us love to shop and wear trendy and stylish clothes. In fact, it’s a constant process to upgrade our wardrobe. But, if it happens without breaking the bank then it’s nothing short of icing on the cake. Today, one can easily find out a plethora of online and offline fashion retailers offering a wide range of clothing pieces in various designs and styles.

When it comes to UK fashion brands then one must expect great craftsmanship, quality, creativity, and innovation. QUIZ Clothing is one such UK brand that offers an essential cocktail of British fashion and contemporary designs without causing a dent in one’s pocket.

Quiz Clothing Dresses

3 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

If you’re looking for the perfect dress for a special occasion or just a dress that you can style casually every day, Quiz has many options. All dresses are designed in-house so they are unique to Quiz. Dress categories include Bardot dresses, sequin dresses, day dresses, evening dresses, prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, bodycon dresses and maxi dresses. Quiz dresses are available in sizes 4-20 so there is something to suit all sizes. Each dress incorporates the latest trends, for instance, the AW/16 dresses focus on lace and Bardot styles in neutral colours for a glamorous, simple vibe.

Quiz Clothing Stores

4 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

You can use the online store finder to find your nearest Quiz store. There are stores all around the UK. Stores are located as standalone stores in the likes of Chester, Grimsby, Peterborough, Swansea, Falkirk and Stirling. There are also Quiz clothing concessions in Debenhams, House of Fraser and M&Co. With 250 locations around the country, there is sure to be either a store or a concession near to you.

Quiz Clothing Sale

5 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

You can get great discounts on Quiz clothing using the online sale and in-store sales. Sales run seasonally, usually during the summer and at Christmas time. You may be able to get a great dress for the party season or some cosy knitwear to see you into the winter months, or perhaps a new coat to put away ready for the next set of cold weather.

Quiz Clothing Returns

6 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

You can return a product to your nearest Quiz store if you have the receipt/web receipt, but only if the product is faulty. For standard returns, this must be processed via post. Log into your account on the Quiz website to generate a returns number, print the slip you are given and pop it in with the items to be sent to the free post address. Take the items to your nearest Post Office and remember to get a proof of postage. You can also return parcels conveniently by using Collect+, with over 5000 corner shops to choose from, which keep late hours. Your refund will be processed as soon as possible but you should aim to allow 7-10 working days for the refund to arrive back in your account.

Quiz Clothing Jobs

7 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

Thanks to a team of committed employees, Quiz has gone from strength to strength since its inception. The company seeks only the most dedicated and passionate employees to work in the fast fashion industry which is constantly changing. In return for enthusiasm and commitment, employees are offered the chance to enjoy a rewarding career with progression opportunities.

Vacancies available include management, assistant management, supervisors and sales assistants. Benefits include industry competitive rates of pay, staff discount scheme with up to 50% off items, bonuses and incentives, structured induction and training, stakeholder pension scheme and childcare vouchers. There are lots of opportunities for progression if you work hard.

Popular Questions About Quiz Clothing

8 QUIZ Clothing Reviews

Where is Quiz Clothing in Liverpool?

There is a Quiz concession in the Outfit store on Speke Retail Park, Liverpool. There is also a concession in the Debenhams store in the city centre. For full store addresses, see the Quiz website.

How much do Quiz clothing pay?

The rate of pay for a sales assistant working in a Quiz clothing store is £6.25 an hour according to online sources.

Are Quiz clothing sizes small?

According to online forums, items from Quiz clothing can come up small, so it is always advised to try before you buy or take advantage of the free returns policy.

Who delivers Quiz clothing?

Quiz uses a range of couriers to deliver their clothing, depending on which method of delivery you choose you may have a different courier.

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REI Hiking Boots Review

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I am so happy to say that rei co-op has come up with a new line of hiking boots! The reason why this makes me so excited is that i love rei co-op products. One of my first hiking backpacks was the rei co-op flash. I still have it to this day because it is of excellent quality and it is pretty durable. Most of rei’s products are pretty affordable, and that includes the rei co-op flash hiking boots. The hiking boots are great for beginner hikers or for people that would love some lightweight hiking boots. Another plus is that they are made from recycled material! I am all about companies that strive to make the planet a better place so check out below to get my full rei co-op flash hiking boots review. I talk about comfort, traction, water resistance, weight, support, value, and much more.

REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots Review

How I Used The REI Co-Op Flash Hiking Boots

I hiked with the rei co-op flash hiking boots on 4 different trails around washington state. I experienced these shoes on different terrains like crossing streams, steep rocky areas, and muddy trails. Overall my experience was pretty great with the rei flash hiking boots, and i loved how lightweight they felt! Here are the trails i hiked to test them out:

  • Lake stuart: 9 miles round trip, 1665 ft. Elevation gain
  • Emmons moraine: 3 miles round trip, 900 ft. Elevation gain
  • Suntop lookout: 2.1 miles round trip,1100 ft. Elevation gain
  • Colchuck lake: 8 miles round trip,2280 ft. Elevation gain

Weight

The one thing that stops me from using hiking boots all the time is weight. Most hiking boots can be a little heavy or bulky when compared to hiking shoes. Luckily, the rei co-op flash hiking boots is on the lighter side compared to many other hiking boots in the market. Many hiking boots are usually over 2 lbs, while the rei co-op flash hiking boots is around 1 lb 13 ounces.

Usually, when hiking long trails, the boot’s weight can start to weigh you down, but luckily, while hiking colchuck lake (9 miles round trip), the weight of the rei co-op flash hiking boots didn’t bother me.

Traction

Colchuck Lake trail is known to be one of the rockiest trails in Washington. I was thankful that the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots worked well with the nonstop rocks and high elevation gain. This was especially true when going downhill, which is usually my least favorite part of the hike. Most of the time, I have trouble, and I slip or fall on trails, but the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots prevented this while hiking Colchuck Lake.

Water Resistance

There are streams and rivers all over Washington, and I was able to test out how waterproof the shoes were. Even though I walked through countless streams, my socks stayed nice and dry. So I submerged them in a shallow river to test them out, and yup, my socks were still dry!

When hiking shoes are waterproof, there can be some problems with breathability. This usually leads to blisters because your feet start to sweat when hiking. I luckily didn’t get any blisters on my feet the whole time I was testing out the shoes, which means that the shoes are waterproof yet breathable. This is a huge plus!

Durability

After putting the boots through hell on those 4 hikes (I am not the most graceful hiker), the shoes still looked in pretty good condition. There were no major scratches, no major peeling, and the fabric looks fine.

Comfort

The rei co-op flash hiking boots will need to be broken into. Like most hiking boots, it is recommended to use them around town, at home, or on leisure walks before going on a difficult hike.

They are stiff at first, but they eventually mold to your feet. I do like that there is room in the toe box. I ordered half a size over my regular shoe size (i am usually a size 7 and got a size 7.5), and it fit just fine. I had no problems with my feet swelling or my toenails feeling uncomfortable.

Support

My ankles usually bend like crazy after hiking many miles, and it definitely happened to me while hiking Colchuck Lake. Luckily, the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots was able to help prevent any major damage to my ankle when it bent(I have injured my ankle this past year while hiking while wearing other boots). I was pretty happy with the ankle support the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots gave me.

The boots’ insoles felt pretty supportive, but I know that this could be different for others. I have high arch feet, and the insoles felt perfect for me.

Value

I have reviewed and bought many hiking boots throughout the years, and the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots is the most inexpensive boots I have had on hand. I always love that REI Co-op makes its products available to everyone while still maintaining good quality. The cost for the boots ($130) is a great price, especially for budget buyers and new hikers.

REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots Appearance

The REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots comes in three colors;  Bark/Moss, Granite Black, and Smoke/Lilac. I picked the Smoke Lilac because I usually wear more pink colors on my hikes. I really loved the Lilac color and even got compliments of the color on the trails. I love when outdoor brands make hiking apparel more attractive and fun for women! I hope REI Co-op adds even more fun colors in the future!

Style

What I loved about the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots is how little they resemble hiking boots. Some hiking boots can look pretty manly, rugged, and bulky. Luckily, I can pretty much wear the boots in many places, not just the trails. Hey, I am all about versatility!

The style of the shoes and the weight makes it pretty easy for me to head to the grocery store or to the mall. When it comes to hiking, looks are probably one of the least important factors (which is why I put it at the bottom), but it is nice if your shoes are versatile. Plus, I like looking cute on the trails because that is my jam and my brand!

Eco-Friendly Materials

Usually, when you think about hiking boots, you do not think about Eco Friendly. Well, my friend, the new REI Flash hiking boots are made with recycled materials. Here are some of the specs:

  • Membrane uses 75% recycled polyester
  • Upper sole is 99% recycled PET
  • Upper sole is also 30% recycled TPU
  • TerraGrip rubber is 20% recycled

As someone who loves the outdoors, I am always so excited to hear when outdoor brands use eco-friendly materials, which is a huge plus. Read more on the recycled materials they use here

Conclusion

Thanks for reading all about the new REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boots! Let me know if you have any questions and make sure you check out some of my other hiking posts:

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