While there remains a place for toe caps and Oxford Wingtips in the formal dress word, business casual and lounge footwear for men is consistently moving more toward a more athletic look. Just check out the newest Cole Haan OriginalGrand wingtips. While the materials and the stitching patterns might say “dressy,” the lines and the soles definitely lean toward the “sneaker” category.
Obviously aware of this trend, classic men’s footwear brand Florsheim puts that aesthetic to work in its Fusion Sport Lace Up Shoes. Combining leather or suede sides (depending on the chosen Fusion style) with a smooth leather upper and breathable mesh linings, the Fusion is made of traditional dress shoe ingredients. Still, its rounded toe and high angled back gives it the build and look of a comfortable athletic sneaker.
The idea is to make a more comfortable shoe that can transition between work and casual wear — hence its name of two elements coming together. After a brief breaking-in period (a stage every good pair of shoes should offer if they’re going to hold up well in daily use), the Fusion Sport settles in nicely and supports the wearer well.
Its price just north of $100 at most outlets seems to be in the right wheelhouse, lining up alongside midrange athletic options and general consumer range dress shoes. That all makes sense, as a blend of the two price points is exactly where Florsheim wants the Fusion to sell.
What We Liked About the New Florsheim Fusion Sport Lace-Up:
Where the leather is in place, it’s of good quality and should wear well over a longer period. The stitching and general build quality is strong, and the use of foam to line contact points and to cushion the insole keeps the shoe very light. That’s a key factor as there’s a reason a man kicks off his dress shoes and swaps for more comfortable options as soon as gets home. Leather shoes with firm soles tend to be heavy and stiff. The Fusion Sport is as light as a tennis shoe.
Most Unique Feature: Arch Support
Traditionally, dress shoes tend to offer a separate heel that requires the stride to balance between two surfaces on each step. That can cause strain on the instep, so the Fusion Sport opts for a one-piece, rounded sole that allows the foot to rock through a step, as it would in a running shoe. Florsheim also adds removable footbed support with Ortholite high rebound foam and an EVA midsole for added cushioning and rebound. That’s the same material used in new Birkenstock sandals, which are famous for their comfort.
What We Didn’t Like About the Fusion Sport Lace-Up:
It’s admittedly a quibble, but — as tested — the Fusion Sport pair ran a little tight. Any buyer would be wise to consider moving up a half size when ordering, especially if you’re in between sizes. The athletic design of the Fusion is intentionally snug and contoured, so the shopper should also take into consideration if he has a wider instep. In that case, again, a tick up the size chart could be in order.
Lightweight, made well and comfortable, the Florsheim Fusion Sport Lace Up is a good, mid-range consumer option for a shoe that must transition from a business casual to a recreational environment.
Where To Buy the Florsheim Fusion Sport Lace-Up
As a major national brand, Florsheim Shoes are available through multiple channels online or in brick and mortar stores. If you choose to use online resources such as the brand’s own website or Amazon’s extensive collection, be sure to use the online, printable sizing charts to get an accurate number before ordering. And, again, maybe round up a half size.