Rancourt x Ralph Lauren “Eltham” Tan Shell Cordovan Penny Pinch Loafers
I have a special place in my heart for “Whiskey” Penny Loafers. Living in San Diego, it is a great shoe to wear here given the warmer climate and more casual vibe of the town. It is almost as dressy as one ever needs to dress here. I candidly already had a few Penny Loafers in the various light brown Shell Cordovan shades when I picked these up. I have two pairs (one lined and the magical unlined pair) from Alden in Whiskey Shell Cordovan and I have a pair of the Edward Green Unlined Bourbon Crup Dukes as well. However, when I saw this and the hand-stitched details on these loafers, I knew that I had to pick a pair up.
The Rancourt Penny Pinch Loafer is quite a bit different from the Alden and Edward Green variants in terms of its construction and styling. Honestly, it is a bit more casual, but on a light brown loafer, that is a great thing, as that compliments the shade of the shoe nicely.
Although, I have a few claims to my first Rancourt shoe, with my Natural Shell Cordovan Boat Shoes to be my first order place and my Navy and Brown Shell Cordovan Boat Shoe being the first order to go into production and be received, these technically were my first Rancourt. I picked them up around the mid-2016 timeframe when I ran across them.
This special makeup for Ralph Lauren is Rancourt’s standard Penny Pinch Loafer. I believe that they are called Penny Pinch Loafers because the the sides of the vamp are pinched to create an attachment point for the sides of the strap to the upper. This can be reasonably well seen in this photo.
The rest of the makeup uses Rancourt’s special Moccasin construction which utilizes hand-sewing to attach the vamp to the plug. The backstay has a nice hand stitch detail to complete the overall hand-made appearance of these loafers. Although Ralph Lauren calls these Tan Shell Cordovan, they really are what Rancourt calls Caramel Shell Cordovan or Horween calls Natural Shell Cordovan. This variant was made on Rancourt’s older Rugby Leather outsoles with their key heel, providing a beautiful and refined look to the shoe. The edges are Rancourt’s darker Brown edge stain, providing a nice contrast juxtaposition between the upper and the sole.
If you can’t tell by the amazing Horween Shell Cordovan stamp that is popping out inside the shoe, these loafers are completely Unlined. There is a light insole placed over the heel of the shoe for comfort, but other than that, your foot is in direct contact with the Shell Cordovan that these shoes are made out of. You can see how the Horween stamp’s outer oval wraps under the foot in several of the pictures, showcasing Rancourt’s Moccasin construction.
I actually have a second pair of these that I fairly recently purchased for a deal that I just couldn’t pass up on, so I have included the photos of the second pair. The second pair is truly as beautiful as the first pair is. The Horween Stamp placement in the right shoe on this pair is just amazing.
Because these are made out of Natural Shell Cordovan, they are going to be absolute “Patina Machines”. Frankly, part of the reason that I picked up the second pair, is I really wanted to be able to contrast the Patina on the first against a fresh pair. The following pictures demonstrate the amazing color that has developed on these shoes after about 3.5 years of wear. I continue to be excited to see how the color matures and evolves!