Election 2016: Who Gets the Next Presidential Johnston & Murphy Shoes?

If you are familiar with footwear brand Johnston & Murphy, you probably know that the brand has been responsible for providing footwear to every president since Millard Fillmore in 1850. Most recently, they provided President Obama with a pair of black oxfords and an updated version of President Lincoln’s lace-up boots.

Now, with election season in full swing, we’re asking the important questions: who gets the next pair of presidential Johnston & Murphy shoes? There’s a chance America may have its first woman president. This video from CNN Money discusses this possibility with J&M’s CEO Jon Caplan, and explains a bit about Johnston & Murphy’s presidential tradition. Check out  J&M’s history page to see some more presidential styles throughout history.

Johnston & Murphy Maggie Penny Review – $168

Growing up is funny. Some of the things I used to tease my parents and grandparents about are things I now love. Penny loafers and driving moccasins are two of those things. I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up and realized how comfortable they are, or if it’s because they’re back in fashion and not relegated to “old people shoes.” Probably both. Now, with my newfound love of loafers and drivers, I present to you the Johnston & Murphy Maggie Penny.

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Johnston & Murphy has a rich history. The company began in 1850 as the William J. Dudley Shoe Company in Newark, New Jersey. By 1886, business partners and friends James Johnston and William A. Murphy ran the company for decades before relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, where the company still manufactures several shoe lines today. Self-described as a modern tastemaker, Johnston and Murphy have had the honor of outfitting numerous U.S. Presidents with their footwear. From Abraham Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama, their shoes have been a favorite of some pretty important people. Their website has a pretty interesting infographic that details a few of our presidents’ favorite footwear.

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No longer are Johnston & Murphy’s shoes solely for male feet. In 2008, the company launched an impressive line of women’s shoes, clothes, and accessories. We’ll be taking a look at a few different styles over the next few months, starting with the classic Maggie Penny.

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The driving moccasin, or driver, originated in Italy in the 1960s to keep feet as comfortable as possible while zipping around in Italian automobiles. The nubs on the sole and heel were for added grip while switching between the gas, brake, and clutch. The shoes became a bit of a status symbol, worn mostly by men who could afford special shoes for their fancy cars. They eventually moved out of the car and into everyday life, becoming a staple in preppy casual wear, keeping the rubber nubs. While I don’t do too much racing in my 2001 Dodge Durango, it’s still fun to have those little details as a reminder of the shoe’s history.

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The Johnston & Murphy Maggie Penny is crafted from thin, glove-soft nubuck, constructed on a rubber driver sole and features hand-stitching around the vamp and back seam. It’s not a true moccasin construction, but the upper wraps around to give a convincing illusion. The insole is thickly cushioned and lined with smooth sheepskin. The shoe itself is extremely flexible and incredibly comfortable. The shoes slide right on and the sheepskin lining and buttery nubuck remain comfortable for all-day wear.

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The Maggie Penny is a classic driver, with a timeless look and feel. Their low profile and lack of a penny loafer style heel keeps them casual, comfy, and easy to wear. The blue color I have is bright and fun, perking up outfits that would be boring with regular flats. The shoe comes in black and brown, of course, but it also comes in some funky, eye-catching colors like Kiwi (a neon green), Cardinal Red, and Dahlia Pink. They also have some two-toned pastel versions that are on sale on their website for $129, so check those out while they’re still up.

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The Johnston & Murphy Maggie Penny is a great choice if you’re looking for a comfortable shoe that you can wear casually or at the office. $168 is a fair price for such soft leather, quality construction, and unique color. If you use them reasonably and don’t take them hiking or stomping around in the mud, you will get quite a few years out of these shoes. They aren’t going to fall apart or wear through. They’re the perfect shoe for a casual meeting, a coffee date, or even a joyride in your 1963 Ferrari.

Johnston & Murphy Copeland Chukka Review – $145


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Johnston & Murphy is one of four domestic men’s shoes manufacturers left in the United States. Making it to this iconic status demanded products that can endure many different lifestyles. Whether that is on Capitol Hill, your local credit union, or anywhere worldwide, Johnston and Murphy customers will always have a classy, stylish reputation. Today we will be taking a look at the Johnston & Murphy Copeland Chukka.



Johnston & Murphy has an especially rich history. The company originated in 1850 from “The William J. Dudley Shoe Company” founded in Newark, New Jersey. By 1886, James Johnston and William A. Murphy had taken over the company and began the legacy we see today. The shoe company made shoes for decades before relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, where the company still manufactures several shoe lines today. Self described as a modern tastemaker, Johnston and Murphy had the honor of outfitting numerous Presidents with their footwear. From Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama, their shoes are a top choice among our nations leaders. No matter which style of Johnston and Murphy shoes or boots you buy, comfort, class, and quality are core features.



The Copeland Chukka is constructed using tan-oiled full grain leather. The leather is an intensely rich brown color that offers sophisticated durability. Using a bond welt construction, the leather is attached to an exceptionally comfortable natural latex crepe sole. The chukka provides a very solid construction that is consistently comfortable, supportive, and ergonomic. The inner lining consists of soft goatskin and mesh insole, which is paired with a memory-foam heel cushion. The stitching is a light tan color that contrasts nicely with the leather. The Copeland Chukka is one of the most comfortable boots I have worn to date. I have used them for 7 weeks now, and not one single stitch has come undone, the sole looks brand new, and the tan leather has broken in attractively. This Chukka has obviously been constructed very well, meeting the standard Johnston and Murphy has worked so hard and long to achieve.




While these are some of the most comfortable boots I have worn, it didn’t happen right away. It took a solid week of steady wear to break them in to be consistently comfortable. This is perhaps the only negative to the Copeland Chukka I have come across so far. But, this is a common issue with high-quality leather footwear, and Johnston and Murphy has done a very good job at minimizing the break-in time and the resulting aching feet. Over time the memory-foam cushion and padded mesh toe box has formed seamlessly to my foot, making this shoe comfortable no matter what I am doing. The Copeland Chukka has accompanied me on numerous motorcycle rides, coffee shop visits, and the occasional urban trek. I have been appropriately pleased wearing these boots and look forward to how they wear in the future.



The Copeland Chukka is a wonderful take on a classic boot style. With chukkas, you can really wear them in numerous different casual occasions, and still maintain a classy, stylish appearance. This chukka does come in three colors of suede in addition to the tan leather. All these colors are rich and all have the same construction and durability. This chukka is perfect for going out to dinner with friends, to a business-casual event, and really any casual event there is. This version of the chukka boot is a little on the rough, outdoorsy side because of the oil tanned leather. It still has that modern appeal to guys of all ages, making it a good choice for those of us who appreciate versatility.




The Johnston & Murphy Copeland Chukka has proved to be an extremely well constructed, quality boot. I have enjoyed them every time I have worn them. If you are looking for a casual, versatile boot to add to your wardrobe, the Copeland Chukka is a suitable choice to consider. At $145, this boot is a reasonable purchase for the quality you will receive. If you haven’t already, head over to Johnston and Murphy to check out their products, learn their history, and appreciate quality leather footwear.