The shoe, one of the most important elements of an outfit and to how some will judge thee. A good shoe should of course fit, work well with what you have on, be comfortable, but most importantly, get you from A to B whilst looking good.
I have touched on shoes in a few of my previous articles, but I want (need) to make it clear again - this is where you really need to put the dollars down. More often than not people will notice/recognise you by your shoes first, especially walking down the street, and the saying stands true - you can judge a man by the shoes he wears. I follow a simple rule - if you look after your shoes they will look after you: shine them, clean them, buff them and they will treat you well and you will get more life out of them.
There are a few styles that I would recommend that I have categorised below, they range from the classics that every man should own to the more ‘fashiony’styles that have been seen on many menswear blogs and stores of late, as well as casual wear shoes:
The Black Cap-Toe Oxford:
Image via: Zayyar Win Thein
Every man needs to own a pair - no matter if you are a plumber, a student, a CEO or a sports star, these shoes are the most formal pair of shoes you should own (unless you like patent black or sequins or something). They will go with your suit for those formal occasions whether it be a wedding, black-tie event or funeral these boys will have you covered on all bases and if you want to branch out to implement them into your everyday wear you can pair them with dark trousers very easily.
The Brown Brogue:
Image via: Tumblr
The story behind the brogues date back to when swamp workers in Britain needed footwear that would air out and drain any moisture present. The patterning is a classic that is seen on a lot of footwear on both men’s and women’s shoes that give it a point of difference while still keeping it elegant and traditional. The brown brogue is commonly worn with grey and navy suits but is still a common casual shoe as they are easy to wear with denim, flannels and, of course, chinos.
The Desert/Chukka Boot:
Image via: Ethan Desu
The shoe is as common now as it was back in the 1940’s-1950’s, but it became most well known when the British Army wore desert boots while in North West Africa in World War Two. The difference between the desert and chukka boot is fairly easy - a desert boot has a crepe rubber sole for grip and comfort. This boot is well paired with chinos and denim and is perfect for a long day at university, a trip to the countrysideas well as the Autumn season.
On a budget: Meermin Dark Brown Rapello Suede Boots - $285 from Meermin
Baller Status: Cheaney Pony Suede Chukka Boots - $695 from Crane Brothers
The Tasselled Loafer:
Image via: Ethan Desu
If you are on the adventurous side or want something for summer that can double as both elegant and casual, then a tasselled loafer is for you – but note you need a whole lot of SWAG to pull these guys off. This is a really Italian shoe, there's nothing more Italian than a dude in a pair of these in a double breasted linen suit on a yacht sipping on some fine wine. Again, this is a great summer footwear option and they work well with shorts.
On a budget: Crown Hill Shoes Mainz Loafers - $220 from Crown Hill Shoes
Baller status: Alexander McQueen Leather Loafers- $1,190 from Mr. Porter
The Double-Monk Strap:
Image via: Kinowear
Arguably the most trendy shoe style out for men at the moment. They have taken over the menswear scene and in particular the double monk straps. They make a suit look great and can serve multiple purposes in the casual department as well, as they will make you look menswear trendy (if that's a thing). I have a pair myself that that I pair up with a Navy suit or even just jeans and a shirt - fairly versatile for a trendy shoe.
The White Sneaker:
Image via: Hypedc
The classic casual shoe, but now has become a #menswear trend with brands such as Adidas and Our Legacy putting out their versions. Perfect for summer, easy to wear with tailored garments as well as the best shoe to slip on when you're in doubt of what to wear, or if you’re just pottering around the city. There are many brands and styles out there but go for something simple in design and either in leather or canvas (which ever you prefer). Jack Purcell’s are now my go-to and I like how much more simple and sophisticated they look compared to the Converse All-Stars.
On a budget: Converse Jack Purcell’s - $100 from Pat Menzies
Baller status: Common Project Original Achilles Low - $470 from Need Supply Co.
So, hopefully I have given you enough shoes to think about, and I do hope you go and do some research to find out what you actually need to suit your lifestyle. You may already have a couple pairs of sneakers so there isn’t really much point of going and getting a plain white pair - maybe branch out into more leather sole based shoes or even rubber soles. I hope to keep this section going, so next week I will be touching base on trousers.