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Shoes play an essential role in every outfit. After all, the right footwear can quickly make or break your look. So, if you want to appear stylish, it’s important to have the right shoes on hand to complete and complement your every ensemble. Luckily, we can point you and your feet in the right direction. From running errands to attending a formal gala, we’ve narrowed down a selection of stylish men’s shoes at everyman should have in his wardrobe.
Like so many types of dress shoes, the brogue was conceived as a far more utilitarian shoe than the way we wear them today. The holes and perforations in brogues were originally there to help drain water after crossing bogs and swamps in muddy Ireland. Today, we think of the brogue with a little more respect. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself knee-deep in muck when wearing them. Opt for dark brown brogues for formal occasions and lighter brogues for casual days. Black brogues work best with a suit but don’t get carried away and wear them to a black tie event. When buying brogues remember as a rule of thumb, the more broguing on the shoe, the less formal it is.
2. Suede Chukka
Chukkas have surged back in popularity over recent years, having first become popular in the ‘40s. The shoe is a minimal, round-toe, ankle-high boot with just two or three lacing eyelets. Traditionally featuring just two panels, the style is not big on embellishments. Reject over-the-top trimmings, a suede pair of chukkas lets the texture of the shoe do its talking. Opt for a pair of tan or cream suede chukkas as the next addition to your wardrobe. These shoes find themselves at a more casual end of the pool, offering an elegant alternative to sneakers. Combine chukkas with a pair of jeans or chinos and a polo shirt for the best look. They also give you a safe option to dress down an outfit that threatened to become too formal with brogues. By combining a pair of chukkas with a sports jacket, you can make your outfit appear more approachable.
3. Leather Boot
The great thing about a leather boot is with continued wear, the shoe begins to tell a story. A pair of leather lace-up boots is a must-have addition to every man’s winter wardrobe. Opt for an ankle-high, black, or dark brown boot and cuff your pants for a casual, edgier aesthetic. You can also pull your trousers over the top of the boots for a more conservative look. Invest in a quality pair and they will last you years.
4. White Low Top Trainer
If you are going for a more casual look, you cannot go past a simple pair of white low top trainers. While we will never condone the high-top ‘sneans’ that were popularised by dads everywhere. White low tops are perfect when styled with black jeans for a monochromatic look. A minimal pair of white trainers is fantastic at portraying a casual yet neat look for when boots or chukkas are too much.
Originally of Scandinavian origin, the loafer has developed into the sartorial styling of preppy culture and is now a streamlined shoe style. Low and lace-free, loafers are a mainstay of smart casual dress and are a favorite shoe style for summer months. A pair of brown loafers will suit a range of palettes and will work for both casual and formal looks. Navy is also a good color to compliment tones like whites, beige, and greens. If you are after a pair of loafers to suit neutrals, beige will work well and complements tanned skin.
The Oxford is characterized by its closed lacing unlike the open lacing system of the Derby shoe. The design was originally a plain shoe made of leather, but over the years it has evolved and now includes a broad range of fabrics and detailing. Most men already own a good pair of black Oxfords which they wear for more formal occasions; however, this shoe also looks great in a tan color for casual events.
A pair of comfortable but stylish running sneakers is a must-have for every wardrobe. While running sneakers are designed to feel good, rather than look good, we do have a few tips on choosing the right pair. For versatility, choose a style with minimal branding. Bright colors also work well for a statement street look. White sneakers will appear beaten and bruised within a few weeks so a good shoe care routine will need to be in order.
SHOP THE LOOK
What are the best men's dress shoes?
When it comes to formal men's dress shoes, you'll want to invest in a pair of Oxfords, brogues, Derbys, or monk strap shoes, preferably in a high-shine leather. If you're looking for men's dress boots, then Chelsea boots, lace-ups, and chukkas are all great options that work with a range of outfits. Finally, loafers and sandals are both excellent choices to suit less formal occasions.
How should men take care of dress shoes?
The first step is to remember prevention is better than a cure. As such, store your shoes out of the elements, and make sure to waterproof them regularly. If your shoes are leather, a wipe over with a slightly damp cloth, then a good polish once a month will keep them spick and span and help cover any damage. The more formal the shoe, the more important this is. Suede shoes need regular brushing with a suede brush to get rid of dirt and reinvigorate the nap. Meanwhile, canvas shoes can be cleaned with a 1:2 ratio of baking soda and white vinegar and a toothbrush.
How many dress shoes does a man need?
There are seven types of shoes every man should have in his wardrobe. When it comes to dress shoes, a pair of black oxfords and brown brogues will cover you for the majority of formal and professional occasions. Slightly less formally, a pair of suede chukkas in a neutral tone like tan, and ankle boots, whether lace-up or Chelsea, will suit more casual, yet still dressy needs. Lastly, to fulfill your informal requirements, invest in a pair of loafers, white low-top sneakers, and running sneakers. However, if you're an avid runner, it's a good idea to have two pairs of runners – one for exercise and one for fashion.
What are the highest quality men's shoes?
Good quality shoes don't necessarily have to be expensive, but they also shouldn't be crazy cheap. When looking at leather shoes, you want to opt for a full-grain leather where you can, as it's the most durable. Another thing to look for is that the shoe is stitched to the sole, not glued. Goodyear welted shoes are the best option, whereas glued shoes will fall apart more quickly. Regarding running shoes, long-standing brands like Nike and Adidas have good reputations for a reason. You can also check reviews of different styles for feedback on how they wear.
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