Ahh…Shoes…one of the most mystical items of any ensemble…women love them and men….well….they do too. Shoes have a strange aura that compels people to buy and collect them, whether they need them or not. Before, when you thought about shoes you might envision women fighting over a pair which is 50% off at a retailer. Nowadays, besides upgrading that vision to Sarah Jessica Parker in Manolo’s, you might have noticed that men are paying ever growing attention to the shoes they wear.
These double monk straps are all over the Internet, photo from The Sartorialist.
It’s a fact that gentleman and smart dressed men have long ago understood the importance of a sharply buffed pair of handmade leather shoes, but now that knowledge is being slowly passed on to young men. I must admit that until recently, I too didn’t truly appreciate the art and craftsmanship that goes into making a pair of high-end men shoes. All that changes when you acquire you first pair..and watch this video (800€ price tag..rings a bell?):
You have to look at high-end shoes as an investment: they WILL cost you but if you care for them they can last decades. When looking for high quality shoes you can take the safe route: choose a model from luxury brands such as Tod’s, Church, Crockett and Jones, John Lobb, Alden, etc; or opt for a lesser known brand that provides quality nonetheless (some spanish brands come to mind: Barrats or Lotusse).
The guys over at Prepidemic have come up with an amazing guide on what to look for when buying quality shoes so be sure to check it:
Now that you have all the info you need on how to choose proper shoes, I’ll leave with a few suggestion on which to purchase:
- The loafer: guys, make no mistake this is not a formal shoe and is not meant to be paired with a suit as we see it all the time. The loafer is a casual shoe, wear it with slacks, chinos or jeans;
Photo from bassshoes.harborghb.com
- The Brogue/Wingtip: a formal shoe originally meant to wear with suits but nowadays everyone’s wearing them with slim fit jeans;
- The Oxford Shoe: another dress shoe that can be worn with a suit or jeans;
Photo from www.paulsmith.co.uk
- The Monk Strap: more formal than the oxford, can be found with a single or double monk strap;
Photo from www.aldenshop.com
- The Driving Shoe: another casual alternative that has been around for ages;
Photo from www.carshoe.com