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Holla you! After a long exhausting-but-awesome weekend, it was time to write an article. Having said that writing about different styles of Shoes seemed to me as a viable option since, there are over a zillion types available. Oh! by the way it rained cats and dogs for most of the time but it didn’t stop us from partying, now did it! xD
Spending money on the things that separate you from the ground is worth the investment: Tires, Bed, Mattress, and most importantly, shoes. Because there are shoes every man needs. – Anonymous
Men love shoes. It may go against the obsolete gender stereotype, but lurking deep inside most men have a zeal for Shoes. Certainly no man is slamming down whiskey shots while bragging about how many shoes they own, but the passion is there. A man should care about his footwear if for no other reason than the fact that it constitutes the very foundation he stands upon. A poor choice here can lead to not only discomfort but injury one step at a time, especially if you select shoes that restrain your body’s natural gait and cushioning system.
Yes, no man needs 50 pairs of shoes, but what they do need is a good number of pairs for occasions and the seasons. When I really started thinking about it, I came up with a dozen. Sure, you could always do more with less, but these are the 12 types of shoes every man needs. Shoes you should probably have on-hand as a full-grown adult man.
Firstly remember the Four Rules of Footwear-
- Wear the right shoe for the occasion
- Invest in quality not Quantity
- Never sacrifice proper fit and comfort
- Take care of your shoes
Different Brogue Patterns and Toe Styles for Dress Shoes
- The Oxford Shoe
Originally known as Balmorals in England; Oxfords are leather shoes with a relatively low instep, closed lacing and a non-rubber sole. The Oxford is the most basic and timeless of the dress shoes, and a great starting point if you’re looking for a classic staple. They are very versatile option that can be dressed up with formal wear or down for a more casual arena. Gaining its name from its history at The Oxford University, oxfords were a newer version of the popular Oxonians that were popular at the university in 1800. This half-boot style became outdated and students looked for an alternative style that was more current, thus the oxford shoe was born. Oxfords are good all-around dress shoes that suit almost any occasion.
The One Piece Oxford Shoe is a variation on the classic oxford that is constructed of a single piece of leather rather than various pieces sewn together. This style has only one seam connecting the piece of leather together in the back of the shoe while maintaining the original Oxford shape and signature “closed lacing.”
- The Derby Shoe
The derby shoe, a.k.a the Gibson or the Blucher, were originally intended as a sporting and hunting boot in the 1850’s. At the turn of the 20th century, derbies began to be appropriate footwear to wear into town.The Derbies are often misunderstood with The Oxfords, as their shape is very similar and their differences are very slight. The difference is not obvious upon first glance, as it differs in the facing placement. The derby shoe has the facing stitched on top of the vamp as opposed to an oxford with its tabs sewn on under the vamp. This construction, called “open lacing,” allows for a wider fit than an oxford, making it a more comfortable option. This simple detail, has kept the derby reminiscent of its sporting roots and acts as a less formal version of the oxford.
- The Monk Straps
Though I never got a chance to wear these incredibly dapper fits, I mostly regret. The Monk Strap serves as the intermediate between The Oxford and The Derby in terms of formality, featuring a similar shape sans the laces. In place of an eyelet closure, the monk strap has a wide strap that is fastened across the front of the shoe with either a single or double buckle closure. (I’d prefer a double buckle *.*) The monk strap gets its name from the monks who originally donned them.
This traditionally laced dress shoes adds an extra something which gives and edge to the outfit. The monk strap has become a very versatile shoe style that can be dressed down with some cuffed jeans, or dressed up with your most dapper of suits. This one here certainly is an eye-magnet, gets attention and can easily become the focal point of any get-up. Monk straps are often crafted out of leather or suede and can be found with and without decorative broguing. (Suede and/or Brogued Monk Straps are big No from me!)
- The Loafer
A solid pair of loafers are shoes every man needs. They’re best if you’re an office jockey who needs semi-formal outfits at work to keep you boss off your back. The loafer is a moccasin-inspired shoe that is most recognizable by its slip-on styling. From the lands of Scandinavian region, 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. It was initially used as a casual house slipper made for King George VI of England. The loafer did not become popularized as a casual shoe until the style crossed the pond and began being manufactured in the United States in the 1930’s. It kept its status as a casual-only shoe until the 1960’s when American businessmen and lawyers began wearing loafers with suits. In 1966, Gucci introduced the bit loafer featuring a metal strap across the front in the shape of a horse’s bit, further elevating the loafer’s formality. A more casual variant of the loafer is the driving moccasin that usually has a softer, less structured look and features a dotted rubber sole.
- The Dress Boot
Like your standard Oxford or a Derby, the dress boot is generally the same shape with a longer shaft. This short, lace-up boot often features wingtip broguing on the toe and along its seams and rises over the ankle. This style traces its roots to the Victorian era when the choices in men’s shoes were very limited. During this time, men could only wear boots with day wear or pumps for evening wear. Because of the limitation of styles available to men, the Dress Boot became an intermediately formal dress shoe option that was worn to formal day occasions like tea or a formal lunch. Now, the dress boot’s place in menswear has remained quite similar as a great alternative to your typical dress shoe that’s perfect for formal day wear. For more casual occasions, lighter brown leather is acceptable, while for more formal occasions, stick to dark colored leather.
- The Chelsea Boot
The Chelsea boot originated from Victorian England and were made by shoemaker J. Sparkes-Hall for Queen Victoria. The boots’ elastic siding allowed for them to be put on and taken off with ease, while still maintaining the refined silhouette of a laced boot. The Chelsea boot became the practical alternative to rigid Victorian boots of the time and soon became a riding staple of the equestrian set. They found a modern revival during the 1960’s Mod trend where they adorned the ankles of pop-culture’s finest including, most notably, The Beatles.
These boots are ankle length with rounded toes and low heels. The vamp and the quarters meet near the ankle and are joined by elastic. The Chelsea boot has an incredibly clean look with the vamp and quarters each being made from a single piece of leather, keeping the stitching to a minimum. They have minimal to no decorative additions, maintaining the boot’s sleek and minimalist look and that’s what them stand out. The simplistic look of the Chelsea boot can easily add a classic touch to jeans, but can also give a slightly alternative look to a tailored suit. A pair in polished leather can be paired either formally or casually, while you may want to reserve your suede pair for casual to semi-formal outings only.
- The Chukka Boot
The Chukka Boot finds its origins within the game of polo, gaining its name from the seven and a half Polo playing period, called the “Chukker” or the “Chukka.” Chukkas resemble a shorter version of boots used during Polo, however it is thought that they were intended to be a more comfortable version that players could wear after the game. Chukka boots have a rounded toe, minimal stitching, and open lacing (similar to the derby). They are traditionally made of soft suede, however polished leather versions can offer a more formal look.
Chukkas should not be confused with desert boots. Desert boots are a much more casual version of a Chukka boot with similar shape, but featuring a rubber sole instead of the traditional leather.
- The Opera Pump or The Court Shoe
This is another style that I have not worn, yet! But, I am way too excited to try these on .(hopefully in the near future) Popular during the Victorian era, opera pumps were used as formal evening wear. They are traditionally made of patent leather and are adorned with a grosgrain bow. Back in time, men used to wear them with knee-high stockings and breeches to operas, dances, and other formal events. Though they are not as popular today, the pumps will occasionally be seen at full-dress events on fashion conscious individuals and these shoes will for sure make a huge comeback. The pumps shall only make the outfit better when dressed with a tux.
- The Sneakers
If you are going for a more casual look, I cannot blindfold at a simple pair of white low top trainers. I think a minimal pair of sneakers is a must-have for all men. While we will never condone the high-top ‘sneans’ that were popularized.
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.
- The Running/ Sports Shoe
Reading articles about Shoes, apparently this is what I’ve concluded that 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, I 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 running shoes will appear beaten and bruised within a few weeks so a good shoe care routine will need to be in order.
- The Espadrilles
These are the best shoes of all and personal favorites. Meant for those summer days when you don’t feel like wearing shoes. Light-weight, easy to maintain and goes well with anything and everything but formals, from shorts, to trousers, to jeans. They usually have a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole made of jute rope. The jute rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppers vary widely in style. The soles of espadrilles may be flat, platform, or wedge shaped made of natural fiber. Uppers may be made from nearly any substance and may have open or closed toes, open or closed backs, and can be slip-on or tied to the ankle with laces. Thousands of varieties of espadrilles can be found, from inexpensive bargain brands to high priced designer brands.
Espadrilles became fashionable in the USA in the 1940s. Lauren Bacall’s character in the 1948 movie Key Largo wore ankle-laced espadrilles.
- The Boat Shoe
Boat shoes a.k.a deck shoes are typically canvas or leather with non-marking rubber soles designed for use on a boat, and hence the name. A siping pattern is cut into the soles to provide grip on a wet deck; the leather construction, along with application of oil, is designed to repel water; and the stitching is highly durable. Boat shoes are traditionally worn without socks. It’s important to note that boat shoes do not last as regular shoes will, as they are designed to grip deck, and are thus soft and pliable.
Using boat shoes on rough, graveled surfaces will wear them out at a very accelerated speed.
Obtaining a signature pair of dress shoes is an absolute essential of every man’s wardrobe. Pick a well-crafted pair that expresses your personal style while remaining timeless. If you’re looking to add a little more dimension to your dress shoes, try out a new way of lacing them or a colorful pair of shoelaces to give them some unique flair. I’m certain that once you start your collection, one pair will hardly seem like enough.
You think I left a style, feel free to leave a suggestion behind, down in the comment section. Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Stay tuned for more.