The shoes you wear can make or break your look, and we have all heard about different perspectives when it comes to shoes. Thus, let us fast forward to the most important part – which is a men’s shoe guide.
It’s important to note that not all dress shoes are made similar. You can’t wear them all anywhere, and with any item in your wardroom. Therefore, if you think that you can just buy a pair of dress shoes, and everything will be fine, then you are in for a shock.
The shoes you wear depend on the occasion and various other factors, such as your mood. This guide provides insight into the best dress shoes, and some leading brands to consider. For the most part, the unique designs of dress shoes, tends to make the timeless fashion items. However, some designs tend to get outdated, and its good to stay informed if you love dress shoes.
Men’s Dress Shoe Types
A savvy and well-educated man like yourself should be aware of the importance of owning more than one dress shoe. Below are some of the most common styles you can consider:
Oxfords take up the top place when it comes to the formal dress shoes spectrum. Otherwise referred to as Balmorals, Oxfords are leather shoes that have a low instep, with a compact and non-rubber sole. More so, another distinguishing characteristic of the oxfords are the closed laces. Such laces make the Oxfords elegant, and some even come with cap toes.
Brogues or Wingtips
Get a leather shoe, add some appealing stitches, perforations, and serrations on the top section, and you have a pair of brogues. The shoes occur in one of four common closure styles, which include the ghillie, Derby, Oxford, and Monk. Furthermore, the shoe brand also consists of as many as four toe cap styles, which include the longwing, semi, quarter, and the wingtip. While some find this range of features confusing, it offers endless options for any dress shoe lover.
While Derby Shoes have the same appearance as Oxford shoes, a key distinguishing factor would be the laces. For the Derby Shoes, the laces are sewn on the exterior section of the shoe. Such a design might consist of visible flaps, which tend to be less formal when compared to the shoes with closed laces. More so, the Derby Shoes are also available in many colors, materials, and styles. Most people find Derby shoes suitable for wearing with smart casual attire.
Loafers can either classify as sporty or dress shoes, but all of them have a unique feature: which are no laces or buckles. Aside from professional settings, loafers can also be worn as a part of your everyday casual wear. They are shoes that are available in many styles and designs. The traditional loafer is a slip-on shoe, which have a unique moc-toe design. More so, the shoe usually has a wide and fairly flat heel, thus making it perfect for formal settings. Some shoe brands even decorate their shoes with tassels, leather straps, and more. Similar to most dress shoes, the simpler the shoe is, the more formal it is for professional settings.
Any shoe that has a name with religious ascetic might not sound that interesting. That said, Monk Straps are also fashionable dress shoes. Similar to a loafer, the monk strap shoes do not have laces. Unlike a loafer, you don’t just slip your shoes into the shoes, but they use a unique leather strap. The shoes are available in one, two, or even three strapped designs. The monks are ideal for men who want to attract attention and also display a unique taste.
Place the massive combat aside. While many people combat boots, they are not suitable for formal situations. Thus, go for dress boots, which have a compact, ultra-chic, and snug design. More so, dress boots will reach the ankle and are available in myriad styles. The common styles include wingtip, cap toe, brogue, and more. The conventional rules apply when it comes to wearing brogues – for shoes with a small amount of details to look formal.
Dress Shoe Leather Types
It’s good to be open minded when it comes to choosing dress shoes. You should not assume that all designs, materials, and colors are all suitable for specific situations. More so, factors such as personal taste are all crucial in choosing proper dress shoes. That said, there are some factors one should consider when investing in good dress shoes.
Shoes made using glossy leather are the most suitable brands to consider. It’s as elegant as it gets, and you can wear these shoes to almost any formal situation. Remove the shine from the leather, and you have shoes that are less formal, but still dressy at the same time. In this case, you will have to go for suede shoes which are less formal, but still smart in formal settings.
Further than this, materials, especially leather, become exotic and diverse. The sky might be more or less the limit, but avoid wearing anything that involves slaughtering animals in the name of dress shoes. The range of skins in this category run the gamut including crocodile, birds, reptiles and more.
How to Spot Quality Shoes
Perk up your ears, guys, because this section is crucial. Your shoe collection should always be about quality, and never about quantity. Unless you have just robbed a jewelry, store and are looking to spend the cash before you get, your option is always to go for quality shoes. Cheap dress shoes are only suitable for short term purposes, and you are far better of going for one good shoe, than eight cheap shoes.
So how does one choose fashionable dress shoes? Consider the following:
- Leather. Real leather is crucial. It’s highly formal and can adjust to accommodate the size of your foot. Furthermore, good leather lasts long and goes well with different items in your wardrobe.
- Soles. The soles should also be formal, and it could leather mixed with some other material. The bottom should be well stitched to the shoe, and be durable as well.
- The lining. The lining of your shoes should be made of high-quality calfskin or natural leather, not synthetic materials. Wait, your shoes don’t even have a lining? Fill them with dirt and pop a bulb in them. They’re useless as dress shoes, but they’ll make great planter boxes.
- The stitching. It should be neat and barely noticeable. Anything else is not up to your exacting standards and unworthy of your good taste in suits.
- Packaging. Even if this is not an outright sign of a good shoe, it can be a good sign of the amount of work that has gone into the shoe. Thus, this indicates quality.
Fashionable Men’s Dress Shoe Brands.
Fear not. We won’t release you to the shopping world to blindly search for the qualities we have mentioned above, yet. Rather, we will provide you with additional insight you can use to choose good shoe brands. They include:
John Lobb (Top-Notch)
Started in 1849, John Notch is among some of the top names in the dress shoe brand. Most of their shoes are handmade the traditional way. Hundreds of procedures go into producing these shoes, which have graced the feet of several men over time. These include business moguls, politicians, and entertainers.
Initially, the company operated under the brand name Albaladejo and has been producing quality shoes for consumers since the 19th century. All Carmina Shoes are made by a team of highly skilled individuals who leverage the Goodyear stitching technique. It’s a process that might take 15-20 days. Ranked as one of Spain`s largest shoemakers, Carmina has shops all over the world.
Grenson (More Affordable)
World-renowned English shoe manufacturer Grenson has been designing and manufacturing footwear since 1866. Founder William Grenson was the first producer in the world to use the Goodyear welting construction method, now a hallmark of all exceptional British dress shoes, and still employed at Grenson today. From working out of a cottage and outfitting soldiers in both world wars, Grenson has come a long way to be consistently ranked as one of the top English shoe brands.
It takes time to build a proper and professional wardrobe that goes beyond investing in well-made suits. You have to make good decisions from head to toe, and this includes investing in dress shoes that are currently in style. Similar to your suits, dress shoes should be durable, comfortable, and professional.
Due to the unavoidable wear and tear associated with shoes, it’s vital that you look for the best shoe brands. Quality shoe materials go hand in hand with fashionable shoes that you can wear for years. The fact is that bad shoes can affect your chances of getting the ideal job. Get good dress shoes, and learn about how to take good care of them for longevity.