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Whether you’re an avid footwear collector or just starting to put together your essential pieces, with our extensive guide you’ll know all about the 12 shoes every man should own – that includes you.
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Shoes have an interesting history. From functional to flashy designs, it can be easy to feel lost in all the details. As a whole, footwear is extensive. A simple wander through a history museum will show you how shoes have evolved through centuries dating back to Ancient civilisations. Now, we look at shoes and there’s endless styles to choose from, and new ones popping up regularly.
Shoes can amp up more simple outfits, or create clean, minimal lines for a more sophisticated look. Colours no longer stop at the neutral palette, and you’ll find that vivid prints are available too. No matter what your personal style’s like, there are pairs out there that will match everything you love. We’ll now take you through the 12 must-have styles that will help you be at your very best, and we’ll show you how to wear them.
Oxford Shoes are often confused with Derby Shoes, but there are marked differences between the two. Here’s the easiest way to tell them apart: closed or open laces. To put it briefly, you’ll see a line of stitches underneath the vamp for an oxford versus more space and no stitched line with a Derby.
When it comes to styling, the oxford shoe is much more formal. These are the ones you see being paired with tuxedos, and a lot of times you’ll come across shiny patent ones. You might not feel you really need a pair, but it doesn’t hurt to invest in a decent set of Oxfords. There will be occasions you need to break out a tux – weddings and holiday galas come up quick.
The Derby shoe on the other hand, you can wear with your suits and at times really sharp denim if you’re going for a business casuallook. The open space on the vamp feels slightly less formal, but there’s still a clean, minimal design to the derby shoe that you get with the Oxford.
Good for date nights and semi-formal events, the Derby is a huge favourite and a forever a classic among men’s shoes.
With their unmistakable perforations, brogues have more range than the Oxford or Derby. Being shoes that can go beyond the casual direction, they’re great for sports jackets and button down shirts. You can wear them when you suit up for the office or try a colourful suede pair to catch eyes.
You don’t have to stick to tradition. Many designers and brands are creating soles out of lightweight foam and cork for an extra summer casual look. Surprisingly durable, these styles could become your weekend favourite in no time. Dealing with rain or snow, here’s a helpful guide to sporting brogue boots – never hurts to have both at hand.
Loafers, depending on the material, can come off dressy or be very casual. Going for a nice neutral leather will help you compromise between the two. Easy to slip on and off with a moccasin-like construction, the loafer has quite a bit of history behind it. There isn’t an exact starting point on its origins, but it comes down to either Norway or England. Regardless of which version is correct, this leisurely design came about in 1920s Europe.
Fast forward a little and G.H. Bass company introduced their Penny Loafer in the 1930s. Widely accepted and appreciated for having no laces, and an easy design, their loafer is still very much loved today. You may see them worn about your workplace, which is possible, or take a cue from a favourite street style shot of ours. The t-shirt and blazer with distressed denim gets a touch of elegance from well-made leather loafers and a statement pocket square.
It’s a perfect example of how to use accessories with your shoes to finish off a look.
Monk shoes fall in-between your Derby and Oxford shoes. Named for historically being worn by monks, Monk shoes remain one of the best shoes for men. From single to double strap, you’ll also find them with brogue patterns. Though they had to find a proper place between being for formal or casual situations, styled right they can fit both occasions.
If you need to pair them with a suit, stick to black and brown. It’s sleek and with no strings to deal with, the monk strap shoe looks seamless with well hemmed trousers. This is definitely an ultra stylish men’s shoe. Want a pair that can fit your denim days? Try them in different coloured leather and suede. As time progresses, designers get more adventurous. You can find monk shoes in royal blue, green, several shades of red to oxblood, we’ve even seen a few on the avant-garde side. Wear your bottoms cuffed and try printed socks if you want to be more daring.