Some may say that men will never be as obsessed with shoes as women are. However, men have always been obsessed with shoes, just different kinds of shoes. Sneakers have been around since the 1970's, an important part of hip-hop and rock 'n' roll culture. Rappers and rock stars even sign million dollar promotional contracts with large shoe brands such as Nike and Converse. While sneakers are still a huge part of that culture, the types of shoes are changing, with many contemporary men shifting to diversify amongst the myriad of shoe types and brands available.
With this is mind; InStitchu has compiled a list of 6 pairs of shoes every man should own.
Oxfords are your standard business and formal shoe. These shoes are particularly characterised by their lace eyelets and narrow front profile. However, Oxfords are extremely versatile and can often be used as both a formal and smart-casual shoe; available in a variety of materials and colours. The most common combinations are black or brown leather oxfords. These are traditionally accompanied with a tailored suit in a business or formal setting. Many men also love to dress down some oxfords with a pair of chinos or jeans.
Arden by Crockett and Jones for $475 - Find them at pediwear.co.uk
Over the past decade, wingtips have made a huge comeback. The humble wingtip is a very conservative and traditional shoe, however can be used with a range of outfits. Wingtips are characterised by their 'winged' stitch on the toecap, perforated leather pattern along the sides and their often-substantial sole. This thick sole is to ensure they remain wearable when the weather turns sour. The most common pair of wingtips you will find are brown or tan. These look great with a three-piece suit to maintain the Saville Row feel.
Wingtip Blucher by Alden for $513 - Find them at aldenshop.com
The dress boot is constructed to look like a tailored shoe rather than a work boot with a sleek profile and minimalistic design. These shoes rise just above the ankle and are often suited to poor weather or colder climates as they provide a little more protection and warmth for your feet.
The most common style of boot is a Chelsea boot or riding boot, characterised by the elastic siding and tight fit.
Chelsea Boots in tan by John White for $175 - Find them at arthurknightshoes.co.uk
Similar to the wingtips, the monk straps have made a resurgence over the last 10 years. Monk straps are easily identified by their absence of laces and their closed buckles or strap. Available in a range of materials and colours, they are commonly found in black or brown leather, readily worn with a suit. While the monk straps are not for the sartorial faint of heart, if you get it right, you will be turning heads.
Varden Monk Strap by To Boot New York for $440 - Find them at Nordstrom.com
Loafers offer comfort, security and versatility. While they are often portrayed as a bit of an 'old man' shoe and are casual by their slip-on nature, this is not always the case. You may have suede tassel loafers for pottering around the house or leather pennys for more formal occasions. Leather loafers with tassels, buckles or brown straps are often worn in a business or formal environment. Brown leather loafers without socks look great in summer, especially when dressed up with navy trousers.
Full Strap Tassel Slip On by Alden for US$472 - Find them at aldenshop.com
Desert boots or suede chukka boots are very much smart casual, wearable with a broad range of outfits. Desert boots are characterised by their suede fabric and comfort. Desert Boots were originally designed by Nathan Clark of Clarks shoes as a boot that was aesthetically pleasing and something that can be worn with almost any outfit.
The colour of your desert boots is often a very personal choice and it is common to find people with more than one pair due to their versatility. Most commonly, Blue, brown, tan and grey are the preferred choices as they can be worn with a variety of pants.
Darjeeling Chukka Boot by Christian Kimber for $350 - Find them at christiankimber.com