Footwear dates back to over 10,000 years old. Since the beginning of time, mankind has mastered the art of shoe making. The best footwear has been sought out for years. In this article I will do my best to give you an basic overview of footwear for gentlemen. Please keep in mind that I will be publishing more in-depth articles on shoes in the future.
A gentleman should always care about his footwear. Think about it. We spend hours upon hours on our feet everyday. Therefore we should take care of our shoes since they are the foundation in which we stand on regularly. Your shoes are worth the investment. Sure you can pay a low price for a low-quality pair of shoes or boots, but all you will get is a cheap pair of shoes and expensive discomfort that will cost you later. Please keep in mind that your footwear should be stylish, but most of all function properly. First let’s take a quick look at different types of shoes.
Oxfords. Every man should own at least two pairs of Oxfords. Oxfords are lace-up shoes made to be worn below a man’s ankle. I suggest that every gentleman should own a classic pair of black and brown oxfords to wear with a 2-piece suit or dress trousers.
Saddle Shoes. These are casual oxford shoes. Saddle shoes are distinctive because a layer of leather overlaps the instep and is normally a different color than the rest of the shoe.
Boat Shoes. If you’re looking for a summer shoe aside from the classic sandal that can worn without socks, boat shoes are the way to go. They were made to be worn on a boat to prevent the person from slipping. Available in a variety of colors, are only for warm weather. Get yourself a pair.
Leather Loafers. Slip-on loafers are built with heavier rubber soles and more casual and usually include leather imitations. I am a personal fan of these because they are semi-casual and can be worn with a dark pair of jean or khakis. They vary in style and their purpose is to bridge the gap between canvas shoes and dress shoes.
Dress Boots. They are more often than not worn for their style, not their function. Dress boots are built to withstand the strains of hiking and working, but are great for the fall and winter months. When you are searching out a pair of good dress boots look for high extension around the ankle, insulated well (sheep’s wool), and made from real leather. Personally I am a fan of red and blue suede chukkas, but I will reserve those for the spring and summer months. Again, every gentleman needs at least one pair of dress boots for the fall and winter months. Give your Oxfords a break.
Here are a few simple tips to get you walking in the right direction.
The Right Occasion. There is a pair of shoes for every occasion. Please know that I am not telling you that you need a pair of shoes for every occasion. Let’s keep it simple guys. For example sport sneakers are used for sport activities. Hiking boots are used for hiking, and dress shoes are used for formal occasions. That means we shouldn’t be mixing and matching our footwear with the opposite of there designated functions. This sounds simple right, but I see this happen all the time. Stop it!
It’s An Investment. Honestly guys, shoes are the only part of my entire wardrobe that I am willing to pay full price for because shoes are an investment. Please understand I take advantage of sales when they’re present. Of course not every individual can afford to drop hundreds on his shoes. Honestly, if you want to invest in quality shoes that will last you for years you’re going to have to save. An average pair of good quality shoes will start at minimum $80.00 a pair. I personally am a huge fan of Aldo shoes and they are worth every penny.
Care for Your Shoes. Learn how to waterproof and shine your shoes. Every dapper gentleman needs to know how to do these two things. I strongly suggest you do this on a regular basis. To help extend the life of your shoes and prevent cracking and breaking, invest in wooden cedar shoetrees. These will help soak up the perspiration of your feet and maintain the proper form of your shoes. This is especially critical if you own leather shoes. Caring for your shoes will add life to them instead of losing it.
Gentlemen I know this is a simple article, but please know that this is just to get you started moving in the right direction. In the weeks and months to come I will be adding a lot of articles with greater depth on these subjects. Again, if you have questions, suggestions, or ideas please leave a comment or contact me.
Stay dapper gentlemen.