It is often said that on the first time you meet someone, you are judged on a number of factors – with three main counts being your hair, handshake and footwear. Let’s start with arguably the most important investment of all, your shoes. Shoes speak the occasion, represent your personality. With an ever developing array of footwear styles available both in stores and online, shopping for the right shoes for the needful occasion can be overwhelming. Here are five essentials of footwear styles every man should own.
1. Flip Flops / Sandals
When the sun is scorching, the humid is high, this is a must-have pair of footwear. The most appropriate footwear for the beach, the pool, the lake and even the car! But there are more examples of when it’s not appropriate to wear flip-flops or sandals. The office, a wedding, dinner date! Just be selective. If you’re just hanging out, flip-flops are great. For anything else, stick to the side of normal shoes.
$$: Birkenstock, Nike, Havaianas
$$$$: Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Valentino
More and more, we are seeing the style dominate the runway, the streets and even the red carpet. The perfect casual shoes that can be worn with or without socks. Sneakers will keep your casual look but sets you apart from the next guy in line at the grocery store.
$$: Converse, Vans, Nike
$$$$: Louis Vutton, Kenneth Cole, Y3
3. Sports Trainers
Whether you are pounding the pavement outdoors, running trails in the woods or plodding along on the treadmill at the gym, it is important that you wear the right shoes for these training. Depending on the type of sports activity you are involved in, a specific shoe with key features appropriate for the activity would be recommended for best performance. For general use, you could stick to trainers. A good pair of sports trainers would help to prevent injury in the long term and less fatigue experienced during exercise.
$$: Asics, Mizuno, New Balance
$$$$: Nike, Adidas, Puma-Ferrari
4. Classic Loafers
A classic that never goes out of style. If laces are not your favourite, leather loafers would be the preferred choice for business work shoes. The suede material would be the perfect smart casuals for any occasion. Other styles include penny loafers, tassel loafers and dress loafers.
$$: Swims, Tomahawk, Hush Puppies
$$$$: Bally, Tod’s, Car Shoe
5. The Oxford
The oxford shoe has closed face laces instead of the open face. It is the sleek simplicity of this detail which makes the Oxford such a winner. And while there are plenty of variations on the classic design now available, it is the black leather cap toe Oxford that I feel every man should have in his collection. If you are looking for versatile shoes to go with your suit, these iconic shoes should take pride of place in your wardrobe.
$$: Clark, Aldo, Ecco
$$$$: Tod’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Church’s
Hopefully, you have found this list of recommendations helpful. Ultimately, there is no golden rule or set formula with regards to building the ‘perfect shoe collection’, as tastes are bound to differ. If you are into wearing suits, you are not necessarily going to be chomping at the bit for a pair of fashion trainers. Equally, if you are into denims and t-shirts, a patent Oxford probably isn’t your number one priority.
On my final note, with this simple guide consider which styles you really need, and build a footwear collection that will ensure you are ready for every eventuality. A collection that speaks timeless and versatility.
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