Sometimes there comes a certain point at life, an event, or maybe a job opportunity, when nevertheless if you consider yourself as a simple and casual lad, you will need to suit-up and accordingly top off your combination with appropriate shoes.
The ultimate symbol of flawless style is the perfect pair of shoes. Just as vital as choosing the right clothes for you are the shoes or maybe even more. They are the key component in creating the perfect overall look and even furthermore, they are held accountable for the first impression that you make.
A subtle way to send a message that you are a modern, sophisticated, and serious man who know its goals and aspirations. Yes, all of these and more can be expressed through your shoes.
Rather than seeing it as an unnecessary expense, choose to see it as an investment that can last up to twenty years. Yes, with a proper maintenance, a quality pair of shoes can be your best friend for the years to come.
Throughout the centuries a variety of shoes emerged from every part of the world. The history itself generously reveals that ever since the existence of ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, and Ancient Greeks, shoes were invented as a way to separate the noble and rich men from the poor and the slaves.
Made from a number of different fabrics such as leather, silk, and cloths and in a variety of shapes, they have become a bare necessity rather than a luxury. Only a few of the most popular styles that “endured” the pressure of time are the Chelsea boots, the Oxford, the Loafers, and many more.
When searching for the perfect pair of shoes, the easiest way to choose is to start with the occasion that you need them for. Are you searching for more casual dress shoes or maybe a more classical ones? Are they for a date, or maybe for a super-official business meeting? Think about the occasion and the way you want to look.
As we mentioned, think about the message that you want to radiate to the people around you. Black or brown? Or maybe dare to add a bit of color with a deep shade of blue or maybe even a burgundy? Choose to experiment rather than staying within your comfort zone, as we all know nothing meaningful really grows there! Shiny leather or subtle suede? Decisions, decisions!
If you feeling a bit lost, no worries. We`ve got you covered. By reading and following these bits of information you will easily learn which way to go.
What Counts As a Men’s Dress Shoes?
Starting from the basics, in order to find the ideal dress shoes, you need to know the meaning behind their name, why and where to wear them, and how to combine them. Dress shoes differ from all the rest ones mainly because of the occasion that they are worn in.
Most commonly they can be worn to semi-formal, formal and special events (for example business meetings, weddings, formal ceremonies, dates), and they are The Way to enhance the already superior smart-casual-business style.
How Are Dress Shoes Defined?
Nonetheless, of their style, all shoes are composed of a few similar parts such as the upper part- consisted of a vamp and a toe, and the back part consisted of quarters. The bottom part is the sole and most-commonly consisted of several layers of natural/artificial rubber or leather.
The quality of the dress shoes is usually determined based on the type of material from which they are made, the details on them, and how much are they a piece of fine craftsmanship. The preferable material and the most frequent one is the leather.
The best and most excellent pairs of shoes are crafted from a few layers of 100% genuine leather carefully stitched together to create comfortable, stylish, and durable shoes.
What do you style dress shoes with?
As we already said, the rightful dress shoes are the zenith of one`s overall combination. If you dress to impress, you could carefully incorporate the dress shoes you own into every possible combination.
Combine them with your favorite pair of jeans and with a semi-formal shirt. Additionally, you can throw your knitted sweater around your shoulders and you are good to go. Completely doable!
However, typically the dress shoes are worn in formal occasions as the perfect way to enhance the overall “suit-up” look.
Men’s Dress Shoes You Must Own
Buying a proper pair of dress shoes is like entering an elite club of stylish gentlemen. Although there is no ceremony, over the time you will find out that they are not “just a pair of shoes” but rather a bold and defined statement, one that says “you are no longer a neighborhood boy but much more a man, a serious one”.
There are eight pairs of dress shoes that will most likely satisfy your needs in terms of having a proper shoe for every occasion.
The formal lace-up shoes are divided into two types” Oxfords and Derbies.
1. The Oxford Shoe
If you are identifying yourself as a modern gent then you should inevitably own a pair of Oxford shoes. They are the definition for a classical and elegant yet versatile option for both formal attire as much as for certain casual arena.
Their roots are from the Oxford University dating all the way from the 1800s when the students in desperate need for alternative and improved style turned to this modern and newer version of the dated Oxonians.
The main and only difference between the Oxford and a Derby lies within their closing system. The Oxford characterizes with a closed lacing system rather than the open one seen at the Derby shoe. The closed lacing is a synonym to a sleek and distinguishable simplicity.
Another detail is their pointy-toe-end. If you take a closer look you will notice that the shoes get gradually narrower. This is the main reason on why you should be careful when you are choosing a pair because you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the day smiling through the pain caused by your shoes. Comfort rather than just style should be also on your priority list.
If you are looking for the safest possible option in terms of creating the ultimate formal combination than the Back Oxford Shoes are the right way to go. The classical yet polished shoes will look flawless together with an elegant tuxedo, or a business suit. Suitable for the highest of dress codes, the black oxford shoes will become your best friend for every single formal occasion.
On the other hand, if you want to incorporate them into more everyday wear than you can choose some of the many colors either in leather or suede.
2. The Derby (The Blucher Shoe)
Back in the 1850s, they were initially invented with the intention of being used as a hunting and sporting boot up until the 20th century when they became appropriate footwear for the town.
As we previously mentioned, the Derbies are quite similar to the Oxford shoe with one major difference, their lacing system.
The Derbies have open laces, unlike the oxford shoes that have their bottom of the lacing section sewn closed (closed lacing system). You might find this shoe and its open lacing system preferable when compared to the tight and closed lacing system seen at the Oxfords hence of its wider fit, and more curvy/round shape of the shoe itself. They are ideally worn to semi-formal occasions rather than formal ones.
3. The Monk Strap
If you are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd yet at the same time to stay equally stylish and elegant than the Monk Strap Shoe is the right one for you. Similar in shape to an Oxford but with a much different fastening system you can choose between a single or double-buckle closure. A wide leather strap across the front of the shoe is a unique way to add a dose of individuality to your overall look.
The Monk Strap Shoe is a classic alternative to the common laced dress shoes. The beauty of this shoe lies in its diversity. It can be worn in a number of occasions with both suits combinations and casual cuffed jeans ones.
4. The Loafer
Over the past few years, the Loafers have become one of the most popular dress shoes. They are laceless, super comfortable, and practical shoes and what is, even more, they are the solution to your problems when you want to be comfy while at the same time stay stylish and classy.
In an instant, you will become a fashionista only by wearing your favorite pair of loafers. They are more suitable for everyday casual combinations rather than formal ones. Pair them with light-wash jeans or straight-cut, ankle-length chinos, fancy patterned shirt, and your favorite dark shades. You will look sharp and stylish without the need to compromise on being comfortable.
5. The Dress Boot
Much similar to an Oxford shoe but a bit taller, specifically, over the ankle. The front of these boots resembles the front of an Oxford shoe, not only the shape of it but the closed lacing system was also inherited from it. They are not as nearly as elegant as their “sibling” but when created from fine leather, maybe with some broguing on the toe and along its seams, carefully combined, it can go hand in hand with a suit too and not just casual combinations.
6. The Chelsea Boot
Probably not the classiest of them all but most certainly the most practical ones are the Chelsea Boots. They originate from Victorian England when they slowly became the more practical version of the already existing Victorian Boots. They have no lace, only an elastic gusset near the ankle, you will praise the “easy-on, easy-off” mantra. Created of fine leather sometimes in suede in neutral and earthy tones, they can be worn in a number of combinations both casual and semi-formal.
7. The Chukka Boot
The Chukka boot is a must-have for every man out there hence of the simple and basic yet elegant and stylish look. Ending around your ankle, their length together with their open lacing system, minimal stitching, and rounded toe are appropriate for casual everyday combinations. Pair them with your favorite jeans and a slim fit shirt and you are good to go.
8. The Opera Pump
The final shoe is the Opera Pump which with its uniqueness is considered as the royalty of all men`s footwear. Not only figuratively but literally, they are looking like they were crafted for and worn by the King of France at some point.
During the history, they were worn to formal events such as operas, and dances but today they are rarely seen and worn by only fashion-conscious individuals. Typically, they are crafted from the finest leather, with a small heel, and can be a bit pricey like any other high-quality dress shoe.
Top Men`s Designer Dress Shoe Brands
Now that you are familiar with all the types of dress shoes you must focus on purchasing not just the right type but the right quality too. This is vital because you probably don’t intend on buying dress shoes every single year because they can be rather expensive. The superior shoes with proper maintenance can last for more than a decade. Other than complimenting your wardrobe they are a reflection of your style and who you are as a person.
The top-notch shoes are crafted of a few 100% genuine leather layers finished with solid stitching, quality outsole, and a timelessly elegant design. Built to last, some of the shoes are hand-crafted while other designers focus on mass-production, accordingly, it`s no wonder they differ in their pricing. Only a few of the most popular men`s dress shoes are Armin Oehler, Trask, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Johnston & Murphy.
Armin Oehler is a brand fully devoted to creating handcrafted shoes from the finest leather, on the outside as much as for the inside lining. Their shoes are water-resistant, breathable, and long-lasting on top of their impeccable design and commitment to details.
Trask is a well-known American Icon in the Men`s Shoe industry. Ever since their beginning, they were driven not by a paycheck but by a passion to create something that not only looks good but feels good too. Just like the good wine, their products hence of the timeless design, don`t get old but rather stand-out and become better. Fashion might fade from year to year, but style never! Trask is a brand committed to creating elegant stylish shoes that are here for the generations to follow!
Salvatore Ferragamo is not only the name of a men`s shoe store but it is the name of an Italian shoe Designer that created the brand himself. He was born in Italy but created a worldly-famous brand. Their shoes are a blend of the perfectionist eye of the Italians and their manufacturing excellence mixed together with high technology.
Johnston & Murphy
Johnston & Murphy is both clothing company and footwear one located in Nashville, Tennessee. Their wide range of shoe selection is packed with pairs of premium oiled leather shoes.
Why You Should Invest in a Great Pair of Men's Shoes
If you had the chance to invest in a bit more pricey car that can last for a decade rather than purchasing a cheap car that can break down any moment, what would you choose? It`s obvious, buying the best car will save you time, money, and energy so why go through the process of buying something that it`s just poor investment of your hard-earned money.
We can say the same thing about buying expensive shoes. Although the comparison might seem funny, you know it`s true. Purchasing high-quality men’s dress shoes will be not only a blessing to your feet, but they will also age beautifully. Other than this, the right pair of dress shoes might just be the thing that “opens new doors for you”. Wearing a great pair of shoes says a lot about your style and although we might don’t want to admit it, they are a status symbol in the same way that they have been in Egypt centuries ago.
We can straightforwardly say that they are a subtle indicator of a person`s wealth. Additionally, as if this wasn’t enough, you`d be more than happy to find out that women are literally drawn to stylish shoes. It is not only a saying but rather a proven statement by a number of researches-Women are drawn to a good-looking shoe and details in particular.
Nevertheless, if you consider yourself a gentleman or a casual person owning a pair of dress shoes is a bare necessity. Being dressed up appropriately for every occasion should be your priority and owning just the right type of shoes is an unavoidable part in creating the suitable combination. The shoes are what makes the combination stand-out, they are the pinnacle to your style and a representation of your character.
Fine layers of leather in combination with an impeccable design is an essential possession. Think about how often you will wear them and when. If you are purchasing them for special formal events such as weddings, meetings, funerals, etc. , you can choose a bit more affordable options.
On the other hand, if you need some dress shoes for everyday business/work attire, you will be thankful that you have spent extra money to purchase high-quality shoes. If you lack the inspiration where to start, you can make a stop into our store, Hellman Clothiers, a men`s clothing store in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio where you can purchase more than one pair of men`s dress shoes.
We have an excellent team of professionals that will guide you through the process of making your decision. Stylish and diverse pairs of shoes from top-notch brands such as Armin Oehler and Trask are waiting for you!