How to style your feet

IMAGE: theversatilegent.com 

I grew up in a rural part of the small island Jamaica. As far as I can remember, I always had at least two pairs of shoes: one for school, one for church. Now and again I would get a pair of sneakers. That’s pretty much how my shoe collection was until I got into my mid-twenties. I suppose this scenario is quite common among my contemporaries, save those who had well-off relatives living abroad. Women on the other hand, always had lots of shoes. Everybody knows women love to go shoe shopping. The modern man is now developing a similar behaviour. Most guys these days have a few pairs of shoes. It’s one of our most prized possessions.

A most fundamental piece of clothing in every man’s closet is the shoe. We wear them every day to everywhere except the beach. They generally last much longer and cost considerably more than any other piece of clothing. Ideally, you want your shoes to be comfortable, durable, functional and fashionable. If you’re just about to start your collection I have a few suggestions you may want to consider.

1. Black Leather Brogue
This is standard for all men. A simple but elegant black leather brogue is suitable for work, church, or any other event that requires dressing up. Black goes with just about everything. Seeing that you will probably wear this quite often, the quality of the leather is important.


Low-end:
This here, is the basic building blocks for a gentleman’s closet.

Ted Baker Hann Brogue Lace Up Shoes (£108) houseoffraser.co.uk

Base London Woburn Hi-Shine Leather Brogues (£70.00) asos.com

High-end:
Apart from the brogue, one can choose a leather monk strap or derby shoe. What’s the difference? See Footwear for your sole

JOHN LOBB City II black leather Oxford shoes (£795.00) harveynichols.com

Church’s Westbury monk shoe (£413) herringshoes.co.uk

2. Brown, wing-tipped oxford
Having been lead down the path of thinking that a brown leather shoes is the ideal shoe to have, I must spend a little time here. It was a habit of my father to always get me a pair. He was more concerned with durability than anything else. Now and again he would get a really good looking one but occasionally I would receive one that’s not so fashionable.

Low-end:
It’s all about the details. 

Clarks, Men’s Tan Leather Brogue (£75.00) Clarks.co.uk

Giorgio Brutini Range Wingtip Oxford ($64.95) dsw.com

High-end:
Not every man will like the brogue, in which case you could opt for derby shoes.

Brunello Cucinelli, Low-top Lace-up Derby Shoes ($1,295) boutique.bronellocucinelli.com

Cheaney, Macdonald II wholecut ($457) herringshoes.co.uk 

3. Loafer
For those less formal occasions you want to slip on something light and comfortable. Of all the shoes I own, I really treasure my loafers because of the sheer comfort they provide. You feel like you could walk across the entire state of Texas in them. Loafers are made of materials that are much more flexible than your average dress shoe and this adds to there appeal. You could wear them all day and not be bothered. There versatility also makes them highly desirable. They can be worn with jeans, dress pants, Chinos or shorts. Some men prefer to go without socks when wearing a loafer, others don’t. There’s no hard and fast rule here.

Low-end:
Looking slick while being close to broke requires you to shop around.

Corso – Navy Loafer with Tassle ($120) aldo.com

Kenneth Cole Reaction Con-Tour ($49.99) 6pm.com

Suede Moccasin (£115.00) uk.tommy.com 

High-end:
For  some, purchasing a pair of shoes requires serious investment.

Gucci, Brixton Moccasin ($632.62) harrods.com

Salvatore Ferragamo, Gancini bit loafers ($477.38) farfetch.com

The Sneaker 
Regardless of age, you will need a sneaker. Depending on age, the number may increase or decrease. A pair of sneakers are what you need for casual events. I’m not necessarily into the flashy Lebron James type of sneaker. I prefer the simple, classic low-cut sneakers that can even be worn to work. As for colors, and designs, it’s good to have a variety. Avoid the monotonous look.

Low-end:

Adidas Originals Jeans MK II (£77) size.co.uk

Suede Classic Men’s Sneakers ($70) Puma
Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Hi Top Sneakers ($70) eastdane.com


Designer Sneakers:
If you can afford to go for luxury then there are a few options to consider. Here, high-fashion tackles your everyday wear.

Common Projects Original Achilles Low ($339) endclothing.com

The English refer to them as “trainers.

Paul Smith Men’s Navy Leather “Basso” Trainers with Strawberry Print ($595) paulsmith.co.uk

So, there you have it. At least, that’s how I see it. 

Style is personal.  Do you.

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