By I L L Y K
Always running out of the perfect shoes for the occasion, despite a bulging shoe rack? You are not alone. We often buy shoes not because we need them but because they look nice. Result is that we then end up with too many shoes looking similar. But, in an ideal wardrobe, men must have a shoe collection that can cater to multiple occasions.
Among the things that every man should have in his closet are pairs of shoes for everyday use: From regular office use to formal dinners, and from comfort footwear to all-weather shoes.
So whether you are attending a champagne evening or planning for a stroll tomorrow morning, we have narrowed down the footwear choices for you. From the elegant to the functional, here are five shoe types that you must have.
Oxford shoes gained popularity in and around Oxford University in the 1800s. Those days, Oxford shoes mostly meant half-boots, but since then, it has evolved into a dress shoe. While dressing for a classy formal occasion a classic black Oxford shoe is what every man needs in his wardrobe.
Be it a job interview or a formal get together, Oxfords are the most reliable choice to go with suits. It is the best footwear for a black tie event, with suits or dinner jackets.
Oxford shoes have now evolved into a variety of colours and finishes. Modern Oxford shoes can be wood-coloured, have patina finishes, be croc-embossed, have dual tones and even be side-laced. Plain toe, cap toe, whole cut, saddle and balmoral are different types of Oxfords you can choose from.
Although Brogues are a category in itself, Oxford shoes too, come with artistic piercings that are known as broguing. Multiple-piece wingtips are another popular crossover style of Oxford.
Crocket & Jones, Church’s, George Cleverley etc. are popular global names that make expensive Oxford shoes. While these are priced not less than 400 GBP, homegrown Escaro Royale gives this traditional footwear experience at less than Rs 10,000.
Derby shoes often embody the finest Goodyear welted shoemaking traditions. A pair of comfortable Derby shoes is the perfect combination for your smart casual look.
Derby shoes are just as good for a formal occasion with suits and ties. However, with the sleeker look and a relaxed lacing system, a Derby carries a pair of jeans and office trousers with equal elegance.
You can experiment with your choice of Derby pair. Go for the traditional plain black or brown if you want the posh look. You may pick a Derby boot, or a pair with suede or brogue designs to get a laid back style. Brogue designs, when paired with chinos can give you a fashionable look. Derby boots can add a sharp military feel to your appearance.
Global makers of Derby shoes include expensive ones like Tricker’s, work shoes by Grenson and affordable pairs by Dr Martens. John Lobb’s Derbies go through detailed craftsmanship, making them as expensive as 1,100 GBP. Escaro Royale makes Blake stitched Derby shoes made from full-grain Argentinian leather for less than Rs 5,000!
More functional than a pair of Oxfords or Derby, boots are surprisingly versatile. A pair of boots immediately gives you a sense of authority and power. This is not surprising, considering it was, and continues to be, the footwear of choice in the military. Its height helps you glide through rough terrain and wet conditions with ease. You will find a variety of hiking boots and work boots to choose from.
An elegant pair of boots is a must-have in any men’s wardrobe. You get protection from mud and dirt, and cover and comfort for the ankles. With a quality leather upper, dress boots can have leather or artificial materials for the sole. Apart from laces, boots also feature other closures like buckles or zippers.
You can also go for a slip-on Chelsea boot, which Escaro Royale makes using full-grain leather and a leather sole. It is tied up with reliable Blake stitch and is available for less than Rs 10,000.
A pair of old boots is a reliable partner on all your outdoor ventures. You can cuff your jeans to go for an informal look. Or wear an ankle covering trouser over the boots to make it more formal. A pair of laced up boots are a perfect way of adding style to comfort during the winter months.
With their minimalistic design, loafers are a perfect match for a variety of dresses and occasions. Loafers are very easy-to-use slip-on that don’t need closures like laces and zips. Loafers can be made using a variety of materials and colours. Leather and suede leather are the popular choices of material while making a classy pair of loafers.
Penny loafer is your typical minimally-styled pair of loafer. Popularised by 1950s American college-goers, Penny loafers spell out a relaxed style statement.
Escaro Royale’s classic tan Penny loafers are made from the finest quality leather and with premium Blake stitch. For just Rs 5,000, the fine craftsmanship of these Italian design slip-on provides a snug fit to your shoes.
Tassel loafers are the hallmark of European elegance and an essential part of the classic Italian fashion. Cotton suits and casual trousers are clothing every man should own for casual styling. You can add a pair of leather or suede tassel loafers to these to get the perfect match.
For a smart-casual look, you can team up summer colour outfits with your suede loafers. A pair of bright loafers can give your subtle blazers a balanced semi-formal look. Whereas, pairing traditional black leather loafers with a light coloured suit brings out a more formal style statement.
Almost synonymous with comfort, sneakers are made for leisure, and regular everyday use. No wonder, it features prominently among various men’s wardrobe essentials. You have the option of buying high-top sneakers, regular low top ones, or even slip-on sneakers. Tennis shoes, basketball shoes, running shoes, even expensive Gucci sneakers fall under the broader sneakers umbrella.
Depending on the type of sneaker you buy, you can go informal or match up smart casual dresses with your pair. Flexible, rubber-based sneakers are also great for athletic activities.
If you want the best of material and a touch of class, leather sneakers are a great option too. You even get Oxfords on a cemented rubber sole, giving you the richness of leather on a sleek sneaker finish. You get majestic patina finishes to intricate brogue designs, all with the comfort and coolness of a sneaker!
At Escaro Royale, you have the choice of a Tan Brown striped-webbing sneakers for less than Rs 5,000. It comes in a pure Italian thick rubber sole and full-grain leather upper. For under Rs 10,000 you get top quality Captoe Oxfords and Camden Wingtip Oxfords to choose from.
Investing in quality gives high-end results!
You would notice that buying shoes are like investing in stocks. Because quality shoes are, after all, good investments. You diversify your investments and go for reliable ones that can stand the test of time. Similarly, buying shoes should be about class, rather than fashion. Because when it comes to the shoe wardrobe for men, what matters most is the quality, not quantity.