If the devil is in the detail – and I firmly believe that it is – then there’s nothing worse than a well-dressed man who falls at the final hurdle and is let down by his choice of footwear. Clothes, as they say, may make the man, but a bad pair of shoes can break him.
Christian Louboutin says “shoes transform your body language and attitude” and whilst he was ostensibly referencing his own vertiginous creations, this also applies to us guys. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of my top ten favourite footwear options that are sure to crown any sartorial choices with an impeccable finishing touch.
Wingtip Leather Brogues – A.P.C. (£300)
The brogue is an undeniable footwear classic and has been around for centuries. However, there’s nothing old-fashioned about A.P.C.’s take on the brogue: they’ve added a modern rubber-rimmed sole in a design that reimagines the timeless style in a subtle, but eye-catching manner.
Monk-straps – Santoni (£565)
Since 1975, Santoni has been creating exquisite hand-made shoes in Marche, Italy, and these monk-straps are prime examples of the brand’s dedication to high-end quality and finish. Admittedly, the monk-strap is close to sartorial saturation at this point, but these Santoni beauties are a cut above the rest. The chestnut hue is a welcomed move away from the more overdone tan. Whether worn with jeans or a suit, these are sure to stand out.
Archie Brogue – Grenson (£250)
Grenson’s reinterpretation of their much-loved Archie brogue, with its thick white wedge sole, is fast becoming the shoe of the season. These are incredibly fun but also extremely comfortable. They might appear a tad OTT for the more conservative guy, but if you’re willing to throw caution to the wind and play with your look, then these are the shoes for you!
Stan Smith – Adidas (£62)
I know, I know – it seems you can’t walk down the street these days without seeing every second person in some version of these Adidas runners, but there’s a very good reason for it! Perhaps the most versatile runner on the market, their unfussy design makes them the perfect option for deconstructing a suit or wearing them with rolled-up trousers for a casual, but on-the-ball winning look.
Comme des Garçons PLAY x Converse (£95)
At some stage or another, every guy has had a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s but their collaboration with CDS PLAY offers a quirky alternative to the timeless style. Embossed with Comme des Garçon’s famous red heart, these Chuck Taylors are a standout favourite amongst the fashion cognoscenti!
Adrian Loafers – Dr. Martens (£105)
I adore these chunky Dr. Martens loafers. A step-up from your regular loafer, which can be safe and boring, these are not only eye-catching and stylish, but also incredibly comfortable. It’s rare to find a shoe that combines style and practicality, but Dr. Martens has hit the nail on the head with their Adrian loafers. My colour of choice is burgundy – it looks well with everything and is a much-needed move away from black!
Triple Lo White Sneakers – Acne (£307)
These Acne creations certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but there’s something you have to love about an ugly fashion shoe. I think these are unapologetically brilliant and with their oversized, contrasting straps, they make for a bold and brave statement.
Lace-up Boots – COS (£115)
These boots are swoon-worthy. The immediate subtle appearance of the shoes is contrasted by a cushioned jagged sole that gives them a noticeable edge. Wear with some rolled-up grey wool trousers and an oversized chunky black sweater for that classic Scandinavian luxe aesthetic.
Chukka Boots – Red Wing (£230)
These may have originally been created to trek through a building site, rather than pound the pavements, but Red Wing’s famous chukka boots have transitioned from simply existing as work wear to become go-to winter wardrobe staples. As the weather gets cooler, these will certainly keep you warm and with their rubber-grip soles, you’ll also be safe! It’s a win-win. Pair these with some dark denims, a lumberjack shirt and a bomber jacket in a nod to their original function!
Leather Chelsea Boots – O’Keeffe (£350)
Last, but certainly not least, it’s the Chelsea boot – one that no man should be without. O’Keeffe has come up trumps with these; the brand noted for combining “Irish heritage with Italian craftsmanship” should be your first port of call if you’re in the market for longevity and value for money. The boots are incredibly versatile and will never go out of style, so it’s worth putting your best foot forward in these well-heeled offerings!