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A man’s shoes say a lot about him and where he wants to go. Your collection doesn’t have to be vast but having a few key styles will ensure you are ready and looking good for any occasion. From Brogues to Bologna shoes, here’s our Cobbler-in-Chief's top eight styles that will become the foundation of your wardrobe.
If looked after properly, a well-made pair of shoes will last for 15-20 years (and can be repaired with our world champion Repair Service so these eight timeless styles are a good base to start your collection
Every man should own at least one pair of smart black Oxfords. With its closed facings and elegant, refined profile, this style perfectly complements a dark tailored suit. The classic Oxford is distinguished by its elongated toe, five eyelet lace-up front and three part panelled construction of toe cap, heel quarters and vamp (the middle section) sewn onto the shoe. Their conservative, yet assured silhouette is perfect for a wedding, formal occasion or your next board meeting
A timeless style, Derbies have a reputation for being both a great formal and casual shoe. Like all the best designs, the minimal construction stems from functionality with early Derby shoes made for country walks and nowadays adding a similar air of nonchalance to formal wear. Perhaps my favourite style feature rubber soles. Come wet weather, they are the perfect choice to ensure you’ll not only look great but you won’t succumb to slippery floors.
Did you know the punching detail on Brogues was originally crafted to drain water from shoes and boots as men trekked across the moors of Scotland? The brogue has come a long way since then but the punching detail is still central to its identity and timeless design. With such a rich history, the style has seen a number of variations including the semi, quarter and longwing brogue, however, a pair of tan full brogues (a.k.a wingtips) remain the staple.
De rigueur design for the British dandy, Italian aesthete or American Ivy League devotees, Loafers are remarkably versatile. It’s hard to think of another pair of shoes one could wear with a suit to the office, jeans when in town or a pair of chinos on the harbour. While some argue that loafers are an evolution of Norwegian farmers shoes, slippers have had a place in gentlemen's wardrobes for centuries with this long heritage reflected by the diverse variety of styles available including penny, tassel and horsebit buckle.
Bologna is a construction, not technically a style, but one you should definitely add to your collection. Dating back over 70 years it’s also known as Sacchetto which means ‘little bag’, because the upper is built like a tube of leather with a soft leather sock underneath, so there’s no need for a traditional insole. Words can’t begin to describe the unparalleled flexibility and comfort this gives our Bologna shoes, so we won’t even try. Instead, we suggest you slip into a pair and try them for yourself.
Sneakmania has grown to such levels that it’s hard to ignore the hysteria that comes with the launch of a new pair of trainers. The humble trainer’s come a long way since its sporty origins and is now the epitome of style. A luxury minimal leather trainer can now be worn with pretty much anything, and doesn’t look out of place.
Who doesn’t love a pair of Chelsea boots? With its clean lines, slim profile and relaxed fit, I don’t believe that the Chelsea boot will ever go out of style. To me they evoke the modish cut of the 1960s and work just as well worn with a suit as they do slim denim jeans, their appeal is faultless. If you were in the market for two pairs, I’d recommend a classic leather style and a suede number for something a little bit different.
A brogue boot should be a staple addition to your footwear collection, it’s a style that can be worn at the office or with jeans at the weekend. With hand punched detailing and rugged commando soles, these are built for autumn walks.