The 6 shoes every man needs in his wardrobe
Things would be a lot easier if you could simply find a shoe you like, that fits exactly right, and exclusively wear those through whatever life throws at you. But life’s not like that: it throws inclement weather, unmissable formal occasions, obligatory office dress codes and a number of other curve balls you’ll need to adapt to. This means your shoe selection needs to be just as flexible as you are.
We break down the must-have styles to make getting dressed every morning that little bit easier.
The Formal Shoe
Whether it’s for work, a formal event or the multitude of special occasions expected of someone in the throes of adulthood, you’re going to find a use for this classic shoe. The regularity of such get-togethers may vary, and it’s unlikely to have a selection shoes in every colour. Unless you’re matching them to a suit, pick a pair with the most versatile colouring – think beiges and browns, which have stood the test of time. Be sure to try them with a more casual style as well – shoes like these don’t deserve to be dusted off twice a year.
The Desert Boot
If you’ve had the pleasure of owning a pair, you’ll know that desert boots instantly become an essential part of your everyday look. It’s the perfect marriage of the comfort and casual style you get from a good pair of sneakers and the sophistication and durability of a formal work boot. Wear them to a wedding or take them to the muddiest of festivals, and reap the benefits.
The High Top
You just can’t neglect the classics, and whether you opt for the OG styles or more contemporary designs, these are ideal sneakers for the cold weather. They’re rarely as flashy as the their low-top counterparts, as the functional silhouette does most of the talking. The initial pairs were designed for basketball, so not only do they have a long-running streetwear pedigree, but they’re bound to have enough ankle support regardless of how agile you need to be on an average work day.
The Utility Boot
You could go for the iconic Timberland style to elevate your streetwear game, or the more refined military-inspired combat boot – whatever your preference, these are the epitome of functional style. Most feature a sturdy sole that’s all about durability, and while they may be completely at home when it comes to hiking, you’ll want a pair covetable enough that you’ll want to keep your nature walks to a minimum. You can’t go wrong with a chunky silhouette, high-quality boot to give your smart-casual looks a rugged edge.
The Low Tops
The bread and butter of any shoe collection, low top sneakers are popular for two reasons: they’re easy to style and the wide selection of options allows you to personalise your style in your own way. Embrace the athleisure trend with sports-inspired trainers or get on the fast track to hypebeast status with any of the tried-and-tested designs and skate-inspired styles. Accumulate a collection of rare, eye-catching drops or find the sneaker that’s all you, and get a pair in every colour.
The Ankle Boot
Sometimes too much choice makes finding a pair that suits all your needs a little bit daunting. A good place to start is with an ankle boot, and what you need is an all-purpose pair that’s durable enough for whatever the weather has to offer, versatile enough to improve both casual and formal outfits, and comfortable enough to be worn all day. If you’re leaning towards a more formal option, go for a leather boot with brogue details that’ll elevate a suit but work just as well when paired with chinos.