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Someone once said that you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, and we couldn't agree more. Your footwear choices can pull a look together or bring it down - so here's the lesson: don't scrimp on your shoes! There are several things you need to consider when you're shopping for a pair of men's shoes, so read on and you'll soon be an expert in men's shoe shopping.
First off, you need to consider the level of formality you're looking for. Just as your outfit can fit in or stand out, your shoes need to be chosen based on where you'll be wearing them. Sneakers at a black tie event will never do, no matter how far the athleisure goe. From the lace-up Derby shoe to a polished pair of brogues, low-top vs. high-top sneakers and hundreds of levels in between, you need to make sure your footwear fits the occasion. If you're shopping to create a polished professional look, you can have your pick of leather lace-ups and formal loafers. If things are a bit more relaxed but still on the stylish side, look to Chelsea, chukka or desert boots for a look that treads the line between formal and carefree. When it comes to trainers you can dress them up for most occasions but be careful to choose darker tones for versatility. If the name of the occasion's game is ‘anything goes', go for bright colourblock sneakers with high-top profiles for an on-point casual look.
Budget and build
A good pair of shoes will carry you far, but cheap imitations will stop plans in their tracks. Think carefully about your investment and budget: you might save a bit by choosing that pair that comes in way under budget. But chances are high that you'll be replacing them before the season's out, so you will probably end up spending way more in the long run. Any man who's invested in a premium pair of shoes will tell you the same thing: it pays off. So look at the construction of the uppers - are they leather? Have they been protected from the elements in some way? Then to the sole. Is it made from tough rubber and/or leather? Does it give decent tread? As for linings, leather and microfibre will keep even the busiest feet comfy all day long, and cushy sockliners are a must if your schedule is demanding. Some men's shoes even feature memory foam insoles.
The finer things…
Build and quality aside, the aesthetics of men's shoes are arguably the most important thing. If you want to make a polished impression, seek out footwear with refined details like moccasin stitching or punch-hole brogueing. Patent leather finishes are a straight route to slick but a word of style warning: patent and denim should never been seen together. On the more casual side, sneakers are all about high-impact colourblocking or laid-back basketball styles. Technical elements such as mesh panels and nylon overlays will help you nail the hybrid trend, and bright-white leather sneakers are the ultimate casual all-rounder with jeans or joggers.