Ultimate Guide To Men’s Shoe Styles | Step Up Your Shoe Game
The goal of this article is to give you an overview of men’s shoe styles and to help you understand the differences between the style options available.
I’ve been writing about some very serious things lately – yes I call it “serious” ‘cos Lifestyle Tips are pretty serious – these tips affect how we should live [rather than how we should dress].
So, I want to talk about something which is equally serious but often neglected.
SHOES. And specifically, men’s shoe styles.
In an earlier post, I told you about 3 types of shoes every man should have in his wardrobe. Moving forward with this, I want to share with you a more comprehensive guide to different men’s shoe styles.
“Is this really important?”, you might ask.
Of course YES! … and I’ll explain.
So, have you ever found yourself wondering if a shoe was an Oxford or a Derby? Perhaps, you’ve even referred to a Desert boot as a Chelsea boot before.
If you are guilty of this, don’t worry … you are not alone. I’ve made similar mistakes too in the past.
After today, you will not make the same mistakes anymore. Because if you’re reading this you’re about to learn more in 10 minutes what over 80% of the new generation of men don’t know.
You will be able to easily identify the differences between the men’s shoe styles and options available.
Please sit back, relax and learn about these 9 men’s shoe styles and types. Step up your shoe game.
What are the Different Styles and Types of Shoes?
1. Derby shoes
Also called Derby, they are one of the classic dress shoe types. This style of shoe is characterized by quarters with shoelace eyelets that are sewn on top of the vamp. This construction method, also known as “open lacing”, contrasts with that of the Oxford.
A Derby is less formal than an oxford and easier to get onto your foot as the laces are quite flexible.
- The quarter is part of a shoe’s upper. It covers the sides and back of the foot behind the vamp.
- The vamp is the upper part of the shoe that helps stabilize the foot & keep the shoe.
An Oxford is a lace-up shoe where the shoelace eyelet facings are stitched underneath the vamp (upper front section of the shoe) – a feature termed “closed lacing”. This contrasts with Derby shoes, which have shoelace eyelets attached to the top of the vamp.
It is also a classic dress shoe type. Originally, Oxfords were plain, formal shoes, made of leather, but they evolved into a range of styles suitable for formal or casual wear.
3. A loafer
Loafers (or slippers in American culture) are low-cut, clip-on, laceless shoes that can be worn both casually and formally. Loafers generally can have a range of interesting Patterns.
They are worn in many situations in a variety of colors and designs, often featuring tassels on the front, or metal decorations (the ‘horsebit’ loafer).
See image below for the dress guide for all loafers styles.
4. Chelsea boots
They are close-fitting, ankle-high boots with an elastic side panel. They often have a loop or tab of fabric on the back of the boot, enabling the boot to be pulled on.
This boot will give your outfit a clean cut and stylish, yet comfortable look. You can wear them with a well-cut suit for a classic look; wear it with skinny jeans for a preppy look.
5. Wingtip shoes (or Full Brogues)
This is a style of low-heeled shoe which feature a toe cap that comes to a point in the center, and spreads out toward the sides of the shoes, in a shape that somewhat resembles wings. This part of the shoe is sometimes perforated with small holes around the edges, but not always.
- The most common types of brogueing are; Full brogues (wingtip brogues), quarter brogues, semi-brogues and long wing brogues.
- A brogued shoe in black is less formal than an oxford or derby but is still acceptable for formal suiting.
6. The Brogue
This is a style of low-heeled shoe traditionally characterized by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations and serration along the pieces’ visible edges.
7. Double monk straps
This is a style of shoe with no lacing, closed by a buckle and strap and has been described as the “most advanced” dress shoe. This shoe is not for the sartorial faint of heart.
If you are looking for that one shoe that will instantly boost your style rating and make you look and feel like a True Stylish Boss, it’s the double monk strap shoe. Get it right, and you’ll turn twice the heads.
Both the single and double monk strap shoes are a fantastic option; they are a great way to stand out from the crowd whether it’s for a formal, business casual or smart casual looks.
8. Desert boots
This is a variant of the Chukka boot. They are ankle-high leather boots with suede or leather uppers, leather or rubber soles, and open lacing with two or three pairs of eyelets.
They are cool, and gives a casual street style with a smooth, dressed up Look. These can be worn as a nicer alternative to sneakers/casual shoes. Whenever you would wear sneakers, you can wear desert boots.
9. Boat shoes
They are typically canvas or leather with non-marking rubber soles designed for use on a boat. A siping pattern is cut into the soles to provide grip on a wet deck; the leather construction, along with the application of oil, is designed to repel water; and the stitching is highly durable.
Boat shoes are traditionally worn without socks. These days you can either go sockless or wear no-show socks.
Regardless of which type of shoe is your favorite and which one you chose to buy or wear, remember — people do notice your shoes and can assess your personality based on the kind of shoes you are wearing. Why not step up your shoe game?
Further Reading: 7 Shoe Care Tips: How To Wear And Take Better Care Of Your Shoes
How do you feel about the importance of learning different men’s shoe styles? Are there any shoe styles on the list you really like, or would you like more suggestions? Drop a comment below, and share your own thoughts about men’s shoe styles!
Thank you so much for stopping by. Till you hear from me again, Take Care!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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