It was a huge shock to me when I noticed that most men (who care about how they look) are very particular about their shoes and whether they are for the right occasion or whether they complement their outfit. As a woman who beforehand would not put too much thought into what shoes to wear, I was impressed, to realise that there was a whole science to what you wear. When it comes to selecting the right type of shoe, here are some insights into the world of classic men’s footwear across board.
- Monkstraps: These shoes have one or two buckle straps on the outer side, instead of laces. These buckles secure a piece of leather that’s folded over the tongue of the shoe. The advantage of this choice is an even distribution of pressure across the instep and being able to fasten and unfasten the shoes easily.
- Suede: This refers to the material of the shoe. It does not influence the style of the shoe. You could have suede brogues, loafers, derbies, etc. Suede shoes are available in practically every shoe style and are more affordable than waxed leather. Although suede does not cope well with water, they can (depending on the style and colour) be well suited for any occasion, ranging from work, to ceremonial occasions.
- Brogues: This is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterised by sturdy leather with decorative perforations. They are a widely available kind of shoe that go very well with jeans. For a man who is used to wearing casual shoes, brogues are a softer transition into dress shoes.
- Loafers: Loafers are usually seen as casual shoes, but not all loafers are casual. You can wear some loafers with a casual outfit, suit or tuxedo, depending on the type, colour and style.
- Derbies: They are the most common type of dress shoes and easy to get a hold of. They come in a lot of different colours and work well for the corporate environment and a suave with a suit!
- Oxfords: These shoes have a closed-lacing style. They are more elegant and formal shoes than derbies and Monkstraps and are best suited for formal occasions. Once you own a pair of these, you will be sorted for the next business presentation or wedding celebration!
Knowing the types of shoes available to men, helps to understand when a pair of shoes is wrong for you. Some men, who are not very open to avant-garde fashion trends, will probably be comfortable sticking to the shoes they have had for 5 years, that have served them well and are reliable. Just because those shoes have seen you through the changing scenes of life, does not prove their proper functioning when it comes to your feet.
Wearing the right shoes can prevent all sorts of foot and leg complications, such as knee pains. The repeated flexion and extension of the leg at the knee joint, exposes the joint to various injuries. Each joint component depends on the other for proper functioning and with the wrong weight distribution while the knee is actively moving can be the start of a lot of issues. Knowing this, it is safe to say that you need to be mindful of the signs that show you are wearing the wrong pair of shoes:
A. Wiggle room: There should be a little room between your toe and the start of the shoe. It is not popular knowledge, but your feet may swell throughout the day. For this reason, it is essential to keep some wiggle room.
B. Ancient Looks: Once your shoes begin to look old, it is safe to say you should not be using those shoes. Pounding the pavement or road wears down your shoes. For this reason, they may no longer provide enough support. Once they are noticeably creased, it’s time for them to go!
C. Stagnant shoe size: If your shoe size has not changed over the past ten years, it is safe to say that you either have stunted growth or are refusing to find shoes that fit comfortably. It is safe to say that as the years go by, and your body changes little, your shoe size should change as well. You cannot be wearing the same shoe size from your teenage years – you simply cannot!
These are a few tips to keep your feet in a comfortable place. Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @HRFocusMag and show us what shoes warm your feet best!
By Ewurabena Neequaye