What are the best men’s shoes, and how do you pull them off successfully? Fashion rules are meant to be broken, but some basic guidelines can help you boost your look. It’s essential to invest in the right kind of calfskin. Dark indigo calfskin is naturally very dashing, while light blues, greens and violets—all of which are variations of calfskin—are less subtle and can clash with other bold color patterns on your ensemble.
Instead, choose calfskin with a natural sheen that doesn’t show dirt or grime. Look for skins in the color range of midnight blue or cobalt blue rather than the blues normally associated with sporty outerwear. If you’re going for a more polished look, try a smooth finish instead. Keep in mind that the older a calfskin is, the more Mr. Continental leather on the bottom of it has been rubbed away, diminishing its shine.
On the other hand, Mr. Crockett has only been cared for in professional quality practices and is pretty shiny and soft. Try slim-fitting waistcoat-style or three-quarter sleeve shirts made from six to eight months of wear, and save the waistcoat for later (it should only get wet). Then, prevent it from getting physically wet. Wicking fabrics wick moisture away from your skin, so later on it will not show. On the other hand, a plain fabric seamed to fit well such as linen, cotton or silk is much more likely to get sweaty, perspire and/or stink. Socks are a treasure in every man’s closet. As the seasons change, there’s always something refreshing about a thick woolen sock in the winter (or tumbleweed for that matter).
Socks from Canada Goose, The North Face and Crockett & St whether men’s or women’s, are ideal for rugged conditions. A waterproof sock? Even better! Another bonus is most women’s socks are made from merino wool and tricotta. Try a multicolor pair to tone down the color significantly. If you’re looking for something a little sleeker, skip the overdressed appearance and go for the turtleneck. The turtleneck is a great option for wearing short-sleeved shirts or a mix of button-up shirts and tank tops. If you’re looking for a more natural look, go with boots.
They’re more versatile than most outerwear and can look great with anything from the jeans you’ve got to the matching shorts you’re looking to pair with your top-loading suit. They also can function to keep you comfortable during any outdoor activity. Things like polos and boxing trunks can give your look that “athletic” element while also adding some color and storing away extra weight. Regardless of what kind of dress shirt you want to wear, a few basics are essential. For men, wear a dark colored shirt, a dark tie, a simple blazer and a pair of brown shoes (nothing too “jump-cut”).
Make sure your shoes are at least a half-size larger than your body; otherwise, they won’t fit as snugly. Since many men’s shoes are quite dressy, you may want to try on one shoe before you purchase another to make sure you hit your target size—that way, you can pick the best fitting pair for your overall feel (and budget).
A slant toe, a wide toe, a split toe or a purely decorative sole are all options, but you want to avoid anything that looks “doppled,” which some people call an overpronation. If you find yourself rubbing your plantar fascia while walking, trying a different shoe can help counteract that discomfort.
A surefire way to increase volume and enhance the look of your shoe (and ankle, butt and wrist, for that matter) is to use a wrist sleeve. Insert the large sleeve under the small calf of your shoe while wearing it. Doing so creates a two-fold effect: It dries the look of the shoe, and it protects your wrists from the sun. None of us wants to meet George Constanza when the sun shows up, so do your part to protect your shoes!
Here are some suggested sizing guidelines to get you started. Once you know the right fit for you, experiment with a few different shoe sizes to see what fits best for you—and the lifestyle you want to live. Someone who spends his time in the office will likely need a shoe that fits him comfortably (and is good to step in these days of Zoom meetings). Someone who likes to rock the latest crop of LFTs will reach for a shoe that’s sized appropriately for his six-foot-plus frame. And, if you have a little one who you think could benefit from a little extra coverage, a men’s XS is the shoe for you.