We take a look at the top five shoe styles every man should own. As the old adage goes – ‘Shoes make the man’ and with this selection you’ll be sure to look the part for Autumn / Winter 2012.
1. PUMPS – Converse Jack Purcells
The once-humble plimsoll or tennis shoe has been elevated to the heights of a minimalist art form. Yours may be destined for the much-prized status of “favourite battered sneaks” or a nightly wet wipe to keep it detergent bright. However it ends up, its eternal chic means this season we have sought after brands Superga and Converse for you to choose from – and have added the extra-refined Converse Jack Purcells, shown here, to that elite bunch.
BEST WITH: Chinos for American sophistication. Finish with a grey hoodie (hello, McQ) or coloured polo (hi there Polo Ralph Lauren) for casual looks or a blue shirt and cardigan for continental charm.
TRY WITH: Slim black denim for night-out style.
2. BROGUES – Paul Smith Miller Brogues
Devotees of the punch-hole classic need look no further than the well-polished tan leather from Paul Smith to get their kicks. But be warned – it’s just one of an ever growing family of the old bog shoes in the wardrobe of the modern man. This season, blue, black and bordeaux are as big as brown in the brogue stakes as designers add the wingtip detail to even the smartest of shoes.
BEST WITH: Denim of the bluest hue for smart casual charm. Complete it with knit, shirt or polo.
TRY WITH: Trousers – in the rightly refined shades the brogue can be nearly as smart as a plain oxford.
3. BOOTS – Grenson Hadley Commando Boots
Grenson’s Hadley commando boots, above, are the epitome of new season boots – textured leather on an ergonomically sculpted upper with the serious tread of a commando sole adding weight to their well-reasoned argument. Decide between its military charm, the workwear weight of Red Wing, or Trickers brogue boot as you shop for your new boots – an essential of the autumn season.
BEST WITH: Dry-finish jeans that keep the purist mood; plus trench and knit for grown-up completion.
TRY WITH: Distressed denim for a more outdoorsy, worn-in spin.
4. ANKLE HIGH BOOTS – Clarks Originals Desert Boots
The ankle-high boot with the fuss-free detailing is the emergent style in men’s shoes now. And the reason, despite all its slip on charm and historical virtue, is simple: it is seriously versatile. Part safari, part urban, it’s clean lined look works well with denim and chinos, cargos and trousers; plus they come in both leather and suede.
BEST WITH: Coloured chinos – these bold but minimal boots make the sort of confident statement that works with even the brightest legs.
TRY WITH: Cords, for a textured treat.
5. TRAINERS – New Balance 574
It’s time to take trainers seriously. New Balance’s 574s are a classic of sneaker culture and they get reworked every season in attention grabbing styles. But this autumn’s blue and suede backpack trainers, burgundy urban sportsman and the rich sunny orange one pictured are our favourites so far and they are perfect for the new season.
BEST WITH: Smart and preppy chinos for unexpected sophistication.
TRY WITH: Denim and plaid for an appropriately urban country look.