There comes a time in every man’s life where he has to put away the Converses and invest in some proper shoes. In constructing the ideal shoe collection, we have focused on the bare minimum a dapper man will need and tried to keep an eye on the budget. It’s possible to go crazy on shoes (I’m talking about you Berlutis and John Lobb). However, for very decent shoes, there is a minimum threshold. For fine leather shoes, this is around £160 and above. There are no exceptions to this for this sub-section of shoe. These look great though and is the only price-point where style and quality start. Don’t forget though that this is an investment. With care and maintenance, these shoes will last you for years. Very different from inferior shoes that may only last a year or two. Trust us, the shoes below will be recognised and nodded to by other stylish men.
The best shoes in the world are generally English. That’s where our focus will be with some notable exceptions.
Every dapper man needs lace ups, so for our first choice, I would choose black wing tip brogues. A man always needs black shoes. I choose brogues because they look much more interesting than plain, unbrogued oxfords. They can be buffed to a high shine although not as high as unbrogued oxfords can owing to the holes on brogues.
The shape is hugely important. No clunkiness. Absolutely no square toes. No bulkiness. Here is a classic, beautiful example from Grenson. Look at how sleek the shape is.
Dylan by Grenson
For our second choice, I would choose brown wing tip brogues. What shade of brown? Dark brown. For when black would be too formal.
0004-235 by Grenson
The third choice is Chelsea boots. These are great winter shoes. Choose a sleek design like these and with a winter sole. The choice of colour is yours.
Chelsea 5 by Crockett & Jones
Casual shoes next. A loafer slip-on is a must. For general robustness it’s hard to look beyond a Timberland boat shoe, good paired with tailored shorts. Check out these blue numbers:
Earthkeepers® Classic 2-Eye Boat Shoe by Timberland
For dapper excursions to Italy, driving shoes from Tods are a must. Check out these Gamminos:
For general stomping around, you can’t beat the long heritage and all-round awesomeness of a pair of classic 8-eyelet Dr Martens. The sole is almost indestructible and is like walking on air. The construction on these will almost last a lifetime and look better the more weathered they become. Try these in a classic black with yellow stitching on the trim or in a cherry red like these:
1460s by Dr Martens
Sneakers go through fashion cycles. For our purposes, we’re looking for what’s dapper not necessarily what’s cool. The test is what looks good with skinny, tapered jeans. So all chunky sneakers are ruled out. No Adidas shell toes. Get some lightweight Nikes in some interesting colours like these:
Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit by Nike
There we have it. The only 6 shoes you’ll need for a dapper wardrobe.