How to choose men’s shoes

I present an updated article on the selection of men’s shoes. it was first published more than four years ago; since then it has repeatedly make changes. Today, I once again added a certain amount of new information, links to a number of other articles, as well as the updated prices.

Variety of shoes (model)

First of all it is necessary to determine the order shoes which model you need. We can distinguish the following basic model: Oxford (most official), Derby (less formal, all other things being equal), brogues (a “”patterned”” shoes, they may be and oxfords and derbies), Monk (shoes with buckles, can look very strict) , Loafer (shoes without laces and buckles).

How to choose men’s shoes

type of oxford shoes differ closed lacing and side panels sewn by “”limber”” (see. photo below). Oxford leather soles look the most solid and formally. Top oxford may be crosslinked as a smooth leather and grained, lacquered and polished, and even suede. The most classic color choices – either black or brown of various shades (sometimes purple-brown or red). Most official – black oxfords patent leather (combined with a tuxedo and tailcoat), followed by the degree of formality are black oxfords in smooth calfskin without any perforation (combined with costumes).

More about Oxford I told here in this article.

how to choose shoes for men

Derby – shoes with open lacing, sides have sewn over the front end. They are perhaps the most common in Russia, and in many other countries around the world. Like Oxford, can be produced as a leather and a polyurethane / rubber sole. Color – black, brown, burgundy and others. With or without perforations. Most official derby – black without perforation and leather soles.

Emphasizing that the derby is usually better suited to people with high insteps than Oxford.

How to choose shoes

Monkey – a shoe with buckles, laces for them there. This shoe is not very formal, but at the office, for example, it is quite possible to wear. The sole can be either leather or polyurethane / rubber; basic colors – black, brown, burgundy. No laces, untied nothing, nothing to tie too – Monkey is practical and saves you time.

How to choose a business shoes

Brogues – is decorated shoes; and oxfords and derbies, and even the Monkey can be Brougham. A distinctive feature of this type of shoes is patterned non-through (!) Perforation (see photo below), which can take as part of the boot, and almost all of its area. Brogy the formal than modest pattern on them, and the darker the color (in addition, brogues with a closed lacing formal than brogues with an open lacing).

Selection of shoes

Loafers (Lofer) – is, like Monk, informal footwear; it is more practical. Fasteners not at all – put his leg (using shoehorns) and went. For office and business meetings are best suited Lofer from dark smooth skin, ideally with leather soles. Learn more about Lofer and varieties here.

Selection of classic footwear


I have already pointed out that the most stringent shoes are black (other things being equal). Behind them (again, other things being equal) are dark brown and maroon-brown, and they are also the most versatile. Moderately brown, red and reddish-brown ceteris paribus be less stringent and less versatile. Dark blue shoes deemed unofficial, although they may look very solid and restrained. Shoes of other colors – a risky choice, although the extent of this risk varies greatly (one case – dark green shoes, and the other – a lemon-yellow or bright light green).

For combination with jeans and chinos are best suited brown model a wide variety of tones and shades. With business suits can be combined and black and dark brown, and maroon shoes, as well as red and moderately brown (depending on the situation and the color / shade suit). I do not recommend to get involved in black shoes, even some black couples in a classic wardrobe will not be superfluous.

Upper Material

Shoes are made of very different skin and leatherette. Leather – a cheap and practical material, but it does not allow the feet to breathe, feet sweat. Also, as a rule, leather looks worse than leather, and his life is not long; The exception is perhaps that ekokozha (eco-leather, high-tech synthetic material, which is quite a long time, and the air passes).

Accordingly, I recommend buying the shoes of an ordinary kozhzama only if you are really strapped for cash. In other cases it is better to buy leather shoes, or at least from eco-leather (for example, if you – a vegan).

Skin varieties for shoes according to its origin:

  • Bovine leather – hard, strong and durable, but at the shoes from bovine skin is usually formed noticeable folds and creases. In addition, these shoes can not be very comfortable. Their main advantage – low price.
  • Cowhide Leather – bovine expensive and somewhat softer; as with proper and correct care is long. A good option.

Calfskin – more expensive and more softer; it is very strong and durable. Ideally, however, not the budget. From a leather sewn mostly expensive shoes. It is worth remembering that even the calf has its own quality grading; better than the skin, so it is more expensive, but it is pleasant, beautiful and durable.

Leather shoes

Cordoba skin (skin / membrane Quixotic) more expensive calf. She has a kind of a nice shine, and ages it’s not like veal. Some people just love the shoes of cordovan leather, while others are indifferent to it. Whatever it was, the skin is very tough and extremely durable, also quite easy to clean, but it is suitable for summer worse than a calf, and on top of stiff. Shoes of Cordovan let companies such as Alden, Paraboot, Sebago, Crockett & Jones, Allen Edmonds, Tricker’s, J.M.Weston and others.

Exotic leather – crocodile, snake and so on – insanely expensive (a pair of shoes from a leather will cost from 50,000 rubles), strong and durable materials. Some consider them to be stylish, but at times they look too bright and defiant. Whatever it was, it is much more common shoes made of calf leather with crocodile print (and sometimes even leatherette with a corresponding print).

Varieties of leather for shoes (for dressing)

Smooth skin – practical, comfortable, fairly easy to keep clean. Perhaps the best and most versatile option when it comes to smooth calf skin (usually referred to simply as calf leather).

Polished leather (polished / hi-shine leather / bookbinder) – too smooth, but specially treated, with a strong luster. Quite easily scratched and stiff, bad “”breathes””, so obviously not the best option. However, it should be borne in mind that sometimes a polished meaning the skin of another kind (for details see. This article).

Patent (patent leather, patent leather) – probably for someone is the most beautiful, but not very practical and harsh. It requires special care; wearing shoes therefrom only at a temperature of from -10 to +30. Patent leather shoes worn only with a tuxedo, suit or very formal suit.

Suede – “”fluffy”” special leather tanning (usually calf, very rarely – a deer). Good breathable, soft and comfortable. Durable enough, if properly care for it and wear in dry weather. Suede shoes are unofficial, but if you have a lax dress code, then they may well be wearing. The main thing – to avoid too extravagant colors (that is, for example, blue and red shoes)

The material of the sole

Sole as a rule, it is leather, rubber (usually synthetic rubber) and polyurethane (termopoliuretanovoy). Resin / Rubber more practical leather – more noble and official, but it requires special care, and for active street socks – and even so-called prevention. The shoes with leather soles should not walk on the gravelly roads, muddy puddles, and so on. This shoes rather for office, for dry asphalt lanes and alleys and so on. Shoes with leather soles are quite expensive. Of the less expensive brands of shoes can be called Lloyd, Loake, Paraboot, John White, Berwick, Paco Milan. More expensive – Barker, Alden, Crockett & Jones, Carmina, Alfred Sargent, Yanko, Carlos Santos and many others.

By “”branded”” high quality rubber soles are Dainite, Ridgeway, Sestriere, Commando. They are installed only on expensive shoes (worth 15,000 rubles, if we are talking about regular prices). The Vibram soles, often also very high quality, and can sometimes be found in the more low-end models. For business shoes best suited rubber soles Dainite and Sestriere and some subtle patterns from Vibram, but for slippery surfaces recommend choosing sole protectors with more powerful (e.g., Commando or similar embodiments of Vibram).

Polyurethane termopoliuretanovaya and soles have a high strength and wear resistance; thermo- favorably with a conventional high resistance to sliding, but it is harder. The two-layer polyurethane outsole reliable single-layered, but the best combination of TPU layer with a layer of conventional polyurethane: this non-slip sole, unlike conventional polyurethane sole, a single-layer or double-layer.

Among other materials soles be mentioned TPE (TRP, TPE) – elastic, with good shock absorption, suitable for cold to -40, not prone to sliding. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is characterized by high wear resistance but is not suitable for cold, and besides sole PVC heavy and often not very securely fastened to the top, particularly in a cheap shoe. EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) good flexibility, lightness and elasticity, worthy of shock-absorbing properties. However, he does not tolerate the cold and greatly slips, and not very durable.

Type attachment to the top of the sole and shoe types structure

If you have a big enough budget to buy (say, 15 thousand and more), you should pay attention to the design of the shoes. The most reliable is Goodyear Welted (and its variations Storm Welted, Norwegian welted, Veldtschoen). Slightly less preferred design Blake Rapid, even less Blake, and worse (not always, but often) construction adhesive (Cemented). However, shoes Cemented construction may be sufficient, and for five years, so do not ignore them, if you are not too large budget.

It is worth noting Vulcanised construction (vulcanized sole) – is mounted to the top of a very robust, although with time itself outsole may crack, and looks like it is usually not too formal. Many models with Vulcanised design is in the range of the Danish brand Ecco.


Insoles are removable and non-removable. Removable practical, as they are very easy to replace in due course; Moreover, when drying their shoes can be removed and dried separately. Some insoles can be washed (but not leather!). However, non-removable insole cobbler can also change.

It is best to have the shoes have leather soles and insoles of other natural material – they allow your feet to breathe. Insoles with silver threads have antibacterial effect. Of the synthetic materials may be mentioned ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA, EVA), characterized in ductility, elasticity, good damping properties.

Lining the top shoes made entirely of genuine leather; more budgetary shoes she normally textile; most noble textile material in this case is considered to flax. Synthetic materials may be difficult to “”breathe”” and not “”breathe””, as well as leather.

New technologies

Perhaps the main relatively new technology – a special membrane that passes air but does not transmit moisture. A similar technology is used, in particular, the company Geox and Ecco. The technology used by Geox, allowing, among other things, make the shoes very light.

Manufacturers classic shoe (Barker, Alfred Sargent, John Lobb, and so on) are usually immune to the latest trends of this kind. Although Barker, for example, there is a special Barker Flex system, which makes the shoe very comfortable. However, it looks like the Flex shoes Barker worse than a truly classic Barker shoes.

What to look for when buying shoes

The size. Shoes should you exactly the right size. They do not hang out, do not strongly shake, causing any inconvenience. If the size of the shoes a little longer desired (0.5), you can ask the seller to put in the extra insole shoes – it may help, but it is a half-measure: it is better to continue the search for shoes that are perfect “”sit”” on your feet.

Keep in mind that if you buy the shoes larger than they should be, they are far more likely to appear creases, and you can develop flat feet. If you buy shoes that are too tight to you, they are fast enough you natrut corn can lose shape; their lifespan is limited. It is worth noting that corn, including blood, can appear in the case, if the shoes are too big you in the heel area.

I should add that some manufacturers offer not only shoes of different sizes in length (from 5 to 13 to the English system, or from 39 to 47 for international), but also in entirety. Weight generally designated by letters; Americans use the first letters of the alphabet (from A to E), British – average (from E to H). Examples of brands that most sizes produce several variants of completeness: Alden, Allen Edmonds, Barker, Church’s, Loake.

Convenience. If your shoes are too tight palpable now, it is unlikely that the situation will be corrected in due course; if a little tight, then it is likely that the “”spread.”” Walk in the shoes of the store; if you clearly uncomfortable, better give up the purchase. Remember, the same model may well suit you, and bad – to someone else, so keep that in mind when reading the enthusiastic or sharply negative reviews regarding comfort of a model / shoes of any brand.

quality soles, skin, joints. There should be no traces of glue, skin abrasions, scratches. The skin on both shoes should be of the same quality, the same color. The seams should be smooth and neat.

Prices and brands

The lower price segment. This shoes sold in the markets and in the transitions, cost about 2000 rubles. These also fall shoes and of the budget stores – TsentrObuv (Centro), Zenden and so on. Quality usually leaves much to be desired. It is a kind of lottery: shoes and can last two to three years, and can fall apart for a single season. Materials: leather, polyurethane, less leather low quality. Such shoes may have interesting features: painted (your socks will always be a black-and-blue tint), get wet, creak, and so on.

The segment is below average. This fall as the shoes from the market (relatively expensive options), and from a variety of stores – already mentioned TsentrObuv, Zenden; as well as multi-brand type City Shoes, Tervolina and Robek. Pay attention to the shoes Unichel Russian producer, as well as the Belarusian producer Belwest.

Prices – from about 2000 to 5000 rubles. Quality, as I have already said, can be decent, but usually suffer from design and usability (eg, in the case of Unichel). Or vice versa – is quite comfortable and beautiful shoes are falling apart through the season. Occasionally come across options and decent design and quality, including those same Unichel and Belwest.

On sale within 5,000 rubles, you can find enough high-quality shoes – sometimes from Salamander, Rockport and Ecco even (as a rule, some models). You can also note Rieker (Switzerland, Germany, with the Eastern European and Asian production), Burgershuhe (Russia) and Ralf Ringer (Russia) – mainly during sales. These companies produce good quality shoes, quite comfortable (but winter shoes Rieker buy is not necessary – many complaints). At Ralf Ringer sometimes come across a very elegant model, and in the framework of those same 5000 rubles – and almost all year round, as there are online always some discounts.

The average price segment. Shoes about 5,000 to 10,000 rubles. This fall models from Rieker (now Swiss company, before the German manufacturing, of course, not European), Ralf Ringer (Russia, but good quality), Salamander (German company, Russian production). On sales of 5,000-10,000 rubles, you can easily find good shoes from Ecco (Denmark, sewn in Slovakia and China), Geox (Italy, sewn in China), Rockport (United States, sewn in China and other countries). In addition, within the 10,000 rubles for the sales brand actually buy shoes Lloyd (Germany, sewn in Germany and Romania, is on sale in the networks of «Rendez-Vous» and “”Stockmann””, as well as in retail stores). And recommend looking Lofer Paco Milan Spanish brand (worth 8500 rubles).

I should add that in this segment, as well as in the next, a lot of shoe brands werewolves (read more here), which position themselves as English, German, Italian, and in fact – Russian-Chinese. Примеры: Carnaby, TJ Collection, Chester, Carlo Pazolini, Paolo Conte, Thomas Munz.

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