Today we want to present you the 7 most important shoe models of men’s fashion. Each of these models should have its place in the shoe cabinet of a real gentleman. Excited which shoes are included? Read more about it here ….
The Derby is a sporty men’s shoe with open lacing and two quarters lying on the front leaf (Quarter: rear and side part of the upper). It is usually made of fine brown or black calf or cordovan leather. It is also available in suede, but only in brown. The black version with a thin leather sole is well suited for formal occasions or business meetings. In leisure time it is usually worn in brown with a slightly more solid sole. The possible use of this shoe therefore depends on its material and the nature of the sole.
The exact origin of the „Derby“ is not entirely clear. It is said, however, that one of the Counts of Derby had problems with his shoes due to a very high instep. His shoemaker then developed the „Derby shaft cut“ to solve the problem. In the USA, the „Derby“ is usually called „Blucher“ because its shape is based on the laced boots of the Blücher soldiers. However, this naming is rarely used here in Europe.
Today the Oxford is regarded as one of the most elegant men’s shoe models and belongs in the shoe cupboard of every gentleman. It is therefore all the more interesting that, according to tradition, Oxford did not develop from an ankle boot into a low shoe until the end of the 19th century. The academics of the Oxford College in England are said to have decided at this time that a low shoe – and not the ankle boot as usual – is a better means of expressing your clothing style.
The Oxford quickly became a popular summer shoe and was an integral part of the appearance of „modern“ men’s fashion. Later, the summer shoe model with a thin leather sole developed into a robust shoe which is suitable for thick soles even in bad autumn weather. Typical for the Oxford is the closed lacing with mostly five pairs of eyelets. The side parts responsible for the lacing are sewn under the front leaf. Ideally, no more than the upper edge can be seen from the flap.
Today, the black Oxford is considered the perfect, formal shoe for suits. This is true both for everyday business and formal occasions. In its most formal use, the black Oxford can also be worn as a cut. The shoe in its elegant form is made of brown or black calf or cordovan leather. Oxford shoes with a thin leather sole are the most elegant. Suede leather variants are usually coarser (thicker sole) and in brown, which is ideal for leisure and semi-casual invitations.
The Brogue (or Budapester)
The designation Budapest is somewhat misleading, since the shoe model itself does not originate from Budapest. However, it is very popular with Hungarian shoemakers.
The „Budapest“ is actually called Brogue and has its origin in rural areas of Ireland and Scotland. The shepherds there drilled holes in their leather shoes to get rid of the water that used to run into the shoes in the swampy pastures. This practice was then adapted by hunters of the Scottish landed nobility and thus introduced into „society“. The Brogue has established itself over time as a robust and sporty low shoe. The main characteristic of the Brogue is its unmistakable last shape. It is made on a wide, relatively straight last and has a relatively wide and round tip. The Derby shaft cut with open lacing, heel cap, wing cap, lyra perforation and double sole make the appearance of a Brogue (Budapester) perfect.
The upper of the Brogue is black or brown calfskin. Cordovan leather more common in America. Brown suede is also typical of Brogue or Budapest. In black it is suitable for everyday business, but not for formal occasions. In brown, it is often worn in the English country style in leisure time.
A loafer is a slip shoe with heel. The best known model is the Pennyloafer (also called college shoe). In Germany the name „Slipper“ is also very common for the loafer. The upper material of the loafer is mostly calf or cordovan leather in black or brown. Suede leather in brown is also common. The first models of the Loafer were produced in Amarika at the beginning of 1900. It is said to have been suitable for today’s Pennyloafer. In the 1930s this shoe model became the favourite shoe of the Ivy League universities and received its name. Allegedly the students put a penny into the recess of the shaft bridge as a lucky charm. So the „panty shoes“, which were worn only indoors until the twenties, found their way into the fine society of North America and the world. The Loafer is still very popular in America.
Also in Enland the Loafer found its lovers in form of the Tassel Loafer. Members of the royal family in Great Britain wear the loafer to Sunday church. Here in Germany, however, the loafer is less popular, as most gentlemen rely on lacers. The loafer as a panty shoe is perceived as less solid and is therefore avoided. We think it’s a pity….because the Loafer is a very comfortable and stylish shoe for leisure and semi-casual use.
The boat shoes
As the name already says, the shoe has its origin on boats, in particular the sailing sport. Its special feature is the flexible and non-slip white rubber sole. Due to the white rubber sole, the shoe does not leave any dark rubber straps on the teak wooden floor of the boats. The construction of the shoe is copied from the moccasin. Like the moccasin, the boat shoe is designed to be worn barefoot.
The unlined upper is made of robust, smooth or rough nubuck or smooth leather. The most common and classic colours are brown, dark brown, white, white-brown or white-blue. Meanwhile the boat shoe is also available in other trend colours. A 120 centimetre long leather strap serves as lacing, which also surrounds the entrance opening of the shoe and makes it possible to adjust a shaft that slips due to wetness in the heel area. The mostly 4 laces are made of tarnish-protected brass. Nowadays, the boat shoe is considered a hard-wearing leisure and summer shoe, which is sure of its popularity also outside the sailing sport.
The Chukka Boat
The Chukka boat is also used by elegant Italians in everyday business life and is often worn with flannel suits. We Germans, on the other hand, have discovered the Chukka boat rather for our leisure time. Worn with chino or jeans it has a firm place in the shoe cabinet of German men. The English think it goes perfectly with tweed, corduroy and wax jacket – something we don’t want to contradict here. He has his origin as a leisure ankle boot for English polo players. A form of Chukka Boots, which was worn by British soldiers during the „Western Desert Campaign“ (2nd World War), brought the name Desert Boot to the Chukka Boot. Special feature of the Desert Boot: Crepe rubber sole.
If you follow the classic style rules, the sneakers to the business suit are taboo. The „sneaker for the suit look“ was mainly seen in the creative advertising scene. We say nevertheless: Sneaker to the suit is a no for a genuine gentleman. The sneaker has evolved over time from a sports shoe and is perfect for leisure. It can also be worn with a semi-casual business outfit if you have a very loose clothing regulation in your company. A sneaker for a chino with a jacket and shirt can be a good combination. The sneaker is usually made of a combination of synthetic and leather or completely of leather.
The colour combinations are manifold. Especially in Europe there is hardly a more popular shoe than the sneaker as far as casual shoe fashion is concerned. The different models are subject to a rising or falling popularity index every few years. At the moment the Converse (a sneaker variant) is experiencing a real hype. A sneaker for a chino with a jacket and shirt can be a good combination. The sneaker is usually made of a combination of synthetic and leather or completely of leather. The colour combinations are manifold.
Our simple advise is: Being classy isn’t a choice. It is a lifestyle.