Do you know these shoe shopping tips?

Oxford leather shoes in different colours from Samuel Windsor

There are more choices to make than just colour
Image source: Samuel Windsor

Shopping for men’s shoes can be tricky.

There’s the colour, style and material to contend with. Not to mention quality and fit. And even once you’ve located your perfect pair, securing them in your size can prove a whole other challenge!

But hold your horses. Before you hand over your cash or click ‘buy’, have you considered these often overlooked shoe shopping quandaries?

The soles

Leather soles are lightweight, can be replaced and are a favourite of classic shoe makers. Whereas rubber soles offer more grip, but can’t be replaced in the same way as a leather sole.

So which one do you pick?

Let’s first imagine you are stuck in traffic and need to have good clutch control? Rubber soles have optimum grip. But if you are on your way to a wedding, rubber wouldn’t cut the mustard: leather is smarter.

The moral of the story? Neither sole will cover all environments, but think about the weather, where you will be and how much of your sole will be on show, and then make a decision.

Insider tip: If you want the smartness of leather, but better grip, get on some gravel and scratch those soles up good and proper. Some shoes have fancy bottoms, but most will get scuffed anyway. Just watch the heel block!


Lace up shoes. A simple choice yes? There is only one way to tie your laces, yes? Well no.

For example, a deck shoe will most likely have a flat leather lace, which is much shorter than those on an Oxford shoe. So if you like to have a super tight shoe, a deck shoe is best avoided.

Trouser length

It is obvious that you are unlikely to wear a Chelsea boot with shorts, but less obvious that a low cut pair of mens loafers require a different trouser length to a slightly higher cut pair of Oxfords.

You may go for a single break, or no break at all on your trousers, but if your shoes rise up slightly higher in the rear quarters, then your break will come sooner. So, when picking a shoe bear this in mind.

Detail colours

Picking a shoe colour is a relatively simple process. Or is it? We’d argue not!

Have you thought about how the colour on the buckle of the monk shoes you are about to buy could clash horribly with the buckle of your belt? The eyelets are red on your shoes, but you are wearing pink chinos; not a good look.

Granted, it isn’t the end of the world if you find a comfy pair of shoes that look great, for you to then have a clashing aglet. But if you can get everything to coordinate, then you are on to a style winner.

Posted in Men's shoes.