Linc Style: Men’s essential footwear

By Jonathon Carlan.

Naturally, upon first viewing an outfit, our head moves from north to south. Shoes are usually the final detail we notice and should complete the look.

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Men's footwear. Photo: Iona McTaggart

The marketplace for male footwear is huge; we are often presented with a great scope of designs, styles and colours to compliment any outfit. It is of no surprise that in the July of last year, market research provider Mintel reported that men now spend more on footwear than women do.

Whilst there is so much choice available, there is a small selection of shoes which every guy should own. This list is in no means definitive or exhaustive, but it offers a tidy selection of styles which are strong, perfect for a student budget and are on trend.

Derby shoes

This style of shoe is timeless. The most common material for these is leather, however there are others available such as in suede, (which can really stand out, especially in some bolder colours.) The increase for fashion forward footwear has resulted in a limitless choice available and these range from contrasting leathers through to ultra-shine designs.

I really would recommend either a black or brown derby. I’d argue that brown has more style however either will see you through many different occasions – whether it be for general wear at university, smartening up for a presentation or enjoying a night out. A personal favourite of mine is a distressed leather look, it really helps add an edgier kick to a smarter look.

Boots

Boots are the perfect answer to a strong seasonal look. It’s easy to become swamped in oversized jumpers and a large coat whilst the weather is still colder, so including a pair of boots adds a sense of cohesion to our outfits

For optimum style, a solid pair of black boots with a thick sole will work some really great winter looks. You can either incorporate some warmer colours into your wardrobe or you can have a bolder coloured boot, such as a burgundy or green. As mentioned previously, your shoes should complete your look and aid the flow of what you’re wearing; I would avoid bold shoes alongside strong garments as well.

Brogues

Brogues are another essential pair of footwear which has made a comeback over the past few years. Similar to the derby shoes, whilst these are mainly seen in brown/tanned leathers and there has been an increasing array of styles emerging over past years.

A tanned colour is a classic and will compliment many outfits. More deluxe colours, such as a green or oxblood red have started to appear on a few designs, which leave a very fine finish and a long lasting impression.

When wearing Brogues I would pay careful attention to the cut of your jeans – anything too loose will engulf them and you really want to maximise their look.

Trainers

Trainers are difficult to summarise as the styles available are so diverse. Whilst it feels great to wear a smarter shoe, relaxing back into a comfortable trainer still makes for a stunning look. Blazers dominated the past few years and the use of suede for trainers was in full throttle.

Following that we saw a lot of trainers with heavily contrasting colours, perfect for what is very much the age of vintage. Whilst the contrasting trainers are still heavily available, a lot of the high street shops seems to have toned down the designs a little and are offering a lot plainer designs.

As a final note, for all shoes, there is the factor of cost. Branded shoes can weigh in with a significantly heavier price tag than the high street alternatives.

Whilst it is more or less always the case of getting what you pay for, under a student budget there is almost no other way.

To enhance the lifespan of your shoes make sure you take good care of them. This involved some light maintenance such as using polishes, cloths and brushes, but this will go a long way in upholding the quality for your weapon of choice.

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