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Shoes Hero

BUYING GUIDE

FINDING THE RIGHT MEN'S SHOES

Always invest in a good bed and good shoes, because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other.
Explore our guide to help you find your perfect pair.

PARTS & CONSTRUCTION

Shoe parts

Upper

The material that comes over the foot.

Welt

A strip of material stitched between the sole and upper.

Insole

The part that comes in contact with the bottom of your foot.

Lining

The inside part of the upper. Often the same material as the upper.

Outsole

The bottom part of the shoe.

Midsole

The section between the outsole and insole.

TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION

Goodyear welt

A traditional method that involves stitching an extra strip of leather (the welt) between the upper and the insole.

  • Common in dress shoes and work boots
  • Strong and durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to resole  
  • Built to last
  • Can be stiff and less flexible, so take longer to wear in
  • Usually more expensive

Cemented

The cheapest, simplest method where the upper is shaped and then glued to the outsole.

  • Commonly used for trainers, chukka boots and other rubber-soled shoes
  • Soft and light
  • More cost-effective
  • Bear in mind this type can’t usually be re-soled

 

Stitch-down

A traditional method where the bottom edge of the upper is folded outward and stitched to the sole.

  • Commonly used for desert boots
  • Dirt and water-resistant
  • Easy to repair
  • Can be a little stiff to start with

 

 

TYPES OF SOLE

Leather (single)

A sleek, neat sole commonly used in dress shoes. Single leather soles don’t grip well, so are best avoided in wet weather.

Tip

Invest in shoe trees to help preserve the shape of your shoes, stop them from developing creases and thereby extend their life. Higher quality shoe trees are made from solid wood, usually cedar, which helps control odour and absorb moisture.

Rubber

A sturdy option that provides extra grip. Ideal for a more casual look.

Dainite

Dainite is a British-made rubber sole first produced in 1910. It has excellent grip, and easily wipes clean as there are no grooves to hold dirt.

 

 

WHICH STYLE?

Oxford

OXFORD

  • A classic, formal shoe with eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the upper for a sleeker finish (also known as closed lacing)
  • Make a great dress shoe, but also work in the office
Derby

DERBY

  • Have open lacing rather than closed, and the eyelet tabs are sewn on top of the uppers
  • Less formal (and more versatile) than Oxfords
  • Most are double stitched and double soled, meaning they’re robust, too
Brogue

BROGUE

  • Characterised by the perforated pattern on the uppers
  • Typically comes in 4 classic styles – full brogue (or wingtip), semi brogue, quarter brogue and longwing brogue
Chelsea boots

CHELSEA BOOTS

  • Have elasticated side panels that run from above the welt to the opening
  • Wear them with a skinny suit or jeans
Loafers

LOAFERS

  • Designed to slip on and off, and also come in penny or tassel varieties
  • Both office-appropriate and occasion-worthy
Espadrilles

ESPADRILLES

  • Usually built with canvas uppers and trademark rope soles
  • Lightweight and robust
  • Ideal for warm weather or sunshine getaways
Moccasins

MOCCASINS

  • Traditionally made of deerskin or other types of soft leather
  • Soles and sides made of one piece of leather
  • A warm-weather alternative to loafers
Boat/Deck shoes

BOAT/DECK SHOES

  • Have leather uppers with a water-repellent finish and rubber soles for added grip on wet surfaces
  • A go-to summer shoe
Chukka boots

CHUKKA BOOTS

  • Ankle height
  • Similar to desert boots, but the openings fit closer on the ankles
  • A great casual option

STYLING TIPS

  • Match your shoes to your belt
  • The rules have changed – team a suit with trainers for a modern take on formal dressing
  • Wearing a suit? Choose shoes that are as dark, if not darker
  • Socks don't have to match your shoes, so don't be afraid to experiment

CARING FOR YOUR SHOES

  • Invest in a suede brush and protective spray to keep suede shoes looking new.
  • Scuff new leather soles before you wear them in the rain or on a waxed floor.
  • Prop up wet shoes with old newspaper and let them dry naturally to prevent the uppers from cracking and the leather sole from separating.
  • A good repair shop can dramatically prolong the life of your shoes. Check your shoes regularly for any scuffs or worn soles.
Caring for your shoes