Mens Shoes Advice

Shoe city, operating instructions: how to choose shoes, different types, locate quality, how to properly wear them…

Subject… large shoes that deserves more than one article, but you gotta start somewhere.

In this article, we will try to make a tour d’horizon of the different types of cities for man shoes:

  • The different styles
  • Different manufacturing processes
  • And also, materials, colors, brands…

Derbies, richelieu, balmoral, Goodyear or sewn blake, the subtleties of the beautiful shoe will have no secrets for you.

Ready for a first foray into the mysterious world of the shoe? Then drive (… or so walk?)

To start: the different types of shoes

In fact, rather than style, we’re talking about sponsorship : this is the type of making of the shoe, which will make it belongs to individual families.

It’s probably the best way to start this first article on the man’s shoes : we will take the time to present, photos in support, the different types of shoes that you will encounter.

(note that for this article, we limit ourselves to the shoes: shoes for more street or more sport, it will be a future article, otherwise it would have been really too long).


The richelieu is the most classical form of shoe.

In general we wear them with enough formal outfits, for work or really dressed evenings, especially if the colors are quite simple as black or chocolate brown.

An another richelieu Berluti, admire the depth of shades, and the general character of this model – rather sublime, right?


It is one of the most common forms that you see in the ready-to-fit.

Less formal than Oxford, you can wear in many circumstances: to go to work (the model is so sober enough), for an evening with models bi – colored or just for a walk…

To make a difference with the Brogues: we recognize derbies at the part where to spend the laces (the “guarantors”). On some derbies, two guarantors are distinct, and open as shutters. On the Brogues, they are attached to the base, and open v

= If the shoe opens v, it’s the Richelieu
= If the shoe opens in “flaps”, it is of the Bharat

The brogues

Most often, the brogues are the derbies.

You can tell perforations which rooms on top. These are initially the shoes used in the country (by the Scots, if you want all saovir) and therefore able to confront the puddles and rain. Basically, the holes are there to allow the water to drain.

Nowadays these perforations are more decorative than anything else, and all of the sponsorships that exist receive. Whether moccasins, boots or even some Brogues…


Moccasins are shoes without laces, in which only “back foot”.

(Yes, quite, a bit like the slippers that MOM required you to put in the winter when you were little and you couldn’t defend you)

Quintessential casual shoe, you will often be to contrast with a very elaborate style, the moccasin is dressed but not too much.

There in almost all subjects, and it is above all a matter of taste, but the moccasin is actually much more versatile than you might think at first.

For those who doubt always the moccasin can add style… You have to love that kind of course, but it works.

And here, in a completely different genre, weekend atmosphere. Zara moccasins here. Source.

It can even be used for a look more street, or even downright hipster (in mode “I’m dating slippers and I don’t care”). Here again: the Zara. Source

Note that the English speak of loafers, is a term that you will sometimes encounter if you start being interested in the broad topic of men’s shoes.

You can choose them in enough tapered which gives them a more modern and younger than classic moccasins appearance.

The acorns models can also be very interesting – if that’s your style, even if they have somewhat fallen into disuse.

And for the record, the tasseled loafer is traditionally seen as a “right” shoe: they have been popularized by the American Protestant conservatives, and the French right seized. As a result, the moccasin to Acorn is probably also politicized as can be the pair of Doc Martin’s or a pair of Vans-in different styles 🙂

Not to be confused with the boat shoes (which they have laces)

Shoes with buckles

They are actually some derbies and are a very interesting alternative to Oxford, to one or two loops according to taste (in a more elaborate style).


Shoes rising up to the ankle or higher, they are very versatile because you can wear them with a suit (which will cover the rising part) or with jeans, chinos rolled up on the ankle for a more casual and chic port.

Laces or zippers, formal or more street, boots so much could change from one brand to another, from the most classic to the most cutting-edge, there really is something to have fun and express her creativity.

Heyraud boots (who already have some experience). Imagine the staves with gross jeans, a matching belt and a sky blue shirt: Classic, but extremely effective.

The Balmoral

The balmoral patronage is used on the pretty shoes. It is found on the boots and Oxford generally.

The characteristic of a shoe balmoral is that the guarantors (the coin on which pass the laces) are sewn around the ankle and meet at the level of the heel, for a very recognizable style.

A nice pair of shoes, in addition to technical mastery, is above all a good leather

Constituting the main raw material of the shoe, the leather is one of the central points when choosing a pair.

Absolutely avoid the leatherette which is little meaningful, which will not last in time.

Too bad, the leatherette of these shoes gives them a side plastic that detracts a bit to the elegance of the model – and will probably not age very well (no hope that the leatherette patina, he will simply become soiled, to crack).

You need to be attentive to the quality of the leather: all are not equal.

Leather, it is primarily a skin, and there is more beautiful than d other (No, normally the leather has no acne)

First of all what animal comes the leather?

  • Most often, good shoes are calf leather. More solid than the Lamb, but almost as flexible.
  • There also the cowhide, most often entry-level.
  • Horse leather is also used, treated with the correct method, we can do the famous cordovan (horse, the Red hues and exceptionally fine grain leather)
  • Exotic skins such as crocodile, caiman, ostrich, camel can also be used in the manufacture of shoes (but for a different price).

We find models sometimes very worked, for the most sophisticated lovers-and sometimes difficult to mobile on a daily basis. Here, velvet and leather braided camel, by Corthay loafers. Probably not the first pair of shoes you purchase 🙂

How to recognize a good leather?

The leather is above all… of the skin which has undergone a special treatment; and exceptions (scaly skins type caiman or python), the skin of the animals is similar to ours: it has pores on the surface.

More its pores are tight and regular, more skin to prove quality.

To ensure its elasticity (very important, otherwise the leather will eventually crack until tearing) you can fold the shoes as when they bend during the market. If the trained folds remain, the leather has a problem. A good skin should mark only slightly.

Also pay attention to the possible hitches present on the skin, as well as the fine grain. Some lower quality skins have some mottling and veining that make more unsightly leather.

Of course, the most beautiful skins are reserved for the most prestigious brands, and explain while it switches in an any other price range.

Bookbinde leather shoes

Called leather bookbinde leather covered with a layer of plastic (the untrained eye can think it’s shoes). These shoes are so very bright… for a time.

The problem with these shoes (often), it is the layer that covers the leather:

  • prevents the leather to breathe
  • prevents the maintenance of leather (the plastic protects the leather water and dust, but also of moisturizing products that we might want to apply to maintain it)
  • … and tends to crack after some time, at the level of the folds of market.Result, the plastic breaks, and we are left with species of translucent peels pretty dire.

In short: good idea.

If you want shoes that shine, train you in the art of shoe Polish and frosting (for example, at, an absolutely stunning site on maintenance of shoes, we highly recommend x 1000).

Suede shoes

… or more precisely, calf-velvet (Suede is more). One speaks also of nubuck.It is also leather, but upside down (rather than see the flower, we expose the flesh side).

Very portable too, it’s a good alternative to the leather shoe for anyone who wants to diversify his style. Include a lot of suede moccasins and boots.


In addition to leather, a good shoe is also a good sole and good editing. The mounting of the shoe, is the technical process whereby it is assembled.

Editing plays a vital role in the life of this one but also in its aesthetics. The shoes the most expensive are performed by quasi-artistes artisans, whose the extreme technical mastery allows shoes a great finesse and elegance.

The sewn Blake

Known also as the “sewn from side to side”, blake is the mounting sewed simple to achieve.

The sewn blake is done by linking the thickness of the leather of the shoe, the lining and the stem (the outside of the shoe) to the sole. This process allows shoes sole extremely thin and light.

As you can see, with a sewn Blake, the seam is made inside the shoe, and ties together the various elements of the sole – like a sandwich. Besides this technique has some drawbacks:

  • Because the point of couture passes UNDER the shoe (to take the sole and link it to the stem and the first), the moisture tends to go up in the shoe on rainy days
  • This technique makes (made?) the hard soles for shoemakers, so, it is almost impossible to make resoling shoes

This process is appreciated by purists for its finesse, but it is recognized less durability and comfort with another process, the stitched Goodyear. We also often blame him his lack of sealing in case of rain.

The stitched Goodyear

It is the ‘mechanized’ version of the sewn Welt (the process stitched hand used originally by master bootmakers).

It’s the standard mounting for a pair of good quality that will last long, it is the Queen of the shoe man technique.

C “is THE montage to use on the real good pairs of shoes.

If you are interested in the subject, and to understand why this process allows shoes more robust and at the same time more comfortable read our special article on the stitched Goodyear.

Note that Goodyear stitched shoes are often a bit more expensive than shoes sewn Blake, because the process requires more work to manufacture.

The sewn Norwegian

The Norwegian is a variant of the stitched goodyear.

Thicker, it presents two lines of stitching on the Welt, instead of one in stitched Goodyear.

In general, it is found on the boots or the derbies of hunting. Clearly, a true sole of snowman, but not essential on your shoe (this sewn is known generally for its use on a Heschung Bootie)

What color for my shoes?

Is it s your first pair of shoes you should start with simple colors, you can easily match, like black or Brown (not too clear, otherwise you’ll struggle to match it).

Everything will depend on how you actually use. If you must wear to go to work, stay sober colors. Black, Brown, gray, blue night.

You can start to use other colours once you have more difficulties in their association in General.

Patinas are the final step at the level of the colors, wooded effects effects old… almost everything is allowed and this is the time to really let go you.

On our side, we love what do people like Paulus Bolten and JM Legazel, two Parisian specialists of the patina on leather.

And size?

Of course, a pair of shoes tries, and it is very important to take the right size.

The right size? To make simple and effective:

  • If you touch the tip of the shoe, it’s too short
  • If you are able to place one finger between your heel and the back of the shoe, it’s too big

And the socks?

  • It is customary to wear his socks to pants, it’s a rule. Like having a tie of a material and a different color from the pouch chest so you’re wearing one.
  • However you can play with this ‘rule’ wearing mismatched socks a little more daring. It is a style often found in the English dressing room.

What shoes for that?

If your style is relatively simple, you keep on a pair that is too advanced or with a patina that is too difficult.

You’d be hard pressed to take and they would be sadly in their box. So, you would have spent money for nothing.

  • If you have a classic style, opt for a pair of oxfords or Brogues black or brown depending on your taste (personally, I have a weakness for chestnuts, less sad than black shoes)
  • If you have a more advanced style: the world opens up to you gentlemen.

In all cases, take ESPECIALLY a pair that you really like this, in which you feel a pure conqueror.

Some brands we recommend

Too often said that you can’t do anything to ‘small’ budget, but we find things very well for 150 to 200 euros, including some brands such as Bexley, Loading, Meermin, Markowski.

Of course, if you do not have € 150-200 to put in a good pair of shoes, just what you can afford, and when life will allow you, you will be pleased to discover how much a good pair of shoes can approach the art work and serve your style.

The medium budget (from 250-300 euros), you’ll have things a little more worked and finest materials and with most beautiful patinas. In these budgets look into seventh width, Altan, Carmina, Caulincourt, Crockett & Jones.

Finally, for the biggest budget (from 600 euros), the world is yours and you will have what is best as for example: Weston, Aubercy, Carlos Santos, Gaziano & Girling, Edward Green, Berluti.

In all cases, a shoe is made to last, so think of it as a (very good) investment on your personal presence: If you can, don’t crop costs unnecessarily.


We arrive at the end of this article, but it is good to review a few basics:

  • A nice pair of shoes, is above all a good leather, observe its quality.
  • Forget the glued soles, prefer them stitched Goodyear for robustness, and sewn Blake for the finesse (and run the glued soles, it’s too cheap!)
  • There are many forms and many styles, are looking for what suits you best
  • Black or brown to start, and opt for the patinas if you are sure you
  • It matches his socks to pants, or on any matches them (banned white socks:, it is for the sport, and that’s all).
  • Do not take a too ‘Advanced’ shoe if you have a basic style.

I hope have said you everything, I tell you soon for new adventures and I hope you have inspired!

Jeremy, and the entire Team Be What You Wear

On the same topic

  • Boots and boots for man: the guide
  • The technique of the sewn Goodyear, or how to spot a quality shoe