Ever wondered where to find the best men’s shoes? There are some shoes you buy because you love a trendy detail or their outrageous use of colour. You wear them until you get sick of them, and you feel only the smallest twinge of guilt when you toss them to the back of your closet, never to be seen again.
There are other shoes you buy because there’s no such thing as getting sick of them. They’re the classics that never go out of style – timeless, versatile and a must in every man’s wardrobe. If you don’t already own the 8 essential shoes on this list, prepare your credit card for a workout. It’s buying time.
The Lowdown: Best Men’s Shoes
Grenson has been making high-quality men’s shoes since 1866. Founder William Green was the first shoemaker in the world to use the Goodyear welting construction method, which is now a hallmark of all top-quality British shoes. All Grenson footwear is renowned for its craftsmanship and quality, but the wingtip brogues are an especially worthwhile investment.
In 1866, Matías Pujadas opened a small workshop in Majorca where he began crafting tailor-made shoes. Several generations (and a name change to Carmina Shoemaker) later, the brand is still alive and well. It now has 8 shops around Europe and is sold in retailers alongside the world’s most distinguished shoemakers. You can’t go wrong with a pair of Carmina’s Oxfords.
Tod’s got its start as a shoemaking business run out of a basement by Dorino Della Valle in the late 1920s. Years later, The New Yorker would dub his son the ‘Italian Ralph Lauren’ – a fitting moniker given the brand’s firm grasp of elegant preppy style. No preppy wardrobe is complete without a loafer, like this classic example from Tod’s.
Wolverine 1000 Mile
Wolverine has been making comfortable, durable, dependable work boots since 1883. Today, Wolverine continues to lead the pack thanks to its relentless commitment to innovations in comfort technologies. This year the brand is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Original 1000 Mile Boot, first introduced in 1914, with this handsome Wolverine 1000 Mile Centennial Boot.
Sperry Boat Shoe
The other all-important prepster shoe. Avid sailor Paul Sperry spent years trying to perfect a non-slip boat shoe, until one day he became inspired by his dog – yes, his dog – and the world’s first boat shoe was born. The shoe has been imitated by many over the years, but accept no substitutes. No copycats ever quite live up to the perfection of the original Sperry Top-sider.
Converse Jack Purcell
It may be another kind of Converse that gets all the attention, but we’re nominating the Jack Purcell as the low-top sneaker every man should own. The shoe was designed by Canadian world champion badminton player John “Jack” Purcell to provide more protection and support on the court. While you probably won’t be wearing it for anything athletic (if badminton counts as ‘athletic’), the shoe is still a classic.
Nike Air Max 1
The date of the revolution was 26 March 1987. On that fateful day, Nike made the invisible visible. Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield opened a new window to the sneaker’s sole, called in the Air Max, and forever altered the future of footwear. The original, seen here, showcased the innovative air cushioning unit in a striking red and white colourway.
New Balance 574
And finally, we arrive at the New Balance 574. Originally designed for running, the iconic 574 sports a retro silhouette and ENCAP technology in the midsole that offers stability and shock reduction. Athletes and style gurus alike fell for its suede and mesh upper, which now comes in a blinding array of colours to suit every situation and style.