There are many different types of men’s shoes, each with their own design purpose.
Some were designed for traditionally formal occasions, such as the Oxford (or Richelieu) shoe, and others became synonymous with more casual styles, such as the derby shoe, boots and loafers.
This article will give you an insight into the various types of shoes a man can own, and guide you as to which are more suited for you.
Peter Blade is a designer and maker of men’s leather footwear. Based in the heart of the shoe manufacturing region of Spain, the brand has been making men’s shoes for over a decade.
The Richelieu (or Oxford)
The most classic and traditional style of shoe, the formal Richelieu dates back over two hundred years.
It has been classed as the ‘ultimate formal dress shoe’ but its style has also evolved over the centuries to bring us additional more casual styles, whilst keeping its formal core.
It has different characteristics to that of its cousin, the Derby.
Primarily, its inside and outside quarters and shoelace eyelets are attached under the vamp. This is a featured called “closed lacing” and is the key feature of the Oxford shoe.
The main characteristics of Oxford shoes include:
- Closed lacing
- Elongated toe (with or without cap toe)
- Three-part panelled construction
- Stitched leather sole
How to wear them?
With a suit…99% of the time.
They are perfectly designed to accompany a well-cut silhouette and bring style to any formal evening wear.
The Derby is more suited to gentlemen that have a higher instep.
Characterised by shoelace eyelets that are sewn on top of the vamp, a construction also known as “open lacing”, they are the cousin of the Oxford.
They were designed as a response for the man who found the Oxford uncomfortable and who therefore looks for extra room within the instep part of the shoe.
Still, they are famously fashionable and look best when accompanied with a suit or smart pair of chinos for a more casual look.
Arguably one of the most stylish shoes of modern times, loafers are top in the classic footwear food chain for a multiplicity of reasons.
Beginning its existence as a casual shoe, it has since increased in popularity and often accompanies a tailored, modern suit.
It has become a stylish accessory for a city lounge suit and in a casual setting the loafer can replace any of your other casual shoes to add a bit of zest to your look.
Simple, classic and far more versatile than other shoe options, they can be worn with a suit, chinos or shorts.