Let’s Take a Walk: 6 Essential Shoes Every Man Needs

Hey what’s going on everyone. Gentlemen’s Mentality aka The GM aka Mr 2nd Date Getter aka I Can Teach You Something here once again.

shoe rack

At my job a lot of my associates are younger kids. 19 year olds and 20 somethings and all the guys are into two things. Music and Kicks.  If they aren’t talking about Kanye and the Yeezus tour (Which I will be in attendance for November 20th at the Barclays) they are talking about Doernbecher 5s and Fear Pack 3s and camo printed Roshes.  I love it! I have a new found love for “Kicks” and the shoe game as a whole.

Copping your favorite up and coming shoes is always fun, but as a grown man, what shoes should you have in your closet?

black oxford shoes

1) Black Calfskin Oxfords – Rule #1 with all of these shoes: NO SQUARE TOES! Now, I know you’re wondering what the hell an oxford is. How can I explain? An oxford is almost every dress shoe you’ve ever seen pretty much. But in technical terms it is a laced shoe whose eyelets (where the laces go through) are stitched underneath the vamp (The vamp is the front part of the shoe, starting behind the toe, extending around the eyelets and tongue and towards back part of the shoe. cc:wikipedia).  This is your fancy dinner shoe.  This is your broadway play shoe. This is your 5 star restaurant shoe. The get the job shoe (as stated in my other article linked HERE). All things classy this is your go-to shoe (#Bars). Trying to stay in budget I would check out Andrew Lock Shoes but if you’re trying to go all out, check out John Lobb


2) Brown Wingtips (or any Brogued shoe) – Well what the hell is a wingtip you say? You’re so full of questions today. Wingtip is a type of brogue (any perforated oxford) whose design forms a “wing” around the shoe. These are actually my favorite type of dress shoe. My favorite wingip is the longwing where the wing goes all the way to the back giving the foot a smaller sihouette.  They are all purpose. Dress them up with that good old navy suit or dress them down with some slim fit denim, a button up and a lightweight cotton blazer. Budgeting? I got you and so does Florsheim.  Trying to Make a Statement, Church’s has what you need



3) Desert Book aka The Chukka – The king of casual dressy easy to wear shoe this side of the galaxy.  Comfortable for those days out in the city where you are doing absolutely nothing but window shopping.  Great for those “I’m trying to hit the club and theres a dress code but I don’t want to look TOO pressed” nights. Amazing for those first dates. Just an all around versatile shoe. It’s the Small Forward of footwear. The short stop of kicks. A great catch of course is the classic Clarks or a little bit more pricey are the options from Suit Supply

penny loafer

4) The Penny – And I aint talking about Foamposites here! The penny loafer is one of the most classic shoes. A laceless casual shoe, old timers used to put a penny in the triangular slot in the front of the shoe.  Every one should have a penny with about a one inch sole. Get a shoe tree and some leather conditioner for these (and ALL of your good quality leather shoes) to keep the shape and last to stay longer. Get the classic Bass Weejuns or the upper echelon Brunello Cucinelli


5) Boat Shoes – I love me some good boat shoes! Those are my summer go to’s! I got my first pair for free when I worked at Bloomingdales from attending a Sperry seminar.  Been in love ever since.  Great shoe for brunch, dinner, breakfast at diners. Wear them at the club, to the beach, and especially while on vacation.  Best thing is I think they look so much better after being worn out. Of course you can get a pair from Sperry or Sebago. Wouldnt drop more than $120 on a pair though.


6) Whatever shoe defines YOU – You need a pair of kicks that are just relaxed, regular, every day, throw them on at any point for whatever reason. The best way to describe this kick is your casual choice. I have plenty of options for these in my apartment and each serve a purpose.  New Balances, Common Projects, Free Run 5s, Nike Roshes, Jordan 9s, 4s, 3s, Y-3s, Converses, Seavees and some designer kicks like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen. When I just want to be comfortable I throw my Roshes on. Bad ass look? Going for the Y-3s. Hoodie and sweats? Jordans it is. Trying to hurt someone feelings? McQueens on deck. These shoes are who you REALLY are.

Nothing completes an outfit more than a pair of good shoes. Find the occasion and lace up for the part!

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