Shoes - if you could only have 3-4 pairs, what would they be?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by zerostyle, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I had a collection of just a few pairs of shoes that I wore for business and casual for many years.

    Black cap toe oxford
    Brown cap toe oxford
    Brown loafer

    I had boat shoes and sneakers for very casual

    Get quality over quantity and make sure they fit. Most shoes salesmen will put you into anything and send you on your way. Shoe fit varies by maker and so you may need a different size depending upon the brand. Go shopping later in the day because feet swell a bit. Try on a size larger and smaller. Insist upon it. Maybe you need a wider shoe?

    When going for a good fit make sure your heal fits comfortably (don't let it slop around. If so try a different shoe) and then have plenty of room to wiggle your toes. If not, then try a wider or larger size. Or you may need to try a different shoe all together. I have brands that I just can't get to fit comfortably.

    You may not like to shop for shoes but there is no reason not to be comfortable in something you must wear every day. There are far too many good options out there to not be comfortable.
     


  2. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    One captoe, one longwing or brogue, one loafer, and one monkstrap.

    Captoe would be EG, longwing C&J, loafer Ferragamo or AE, and monkstrap Alden or EG.

    If I'm only going to have 3-4 shoes, why shouldn't I spend a few grand on each? The monkstrap and the longwings would be in cordovan.
     


  3. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    I had a collection of just a few pairs of shoes that I wore for business and casual for many years.

    Black cap toe oxford
    Brown cap toe oxford
    Brown loafer

    I had boat shoes and sneakers for very casual

    Get quality over quantity and make sure they fit.


    This is the answer.

    There's nothing more to say. It you're going to have three pairs of shoes, two have to be office-ready, so even broguing is realistically out.
     


  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is the answer.



    There's nothing more to say. It you're going to have three pairs of shoes, two have to be office-ready, so even broguing is realistically out.


    I wouldn't say "realistically" out, maybe "technically" out.
     


  5. D Yizz

    D Yizz Senior member

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    -Black punched captoe: eg. AS Greenwich [​IMG] -Dark Brown Wingtip: eg. C&J Finsbury [​IMG] -Bordeaux Pennyloafer eg. Bass Weejun [​IMG] -Sand Suede chukka eg. Clarks Desert Boot [​IMG] Some are over 300 USD, others under but they should balance each other out...
    My 4 would be something very similar, except I would substitute the loafers for a pair of longwings. Also, the black shoes would probably be plain captoes in order to be able to dress them up or down and the chukkas would be in dark brown, as I find them more versatile than tan ones.
     


  6. Beaune Head

    Beaune Head Well-Known Member

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    I can, in fact, only have 4 pairs of shoes, not counting sneakers. And here's what they are:

    Black Martegani laceups
    Blue suede Grenson wingtips
    Brown Trickers boots
    Black suede AS wingtips

    These have served me well...
     


  7. zerostyle

    zerostyle Senior member

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    My 4 would be something very similar, except I would substitute the loafers for a pair of longwings. Also, the black shoes would probably be plain captoes in order to be able to dress them up or down and the chukkas would be in dark brown, as I find them more versatile than tan ones.

    Don't you guys think that these would be too many pairs with wingtips/broguing?

    That would be
    1. Black captoe (fine)
    2. A wingtip
    3. A longwing
    4. A chukka boot

    Of those I don't think I'd feel too comfortable wearing anything but #1 into the office.
     


  8. Leaves

    Leaves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    How strange, that's the exact opposite of the StyleForum motto.

    My old man has never used the Internet; no wonder he comes up with these strange quotes all the time, no StyleForum to guide him! I'll have to get him a computer.

    Seriously though. If I would have to choose four shoes, and I wont even go into brands here, this is the list:
    "¢\tA plain cap toe black oxford (ok for most occasions)
    "¢\tA plain cap toe dark brown oxford (less versatile than the black oxford but still a must have in any shoe wardrobe)
    "¢\tA chestnut or tanned slip on (for summer and leisure)
    "¢\tA brogued chestnut wingtip (casual use)

    Really boring yes, but sensible if the limit is four.

    If one lives in an area with proper winter, like Scandinavia, one would have to add at least two pairs of boots, or wear Swims from November through March. [​IMG]
     


  9. JohnnyCrockett

    JohnnyCrockett Senior member

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    I believe we know what [​IMG]'s answer to the question in this thread would be.
     


  10. RangerP

    RangerP Senior member

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    Don't you guys think that these would be too many pairs with wingtips/broguing? That would be 1. Black captoe (fine) 2. A wingtip 3. A longwing 4. A chukka boot Of those I don't think I'd feel too comfortable wearing anything but #1 into the office.
    This wouldn't be a bad start. The only problem, like you mention, is that you have only 1 pair of shoes for the office. This is a problem because you shouldn't wear the same shoe two days in a row. I don't know what you do for a living but if you can get by with wingtips at work than go for it. If not, you'll need an extra shoe for work...and make it a brown one. I must admit that I had the same idea as you in terms of price and quantity when I first started out here but I think you'll find out that you need a few more pairs than that to really fill in all possible scenarios. I currently have: 2 plain captoes - one black, one brown 2 wingtips - one black, one brown (The black pair was a mistake) 1 Chukka 1 Cheap pair of cheap, non-SF approved BR boots : http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse...scid=771037012 for use in really bad weather. Paid 40$ for them with sales and coupons. 3 boat shoes - for extreme casual (only really need one...girlfriend bought me 2 pairs in different colors for my bday) 1 pair of burgundy loafers My next moves will be to sell the black pair of wingtips and to get some sort of suede shoe to alternate with my wingtips for more casual fridays. I'll try and put off buying a good pair of boots until next winter.
     


  11. D Yizz

    D Yizz Senior member

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    Don't you guys think that these would be too many pairs with wingtips/broguing? That would be 1. Black captoe (fine) 2. A wingtip 3. A longwing 4. A chukka boot Of those I don't think I'd feel too comfortable wearing anything but #1 into the office.
    Yes, the brown wingtip could probably be substituted by a captoe or plain toe. Anyways, why would you not be comfortable wearing wingtips or longwings to the office? Unless you work in a very formal environment where wingtips are not accepted, they look perfectly good with pants and sport coats.
     


  12. SimonC

    SimonC Senior member

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    With all the conditions you've imposed, you're asking me to make your decision for you. I'm going to ignore them, and try and concentrate on what shoes I'd have if I only had a choice of four.

    In terms of manufacturers, I like EG and Lobb (who doesn't), but they don't win my vote for VFM. Trickers don't wear well, and Church's are overpriced at retail. I seem to get on well with C&J so I'm using their benchgrade models as examples.

    I wear black lace-up shoes to the office at least four days a week. At weekends I walk a lot, even if I'm just spending the day around town. I'd get leather-soled shoes with steel toeplates for work, and double-soled or Dainite soled shoes for weekend wear.

    - Black captoe Oxford with broguing to the captoe (like C&J Westbourne)
    - Black semi-brogue (like C&J Westfield)
    - Plain Derby in a mid-brown country calf on a Dainite sole (I have a pair of C&J like this, I don't know the model)
    - Brown suede semi-brogues on a double leather sole
     


  13. tim_horton

    tim_horton Senior member

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    Interesting that there haven't been many calls for burgundy shoes so far, since it's considered to be a versatile color that can be paired with the common suiting colors of charcoal and navy.

    Though personally I'm not a fan of the color myself, and prefer, say, cigar cordovan over #8 cordovan in just about every situation. It's the kind of shoe color I feel like I should like, but just don't.[​IMG]
     


  14. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    My choices (at least today) would be:

    1) black captoe oxfords for business, business casual and, in a pinch, semi-formal
    2) dark brown captoe balmoral boots with a Dainite sole (manton's [RIP] choice for foul weather). Also business- and business casual-appropriate.
    3) brown suede chukka boots for casual wear, in something like EG's mink suede color. A Dainite sole would also make these foul-weather shoes, though I baby my suede.

    A fourth pair of shoes would overlap the uses of the first three, allow some resting between wearings, and allow some diversity and self-expression in my shoe collection. I find that my most versatile (and favorite) shoes are my chelsea boots and monkstraps. So, assuming I'm OK rotating 1 and 2 as business "shoes" (or I don't wear a suit every day), I would choose a pair of burgundy or chestnut brown chelsea boots or monkstraps.
     


  15. Dexx

    Dexx Well-Known Member

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    If I could only have 4 shoes, I would do this:

    - Black Oxford cap-toe
    - Brown Derby/Oxford
    - Burgundy Boots dainite sole for rainy days
    - Sand suede chukka

    Go to: http://www.herringshoes.co.uk and look for loake and herring shoes. They are good quality for their money. I have been wearing my Herring Ilford on all ocasions (party, rainy days, long walks, weeklong etc) for two years and I can't say anything wrong about them. Nice quality.
     


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