Are you looking to buy a new pair of dress shoes for an upcoming event? Perhaps you've browsed through a couple of physical and online stores, but just aren't quite sure what type of dress shoe fits your needs. After all, leather dress shoes for men come in different shapes and sizes.
To lend a hand to all the gentlemen out there looking to sport some snazzy footwear, then, we've listed down 5 different leather dress shoes for men along with what the defining characteristics of each shoe are, and which types of events they best fit in.
Oxfords are one of the most notable and basic dress shoes. They're the quintessential dress shoe perfect for formal dressing. They come in very sleek and clean shapes and designs.
How to Identify An Oxford Shoe
Oxford shoes are close-laced. This means that the eyelet tabs, which are the parts where your laces run through, are stitched underneath the vamp, or the part of the shoe that covers your toes. This closed-lacing system is what defines an Oxford and gives it its clean look.
Oxfords may or may not have broguing. Broguing refers to the holes that are punched into the shoe, usually around the vamp or the sides of the shoe that give it an intricate design. The more brogues there are on an Oxford, the less formal it is considered compared to an Oxford without any broguing.
Also called 'bluchers', Derbies are another big shoe family that are just as common and popular as the Oxfords. Considered the less formal shoe, Derbies are still excellent when paired with everything from a good suit or a pair of jeans. They work well for more regular wear, whether to the office or on a date.
How to Identify A Derby
Derbies are similar to Oxfords in shape and make except for one thing: their open-laced system. The open lacing is what makes Derbies the more casual cousin of the Oxford. Open lacing means that the shoelace eyelets are sewn over the vamp. Derbies also often have broguing added to them for decorative purposes.
Chukkas are ankle-length boots whose name is believed to have come from the sport, polo. The term "chukka" was used to refer to a period of seven minutes used to measure a polo match. Some have said that chukkas look like a shorter version of the boots polo players wear.
Chukkas are most definitely not made for a formal event, but are more-suited towards casual gatherings. Their high-quality leather makings, however, make them an excellent pair with most smart-casual and casual wear.
How to Identify A Chukka
As previously mentioned, Chukkas are ankle-length boots, often made of soft suede and featuring rubber soles. They're open-laced, similar to the Derby, with very few eyelets. In fact, besides the material they're made of, the presence of only a few eyelets is what makes them a very casual shoe.
Moving towards dress shoes without laces, we start off with the monk strap. Believed to have originated in 15th century Europe, the monk strap is named after the monks who originally wore them as they worked in the fields. It's a simple closed-toe design that was later re-emerged and stylized by gentlemen in the 1920s.
How to Identify a Monk Strap
The defining feature of the monk strap is, of course, the replacement of laces with straps and buckles. Monk straps often come in either single monk or double monks, which just means that they either have one strap or two.
Another casual, laceless shoe are loafers. Originally, loafers were used as indoor footwear, akin to house slippers. For the longest time, they were considered too casual to be considered dress shoes. That is, up until American businessmen started wearing them together with their suits in the 1960s.
How to Identify Loafers
Where monk straps often have functional buckles that tighten your shoe's fit, loafers have a saddle, which is a strap that is mainly for decorative purposes. These straps often have a slit, a tassel, or a metal ornament on them, and don't usually have any other embellishments such as brogues. A variant of the loafer is the Venetian loafer, which is simply a loafer that's simplified and without the strap.
High Quality Leather Dress Shoes For Men
Now that you've become more acquainted with these 5 different types of formal and casual dress shoes, you're probably more than ready to jump back into your favorite shoe store to find yourself the perfect pair.
If you're looking for high-quality dress shoes, however, check out our website for our selection of Oxfords, Chukkas, Loafers, and Double Monks. Our shoes are made from authentic Italian leather, with excellent design and make, as they come from the same factory as Louis Vitton.
If you're looking to personalize your shoe to a specific design or make, we also offer and allow customizations. That way, you can have yourself a dress shoe that's well-crafted and yet still uniquely you.