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Here at MFM, we like to simplify style as much as possible, and in todays article we’re looking at 6 key essential styles of footwear every gent should know. You see the world of shoes is a bit daunting with every manufacturer offering different fits, styles and different methods of construction. But we’re going to simplify the process.

What To Look For

We believe if you are buying a ‘shoe’ as opposed to a sneaker, you should always look for Goodyear Welted Construction. We won’t bore you with the details of what a Goodyear welt is, but in Lehman’s terms it means you can resole the shoe over and over again, giving your shoes a lifespan of years and with proper care even decades.

The other most recognisable method of shoe construction is Blake and Blake rapid, traditionally used in construction of high end Italian shoes this offers more flexibility and a lighter weight. With this being said, the Blake and Blake rapid are much easier to wear out and they can let water in. Pay attention to the construction of the shoe, and you should always look to invest that little bit extra to get a shoe of high quality, that will last you years. When deciding on what construction to go for, it all comes down to personal preference, so try out both construction methods and find what works best for you.

6 Footwear Essentials

1. Toe Cap Oxford 

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A simple, classic, elegant shoe that will work perfect for formal events, weddings, job interviews and any such activities. Can also work somewhat dressed down if you go for an interesting colour. However if you are on a budget and looking to get more bang for your buck, choose a classic Black shoe.

loake formal shoeschurchs leather broguesclapton oxford shoes

toe cap shoesrs toecap oxfordgraham shoes

2. Penny Loafers

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An Ivy League essential and actually a lot more versatile than you’d imagine. They look fantastic as weekend wear, on dress down Fridays and even with a suit if paired correctly. We would suggest going for a dark brown leather as they are much more versatile than black. Pick something classic that is not flashy and they should last you years.

ask the missuscognac shoespembrey shoes

penny loafersbarringer shoesloafer boat shoe

3. Monk Straps

Similar to the Oxford but with a more stylish twist. So if you’ve already gone for a black Toe Cap Oxford we suggest trying out a Dark Brown, or Burgundy Monk strap. They are available in either single or double buckle and look great with formal wear, although any formal shoe with a chunky sole will look great paired with casual wear.

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ellery shoesroma shoesteulada monk shoes

ox blood shoesround toe shoesmazzana monk shoes

4. Chelsea Boots

A traditional English boot, and great for formal and casual wear. We would tend to avoid the black leather, as they look a little too equestrian. Brown suede look fantastic with Raw Denim Jeans and smart grey trousers, Black suede have a great nod to Mod culture and add a bit of class to any formal outfit.

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boots in suedeboots in leathertan antique

beijing shoeswinneto chelsealight brown sherman

5. Work Boots

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A great piece of weekend wear, every man needs a good work boot and they don’t come any better than Red Wing. They are expensive but they will last you forever. Don’t believe us? There are pictures of red wing boots online that are over 50 years old and still going strong. Definitely a worthy investment, they look great with Jeans and Chinos and are a weekend favourite of Mr Beckham and Mr Gosling… enough said. If your budget won’t stretch that far, check out some of our other options below.

red wing bootsword wedge bootspepper warm boot

mens hayes bootslaceup tan bootsmilitary laceup boots

6. Brogues

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If we had to pick one shoe to wear it’d be the brogue, again it’s all about versatility. When building a new wardrobe a good brogue has to be on the list. It looks great with jeans, chinos a suit. Everything. Opt for a Goodyear welted sole for this one, but if you can’t stretch to a Goodyear welted shoe you can pick up some very nice tan brogues for a lower price.

loake leather brogueslongwing ubow broguesjacob leather brogue

manor brogues shoesbawden wingtip broguesvivienne westwood brogues

Feet Up

So there we have it, 6 footwear essentials that will add style to any look. Yes, they’re all pretty formal, but they can be worn with casual attire to transform a look. Good shoes goes a long way, so invest wisely.