A man’s shoes speak volumes and no closet is complete without a collection of shoe styles to see the discerning gentleman through the week. The attention to detail behind every pair of Calibre shoes is evident, from the finest Italian leather to the precise stitching. They’re designed for long lasting wear but require upkeep too. We’ll take you through our footwear essentials, including dress shoes, loafers and sneakers, and how to care for them.
Oxford shoes are characterised by the closed lacing system, low heel and exposed ankle. This is one of the most classic men's dress shoes, which dates to the 1800’s, and deserves a place as a wardrobe staple for all men. Originally, Oxfords were plain formal shoes made of leather, but have evolved into a range of styles suitable for formal, uniform and casual wear. They make a perfect partner to suits for weddings and special occasions.
The Derby is an appropriate dress shoe for every day and is the ultimate all-rounder in terms of fit and comfort. The main difference between the Oxford and Derby is the lace opening. This subtle detail gives the Derby the extra edge in being a slightly more informal style. Show them off at the races or a gallery opening.
With its bold buckle, this shoe sits comfortably between an Oxford and a Derby in terms of formality, and as a fashionable alternative to a lace-up. The origin of the monk strap stems from European monks in the 15th century, who embraced the style for inherently practical reasons, as a closed toe version of the traditional monk sandal. Despite the shoe’s humble origin, the style has since evolved to become an integral part of any modern man’s look and can be worn from the boardroom to bar with ease. Although the single strap is in general more prominent, the double strap offers a punchy look.
It may be more commonly associated with the iconic preppy style of Ivy Leaguers, but the loafer began as a shoe worn by Norwegian fisherman in the 1800s and was later adopted by English and American designers. The slip-on is a casual option for warmer months and when you want to elevate your everyday uniform. A pair in calfskin is always a suave option when paired with jeans or chinos. A point of contention is whether loafers should be worn with or without socks. A sock is crucial during colder months but throw caution to the wind in summer and wear with invisible socks for added style points.
The rubber soled sneaker was originally introduced as a sports shoe in the late 1800s. No longer confined to the realms of athleticism, sneakers have become one of the building blocks for a man’s everyday wardrobe. As dress codes evolve, sneakers are now the foundation to smart casual dressing, with the suit and sneaker pairing a solid look at the workplace, restaurants and social events. The low profile tennis sneaker, the laidback slip-on and the sporty runner are just some of the championing styles that have attained cult status.
Boots have a timeless silhouette and durable construction that will stand the test of time. With origins in the 1850’s, Chelsea boots are one of the most recognisable styles around and one of our favourites. They look just as good teamed up with a suit as they do with a jumper and jeans. Add a turnup to your jeans to look seriously slick as you stroll through the city, no matter the season.
Extend the longevity of your shoes by looking after them. A cleaning kit is best practice and comes with everything you need to need to clean, polish and shine. Look to a shoe brush for maintaining suede and leather shoes, it will become your best friend. When it comes to suede, a shoe eraser and brush will do the trick, while a key component to caring for leather shoes and extending their lifespan is to ensure they’re shiny. For shining, polish is ideal for touch ups of colour in shoe creases while creams and waxes nourish the leather and slow down the ageing process. Don’t forget to use a shoe horn when putting on your shoes, not only does it make it easier, it preserves the shape and structure of the heel.
HOW TO SHINE MEN’S SHOES
- Before you begin, protect the surrounding area with newspaper or an old towel. No one wants a table or floor covered in polish.
- Remove the laces from your shoes if necessary.
- Clean the leather with a dry shoe brush to remove dust and dirt from the surface. Opt for a shoe brush with long, soft and natural bristles such as horsehair.
- For tougher stains, use a damp cloth or sponge and allow to completely air dry.
- Wipe down the leather with a clean, dry cloth.
- Choose a shoe polish as close to the colour of the leather as possible. Dip a cloth into the polish and rub a small amount over the whole shoe in circular motions.
- Use the shoe brush to buff the shoe with quick movements in one direction then the other.
- Rub a soft cloth over the shoe to remove any excess product. Once dry, re-lace.
- Complete this process once a week or at least once a month, depending on how often you wear your shoes.
HOW TO STORE MEN’S SHOES
- Use shoe trees to preserve the shape of your shoes.
- Store shoes in a dark, dry place.
- Keep footwear in shoe bags to prevent scratches, dust and damage from light. Opt for flannel, wool or cotton bags.
- Place the shoes in the boxes they came with if you still have them.