The 5 Essential Fashion Shoes for Men
If you’ve underestimated the importance of the right pair of fashion shoes (for men) can do to your outfit, you might want to think again. As Jennifer Lopez’s character Ramona says to Destiny (played by Constance Wu) in Hustlers, where enterprising ex-strippers find a way to work the system: “Anyone can own a nice suit. You want to look at their shoes, their watches, briefcases, their wedding rings.” It was a quick gauge for Lopez and company for separating the players from the wannabes, the men who had power versus the average dude.
The takeaway from all this—apart from maybe paying cash rather than just handing a hot girl your credit card—is that if you think people aren’t looking at your shoes, you’re wrong. We’ll say it again: Shoes are probably the single thing that can make or break an outfit. Never mind what you’ve got on from the ankles up; if the shoes aren’t good, don’t even bother. If it could spell the difference between whether or not J. Lo gives you the time of day, shouldn’t you be more discerning?
A good place to start would be to educate yourself on the tried-and-true—the best shoe styles from brands that have stood the test of time and remained a favorite of the distinguished set. These are the essential building blocks, so have a look and find out which ones speak to you.
1| Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoe
Nothing spells luxury like owning a pair of shoes made exclusively for driving—and the classic Il Gommino is the prototype for just that. With the suede sole protected by nothing more than 133 rubber pebbles, it’s almost maddeningly impractical; made for driving, lounging, and really not much else, but so comfortable all the same.
If you’re looking for a walking shoe, opt for the City Gommino, equipped with a rubber sole for extra sidewalk protection. It’s worth noting that Italian man of style and Fiat titan Gianni Agnelli regularly wore Gomminos, which is already a good reason to own a pair.
2| Gucci Horsebit Loafer
Thanks to the madcap maximalism of the current era under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci has been the past few seasons’ “it” brand, a darling on the red carpet circuit. But if you think we’re going to recommend its chunky dad sneakers, not quite—we’re here for one of its more enduring models, which has remained largely unchanged since its 1953 debut.
The easy slip-on is meant to work just as well with jeans as a suit, and its golden horsebit, inspired by classic equestrian fashion, has become just as much a brand trademark as the red-on-green stripe or the interlocking Gs. And though it made an impact in its initial offering of classic black, nowadays, you can get it checked, monogrammed, or lined with fur, just the way Michele would want you to.