Trust me when I say you’ll want to get in on this ugly shoe trend

Move over Birkenstock, there’s a new ugly shoe in town. Teva.

hiking sandals

We’ll always have a soft spot for Birkenstocks, especially the faux-fur lined ones (literally the comfiest thing ever), but there’s no denying the shoe of the summer season is the new normcore hiking sandal, aka the ugly sandal, inspired by the Teva sandal.

A natural extension of this winter’s dad trainers and hiking boot trends, it’s part sporty sandal mixed with a chunky rubber sole. Basically the flat shoe your Dad wears on holiday, but this time around it’s totally upgraded to fash pack status.

Following Balenciaga’s hit Triple S trainer of 2017, chunkier styles have become more and more popular, and designers have been showcasing their take on the trend on their SS catwalk (look to Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Chloe, Fendi and Prada for lust-worthy styles).

IRL, they were first spotted on the feet of the stylish Scandi set at Copenhagen Fashion Week, and have quickly filtered through to our shores. Last summer, we were coveting Monikh’s Chanel velcro sandals – and this season we’re into her Prada ones, and Kia Marie’s pastel Tevas.

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🧺

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There are so many styles to choose from this season, from the more minimal black Teva, to some with chunky flatform soles, primary colours, touches of neon and the all important velcro straps. Prada and Kurt Geiger also have some jazzy sequin and diamante styles.

The best thing about this trend is that it totally doesn’t compromise on comfort, and it’s the best way to off-set a floral dress, as demonstrated by Monikh, or a linen suit like the ones favoured by Hannah Crosskey.

Want a more casual vibe? Try a simple pair of jeans and a tank top, as seen on Jessie Bush. So get yourself pedi ready and embrace the cool comfort of the new ugly sandal. Shop our favourite styles below.

The post Trust me when I say you’ll want to get in on this ugly shoe trend appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Best Shoe Deodorizer For Stinky Feet

Over time, shoes tend to take on an unpleasant odor especially when we wear them regularly. Discover these quick and easy techniques to use to eliminate unwanted stinky feet and how to keep your shoes smelling fresh in the future.

What Causes The Unpleasant Smell?

In general, though, these odors are caused by a mix of oils secreted from our skin along with bacteria feasting on them all in a mix of perspiration, gross, right? To get rid of them though, you won’t want to use the same technique that we laid out in our previous odor removal video. This is because leather won’t respond as well to liquid as fabric would. Similarly, using a spray made from an essential oil might be effective at neutralizing odor but generally speaking, you’ll want to keep your leather goods away from liquids as much as possible.

Organic Lavender Sachet
Lavender Sachets will only mask the odor and not actually eliminate it

Odor Masking Shoe Deodorizer

This is just simply covering up an unpleasant odor with a different scent instead of actually neutralizing that bad odor in the first place. Therefore, using perfumed deodorizer balls and other similar implements might cover up some of that nasty odor but they won’t actually get to the root of the problem and in fact, many of these deodorizer balls don’t smell that great, to begin with, and even if you were to opt for a more natural solution here, like using a sachet of lavender, for example, you’d only be masking the underlying odor, not eliminating it.

What You Need To Eliminate Shoe Odors

So what would be a better next step then? Simply put, it would be using a solid material that acts similarly to how vodka does with fabric which is to say a material that encapsulates and draws in offending odors.

Baking Soda & Activated Charcoal

Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is often used as a household cleaning agent and deodorizer in addition to a baking ingredient. You may, for example, be aware of the trick of keeping an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to eliminate any food odors that might be happening there. Meanwhile, charcoal which is produced by heating wood or other natural substances in the absence of oxygen can further be activated through various scientific processes which are too complex to touch on here. All that you really need to know is that this activation results in a charcoal that has many small pores which will readily absorb odors.

These materials can be used individually as is the case with bags of charcoal that may be inserted into your shoes or they can be used in combination, as is the case with many available odor fighting insoles. One note here with both of these materials, just don’t be tempted to use any loose powder forms of either as they’ll probably just end up gumming up your shoes over time.

Cedar Shoe Trees – The Natural Shoe Deodorizer

Shoe trees are wooden or plastic forms roughly shaped like feet that are inserted into your shoes to help them maintain their natural shape and size. We recommend that you use shoe trees made from cedar as they’ll wick away any moisture remaining in your shoes after wearing and they’ll also eliminate odors given that cedar is naturally antimicrobial.

So with the odor fighting trio of cedar, activated charcoal, and baking soda, you’ll be well on your way to fighting any odors that might crop up in your shoes and you’ll be able to keep them smelling fresh in the future.

Stop Moisture From Building Up In Your Shoes

The best way to do this is to not wear the same pair of shoes multiple days in a row. You should be able to rotate which pair of shoes you wear each day which is just one of many reasons to build up a reputable shoe collection.

Which of the techniques were you most surprised by? Do you happen to use any of these odor-fighting materials in your shoes already? Share with us in the comments section below.


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Prada Dives Into Chunky Shoe Market With Pegasus Sneaker

Though the Italian house’s Cloudbust sneaker is one of the more popular sleek sneakers in the luxury market, Prada is preparing to embrace the chunky footwear trend with a new silhouette. Dubbed the “Pegasus,” the towering shoes are not only Prada’s clunkiest kicks on the market, but might be one of the biggest pairs of shoes on the market altogether.

Several newcomers have recently dipped their toes into the clunky sneaker market, including New Balance and UGG, proving that the trend has legs beyond what even insiders believed. Prada stepping up to the plate is a sign that even with shifting tastes, there’s always room for sky-high shoes, particularly in the women’s market (the Pegasus is a women-only shoe for now).

Offered in a bevy of neutral tones, the low- and high-top variations of the Pegasus all sport contrasting leather panels on the upper with a hefty treaded sole in black or translucent tones. Layered white midsoles boost the shoes by several inches, with tonal black versions reimagining the entire model in one shade. The high-top version adds a shin-high suede and leather shaft, with metal buckle closure and the same layered diamond laces seen on the low-top iterations.

Look for Prada’s site and boutiques to carry the women’s Pegasus sneaker in mid-May.

We recently took a closer look at Prada’s wintertime balaclava hood accessory.

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Prada (プラダ) のポップアップストアが伊勢丹新宿店にて開催、ボリュームソールのスニーカーが世界先行発売へ Prada Opens New Pop-Up Store At Isetan Shinjuku . . Prada (プラダ) がレディススニーカーのポップアップストアを伊勢丹新宿店にて開催する。 会期は、3月27日から4月2日まで。 . . 今回のポップアップストアで注目したいのは、存在感抜群の新作スニーカー。 . トレッキングシューズから着想を得たという新鮮なボリュームソールのスニーカーが世界に先駆けて伊勢丹新宿店に登場する。 . ソールのボリューム感とトレッドソールのバランスが独特なデザインのスニーカーは、4種の異なる形状のソールを成型し一体化させた新開発のラバーソールを採用。 . ホワイト×イエローとブラック×ピンクの日本限定色もお目見え。 . 大人気のボリュームソールだけに、誰よりも早く Prada の新作を手に入れてみてはいかがだろうか。 . . ———————— . BRAND ‣ ‣ ‣ PRADA ( @prada ) . { Information } ‣イベント名:伊勢丹新宿店 2F シューズポップアップストア ‣会期:2019年3月27日(水)~4月2日(火) ‣会場:伊勢丹新宿店本館 2 階=婦人靴/プロモーション ‣住所:東京都新宿区新宿3-14-1 ‣問い合わせ先:プラダ クライアント サービス 0120-45-1913 . ‣ Mahana Hosoda ( @manaha_hosoda ) #TheFashionPost #TFP

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These are the 7 main shoe trends you need to know for summer

With a new season around the corner, we’re starting to look at the main summer fashion trends to dictate our wardrobe for SS19. And whilst we’ve already got the main spring bag trends covered, we’re all for updating our shoe game too. After all, as Marilyn put it, ‘give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’.

As ever, we’re looking to the catwalk for inspiration, so keep scrolling for the top shoe trends to invest in this season, as seen at Chloé, Prada and Jacquemus to name a few.

Neon shoes

spring summer shoe trends

It’s official, neon is back. While hints of bright coral, hot pink and flashy orange were spotted at the shows, lime green was the colour of choice, as dictated by Matthew Adams Dolan, Jeremy Scott and Christian Siriano.

Naked sandals

Never has a sandal been so covetable. Designers like Versace, Mary Katrantzou and Ports all sent their models down the catwalk in barely-there sandals that somehow make feed look extra sexy without deterring from the clothes. Look to The Row and Neous for great buys, and Topshop, Mango and Zara for high street equivalents.

Perspex heels

spring summer shoe trends

If you’re after a futuristic heel, then this trend is for you. Balmain, Chanel and Christian Dior have all designed boots, mules and court shoes with a simple perspex heel for SS19.

Scultpural heels

spring summer shoe trends

The maximalists amongst you will adore this trend, which was already big last summer thanks to Jacquemus (what trend didn’t he set?). Whilst last season was all about the wooden heel, this time round we’re injecting a bit of colour and metal in delicate shapes. Also look to Rejina and Balmain for inspiration.

Prim Mary Janes

Consider this the shoe equivalent of the lady bag trend. Miu Miu, Prada and Tom Ford have all re-imagined the Mary Jane (‘I thought it was an urban shoe myth!’) for the new season, in pastel shades with jewel clasp details, and classic black croc and white leather.

Kitten heels

The kitten heel is here to stay, and we’re backing the styles seen at Rejina Pyo, Christopher Kane and Tibi. This low heel is deceptively flattering, both on short and long legs.

Shoes with tassels

spring summer shoe trends

Festival season starts early with these tasseled numbers. At Longchamps they were on gladiator sandals, at Coach they adorned trainers and at Oscar de la Renta they were the finishing touch on classic heels. Who knew they were so versatile?

Scroll down to shop the best spring summer shoe trends.

The post These are the 7 main shoe trends you need to know for summer appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Alert! Erika Jayne’s New Shoe Line Is Sexy *and* Affordable

Because you just never know what kind of mood you’ll be in when you get dressed, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne has teamed up with ShoeDazzle on two collections of affordable heels and sandals that have a style for every taste and occasion. And the multi-hyphenate is exclusively telling Us all about the collaboration.

“As a woman who dresses from heel to head, I wanted to work with a brand who gets my shoe obsession. ShoeDazzle not only understands the mind of the shoe obsessed, but they are a customer driven company whose goal is optimal shopper satisfaction,” Jayne says. “The main reason I chose ShoeDazzle as my premier footwear partner is that with their price points I can offer my fans the chance to look and feel like me without the high price tag.”

For the uninitiated, ShoeDazzle is the online purveyor of trendy and wallet-friendly footwear that offers customers a personalized shopping experience based on their taste. For as little as $ 39.95 a month, users have the option to join the VIP Membership program that gives them exclusive access to perks and deals.

Jayne’s designs seek to offer something for everyone with their innovative personality-driven approach. “In my collections you’ll find styles like booties, heels and platform mules, made even more on-trend with the use of sporty stretch mesh, neon, vibrant takes on animal prints, graffiti and plenty of glam,” she shares.

The “Erika Girardi” capsule is for the woman who is looking for heels to take her from work to happy hour with ease. The six-piece range includes everything from platform sandals to ankle-strap stilettos in a pastel suedes, reptile-inspired prints and metallics.

The “Erika Jayne” line, meanwhile, plays to the blonde beauty’s pop star-persona with peep-toe booties, animal-print pumps, “Pretty Mess”-emblazoned pool slides and more. The nine styles are available in bold colors (think: neon pinks and yellows) and textures (i.e. mesh, crystal and the like).

“I was very involved in my partnership with ShoeDazzle and was an integral player in the step-by-step design process,” she says. “From prototypes to the finished product, I wanted to make sure each shoe was carefully designed and beautifully crafted for the Jayne and Girardi girl dying to come out of us all.”

The entire Erika Jayne x ShoeDazzle collection launches Friday, March 1, on ShoeDazzle.com. Keep scrolling to watch the behind-the-design campaign video and to see all the sexy pics of Jayne modeling some of her favorite footwear from line!


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Nike Stock Falls 1.7% After Duke Star’s Exploding Shoe Injury

(Bloomberg) — Nike Inc. is looking into what went wrong after college basketball’s biggest star sprained his knee when his shoe fell apart, one of the most high-profile apparel failures in basketball history.

Duke University star freshman Zion Williamson, the consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s National Basketball Association draft, tumbled to the court less than 35 seconds into last night’s loss to in-state rival North Carolina. He’d planted his foot to change direction when his left shoe, the PG 2.5 PE, came apart, causing him to fall awkwardly.

The fallout for the world’s largest sportswear brand was immediate. Twitter lit up with jabs from fans and rival brands, making “Zion” and “Nike” trending topics within the social media network. The company’s stock fell as much as 1.7 percent in New York trading Thursday.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said by email. “While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

While the incident, which occurred during one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year, is certainly embarrassing, it likely won’t affect Nike’s prominent standing within the sport, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis. If you combine Nike and its Jordan brand, the company has more than 90 percent of the basketball market. Nike reported $ 4.35 billion in wholesale equivalent basketball sales in fiscal 2018, about 14 percent of its overall sales.

“They might get a lot bad press over the next couple days, but I don’t think it will have a direct impact on the shoes,” Grazutis said.

Companies like Nike and Adidas pay tens of millions of dollars for the exclusive right to outfit high-profile college programs like Duke, meaning their athletes are required to wear uniforms and shoes made by the team’s sponsor. Though Duke’s contract with Nike isn’t public, the Durham school is one of Nike’s most important basketball partners. For comparison, the University of Kentucky, another top basketball school, recently extended its Nike deal for eight years and $ 30.6 million.

The malfunction might also hurt Nike’s ability to sign Williamson once he decides to go pro. College athletes can’t sign endorsement deals, but competition for elite draft prospects is fierce every year. Last year’s No. 1 pick, Deandre Ayton, signed a deal with Puma SE that was reported to be the largest rookie deal since Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $ 60 million deal with Nike back in 2007.

Williamson is one of the most highly regarded college prospects in years. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward suffered a mild knee sprain, according to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. He did not return to the game, and No. 8 UNC upset No. 1 Duke 88-72.

The timing could not have been worse for Nike. Not only was the game televised nationally on ESPN, it was one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year. The cheapest resale tickets leading up to tip-off were over $ 2,500, approaching Super Bowl levels.

Former President Barack Obama, courtside at the high-profile clash, was shown on video appearing to say with an incredulous look: “His shoe broke!”

It also comes as Nike draws criticism for a different kind of shoe malfunction. Some people who purchased the company’s newest basketball creation, a laceless shoe that you can control with your phone, were unable to connect to the Android version of the app.

This isn’t the first time that Nike’s had problems with its basketball merchandise. After taking over as the official NBA uniform supplier in 2017, multiple stars including LeBron James had their jerseys rip.

Nike stock is up about 25 percent in the past year, similar to the gains of Puma and Under Armour Inc. while leading the roughly 12 percent gain of Adidas AG.

Puma is an upstart in the basketball market, and one of its few NBA players, Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics, took advantage of Nike’s stumble to urge others to join him.

Sports – TIME

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Zion Williamson’s Exploding Shoe Is a Reminder That College Basketball Needs Serious Fixing

Zion? No!!! Please. Not Zion.

Even if you’re one of the biggest Duke basketball haters on the planet — we’re aware there are many of you — there was only one proper response to what transpired 33 seconds into Wednesday night’s clash between Duke and North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. And that’s utter sadness.

Duke freshman Zion Williamson is what I (somewhat stupidly?) call a “no sandwich” player. As in, don’t go fixing a sandwich in the kitchen while this guy’s on TV in your living room. Williamson’s an athletic freak, liable to leap over an entire zone defense for a post-ready slam. He’s supremely skilled, entering the game against UNC averaging 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, while shooting a ridiculous 68% from the field.

“No sandwich” players don’t come through college basketball that often. Kevin Durant was another one, at Texas, more than a decade ago. So when Williamson’s left foot tore through his Nike shoe early in Wednesday’s game, causing his knee to awkwardly buckle, basketball fans shuddered at the idea that an injured Williamson would have to miss this rivalry game, and maybe much more — especially as he’s considered a top prize in the upcoming NBA draft lottery.

Williamson might be fine — he walked off the court on his own accord, and early reports indicate that the shoe explosion caused just a mild knee strain. But no matter how many games Williamson does or doesn’t miss, the incident served as an all-too useful reminder that one key part of basketball’s business model needs serious fixing.

The Duke star was NBA-ready right out of high school. Williamson should have had the option to get drafted, and lock up a multi-million dollar NBA contract — not to mention lucrative shoe and other sponsorship deals — last June. But ever since the NBA instituted an age restriction in 2006, players have needed to be at least 19 (and one season removed from high school graduation) to be draft-eligible. Back then, the NBA was concerned that too many high school players unprepared for the pros were entering the league. So that means elite prospects like Williamson have essentially been funneled into college for a year, creating a class of “one-and-done” college sports stars who try to win an NCAA title before bolting school for the pros after freshman year.

To be fair, Williamson didn’t have to play for Duke. He could have just sat out his year before the draft, worked to improve his game, and minimized his injury risk. But college ball offers benefits beyond pure economics. Who wouldn’t want to star for Duke? Playing in front of the rabid Cameron Crazies, against bitter rival North Carolina, in front of a rapt national TV audience can be a unique, treasured life experience for an 18-year-old like Williamson. In fact, Williamson has said he would have played college basketball even if he could have shot straight from high school to the NBA.

“I always knew I would go to college,” Williamson recently told NCAA.com. “Even if they would’ve had the NBA rule, I still would’ve came to college. You’re never going to get this experience again. Once you go to the league, it’s grown men, kids, families. It’s not just teenagers having fun. It’s business then.”

Let’s take Williamson at his word. If he indeed would have skipped instant millions for a year of college, you have to respect that personal decision. But that doesn’t mean he, and others like him, shouldn’t have the option to do otherwise. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James didn’t play for Duke — or any other college team — and they turned out just fine heading straight from high school to the pros. And what’s worse, Williamson, and others like him, not only can’t join the NBA right away, but thanks to NCAA amateurism rules, they can’t receive compensation, either — all while fueling the mighty economic engine of college sports. Wednesday night, countless entities were making big money off the Zion Williamson spectacle: ESPN. Duke. North Carolina. Whoever drove Barack Obama to Cameron (Williamson draws both former presidents and the best players on the planet to his games.)

What did Williamson get out of it? A busted Nike shoe and potential for career jeopardy.

Indeed, the shoe incident was stunning. Nike, a company with some $ 133 billion in market cap that’s accrued millions in brand value thanks to its sponsorship of Duke basketball — but cannot compensate the generational talent creating a chunk of that value for the company — could have played a role in damaging Williamson’s career, thanks to a questionable product. Nike’s stock is down about 1% as of midday Thursday. “We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

No matter the timetable of Williamson’s return, Wednesday night’s injury is the indelible image of this college basketball season. First, the exploding sneaker. Next, we might witness the exploding knee. No teenage athlete should ever forget it.

Sports – TIME

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12 Essential Tips to Get the Best Shoe Fit

As the old adage goes, if the shoe fits, wear it. Even though that idiom isn’t really about footwear, it begs the question: is shoe fit really that straightforward?

When buying items for your wardrobe, it’s not usually the case that your purchase will cause you physical pain; nor is it likely that you wouldn’t know how well your item fits until weeks or months after you start wearing it. However, both of these things can happen when you buy a pair of dress shoes. You’ll know if a shirt is too tight or if a suit jacket is too short almost immediately. But you may not be sure that you’ll be able to wear your shoes comfortably until they break in, after which you can no longer return them. To avoid mishaps and wasted money, it’s best to do things right at the beginning of the process by learning how to get the best shoe fit.

Crockett & Jones shoe fitting
Professional sizing at Crockett & Jones in London

1. Get Professionally Sized

The first recommendation to get properly fitting dress shoes is to go to a shoe store and have your feet professionally measured. Some online stores will enable you to print out a paper template to measure your feet at home, but the accuracy can be iffy depending on whether you’ve printed it right, and sometimes you need to tape two sheets of paper together.

Brannock Device
A Brannock device for measuring foot length and width as well as arch length

Better to go to a reliable men’s shoe seller and get sized there with the equivalent of a Brannock device, named for Charles Brannock of Syracuse, NY, who invented it during the early 20th century. It measures foot length and width as well as arch length, which is the distance between the heel and the ball of your foot.  Even if you know your size, your feet actually can change shape and size over time, with feet generally getting bigger as you age. So, it never hurts to verify your size once in a while. Even more important is verifying that your arch length is appropriate to your shoe size.

Shadow Stripe Ribbed Socks Dark Navy Blue & Royal Blue with Burgundy Derby Dress Shoe
Shoes flex at the ball of your foot, making the arch length an important measurement to know for comfort

Since shoes flex at the ball of your foot, this dimension is critical for comfort. It’s possible for two different people to have feet with the same total length but different distances between their heels and the balls of their feet, depending on whether their toes are longer.  Professional sizing will determine this.

2. Listen to Expert Advice

Guys can be stubborn. It’s why we don’t ask for directions even when we’re lost and why we obstinately insist we know what size we wear even when measurements say otherwise. In reality, the number stamped on the shoe means less than how it actually fits on your foot. If the expert staff at a shoe store tell you that you’re a size 9 rather than a 9.5 like you thought there’s no reason not to heed their wisdom, right?

Business casual with shirt tie, brown shoes and leather canvas bag
Get measured or try new shoes on at the end of your workday

3. Try Shoes on in the Afternoon

Feet not only change over the long term but also fluctuate in size each day. After you’ve stood and walked on them for hours, they’re at their biggest, so it’s best to get measured and try shoes on in the late afternoon. If the shoe fits then when your feet are at their maximum size, they’ll definitely fit when your feet are at their smallest in the morning. 

Your feet might not be the same size

4. Size for Your Bigger Foot

One of the revelations of an interest in menswear is that your body is not totally symmetrical. Your right shoulder may be slightly lower than your left or your left arm slightly longer than your right, something you accommodate when you get your shirts made or your jacket sleeves adjusted. Similarly, 60% of people have one foot larger than the other, usually the left one. If this is up to a half size difference, you’re better served by buying a larger size rather than cramping your bigger foot. If the difference is larger, you may be forced to buy two pairs of shoes or go bespoke.

Striped shirt with wrinkly sleeve because they were not rotated - collar tips do not touch the body of the shirt
Just as your shoulders may not be exactly even, your feet will also be different sizes

5. Learn What Sort of Last Fits You Best

Round-toed Shoes
Round-toed loafers can make your feet look smaller and accommodate a wide toe box more comfortably than a long last

As explained in our article on toe, the last is the form that determines the overall shape of a shoe when it is made, from the toe to the entire upper. Some lasts can be long with a narrow fit and pointed toe. Others can be rounder and more spacious.

refined lasts
Various shoe lasts with different shapes

Based on knowing the shape of your own feet, choose those lasts that are most accommodating. If you know you have broad feet, for example, avoid choosing shoe styles based on narrow lasts. Even if you like the way they look. you’ll pay for it in terms of discomfort.

6. Pay Attention to the Width Alphabet

There are a number of width sizes, each denoted by a letter A-E

Take note of which brands have shoes in various widths if your feet are wider or narrower than average. In men’s dress shoes, the letter D indicates an average width. Wider feet are indicated by E, EE or EEE lettering. Conversely, C, B, and A indicate narrow to extra narrow sizing. If you’re new to buying dress shoes, you may just buy based on your size number and ignore the width options, but once you get your width (again, by being professionally measured), you should use your width letter too. Unfortunately, many brands will stock shoes in only a limited range, perhaps C, D and E, if you are lucky since they need to target the majority of buyers. If you fall outside the range look for another brand.

7. Realize that Sizing isn’t Consistent Among Brands.

As Sven Raphael Schneider has previously pointed out,  the width alphabet offered by brands may or may not be standardized; this is true of shoe sizing in general. Men’s dress shoes are subject to the same inconsistency even though shoe sizes are supposed to match particular measurements. For example, if your foot measures 10 inches, it’s supposed to fit well into a size 8. However, you probably have had the experience where a 10 from SuitSupply isn’t the same length as a 10 from Meermin or another company. While they’re not dress shoes, L.L. Bean’s waterproof gum boots are notorious for difficult sizing that runs up to several sizes bigger than one would normally wear.

Hand burnished captoe half brogue Oxford by Ace Marks
Hand burnished captoe half brogue Oxford by Ace Marks

So what do you do? The solution is to try the sizing from companies you are interested in and determine how they fit you in a way that avoids unnecessary expense. Either do this in person if they have a physical location or make use of a good exchange or return policy. This can be particularly tricky if you are ordering overseas, as you will lose a decent amount of money mailing shoes back internationally: shoes weigh a lot, which means higher postage. Ace Marks is a high-quality, afforable Italian brand that offers free shipping and returns to the United States, so they’re a great option. The good thing is that once you determine sizing for a brand, you should be good to go with future orders.

Ace Marks size conversion chart
Ace Marks size conversion chart

International orders pose another issue with getting a proper fit because of the conversion from one country’s sizing system to another’s. A European or Italian 43 could convert to a US 10, or it could be a half size different. For instance, the usual conversion between British and North American shoe sizes is to add one size, so a British 9.5 is an American 10.5, but this can also vary by a half size. As an example, a Crockett & Jones size 10 is not equal to a US 11 but to a 10.5.  Rather than relying on pure trial and error (and wasted shipping), you can either try the shoes on directly or contact the shoemaker to ask them for the correct conversion. Of course, this may also be provided on the company’s own website, so read carefully before ordering. The ideal approach is an in-person sizing, perhaps as part of a sartorial vacation. That way, you will be completely sure and get the full sizing experience of tip #1.

8. Buy the Best Quality You Can Afford

tan derby shoes with Mid Brown Socks with Green and Cream Clocks by fort belvedere with glen plaid trousers
This pair of tan derby shoes was one of Sven Raphael Schneider’s first high-quality shoe purchases; he bought them as new old stock at a secondhand shop. He’s still wearing them 15 years later

As a rule, more expensive shoes will fit better due to the higher quality materials and designs. Those that are mass produced or cheaper will experience manufacturing variations even within the same size. More expensive brands will have better quality control and therefore more consistent sizing. One example is the Spanish brand Meermin, which though inexpensive ($ 195+), is notorious for being made of a stiff leather that takes a long time to break in. Its sister brand, Carmina, is more expensive ($ 450+) and more immediately comfortable, sometimes from the first wear. So, if you’re on a budget, the fact is that you may have to sacrifice some comfort and consistency. That’s why it’s wise to skimp and save for better shoes. In the long-term, you will get a shoe to wear for decades with proper care and replacement of the sole.

Meermin boots
Though offering good quality at a low cost, Meermin leather tends to be quite thick and stiff

9. Consider the Type of Shoe

Ace Marks Penny Loafer Cognac Antique
Loafers will fit differently than laced shoes

As a general rule, you’ll need to size down when wearing loafers as opposed to oxfords and derby shoes because loafers are thinner and fit more closely to your foot. The absence of laces also means that you are dependent on a close fit to keep them from falling off.  An additional factor is the material they’re made of. Calf leather is a bit thicker and firmer than suede, so your suede loafer may be the smallest size footwear you own, a half size lower than a lace-up. On the other hand, with dress boots, like balmorals, half a size larger usually isn’t a problem because the leather around your ankle keeps your foot from slipping out (and you may want to wear thicker socks).

Lastly, if you have wide feet or a high arch, derby shoes may be a better option for you than oxfords because derbies have an open lacing system. The closed lacing of oxfords means the top of your foot is more constricted. A sure sign that a derby may be a better shoe for you is if the leather at the top of your oxfords spreads open even when they’re laced up.

10. Make Sure New Shoes “Hug” Your Feet

More leather fringes - note the shoe sock combination
A unique take on the Monk Strap that hugs the wearer’s foot

Staff at Crockett & Jones inform me that men frequently buy shoes that are too loose for them because they initially feel spacious and comfortable when they first put them on while a properly fitting shoe will be snug (but not tight). When you try them on in the store, they can feel like they’re too small in comparison to shoes you own that have already been well broken in, but this is a mistaken impression. The fact is that new shoes will stretch: they’ll get softer and more supple, as well as slightly larger, with use. If they’re already big to begin with, they will get too loose in a month when you’ve worn them for a while. Professionals refer to the proper fit of a new shoe as feeling like your foot is being hugged; it shouldn’t pinch or hurt, especially at the toes, but it should not feel roomy either. Again, it’s worth listening to the advice of staff.

11. Don’t Rely on Shoe Stretching

Mechanical shoe stretcher
A DIY shoe stretcher is not a cure for undersized shoes

On the other hand, avoid the opposite mistake of buying shoes that are too tight just because you like them or they’re a steal, with the expectation that you’ll be able to stretch them out. The fact is if they hurt at the start, it’s not likely they’ll ever be truly comfortable when you break them in. Sure, you can get a shoe stretching contraption on Amazon that looks like a medieval torture device, with a large adjustable screw mechanism and various attachments. You can also bring tight shoes to a cobbler for stretching, and they will use a similar machine and put them on it for a week. Another DIY trick is walking around in the shoes while wearing two pairs (or a thick pair) of socks. All of these have limited results–they may help to speed up the breaking-in period of a shoe that already fits, but they’re just desperate measures for a pair that is too tight. There is a very small gain in size possible with stretching, and it’ll ultimately be a waste of time, money and effort. There really is no substitute for proper fit from the start.

12. Try Shoes on for a Decent Length of Time

Andrew Lock Goodyear Welted Shoes
A broken in pair of Andrew Lock Goodyear Welted Shoes will feel much different than when they are new

A lot of times people will try shoes on for just a few minutes before purchasing them. It’s hard to get a true sense of fit in such a short time, so keep them on for as long as you can manage in the store. A brand with good customer service will allow and even encourage you to do so whereas a big brand in a mall will likely want you to take the shoes off and get out. So, you need to schedule the proper time and find an appropriate boutique to do this. Granted, you’ll still be walking on soft carpets and not running for the subway on hard pavement, but this is usually enough to feel the fit. If you order online, do the same in your house, but be careful not to scuff the bottoms. Stick to carpets or slip a gym sock or overshoe on the outside while you’re walking around.

Conclusion

Our feet spend most of every day in shoes, and many of us walk around for hours in them, so it’s paramount to get the best fit you can. Life is too short to suffer unnecessarily for something that can be solved by applying any of these twelve tips. The advice here addresses men’s dress shoes, but most are relevant to casual shoes and women’s shoes as well. Each foot is different, but these tips will help you find the most comfort you can while wearing leather footwear. What other tips do you have for getting a good fit? Share them in the comments below.

If the shoe fits, wear it.


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

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Anatomy of a Dress Shoe

Dress shoes, structurally, may be the most complex thing you wear every day. In this article, we’ll break down the component parts of a pair of shoes so you can shoe shop like an expert.

Recently on The Gentleman’s Gazette, we’ve discussed the stylistic features that make up a suit and a pair of pants. Continuing further from head to toe, we end up with shoes. When we buy them, we usually choose them first for the style and fit, but rarely for their individual construction.

It’s worth a look at the individual parts of a dress shoe so you can be a smart shopper.

Ace Marks - Basic 4 Shoes
Four basic dress shoe styles for men

The Anatomy of a Dress Shoe

Two Main Parts of a Shoe

In the broadest sense, a shoe is divided into two main parts, the upper, which is everything on top of your foot plus the lining, and the sole, which makes up the underside. Let’s start by taking a look at the upper, the more visible part of the shoe, moving from front to back.

Awaiting lasting
Shoe uppers awaiting lasts

The Toe

The upper is made by stretching leather over a last, a carved form usually made of wood, and leaving it there for some time so that it molds to its shape.

Bespoke lasts and a trial shoe
Bespoke lasts and a trial shoe

It is eventually secured to the sole with either glue or nails. At the very front of the upper, we have the toe, which can either be simple or embellished, perhaps with a medallion.

Beautiful patina and custom medallion and buckle on a bespoke monk strap shoe by Ugolini
Beautiful patina and custom medallion and buckle on a bespoke monk strap shoe by Ugolini

This is a pattern made up of perforations in the leather, which makes it somewhat more casual, an unadorned toe being more formal than one with ornamentation. Toe shape on a shoe can vary, and whether it is rounded, almond shaped, or chiseled, plays an important role in the appearance and visual impression of the shoe as well as how comfortably it fits.

The Vamp

Directly behind the toe is the vamp. This is the area that flexes when you walk and is thus subject to creasing. You never want to apply polish, especially wax polish, to the vamp, as it will dry there and crack when the shoe creases, creating a cloudy and caked appearance.

Though some creasing of the vamp is inevitable simply by virtue of the way your foot flexes, it can be minimized by buying shoes made of quality leather and then by storing them with shoe trees to keep the vamp stretched out.

The vamp is the area where the shoe creases most

The Quarters

After this come the quarters. The quarters include everything on the upper, including where the laces are up to where the leather wraps around the back of the heel; in essence, the quarters are the sides and back of the shoe. The nature of the quarters is what determines the difference between a derby and an oxford lace-up shoe.

An oxford and a derby, when compared, show the two different types of construction of the quarters

On the former, the quarters are stitched over the vamp, creating two flaps that are then tied together with laces; on the latter, you have the opposite, with the vamp stitched over the quarters. This makes for a cleaner, and therefore more formal,  look since there aren’t any top flaps of leather. When tying a derby, there will always be some gapping between the flaps, which is referred to as an open lacing system.

Light Brown Shoelaces Round Waxed Cotton - Made in Italy by Fort Belvedere closeup
An open lacing system featuring light brown shoelaces by Fort Belvedere

On the other hand, the gap on an oxford is minimal, which is why it is referred to as having a closed lacing system.

Close up Red Shoelaces Round Waxed Cotton - Made in Italy by Fort Belvedere
A closed lacing system featuring red shoelaces by Fort Belvedere

The laces themselves are threaded through eyelets, usually five pairs, sometimes four, which are punched through the area known as the facing of the shoe. Beneath the facing, you’ll find the tongue, a piece of leather that looks like its anatomical namesake. We don’t usually think of the tongue of having a specific purpose–it’s just “there”–but it’s actually designed to protect the top of your foot from the pressure of the laces.

Front Angle of Fort Belvedere Round Boot Laces in Dark Green, Royal Blue and Red - Made in Italy
The tongue is designed to give you a smooth feel under the lacing system, which is particularly important on boots

At the back of the shoe is the topline, which is the top edge of the hole into which you put your foot. At the heel, the topline is supported internally by additional leather reinforcement known as the heel counter.

Travel shoe horn with engraved Fort Belvedere Logo
A shoe horn is essential to protecting the integrity of the structure of your shoes

Protecting the heel counter is the reason why you should always use a shoehorn when putting on and taking off dress shoes: jamming your heel against the topline as you force your foot down into the shoe will cause the leather there to buckle and collapse. This can leave permanent wrinkles or deform the area, ruining the fit.

Shoepassion Workmanship
The topline on the back of a pair of Shoepassion shoes: below the leather of the heel is the heel counter to add structure

The Insole

Inside the shoe you have the insole, which in a dress shoe should be made of soft leather. The insole provides comfortable, smooth padding for your foot to rest upon.

Black Insole and Lining
Black Insole and Lining

This footbed contrasts the hard outsole–the lowest part of the shoe–which touches the ground. Between the insole and outsole is the midsole, which can be made up of cork, for cushioning.

Also under the instep of your foot, manufacturers may place a shank–a thin rectangular strip of metal, wood, or fiberglass–that helps to support the foot. The choice of shank material, and whether to use one at all, depends on the brand. For instance, according to a Reddit survey, Crockett & Jones uses wood, Meermin uses steel, and Allen Edmonds doesn’t use anything at all.

The Welt

Forming the transition between the upper and the outsole is the welt. This is a thin strip of leather that protrudes around the edge of the outsole to which the upper is secured.

Breaking in the leather sole of a good year welted chukka boot
A good year welted chukka boot

Connoisseurs of footwear will know that the two ways to do this are with a Goodyear welt or Blake stitching. Goodyear welted shoes, named for a machine originally manufactured by Goodyear, are more expensive because of the way the outsole is attached to the upper, which involves a more complex double-stitch approach. Because of this, they can be resoled fairly easily by a cobbler.

Goodyear Welt Construction
Goodyear Welt Construction

The Blake method, on the other hand, involves a simpler stitching method where the insole, upper and outsole are joined together with a single stitch that, while simple to create is difficult to repair.

Ace Marks - Blake Stitched Shoe with Hand Burnished Patina
A Blake Stitched Shoe with Hand Burnished Patina

Because it is made completely inside the structure of the shoe with a machine, resoling the shoe is difficult if your cobbler doesn’t possess said machine. And, even then, it is a more laborious and potentially more costly process. For this reason, and because the complexity of Goodyear welting is also matched with other higher quality features, a Goodyear welted shoe is usually worth the investment.

Blake Construction
Blake Construction

The Sole

The outsole is the lowermost part of the shoe and has to satisfy the double demands of supporting the full weight of the wearer and standing up to the friction of walking on the ground. In a dress shoe, the outsole is commonly made of leather, which is the most elegant, but Dainite (rubber) is also a popular option for those who want more grip and greater water resistance. The thickness of the leather can vary, with multiple layers of outsole appearing in chunkier country derby shoes like those made by Tricker’s or Church’s in the UK. These may be referred to as “double leather” soles.

Tricker's shoes
Tricker’s chunky Keswick shoe with a double leather sole

With an outsole made of leather there are more opportunities for various structural details that add to its elegance and craftsmanship. One example is a beveled or fiddleback waist.

G&G's characteristic sole with fiddleback waist
A Gaziano & Girling sole with beveled fiddleback waist

This used to be seen only on bespoke shoes, but newer technologies have made it accessible in ready-to-wear models. The waist is the narrowest part of the sole, located between the heel and the ball of the foot, directly below the arch of your foot, just as the waist is the narrowest part of the torso in an ideal physique. Beveling the waist shaves down the leather there and gives it a sharp chiseled appearance. The fiddlehead waist occurs when a beveled waist is extended into a V shape toward the direction of the toe.

EG shoes have distinctively nailed heels. These await finishing.
EG shoes have distinctively nailed heels. These await finishing.

Finally, we have the heel at the bottom rear of the shoe. Like the outsole, the heel can be built up with individual layers of leather or rubber, and sometimes a combination of both. Rubber is usually reserved for the back edge of the heel, as shown in the Gaziano & Girling image above to provide a measure of grip.

A high-quality dress shoe will usually join the rubber to the leather with a dovetailed joint. An additional touch that you may find on the heel is known as the gentleman’s notch or gentleman’s corner.

Gentleman's corner
Gentleman’s notch on the inside corner of the heel

This is a notch sliced from the inside front corner of the heel that was originally designed to keep the wearer’s trouser hem from catching on the heel in the course of raising and lowering his legs while walking. This would really only happen with very wide legged pant more common during the Golden Age of menswear, so it’s really a vestige of the past than something with an actual purpose now; however, it’s a nod to tradition and a sign of an attention to detail.

Conclusion

Shoes are described as being constructed, and true to that term, they are really built of many component parts that come together to make a coherent whole. Usually, we choose shoes based on how they look and how they fit, which are important considerations, rather than for the individual structural features. However, developing an eye for everything that goes into a shoe helps you assess the quality and workmanship.

What parts of the shoe are most important to you? Tell us in the comments.


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

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Payless trolls shoe snobs with fake luxury ‘Palessi’ store

How much would you pay for a pair of Payless shoes? If you attended the beleaguered retailer’s recent Santa Monica event, the number is $ 600, according to Adweek. The discount shoe chain occupied a former Armani store, called it “Palessi” and stocked it with heels, boots and sneakers onto which they slapped inflated price tags…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

SHOE DEAL UPDATE:

APL Debuts The Woolmark Company-Certified Running Shoe

Los Angeles-based running shoe brand Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) has partnered with The Woolmark Company on the first technical-knit shoe to hit the global market with the wool certification trademark.
The TechLoom Breeze Merino Wool collection is APL’s most sustainable and lightest running shoe to date, made with 80 percent Australian merino wool and knitted with APL’s patented, stretch-rebound TechLoom upper to deliver strength, greater elasticity and maximum support during performance and sports lifestyle activities. It’s the first launch in a series of long-term certified wool product collaborations between APL and The Woolmark Company.
Over two years in development, the certified Wool Rich Blend engineered knit is designed to keep its shape using filament-wrapped wool yarns to add resistance to abrasion and extend wear. The yarns are also stain- and odor-resistant, naturally regulating the temperature of feet. Utilizing the latest fully fashioned knitting technology, the shoe is knitted to its final shape, reducing the amount of fabric waste often caused by regular cut-and-sew techniques. The knitting technology also allows for seamless design features such as breathable panels. Other popular brands such as Allbirds offer wool sneakers, but APL has taken a more “luxury performance” stance in the market.
Cofounder Adam Goldston explained, “After

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Shoe Toe Shapes and Detailing Explained

The toe of a shoe is the most forward projection of your body, so it literally leads the way for the rest of you.  Therefore, it’s an important style consideration that will most likely be the design focus of your shoe purchases.

The shape and decoration of the toe of your shoes will almost certainly be noticed first. In this article, we’ll explore the various shapes and ornamentation possible on a shoe’s toe and how it can affect appearance and comfort.

Spectator Tassel Loafers

Spectator tassel loafers are sure to be noticed

The Shape of a Shoe Begins with the Last

The overall shape of a shoe is created by the last, which is the name for the form traditionally made of wood and hand-carved by the shoemaker. These days lasts are also machine-made or 3D-printed from plastic.

refined lasts

Wooden carved shoe lasts

The last then serves as the mold for the upper of the shoe, thus giving it shape. The leather is stretched on the form and allowed to sit there for some time (often several weeks) until the shoe upper holds its desired shape. Shoemakers will name or number their lasts to distinguish them for themselves and their customers. The shape of the last determines the fit and shape of the shoe as a whole, and these are most influenced by the shape of the toe.

Awaiting lasting

Shoes awaiting lasts

Classic Shoe Toe Shapes

Although there are numerous subtle variations in toe shape, these can be boiled down to a handful of basic shapes, namely round, almond, square, and pointed.

Round Toes

The most basic and traditional shoe shape is the rounded toe. This can be quite spacious and therefore very comfortable, especially if you have broad or wide feet. Because the shape is simple, it tends to be innocuous on most shoes–nothing offensive but perhaps nothing exciting either.

Tricker's Stow Boot - The ideal fall companion

This Tricker’s Stow Boot is chunkier and therefore well suited to a round toe shape

Despite being basic, a truly round toe tends to look best on more structured and heavier shoes, from boots to chunky country derbies (Tricker’s, Church’s, Grenson) to trainers or sneakers, but on loafers, which already are smaller and closer fitting than other kinds of shoe, a round toe can make your feet appear shorter.

Round-toed Shoes

Round-toed loafers can make your feet look smaller

This is because the half-circle shape of the toe does not elongate the foot visually but gives it a snubbed appearance. To compensate for this the added mass or bulk of a heavier shoe is necessary. You can see this on the variant of a round-toe shoe called the Budapester, named for its origins in the Hungarian shoemaking tradition. True Budapesters have a spacious toe box with some height to it. You can see the real deal at Vass Shoes from Hungary, but versions of it can be found at Crockett & Jones and elsewhere.

Budapester shoes

The shortness of a round toe looks best on boots and chunky shoes like these three budapesters because their mass counterbalances the shortness of the toe.

Shoes that you might consider oval at the toe also fall under the “round” umbrella in many cases. These are found on traditional British dress shoes, particularly oxfords. The shape is classic and not showy.

Crockett and Jones Connaught black oxfords

Crockett and Jones Connaught black oxfords on the round-toe 236 last

Almond Toes

An almond toe is essentially a more elongated version of a round toe, shaped like the narrower end of the nut it is named after. You can think of it as a tapered oval. In my view, the almond is more flattering and elegant than the simple round toe. It’s also more contemporary with an edge of dandy style. You might say that an almond toe exists in the “Goldilocks Zone” of footwear: among toe shapes, it’s just right. It provides a bit of foot elongation but is not at all extreme. In some more exaggerated versions, you can really identify the almond shape by the way the shoe widens considerably at the ball of the foot (the base of the toes).

Almond-toe monk strap from Ace Marks

Almond-toe shoes, like these monk straps from Ace Marks have an elegant shape

Some almond-shaped toes can be chiseled. This means that instead of having a smooth curved edge along the outside of the toe, you have straight cuts or angled sides. This is most apparent if you direct your eyes to the sides or bottom of the sole since the softness of the upper can make it less obvious. A good example of the chiseled almond toe comes from British bespoke shoemaker Gaziano & Girling who are renowned for it. The shape isn’t really possible with round toes, so chiseling really begins with the longer almond shape.

Gaziano & Girling's signature chiseled toe

Gaziano & Girling’s signature chiseled toe, evident in its three angled edges

Square Toes

The general rule is to avoid wearing true square-toe shoes. This sort of toe is usually found on inexpensive footwear, and, frankly, it can be described as blunt and ugly. You’ll know these snub-nosed shoes when you see them because they are hideous and cheap looking.

square toed shoe

Ugly square-toed shoes

However, note that certain brands can call a chiseled toe a square toe. This will usually be an almond toe with a leading edge that is rather straight across the front. Crockett and Jones Square Toes

Crockett & Jones Last 348 (square toe) and 337 (called “a soft square”)One example is Crockett & Jones’ Last No. 348, which is worn by James Bond in the SPECTRE and Skyfall films and is the most widely used shape in their collection. The company calls this a square-toe, but no one would mistake it for the square toe shoe shown above.

We could call it a chiseled toe or straight toe instead, as there is no standard naming requirement across different brands. So use your judgment and trust your eyes when assessing a shoe labeled as having a square toe.

Pointed or Elongated Toes

Pointed shoes were once the rage in 15th-century Europe where they were called either crackows or poulaines.

Crackow shoes

Pointed-toe crakow or poulaine shoes were the rage circa 1470

These went to ridiculous extremes of length as a sign of virility (longer feet suggesting larger genitalia) and some even had bells at the tips.

Winklepickers

Winklepickers were extreme to say the least

They made a comeback in the winklepickers of the 1950s British rock scene and survive today in similar rock-n-roll boots (envision alligator skin) and in some cowboy boots. Thankfully, truly pointed shoes are hard to find in dress shoes that can be worn with classic menswear.

Olive green shoes with navy trousers

Olive green shoes with an elongated last

So, rather than speaking of pointed toes, when it comes to dress shoes, it’s more useful to speak of elongation. We already mentioned that almond-toe shoes as elongated, meaning the toe area of the shoe is extended. Shoes that are not elongated normally have a small amount of space beyond where your toes end, but elongated ones have more. Bestetti elongated toe

A highly elongated last (with a round toe): Riccardo Freccia Bestetti’s Boston shoeThis is especially true of toes that are chiseled or otherwise narrowed at the front; obviously, you can’t cram your toes into an area that is tapered, so the shoe has to be longer to accommodate the shape of the last.

Crockett and Jones 348Last

Crockett and Jones 348Last

A good example of this is Crockett & Jones’s 348 last, called the “Lowndes.” As they say, “The wearer may have at least an inch of space at the front of the toe box, which will not affect the heel to ball fitting as it is more for aesthetics.”

The elongation of the Lowndes is quite subtle, but, according to Donika at Crockett and Jones’ flagship shop on Jermyn Street, many men become alarmed when they put on one of their elongated models and look down at their feet. She recommends looking at elongated shoes in the mirror, rather than just by looking down at your feet in order to gauge whether the proportions are right.

If you have smaller feet or just like the style of a longer shoe, give it a try, but, as always, moderation is the key. You don’t want to look like you are wearing oversized clown shoes, but high-quality shoes from well-established brands won’t go to extremes, so you’ll be safe with them.

Shoe Toe Decorations

Reddish Brown Captoe Double Monks

Reddish Brown Captoe Double Monks

The All-Purpose Captoe

Besides its actual shape, the toe of a shoe also contributes to the overall appearance of footwear through its ornamentation or lack thereof. The simplest toe is completely unadorned, followed by the cap toe, in which the toe area of the shoe is separated off by a line of straight stitching, shown side by side in the Crockett & Jones 337 and 348 last images above. Since simplicity of design makes an article of menswear more formal, a plain or cap toe oxford is suitable for the requirements of morning dress and black tie, as well as for business suits.

Smart Casual Details: Wingtips and Broguing

Meermin Austerity Brogue - Made in China with red lining at a high quality standard

Meermin Austerity Brogue – Note the simplicity of the stitching that forms the “wing” on the toe

Next up in terms of increasing ornamentation is the austerity brogue, which is the simplest form of wing-tip. This is made up of stitching in the shape of a W (technically, “a backward-extending point and curving sides”) to separate the toe from the rest of the shoe. The name originates from the austerity measures imposed on British shoemakers during World War II. Since they weren’t able to use the same amount of leather as required by a regular brogue, they simplified the design.

wingtip spectator derby shoes with Mid Brown Socks with Green and Cream Clocks by fort belvedere with brown trousers

A spectator wingtip clearly shows the detailed design of the toe box in the usual wingtip, the wing shape is made up of a pattern of perforations that resembles lacework, but you can also find this as a straight band forming a captoe. This is the broguing, which was originally designed to allow water to drain out in country shoes worn in wet, muddy conditions.

Wingtip Cognac Antique

Wingtip in an antiqued cognac leather

The Formal Medallion

The last sort of broguing related to shoe toes is the medallion. This is an ornate geometric or floral pattern of perforations adorning the toe cap. You can find these alongside other brogue details, but they are sometimes the only bit of ornamentation on an otherwise fairly plain shoe. The latter will not be as formal as a plain cap toe, but a medallion can still feature on oxford shoes.

Beautiful Medallion with 12 hole lacing

Beautiful Medallion with 12 hole lacing

The Laid-Back Split Toe

Back to more casual shoes, there is one other type of toe feature that is worth mentioning, and that is the famous Norwegian split-toe, found on lace-up derbies and, occasionally, penny loafers. As the name says, there is a vertical seam right in the middle of the toe. Because of the visible heavy stitching, these shoes tend toward the casual, to be worn as any other derby.

suit slacks in mid-brown with split toe derbys

A pair of vintage Norwegian-toed derbies made by Mannina of Florence with a split toe

Toe Color Variations

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that shoes can also feature a toe in a different color or material than the rest of the upper, such as cream suede on the vamp and brown calf leather at the toe. These are spectators, whether captoes or wingtips. But, for those who find spectators too showy and want a more subtle difference, many a brown dress shoe is available off the shelf with color variation in the patina, usually darker tones of brown, at the tip.

Half Brogue without Medallion & two tone Ghillie brogue shoe by Ugolini

Two-tone Ghillie brogue shoe by Ugolini at right

Conclusion

Like other style details–shirt collar shape, the rise on a pair of pants, or lapel width on a suit–the choice of toe shape should be governed by what looks best with your physical features. Just as a man with a round face should not wear a wide-spread shirt collar because it increases the impression of width, if you have smaller feet, you should probably avoid rounded toes and try an elongated last. The choice can balance your proportions.

It is also important to realize that these toe shapes also often appear in combinations, so you might have a shoe that is elongated with chiseled sides and a square toe, but once you know the varieties you should be able to identify them when you examine a pair of shoes. Then choose the shape and amount of ornamentation that suits your personality best.


Gentleman’s Gazette

MEN FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Look like a Gentleman, Travel in Style and Enjoy the Best in Men’s Accessories at Hook & Albert. Get 20% Off Your First Order with Coupon Code TAKE20. Shop Now!

New Adidas Shoe Line Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

Adidas has come out with a shoe line that has ocean activists captivated.

Adidas paired up with Parley for the Oceans to create an eco-friendly shoe line made from recycled ocean plastics.

A message from Parley for the Oceans: 

Here are the problems our ocean is currently facing. A massive amount of plastic trash ends up in our oceans every year. The ocean currents have formed five gigantic, slow-moving whirlpools where the plastic collects, nicknamed Vortex. Recent studies indicate that at least 5 trillion pieces weighing over 250,000 tons are now floating in the world’s oceans. The majority of the plastic debris sinks or remains in the Vortexes, however, a significant percentage of it washes onto our coastlines daily.

After sunlight photodegrades the plastic into small pieces, aquatic life and seabirds mistake these fragments for food and ingest it.

While it’s difficult to know exact figures, a 2012 report from WSPA indicates that between 57,000 and 135,000 whales are entangled by plastic marine debris every year in addition to the inestimable – but likely millions – of birds, turtles, fish and other species affected by plastic marine debris.

New studies show that ingested plastic damages the internal organs of fish. This raises the question about the safety of our seafood.

Turtle and Plastic in the Ocean
Underwater image of a turtle with plastic on his head.

 

In this day and age, human consumption and pollution are at an all-time high. The Straw Free Campaign by the National Parks Services confirmed that on average American’s use over 500 million straws per day. We know how detrimental plastics, if not disposed of correctly, can majorly affect our world.

That’s why the internet broke when the Adidas brand recognized the heavily discussed social issue and came up with an efficient way to get involved without compromising their reputable brand.

Everything Adidas does is rooted in sport and technology. The responsive running shoes made entirely from ocean plastic are described as following:

These women’s running shoes are created with yarn made in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans. They have an Adidas Primeknit upper built with yarn spun from Parley Ocean Plastic™. The Boost midsole absorbs the force from your footstrike to release it at push off for a super-charged ride. The women’s-specific design offers adaptive support, comfort, and stability. Wet or dry conditions, a grippy outsole delivers sure-footed traction.

New Adidas Shoe Line Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic
New Adidas Shoe Line Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

“By 2020, Adidas wants all of their shoes to be made using recycled plastic, which is good for the health of the planet, but it’s good to know that their first foray into sustainability has been a success”. – Business Insider

So if you’re looking for a brand that provides technologically innovative and quality products, as well as a positive environmental impact, consider Adidas!

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