This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2023
Custom men’s shoes are not a luxury; they’re a necessity. Sneaker and hoodie guys sometimes have to suit up, and opportunity favors the prepared.
Using this guide, you will be able to make more informed shoe-purchasing decisions by learning about all the types of custom mens shoes available. If you understand the available options, you’re already halfway to looking your best.
Type of Dress Shoes
An excellent place to start is by wearing Oxfords, which are the most basic and timeless dress shoes. With its versatility, the Oxford shoe can be dressed up or down for both formal events and everyday wear.
It is estimated that these shoes became popular in 1800 among university students, especially at Oxford University, due to their comfort. In the turn of the century, students wanted a low-top version of the shoe, rather than the traditional half-boot style of the Oxonian shoes because they deemed it out of date.
How to Wear the Oxford Shoe
The reason why oxfords are so popular is because of their minimalism and their ability to look good with any outfit.
It is possible to find leather and suede in a wide range of colors to suit every occasion, from brown to blue to dark red to green, in both leather and suede. Adding a bright, colorful sock to your outfit will give you an extra style point.
When it comes to business attire, dark brown, cordovan, English tan, and black leather are the best choices. You can keep this look classic by wearing a pair of socks that are darker in color.
When it comes to pairing Oxfords with formal wear such as a tuxedo or other formal wear, black patent leather is your best bet.
It is similar to the Oxford, but it is a dress shoe that is more casual in style. During the 1850s, the Derby shoe, also known as the Gibson or the blucher, was a style of hunting boots used for sporting activities and hunting. They became appropriate for going out into the city at the turn of the 20th century when they became more popular.
How to Wear Derbys
Derby shoes can be worn and styled similarly to Oxfords. Derby shoes are typically more casual, so you wouldn’t wear them with a formal suit. This cool and collected look will be complete with chinos or rolled jeans and some derby-inspired socks!
The Monk Strap
Like an Oxford, a Monk Strap has a wide swath of leather fastened across the front instead of an eyelet closure. A single or double buckle secures this wide strap.
How to Wear Monk Straps
If you want to add a touch of panache to any outfit, these shoes are a great alternative to laced dress shoes.
As a result, the monk strap has become increasingly popular as a very versatile shoe that can be worn with cuffed jeans or the most dapper suit.
There is no denying that monk straps attract attention and can at times become the focal point of a piece of clothing. Leather or suede monk strap shoes are usually made from leather, but they may also have decorative brogueing on them as well.
Loafers were originally made for King George VI of England as casual house slippers. It wasn’t recognized or popular as a casual shoe until the 1930s. Loafers were first worn with suits by American businessmen and lawyers in the 1960s.
Gucci introduced the bit loafer in 1966, which features a metal strap (in the shape of a horse’s bit) across the instep. The loafer’s status as formal footwear was further elevated by Gucci’s innovation – or at least the fact that it was not strictly casual was established.
It is not uncommon for loafers to have a saddle – a decoration that could be a plain strap, a strap with a slit (as with penny loafers), or a metal ornament. A kiltie or tassel might hang from a saddle, while the minimalist loafer (the Venetian) has an exposed vamp without embellishment.
The toe seam on loafers (especially those that are more akin to a moccasin than a regal slipper) is a hallmark characteristic that distinguishes them from other slippers.
The Dress Boot
Dress boots are lace-up boots that have a short shaft. In terms of construction, it is similar to an Oxford, but it has a longer shaft than an Oxford.
Men had limited footwear options during the Victorian era when this shoe style originated. Dress boots quickly became a popular choice for formal daywear, and they remain an attractive alternative to standard custom men’s shoes.
How do you know when a boot is dressy enough to be worn with a suit? If the boot is designed to be a high-top dress shoe, it should be sleek, not too chunky, and have thinner laces, and the soles should instantly distinguish the boot as a high-top dress shoe. In most cases, lug soles and commando soles will not be appropriate (but there are some exceptions to this rule).
As long as the boots are made of fine leather, they can be either brown or black, or almost any other color, so long as they complement the suit.
If you aren’t a styling expert, assume suede dress boots are a contradiction (though they don’t have to be).
In the event that you are in search of custom men’s shoes, you’ve come to the right place with BBespoke. It is possible for you to bring in your own designs and we can make it for you, or we can provide you with a selection of pre-designed options to help inspire you. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than a perfect fit when it comes to your footwear. Contact one of our agents today to learn more about our custom-shoe design process and to speak with one of our representatives.