If I had to start my entire wardrobe over, I would start with shoes. Even a casual observation would tell you that, in terms of both choice and care, shoes are the part of many men’s wardrobes that don’t get appropriate attention. A lot of guys seem to think that shoes aren’t important, which is a mistake. A well-chosen and well-cared for pair of shoes says a lot about a man.
In this podcast, I talk about starting at the foundation of a good wardrobe with smart, classic shoes that will work in any setting, any year, from business to casual, with suits or jeans. Avoid any square-toed clumsiness with weird stitching patterns and chunky soles that look like a collaboration between Kenneth Cole Reaction and Herman Munster. Start with something simple, elegant and timeless: a lace-up oxford or wingtip, with solid construction, perhaps with a Goodyear-welt. For the record, my favorite shoes come from Church’s and Grenson in the U.K., and, in the U.S., Alden, Allen Edmonds, Johston & Murphy and Florsheim.
In the podcast, I also elaborate on how to take care of your shoes so that they last longer than you will.
My simple rules of shoe care:
- Never wear the same shoes two days in a row. They need a day off to dry and retain their shape.
- Keep cedar shoe trees in your shoes when you’re not wearing them.
- Shine your shoes every week with a nice shoe cream, like Meltonian. Every two weeks minimum.
- Get taps put under the toes and heels of your shoes.