Beginner’s Guide to Footwear

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Wapmaxi Time To Change 2015
Beginner’s Guide to Footwear
IntroductionThe last version of the Shoe Guide was written by jdbee in 2012, so I figured that it’s probably about time that it got updated. Again, this will not cover boots as that is a separate guide. This was written using the previous version as a template for content, and /u/sconleye’s light jackets guide as a formatting guide. The information has been condensed to make the guide more beginner friendly.Like the outerwear guide, images will be listed in an imgur album so that if the item is suddenly removed from a store, there will still be an image left. Retail prices will be listed below, but you can consult the Beginner’s Guide to Buying Expensive Clothes for Less, also written by /u/sconleye for advice.As far as the shoe models chosen for this post, I went for safe, non-offensive models, as this is meant to be a beginner’s guide, and it is best to keep it relatively simple. This is meant to be a starting point, and is by no means a one-stop shop guide for shoes.I. Shoe SizingShoes of all kinds are built on a foot-shaped form called a last. These are usually made of wood or resin, and vary widely in length and width, even in the same tagged size. As such, your Brannock size is extremely important to know, as it serves as a reference point when figuring out sizing information, so that you are not comparing Converse or sneaker sizes with other users.Here is a video outlining how to size yourself on a brannock device. Almost all stores with a men’s shoe department will have one of these, and it is very important to get the length and width of both of your feet. People’s feet are split-sized relatively frequently, and this can greatly affect the ease with which you can purchase properly fitting footwear.II. SneakersRecommended Colors: White, Black, Navy, GrayBest to keep things relatively understated and minimal, as you run the risk of looking juvenile otherwise. A good rule of thumb would be to have no more than two colors, and minimal branding. All of these options are low tops, as they are easier to work with proportionally.Vans Authentic $50Converse Chuck Taylor 70s $80Greats Royale $159Maison Margiela Replica Trainers $369Common Projects Achilles $410III. Casual/In-between ShoesDisclaimer: From this point forward, the shoes recommended will be leather shoes, and as such, you do want to keep in mind that with leather shoes more than most, you get what you pay for.Relatively casual non-sneaker shoes that can be worn with jeans, and chinos. These would be great for informal to casual end of business casual occasions.Colors and materials: Neutral and earth-toned smooth leather or suedeLoafersSebago Penny Loafer $140Quoddy $325Alden Leisure Handsewn $549Bluchers/DerbiesJCrew Kenton Suede Bucks $198Grant Stone Bluchers $320Alden Dover $545HandsewnsThis category includes blucher mocs, canoe mocs, camp mocs, and boat shoes. These are definitely more casual than the previous two shoes, and may look out of place in a business casual environment. Each of the following brands also makes some variation of each model.LL Bean Camp Moc $89LL Bean Signature Jackman Blucher Moc $99Quoddy Blucher Moc $275IV. Dress ShoesThere are so many options for men’s dress shoes, spanning from cheap to expensive, suede to exotic, and casual to formal.Disclaimer: It would be incredibly difficult to cover the entire breadth of what is offered, and for simplicity’s sake, I will be painting this information in very general and broad strokes.Good dress shoes are generally more expensive than sneakers and casual shoes, but they will last a long time with proper care. Additionally, a good shoe is built on a leather insole, which will mold to your foot over time, and become extremely comfortable, given that the shoe fits properly. Generally, these shoes will be made using a stitched construction, which includes goodyear welt, blake stitch, blake/rapid, stitchdown, handsewn, and some other less common construction methods.Most shoemakers will have many different lasts in a variety of toe shapes and widths, which will greatly affect your sizing. It is best to try shoes on yourself, but there is also the Manufacturer Last Sizing Thread on GYW, where users post their Brannock size, along with what sizes they wear in a variety of shoe lasts.For more in-depth information, you can always visit /r/goodyearwelt, which has a wonderful sidebar chock full of information.Construction method: Shoes made with a stitched construction can be resoled, which means that a well cared for pair of shoes can last for many many years. Modern glue is quite good, but using a cemented construction is usually a cost-saving measure, which would also be reflected in the shoe’s leather quality and durability. As a general rule of thumb, stick to goodyear welted, blake, or blake/rapid construction shoes for your dress shoes. Any decent shoemaker should disclose the method used.Style: Derbies/bluchers have open lacing, while oxfords/balmorals have closed lacing. Shoes with closed lacing are a lot more formal, and should generally be reserved for wear with suits. You will also have single monks, and double monks, which were worn with suits when #menswear was popular, but it’d be best to keep those for less formal wear.Leather: You want full grain leather, as it will age better than corrected grain leathers, which are coated with plastic that will crack over time. Generally, smooth leathers are more formal than suedes. Fine-grained calf would be most formal, while suede, grained leathers, and shell cordovan would fall somewhere below that.Broguing: Broguing style is described with: full, semi, and quarter. There are also plain captoes, and plain toes. Incidentally, this is also the order from least formal to most formal.Color: Once again, very broad strokes here. Black is pretty formal, lighter shades of brown are more casual, and generally darker browns are pretty versatile.Soles: For formal shoes, stick to single leather soles, and generally, the thicker and chunkier the sole, the more casual it is. Rubber soles can work, but it’d definitely make the shoe more casual.Shoemaker Price Tiers: These are just a few of the very many shoemakers out there, and it is very important to do your research with regards to style, sizing, and the shoemaker itself before deciding on a brand and model. The brands I’ve decided to mention are either an exceptional value, or very easy to get sized on in person.Sub-$300:Allen Edmonds Shoe Bank: Stocks Allen Edmonds’ factory seconds, which are pairs that have cosmetic blemishes that do not affect fit, comfort, or durability of the shoe. They often run sales, and you can order and get sized at an Allen Edmonds store.Meermin: Good bang for the buck on goodyear welted shoes. They offer a variety of models on more european (sleeker) lasts. They also offer their Linea Maestro line, which has more premium leathers. Their shoes are lasted in China, and finished in Spain.$300-$500:Allen Edmonds: Not much to say here. You can get sized in person, and you can inspect the shoe before buying to make sure that you’re happy with your purchase. Their customer service is also quite good.Carmina Shoemaker: Fantastic mid-level shoemaker that offers a robust catalog of models in a variety of leathers. All of their shoes are produced from start to finish in Spain, and they also have a store opening up in June 2017 in New York City, where you can get sized in person.$500+:Alden: There are a variety of stockists, and they make a very classically American shoe. Their models span from loafers to boots in a variety of shades of suede, calf, chromexcel, and shell cordovan.V. Shoe Care and StorageThere’s a more in-depth guide from GYW here, but the gist of it is:1) Let your shoes air out for 24 hrs between wears.2) Put wooden shoe trees in them when they’re not being worn.3) For your leather shoes, get a mild conditioner like Lexol, and apply lightly with a cloth every few months, or when the leather feels dry.4) Brush your shoes every once in a while.5) If your shoes get wet, allow it to air dry. Do not apply direct heat, as this will damage the shoe. If your leather-soled shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper, and dry them on their sides.If the sole of your welted shoe is worn through, and needs a resole, you can either inquire with the shoemaker as to whether or not they can recraft or resole the shoe for you, or you can look into finding a local cobbler. Definitely ask the cobbler what they are planning to do when they resole your shoe so you can figure out if they know what they are doing.Again, this guide is meant to be a beginner’s resource, so if your favorite style or brand is not represented here, don’t fret.Thanks for reading.
Mens Hair Styles 2015
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