Shoes That Make A Man: Essential Footwear For The Working Stiff

They say the shoes make the man, and with good reason: they're among the first things people notice. Make sure you make a solid first impression by putting these classic styles to work.

Ask most women what they notice about a man's wardrobe and “shoes” will be sure to top the list. For some reason women are inherently drawn to shoes — their own and men's. Unfortunately, most men think of footwear as a necessary evil instead of a source of expression, style, and confidence. The man of style and substance will look for quality shoes to add to his professional wardrobe.  Here, we present a few options for men to be well-heeled at work and at play.

For the Office

1. The Oxford Worn by students at the famed English university; it’s the gold standard of office wear. Go for black, brown or cordovan with minimal embellishments.

2. The Wingtip Wear these with your custom suit. Choose a sleek toe box and thin sole.

3. The Boot – The Chelsea boot made famous in England during the 1960’s and 70’s is a great option for comfort and style.

4. The Monk Strap Originally worn by monastery monks, the double strap is more professional. Remember to keep the buckle small.

5. The Loafer – Stay away from tassels and fringes and go for something smooth and low profile for casual Friday.

For the Weekend

1. The Oxford – Choose a thicker sole and wear brown suede — the ultimate casual choice for weekend wear.

2. The Wingtip – Not just for business. Try a chestnut brown instead of the standard black and wear them with jeans.

3. The Boot – Desert boots in tan suede. Great for a walk through the mountains in fall.

4. The Monk Strap – Go for one strap, a larger buckle, and wear them to the neighborhood cocktail party.

5. The Loafer – Stay sleek, and black. Wear for a night on the town with your girl or your “Rat Pack.”

Grant Harris is Owner & Chief Style Consultant at Image Granted; a Washington, DC based Image Consulting Company dedicated to solving the complex image, style & fashion issues of today's professional man. He has a healthy obsession with socks. Follow him on Twitter & Facebook.


  • Reply February 27, 2010


    This is a great list. What I like most is that not only are they great silhouettes and classic styles, but they’re also at an affordable price point. As much as I want John Lobb oxfords, I can’t shell out $1500. These are all great options.
    .-= Barron´s last blog ..On defining your own style =-.

  • Reply March 18, 2010


    That is one hell of a list – That monk strap got me excited.

    Shoe porn at its finest.
    .-= Ross´s last blog ..The Art of Memorable Marketing – John Ready =-.

  • Reply July 4, 2012



    Great stuff. How about a wingtip chestnut desert boot? I stumbled on a pair recently.

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