In our minds, it’s official: The time to really start dressing properly again is right now. And as you enter the world once more, head back to the office and hit the road, style is of the utmost importance. Beyond that, it’s vitally important that you’ve got the proper building blocks for your next ensemble, starting from the ground up with some of the best leather shoes.
If you’ve grown a little too accustomed to casual style and dressing to work from home, heading back into the office can feel a little bit disorienting. Take things slowly, reacquaint yourself with your old favorite style staples (and some new ones, as well), and then prepare for the compliments to start rolling in. After all, what looks better for the office than a crisp white Oxford shirt, navy chinos and finely polished brown leather Oxford shoes (to name but one potential outfit)?
Caring for your leather shoes is every bit as vital as caring for your tailored suit
Again, it all starts from the ground up, even if you’re a seasoned dresser with a wardrobe packed with dressy pieces aplenty. Those pieces, after all, likely haven’t gotten a ton of use over the past year and change. If you forgot the feeling of dressing to the nines, allow us to help you out, starting with what’s on your feet.
Carefully crafted leather shoes, like those from Beckett Simonon and a few of our other favorite brands, are a critical step to getting the details right in any ensemble. That goes for date nights sipping on expensive tequila or a big day on the 9-to-5 grind. “Look good, feel good and dress well” should be your new adage, this season and every season.
And dressing well starts with the basics, like nailing the quality construction and style of your go-to dress shoes or leather dress boots. Spending time zipping between meetings goes by all that much quicker if you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. That’s why we approve of brands that take time to do things the right way when building dress shoes and sneakers. At Beckett Simonon, that means using gold-rated leather (the highest possible leather certification related to proper environmental practices), plus Blake stitching. Blake stitching is found in your favorite leather dress boots and stylish dress shoes, too.
Blake stitching is a universally approved method of crafting shoes that can be easily resoled, with stitching that joins the insole, midsole, outsole and upper. The result is a meticulously designed pair of stylish shoes you’ll have for years. Think of them like an investment in your future self and an investment in the successes that naturally seem to flow your way when you’re dressed well and ready for anything.
It goes beyond just finding the right shoes, though. Caring for your leather shoes is every bit as vital as caring for your tailored suit, ironing that dress shirt or storing your tie the right way. And the best way to care for leather shoes starts with consistent attention to detail each time you wear them, not unlike the attention to detail that some of our favorite brands put into crafting high-quality footwear to begin with.
Here are a few helpful tips when caring for and wearing your new favorite leather shoes.
The Best Way to Care for Leather Shoes
- Trust the process: With a brand like Beckett Simonon, you’re getting expert attention to detail and reliable performance in every pair of shoes. You’re also getting a remarkably easy way to care for your shoes if you pick up, say, the Ultimate Shoe Care Kit. There are certainly numerous ways to care for your shoes, but starting things off simple with all the proper pieces in one handy kit is as good a place to begin caring for your dress shoes any way. Whether you go for that kit or not, look for a shoe brush, a soft towel designed specifically for shoes (as a way to buff your shoes), and of course, shoe polish in a shade that properly matches your shoes.
- Buff and brush: To properly care for your leather shoes, first use a cloth or brush to remove lingering dirt, debris and particles from the shoes. Do this right before applying your shoe polish or cream, preferably with a small, circular brush (think of buffing your shoes the same way you’d wash your car). Don’t overdo it on the shoe polish: A little goes a long way, helping to treat and condition the leather, and often softening and shining it at the same time. The Horsehair Brush found in Beckett Simonon’s Ultimate Shoe Care Kit is a luxurious and much-needed tool in your arsenal – use it to buff the shoes and remove excess polish. A small microfiber towel can also come in handy in this regard (think back to shoe shine stands and the various tools they’ve got at their disposal).
- Approach with care: Your leather shoes are going to need maintenance over time the more you wear them, especially if they ended up scuffed or marked. Set aside time in your routine to properly treat your leather shoes, the same way you might set aside time to plan out an outfit and tend to your grooming. A pair of perfectly crafted and much-loved leather shoes can become an indispensable part of your wardrobe, just as important as a nicely tailored pair of chinos or the perfect Oxford shirt. Over time, you might actually grow to love the act of caring for your leather shoes, and that’s going to pay dividends over time.
Caring for leather shoes is one thing. Finding the coolest-looking, most stylish and versatile shoes is another matter entirely. Luckily, we’ve picked out a few favorites to help you refine your wardrobe the best way possible. Lace these up and step into a whole new world of style.
The Best Leather Shoes for Men to Buy Right Now
Beckett Simonon Yates Oxford
The Oxford shoe is one of the best possible places to start when building out a dressy rotation of leather shoes for the office, date night and beyond. This specific pair is bold, distinctive and well-made, as every pair in your wardrobe should be. And because they’re from Beckett Simonon, they’ve got a bit of extra attention to detail built right in. Note the detailed brogue design on the toe, fashioned into a sharp and striking wingtip pattern. These shoes are wedding-ready, meeting-approved and made to be worn with a light grey suit or navy chinos with relative ease. The next step now is, of course, caring for them properly, but we’d wager you already knew that.
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxfords
Picking up your new favorite pair of dress shoes involves doing your homework and diving deep (that’s why we’re here, after all), and Allen Edmonds is assuredly a brand to know. The famed USA-based footwear maker has outfitted presidents and pro golfers, not to mention stylish celebrities and high-rollers across the globe. The Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxfords are a fitting example of what makes the brand so outstanding, merging high-end design with a custom-fit insole and classic looks aplenty. These are some of the finest leather dress shoes you can invest in right now.
Beckett Simonon Sutton Derbies
Handsome and elegant leather dress shoes come in all forms, like these seemingly simple but very classy, sharp derby shoes. They lack the detailing of the brogue dress shoes we highlighted earlier, but that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, the clean and crisp design makes these refined shoes a natural fit with rolled selvedge denim, fall-ready corduroy pants or a winter wool suit in equal measure. These shoes are also designed with plenty of care, as Beckett Simonon notes themselves: “The upper is practically seamless and the beautifully rounded toe combined with a tapered waist give the Suttons a sophisticated profile.” How can it get any better than that? Well, the standout price (just a shade over $200) makes them a winner in our book.
Florsheim Flair Plain Toe Chukka Boots
Looking for a more casual pair of leather shoes? It’s hard to go wrong with a pair of classic chukka boots, especially ones that hit the nice space between lightweight sneakers and durable boots. That’s what you get with Florsheim’s Flair Chukka Boots: Modern style and sleek looks, plus the craftsmanship you only find with a family-owned company that’s been around for well over a century. These shoes are anything but stuffy, though. Leather lining adds comfort for all-day wear, and the sneaker-like outsole gives you some pep in your step, whether you wear ’em with chinos and a sweater polo or a henley and faded blue jeans this fall.
Beckett Simonon Bernard Tassel Loafers
Another entry and another pair of stylish, go-just-about-anywhere Beckett Simonon shoes. Loafers are a worthwhile addition to your rotation of leather shoes if you favor a pair with some flash and added style points. These tassel loafers are ready to be worn with a khaki summer suit or tan chinos in equal measure, all the better to amp things up ever so slightly without veering too far into high-fashion territory. Tassel loafers are also a reliable style move if you want the comfort and ease of a slip-on, but the great looks of a more traditional pair of leather shoes. Take care of them the right way, find the right shoe polish and use the proper tools – you’ll have these beautiful leather loafers for years to come.