• SumoMe

Every now and then, you have those special occasions where you need to dress up your look and some tennis shoes or brogues just won’t fly. For these occasions, you need some “nice” shoes. Everyone has a pair–those shoes you only wear for the most important of occasions: graduations, job interviews, weddings, etc. I say “a” pair, singular, because usually “nice” shoes are expensive. However, they don’t have to break the bank because expensive shoes that are constructed well and made from great materials will prove a worthy investment because you won’t buy another pair for 20 years (if you take care of them). Today’s Shoe Saturday is dedicated to these “nice” shoes that should last forever.

Cole Haan Oxfords

These shoes are pretty casual on the spectrum of “nice” shoes, given the split toe design. However, the leather is a great color on these, and the lack of any design in them makes the shoe a really solid staple to keep in your wardrobe.

This chestnut color is really classic, as well, and will match any color suit you throw on it (unlike black shoes, which can look pretty bad with a navy suit).

It’s also worth noting that this shoe comes with a Nike Air cushioning system, so it’s basically the same comfort level as those sneakers you keep around. I guarantee that comfort is not an issue when you’re in these.

The only main concern is that from the top view the soles poke out a bit on the side, which may bother some people because it kills the lines of the shoe. Nevertheless, this is a great place to start on the casual end of the formal spectrum.

Florsheim ‘Lexington Six-Eye’ Oxford

Yes, the first thing you should notice is the shine. Whether someone wants shoes that shiny or not is up to the individual person–there’s no real advice. The main thing with these shoes is that you’ll have to polish them regularly to keep that out-of-the-box shine.

There’s a reason that the military requires really shiny shoes: it shows discipline. I guarantee that any guy rocking these shoes into a room will get noticed for looking sharp. However, I would suggest sticking with lighter suits for this shoe because it seems to have a bit of red in the color’s tint.

This shoe is also a really classically-designed wingtip that will never go out of style like those dreaded square-toed shoes. For someone looking for a classic shiny shoe, this could be your calling.

Magnanni ‘Santiago’ Oxford

So far we’ve explored the three main types of toes in formal shoes. The first shoe is called an apron toe, the second is the wingtip, and now we’ve come to the cap toe (called such because of the stitch across the toe).

Cap toes are almost exclusively formal shoes, I rarely see them out and about. That doesn’t mean they can’t be more casual, however.

This is probably the most well-constructed shoe of the bunch, and I love the leather soles. This shoe is simply a work of art, and if you keep them out of water and leave shoe trees in them, these are heirloom shoes you can pass to your kids.

Additionally, the shoe’s wingtip designs aren’t as in-your-face as the previous shoe, and that might be a bonus for some.

This oxford is my favorite shoe of the bunch. Yeah, its $300. But sometimes you get what you pay for, and I promise it will last at least 30 years, so that’s $10 a year (or less) when you sit down and think about it.

“Nice” shoes are literally an investment. Not in the sense that you can sell them for more than you bought them for later on, but in the sense that you won’t have to buy shoes for a long time. Menswear, unlike women’s clothing, has a very tie to the classic designs. Any of these shoes would look good 30 years ago, and will still look good 30 years from now. You can’t say that about many things, but you can say it about menswear, and shoes in particular.

You might not have the money to buy these shoes just yet, which is fine. However, you should always know and appreciate good shoe craftsmanship when you see it, and recognize that a pair of great shoes can change everything.

Which pair is your favorite? Do you have a different favorite that wasn’t mentioned? Talk about any nice shoes in the comments below.