• SumoMe

To borrow from the highly quotable George Hahn, I’ve noticed an increasing sneakerization among men (and all people, generally) to the point where anyone wearing non-sneaker shoes in casual situations are deemed “dressed up.” This needs to change. The absolute best alternative to the sneaker in casual situations (I don’t suggest wearing them while running in a track meet) is the brogue.

Think of the brogue as the sneaker version of the more formal wingtip. They are usually either canvas, suede, alternative shades of leather, or just a really casual leather shoe. Once you break them in they are just as comfortable as sneakers, and I have one pair I’ve worn into the ground it was so comfortable. The first step in converting all men to wear brogues is to simply expose people to what’s out there.

My favorite place to snag a pair of these shoes is Stacy Adams, without a doubt. They are always priced well for the quality, and Stacy Adams brogues have never let me down in the past. Here are some great selections to consider:

The Tennyson

The material on this shoe is very similar to what is on sneakers. The main difference, here, is the ability to “dress up” with these.

While I don’t suggest using them in a formal situation, a nice pair of dark denim with an oxford button down would complete a very simple makeover from the basketball shorts and Jordan shoes.

It doesn’t take much to transform a look, and the slight pop of color is just enough to do it.

Blue has a great way of matching almost anything, so these shoes shouldn’t confine you to wearing only blue shirts.

Lastly, the sole of the shoe is rubber, which will give you that comfortable rubber feel you’re used to when walking around.

This is a great choice for brogue first-timers and old-timers alike. This is probably the most classic-looking brogue, and epitomizes the genre of shoe. With that in mind, let’s continue on with this survey of brogues and see how they can change.

The Telford

Did the blue freak you out? For the more conservative-minded, there’s this great all-white contemporary rendition of a classically formed wingtip.

The shoe is suede on the top and bottom with the markings you’re probably used to from a wingtip.

If you’re scared of looking too much like Pee-Wee Herman, I wouldn’t fear, because suede has a way of growing less white as time goes on.

That doesn’t mean you should expect it to turn black (unless you’re mining coal with them), but suede and suede-type materials, in my experience, get darker over time.

Or, if you’d rather not rely on the weathering method, you can pick up a pair in brown, blue, sand, or black (oyster is shown).

The blue suede are literally blue suede shoes, so you can expect that people will point out the relevant reference every time you wear them. You might like that, you might not. It’s worth considering.

The Tegan

This is a great example of how versatile and widely-applicable the brogue shoe can get.

Notice you still have the same general construction as the previous two, but this time you have an interesting mix of materials: suede on the bottom, and a crocodile print on the top. Note: that is not real crocodile, for those who might get irked by that (me).

The shoe is also available in blue, but in my opinion I’d stick with brown for this one. Anytime you have leather-type materials (the crocodile print) shaded anything other than brown, you get into tacky territory.

This option is great for people who like the color contrast of The Tegan, but don’t like the suede top layer.

This also has the ability of working in many different situations: date night, casual Fridays at the office, or just walking around the grocery store.

However, if you’re still not feeling adventurous enough, I have one more option:

The Dayton

This shoe is going to cost you about twice what the previous three will, but that’s because this is a Stacy Adams original, and is their flagship design.

The only difference between this and their original design is the mix of suede and leather. If you prefer the leather-on-leather, go for their original Brockton Original design.

However, since these shoes are all about staying casual while decent, I think this version is more apt.

The leather on the toe and around the base of the heel is great because those areas are most likely to experience the nicks of the wear and tear most frequently. The leather is a buttress against these wear marks (more so than suede alone), and should make for a shoe that will last you many years.

The only main difference here is the 6 eyelets for the laces, as opposed to 8 on the other shoes. Personally, that doesn’t bother me, but others might have opposition to it.

These are not the only great brogues out there, but as I mentioned before, Stacy Adams is my old standby for great quality casual shoes that won’t cost a fortune. I encourage you to browse their website further if you think something might pique your interest further. If you’re one of the many sneakerized people out there, it only takes a little bit of effort to step your appearance up a big step.

By the way, you can save 15% on all StacyAdams.com orders with code 9942.

Which model do you like best? Where is your favorite place to find brogues? Let’s discuss it in the comments below.