Men’s office shoes: top tips for choosing the right style

Classic Oxford style (Herring Mayfair)

Classic Oxford style (Herring Mayfair) - Credit: Archant

Choosing the right office shoes for men can be a difficult business. Here are our top tips for selecting the best style of formal shoes to wear to work

A quarter brogue or semi Oxford style (Herring Belgravia)

A quarter brogue or semi Oxford style (Herring Belgravia) - Credit: Archant

There are plenty of luxury men’s shoes on the market today - but which style looks best with a suit? We’ve teamed up with Herring Shoes to create a guide to buying the perfect pair of office shoes.

What is the best style of shoe for office wear?

The classic business shoe for men is the Oxford; a simple cut with closed lacing and minimal adornments. Jason, Managing Director of Herring Shoes says, ‘Take a look at the footwear on a lawyer, doctor or any other professional and it’s more than likely they’ll be sporting the classic Oxford shoe. Its sleek design and elegant outline makes it an easy win when pairing with a suit.’

Business meetings aside, the Oxford is a versatile wardrobe staple for weddings, funerals and any other formal event and every man should own a pair. Herrings’ bestsellers include the Herring Knightsbridge Oxfords and the Herring Mayfair Oxfords. Prices for this style of shoe start at around £135.00.

If you’re looking for something slightly more informal that would still complement a suit, the Derby shoe is another popular choice. It’s slightly more casual in design yet very similar in style to the Oxford with the lacing sewn on top of the vamp rather than underneath it, which gives more space if you have a high instep.

Chelsea boot in dark leaf (Herring Wilson)

Chelsea boot in dark leaf (Herring Wilson) - Credit: Archant

How to match suit colours with business shoes

The obvious shoe colour for pairing with a suit is black as it’s extremely flexible. However, a dark brown shoe such as the Herring Mayfair Oxfords in mahogany calf, also go well with a black or dark grey suit.

Blue and navy suits are witnessing a recent rise in popularity amongst business wear and this colour is best paired with a plain black shoe. If you’re unsure, Herring Shoes has a useful trouser-matching facility online that allows customers to preview how the shoes will look with a variety of trousers before they buy.

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Which men’s dress shoes are most comfortable?

If you’re just starting out in your career, attending an all-day conference or travelling between meetings, you’re going to want something comfortable on your feet without compromising on style. The Oxford made using the Steptronic rubber sole, as an example, is a great starter shoe for men as it’s transitional and instantly comfortable. The only downside to this style is that after a few years of constant wear your shoes are going to look tired and will need replacing.

If you’re prepared to put in the groundwork Jason recommends investing in a sturdy pair of Oxfords with leather insoles, ‘Whilst you may experience initial discomfort whilst ‘breaking in’ the shoe, it will eventually mould to the shape of your foot and last you for many years to come’.

Something a little bit different…

A Chelsea boot with a plain front works incredibly well with a business suit and is a trendy and younger alternative to the Oxford and Derby style of shoe. Always go for leather as suede is a big ‘no-go’ when it comes to formal wear. The Herring Coltham Chelsea Boot and the Herring Wilson Chelsea Boot are both superb examples of men’s Chelsea boots suitable for an office environment.

The Monk shoe is seeing a revival when it comes to formal wear. Its traditional yet simple design works well with a business suit. Jason recommends opting for a single buckle over a double to keep adornments to a minimum.

Whilst brogues are usually seen as an informal style of shoe, a black semi-brogue with a discreet adornment such as a punched toe cap are perfectly fine to wear to the office. The Herring Belgravia semi-brogue in black is a great example of this.

Visit the Herring Shoes website to purchase your new pair of office shoes.

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