Know all about shoes
Heel & Buckle CEO Dhiraj Bathija on the five essential shoes and more
How many shoes should a man own?
There are five essential styles that should feature in every man’s wardrobe. These five variants are the cornerstones of style in the world of men’s footwear.
-To begin with, the classic black Oxford is the fundamental first step towards building your shoe collection. Simple and classic, this shoe will fit right in at a board meeting or a fancy dinner.
-In line with the simplicity offered by the classic Oxford, the archetypal Derby is another must-have variant, mainly for its universality. The sturdy construction of this shoe makes it a comfortable choice for your workweek.
-Add an element of detail to these classic selections with a semi-brogue Oxford. This shoe style brings a contemporary twist to its traditional counterparts.
-For something that is marginally less formal, but will still work on a pair of trousers and a button-down shirt, turn to a double monk. It is a liberating alternative in a footwear world otherwise inundated with laces.
-Finally, a well-designed pair of moccasins is an ideal way to introduce an element of casual ease into your footwear options.
-Including these basics, while playing around and throwing in an element of your personal style,will ensure that you always have something to suit the occasion.
What is the best way to take care of one’s shoes? How often should a shoe be polished?
Investing in superior footwear is just the start. Take good care to ensure longevity as a good pair of shoes is primarily defined by great leather. Put time and effort into caring for your footwear so that they last longer and brave hazards that are bound to come their way. For starters, a shoetree is a crucial element of the shoe care process. This allows a shoe you have recently worn to contract, dry out and regain its original shape. Ideally, you should be using an unvarnished shoetree, preferably made of cedar wood with a split toe and a fully shaped heel. After every wear, leave the shoetree inserted for an hour or two to allow your pair to return to its natural architecture. The frequency with which you ought to polish your shoes depends on your usage. Even if you just wipe them with a damp cloth and remove superficial dirt after every use and polish them once every week, your shoes will be well looked after.
Rubber sole or leather sole in a formal shoe?
A well-made pair of formal classics will always have a leather sole. A Goodyear welted leather sole is a good choice because you can always replace the sole after it has been worn out instead of getting rid of the shoe altogether. A leather sole is traditionally better in quality and allows your shoe to look elegant and sophisticated. In addition to this, a leather sole allows your shoes to breathe. This way your shoes won’t stink after you have spent an entire day in them. On another note, I quite like the clicking sound the heel of a leather soled shoe makes while indoors.
Oxford, monkstrap and tasseled loafers: what occasions should one wear each of them for?
An Oxford will work well for all your formal occasions. Be it a business meeting or a formal dinner, a classic pair of Oxfords is always an ideal accompaniment in a sophisticated setting. Typically, a monkstrap is less formal as compared to your traditional lace-ups. A monkstrap would be that in-between style for an occasion that is not formal enough to warrant your classic lace-ups, but not so casual that you pull out your moccasins. A pair of monkstraps pairs well with a pair of trousers and a button down shirt, or even well worn denims. It all depends on what the occasion demands. A tasseled loafer is a scrumptious weekend treat your feet most definitely deserve. The traditional tassel detailing and easy silhouette stand for effortless style and versatility. Pair them with muted khakis for a look that epitomizes a stylish kickback.
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