Source: GQ

Footwear for Men: The Best Dress Shoes for Winter

“Oxfords, not brogues” – Three words to live by courtesy of Colin Firth’s, Harry Hart in the movie Kingsman.

In truth, the difference between the two stylish men’s dress shoes is minimal and the two aren’t mutually exclusive. While these two are staples in most smart shoe collections, any well-dressed man should have a few more in his set of essential dress shoes. Here’s a look at the best dress shoe styles for men dress – no matter what the occasion.

The Oxford

If there has to be one dress shoe in his closet, it’s got to be the Oxford. It’s a versatile style that pairs well with any formal outfit. A clean, sleek silhouette that’s defined by its closed lace system – the Oxford laces near the eyelets form a “V” instead of a set of parallel lines, you’re looking at an Oxford. Preferred for black-tie dress codes, the neat and polished appearance ensures you’ll look properly put together.


All brogues are oxfords, but not all oxfords are brogues

Colin Firth’s, Harry Hart

The Oxford name is given to any closed lace system silhouette and broguing is the term for the pattern on the shoe itself. Therefore an Oxford, as well as other men’s dress shoe silhouettes, can have broguing detailing. The detailing began as functional water drainage for workers in Irish bogs – nowadays, the unique perforations are a men’s dress shoe staple. Brogues can be paired with anything from jeans to a three-piece suit and also work great for a casual feel when paired with a simple white shite and jeans.


Similar to the Oxford – the Derby is characterised by an open lacing system and an open-throat silhouette – the leather around the laces runs parallel, and over the vamp. The comfortable style looks smart in polished leather, easily pairing with a suit for formal occasions. A pair of Derbies in a more relaxed material such as suede is the ideal partner for chinos or jeans if you’re after a more casual style.


The laceless, slip-on shoes are a comfortable yet smart style. Penny loafers and bit loafers are the two variations you’ll find most often – penny loafers feature a front strap with a ‘coin slot’ cutout, bit loafers come with a metal piece across the front instead. As for how to style these popular dress shoes, the material you choose will play a huge part. Smart leather loafers will easily hold their own with a dapper suit or slip on a velvet or suede pair to add flair to your smart-casual ensemble.

Chukka Boot

On the smart dress spectrum, Chukkas can vary a fair amount – polished leather styles are as sleek as the next Oxford but some more relaxed iterations in suede are more at home with a pair of jeans. The short boot style is defined by its low ankle level height, minimal lacing and uncomplicated appearance – a great business casual shoe. Perfect if you’re after something a little different to standard low-level dress shoes, Chukkas come in a number of materials such as brown leather, suede and calfskin.

Looking for the full outfit? These are the suits you need to know about to pair with your shoes.

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