GQ recently posted an article with what they considered to be the best shoes for this winter. Given The Hanger Bay isn’t just for Australian readers whom are suffering through a short but wet winter, I thought I would make a list of essential shoe styles for whatever season you are in and for any occasion. I did notice that in true GQ fashion, the shoes they included were priced higher than $600, and featured labels like Burberry, Churchs and Louboutin. And to be quite frank I think most of them were low-key ugly. I’d rather rock a pair of jelly sandals from 1997. However, I’m here to suggest some mens shoes that might be more affordable to the everyday aware man. Without further ado, here’s my recommended 5 pairs of essenshoes.

1. Brown Leather Brogues. You want & need them. Dress up your summer fit or un-dad your gray or navy suit with a pair of these classic dress shoes. Expect to pay around $300 (£175) for a good quality pair. However you will find cheapys from the likes of Topman, Hawkings McGill (Urban Outfitters) and ASOS. This pair from Loake are relatively expensive but look at how awesome they are:

mens shoes brogue loake leather brown

You can also try as pictured below Ben Sherman’s Qewy shoe, or my favourites – Grenson Grain Leather William Brogues. brown leather brogues ben sherman brown leather brogues grenson

They look good with slim fitting jeans, a tailored suit, or even with no-show socks and a pair of nice shorts for summer.

2. Black on Black Casual Sneakers. Blk-on-blk Vans Authentics are my everyday shoe. The pair I’ll throw on just to run down to the store or to shoot down to the beach in the afternoon. Black goes with everything, they don’t show age too quickly, and they’re usually cheap. I’ll replace them every 12 months or so as they need. vans black sneakers essential shoes menswear

Here are a couple of black-on-black styles from Converse, Ralph Lauren, and Macbeth, respectively.

3. Hardwearing Wedge-sole Boots. Boots are often left out in a lot of guys’ shoe cupboard (or under the bed/at the front door/strewn across the bedroom floor shoe deposits). I’m not a big fan of what my English P.I.C. Nanon would call Spice Boy Boots. They’re the thin leather or canvas boots with thin, stringy laces, a noisy and too-high wooden heel, with shoe-tongues falling about the place that make them look like a peeled banana clinging for dear life to the tightest jeans you ever saw wrapped around some scrawny legs, and you can hear them coming from a mile away as the pieces of metal tingle like bells with every step. They look a bit like this:

spice boy boots

And just because Johnny Depp would wear them it doesn’t make it okay for us all. The essenshoe boot style I think should be in your cupboard are wedge-soled and cost anywhere from $30 up to $500. Here’s a pair from Timberland that I’ve had my eye on:

timberlands boots menswear

There’s literally hundreds of styles of boots with a wedge sole, and I really like ones that can take a beating year after year. Try to steer clear of anything “hiking boot”.  This isn’t Yosemite Tour 2k13.

redwing boots

4. Modest Dress-able Sneakers/Trainers. Thanks to innovative brands like Nike and New Balance, training shoes can look pretty stylish with the right casual outfit – just don’t wear them with basketball shorts unless you’re going to the gym, or with baggy washed-out jeans unless you’re a pensioner. Appropriate styles do not ever include anything with a spring-like structured heel. See: nike shocks.

new balance sneakers
free run nike sneakers khaki
nike free run

5. High-top kicks. I never used to wear high-tops because I just couldn’t picture myself in them. However, after finding a pair of rad looking red Supra shoes in a store and trying them on purely because they were on sale, I ended up buying them and a pair of high-top Converse too. High-tops are great with shorts or long pants, and there’s SO MANY styles and variations in colours and designs that there’s no way you couldn’t find a pair that would suit you. Check these out: Supra Skytops, Undefeated x Converse, and some retro looking Adidas Decades and Nike iDs.

means high top sneakers

means high top sneakers

means high top sneakers

means high top sneakers

So there you have it – my top 5 essenshoes for any season or occasion. In keeping with the retro high-top sneakers theme that we’ve got going, and with the release of power-couple member Jay Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail; here’s R&B in 2003:

Essen(tial)shoes – for Any Occasion Part 1
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