Guide to Shopping for Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are an undeniable part of a man’s wardrobe. 

Even if you are someone who likes to adorn the sporty look, owning a few pairs of leather shoes is recommended for impressing at formal occasions. There is no dearth of leather shoe brands today but it seems that very few people actually know how to go about shopping for a leather shoe.

What kind of leather is being used?

You need to establish the kind of hide from which the shoes are made. Owing to modern manufacturing methods, many types of leather look-alikes have been introduced. These products might induce the appearance of leather at first but after a few wears, their inferiority becomes easily palpable. The premium leather shoe brands insist upon using pure animal hide. This is the hallmark of pure leather and this should be your first consideration. Opt for a leather shoe brand that has earned the reputation of using the purest form of leather.

Stay Away from Exotic Leather Shoes Unless You an Expert

Try not to invest too must in exotic types of leathers if you don’t know how to identify one from the other. A few upscale leather shoe and accessory boutiques come-up with leather shoes made from rare animal hides. These are very expensive. Caring for them takes a lot of effort and sometimes, getting them repaired is nearly impossible. Buy such leather shoes if you are very sure about your maintenance habits and the kind of place you are purchasing the pair from.

Understand Type of Leather Shoes

Your choices include:

1. Oxford Leather Shoes

• These are considered the safest best that can never go wrong.
• Considered a refined, educated leather shoe choice.

• Usually sold in darker, conservative shades. Chances of finding Oxfords in newer shades like dark navy blue or grey are slim.

• Plain-toe oxfords are the definition of smart leather shoes.

• Ideally suited for you if you have a collection of suits and want to dress sharply.

• Very formal in appearance and can be worn to workplace and parties.

• You can even wear them with denims.

• These are recommended to guys who usually tend to dress formally.

2. Bluchers

• They have a more obtuse lacing arrangement. The laces are more upfront, easily visible and tend to protrude even when paired with longer trousers.

• Considered slightly less formal than Oxfords but most people cannot tell the difference.
• Common variations include the wing-tipped and cap-toed leather shoes.

3. Dress Boots—Not Your Everyday Leather Shoe

• These are often confused with leather shoes but are actually boots.

• These are not meant to be worn when dressing formally or when you want to look sleek.

• These can be understood as the sportier cousins of traditional leather shoes.

When trying on a leather shoe, ensure that it fits snugly. Some people tend to buy shoes that are slightly loose-fitting to ensure greater comfort. However, this doesn’t apply to the niche of leather shoes. Leather will eventually take the form of your feet and its dimensions are not likely to change unless subjected to extreme heat or water.

• When trying a leather shoe, ensure that you spend a few minutes walking in it.

• The shoe shouldn’t bite into your skin.

• The area around the heel should be loose, i.e. your heel should stick in the groove of the shoe.

• If you have a history of leather biting your skin, share this with the retailer/ salesman. They are the best people to recommend you a fitting that is least likely to hurt.

Analyze the Stitching Pattern

Lookout for the kind of stitching used since every leather shoe retailer uses a slightly different pattern. You could opt for leather shoes where the stitching is seamlessly blended into the surface and is almost undetectable. The other option includes leather shoes where the stitching lines are more pronounced. This tends to add more authenticity to the shoe.

Your Guide to Choosing Leather Shoe Color 

This is the most challenging part of your entire leather shoe shopping endeavor. Men usually opt for black, shades of brown and different tints of darkish-maroon hues. Black is the safest of all colors since it can be incorporated in every male ensemble. Browns too are universally accepted but the very light shades of brown might not gel with every trouser you wear.

Some recommendations to select leather shoes in coherence with your wardrobe:

• Black leather shoes are best matched with black, grey and navy blue trousers.

• Dark-tanned leather shoes are best worn with lighter shades like white or dull tan trousers.

• Brown leather shoes are best worn with tan, beige and brown trousers.

• Brick-colored leather shoes are best combined with grey, blue and light brown pants.

• Grey leather shoes are considered neutral and can be worn with most colors except for very dull browns.

You Will Pay for the Craftsmanship

It is common knowledge that handmade leather shoes are more expensive. In fact, purists believe that leathers shoes are just not meant to be manufactured. If you plan to buy customized leather shoes, be ready to pay even more.

Online Shopping for Leather Shoes

Shopping for leather shoes from discount portals isn’t a personal recommendation. The niche of leather shoes differs widely from sports shoes or loafers. The latter are made from materials that need negligible care and can survive long periods of storage. Leather shoes that have been in the warehousing section for too long can develop issues. This includes warping due to moisture and temperature issues.Further, online images of leather shoes are bound to present them as very glossy and upmarket looking. However, the actual piece of footwear can differ greatly from the images. Thus, if you are buying leather shoes online, ensure:

• There is a return or refund policy.

• There are options to exchange the shoe for a bigger or smaller size.

• The retailer is ready to exchange merchandise based upon any visible defects on the shoe such as exaggerated stretch marks.

More Tips on Buying & Using Leather Shoes:

• Understand Stretch Marks—please note that stretch marks on leather shoes are traditionally considered a benchmark of their originality. However, this doesn’t mean that you choose a shoe where the surface looks scuffed with stretch marks. Yes, these lines are supposed to exist in some types of leather but they are meant to give a textured appearance. Bigger lines on the surface that are suggestive of folding or undue compression just reflect too many hours spent in the godown or poor craftsmanship.

 Buying Maintenance Kit—some retailers insist that the shoe maintenance kit is bought along with the shoe. However, there is nothing extraordinarily special about most of these shoe-care kits. If you know how to clean and wax your shoes regularly, you shouldn’t feel pressured into buying one.

 Rotating the Laces—leather shoes tend to survive for a very long period if they are properly cared for. Replacing laces on an old leather shoe can give a strange look to the shoe. Newly-strewn laces on a slightly-dull looking shoe create a mismatch of sorts. Dedicated leather show users use a trick to avoid this problem. They use two pairs of laces and rotate them on a tri-monthly basis. In this way, you always have well-matched laces for your favorite leather shoes. 

source : shoes buy guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *