The Rant: What's Going On With Men's Shoes?

Our fashion editor makes a passionate plea to the men of Britain - the madness has to stop

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It’s 8.30am and I’m sat on my morning train into work. I should be looking over my wife’s business plan that I faithfully promised would have my full attention, whilst throwing hot coffee down my neck.

On realising I have just read the same line three times - something about implementing software for e-commerce - I find myself distracted.

Most of the feet walking past me on the way to the buffet carriage (it’s a long commute) and the two men sat opposite me are wearing the most appalling shoes I’ve ever seen.

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Most of my fellow passengers are agitated by the fact we are running 10 minutes late. I can’t help but feel agitated about the state of my fellow man’s footwear. (Ok, I work in fashion, but it matters.)

Men with pointed shoes, men with blunt square toe shoes, and men with crimped edge Cornish pasty shoes. They are everywhere. 

It’s like a bad scene from a kids’ TV programme. Which window are the nice shoes behind? Square, triangle or round? Round of course.

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Go for the bloody round window. Not so my fellow commuters. They are having far too much fun with these square and triangular monstrosities.

I begin to question whether this style of shoe has ever been in fashion. Maybe the early Nineties saw a flicker of a sharp chiselled toe, but thankfully I’ve erased it from my memory.

Take the two men opposite me. Both in their Thirties, well-dressed, good cut suits and coordinated on the tie and shirt front.

I’m impressed. Then I look down. Why, oh why do men feel the need to wear black pointed – I mean like killer pointed – shoes. Bunions aside, these are potentially weapons of mass destruction.

An otherwise well put together suit totally destroyed by bad shoes. They look crap. They look cheap, they crease in all the wrong places and they would look better placed in Panto than on a well-dressed man, who should know better. Why?

There are some great footwear brands out there right now producing cracking shoes: Grenson, Oliver Sweeney, Mr Hare, Loake, Cheaney. I could go on. Not all are expensive, however shoes should be an investment.

Think how many times you’re on your feet, how many miles you walk a day? In fact the choice has never been so broad. Do you go for a semi-brogue lace up, a single or double monk shoe, a suede loafer? Personally, I don’t care as long as you pick one of them and don’t keep wearing the same pointed shoes you probably wore at school or the very square toe variety, where your feet look like they were shorn off in the office lift door.

Please men of Great Britain I ask you to look down at your feet and ask yourself: are you really happy with your choice of formal shoes? If you are in any doubt, then let me guide you to the current issue of Esquire or the new Esquire Weekly for iPad, which are full of style advice, including footwear suggestions for every budget.

So go on, do the manly thing and ditch the ugly shoes and go for an upgrade. You owe it to your fellow passengers.
 

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