If you’re a groom or part of a wedding party, you’ll probably spend a lot of time putting together your outfit. Don’t forget about the shoes. Whether you want everyone’s shoes to match or you’ll be selecting a pair that’s perfect for you, learning about the types of wedding shoes for men can help you look sharp and express your personality on the big day.
Is the wedding a black-tie affair? If so, you can’t go wrong with wholecut oxfords. These shoes are sleek, elegant, and sophisticated. They’re timeless, which means that they’re an excellent investment. You’ll be able to wear them throughout your life if you get a high-quality pair and take care of them well.
Wholecut Oxfords are made from one piece of leather. They don’t have stitching or decoration except for a seam at the heel. They’re as streamlined as you can get — even the eyelet area, where the laces tie, is smooth. The seamless construction is simple, and the opening at the laces doesn’t gape open.
These are often more expensive than other types of oxfords because putting them together requires special skills. The leather that shoemakers use to create oxfords must be of high quality in order to shape it properly. However, you’ll get a great deal of use out of them.
Black or brown calfskin leather is classic and can get you through most formal occasions. If you’re looking for something fancier, you might want to choose patent leather. The shiny surface looks great with a tuxedo. For more casual affairs, suede is an optimal choice.
Just because they’re simple, these shoes are not boring. You can find them in a variety of colors and styles. An especially unique pair might be dyed an unexpected color, such as hunter green. Some have laces down the sides instead of at the center. If the wedding is a little funky, you could wear a pair such as these.
To express yourself without being too over the top, you could choose a medium-brown calfskin leather oxford with darker laces. Another idea would be to select oxfords with a punched design on the upper or around the ankle.
Another way to showcase your flair is to go with an unexpected color, such as burgundy, oxblood, or cognac. Because these shoes are so conventional, you won’t feel out of place by pumping up the style.
The season may dictate the color that you opt for, though. Light-colored leather is perfect for spring and summer, while darker tones wear well in the fall and winter.
If this is the only pair of dress shoes that you own, you might want to look for something else. Cap-toe oxfords are less expensive and more versatile. However, if you’d like to add a top-of-the-line shoe to your collection, the wholecut oxford is the one.
For more tips on how to buy and wear oxfords, watch this video.
You can wear cap-toe oxfords to a wedding, business meeting, or date night. These shoes are considered to be the best formal shoe for the daytime. Sometimes, cap-toe oxfords are called Balmorals. These are possibly the most common types of wedding shoes for men.
It’s easy to find black oxfords. That’s the most popular color for this shoe.
What makes it different than other types of oxfords is the toe cap. A separate piece of leather is molded across the toe box and connected to the rest of the upper with a seam that extends to the welt. Cap-toe oxfords also have heel caps.
The cap toe is not a structural element; it is purely aesthetic. It does make the shoes easier to piece together, which can make them more affordable than wholecut oxfords.
Technically, the cap-toe oxford isn’t formal enough for black tie. However, you might be able to get away with it if you choose patent leather or black calfskin. Other colors are appropriate for more casual gatherings. Most cap-toe oxfords look great with a classic suit.
These shoes are available in many styles and colors. As with most men’s dress shoes, you should wear lighter colors in warmer weather and darker colors when it gets cold. Reserve patent leather for evenings.
Even if you’re not going to many weddings, this is an extremely functional shoe to own. You can wear them with just about any suit. Almost everyone should have a pair of cap-toe oxfords in black and brown.
Monk-strap shoes have buckles instead of laces. You can find them with two straps or one. These shoes will really set you apart from the rest, style-wise. Therefore, you should check with the wedding coordinator to make sure that they’re appropriate, especially if you’re in the wedding party. You don’t want to stand out too much if the goal is to create a cohesive look among the bridal party.
Still, these shoes are extremely versatile. That’s because they’re more casual than other types of men’s wedding shoes. You can wear them on a date or dress them up for a formal function.
Monk-strap shoes typically give you a stylish, European look. They originated in Europe. Experts believe that monks wore these shoes to protect their feet in inclement weather. With the offset buckles, this type of footwear is reminiscent of a sandal, which monks wore most of the time. However, these shoes are entirely enclosed and became a work shoe for monks.
Today, many men wear monk shoes to work. However, they’re not well-suited for hard labor. They look great with slacks, blazers, and suits.
You can wear brown monk-strap shoes for just about any occasion, save for a black-tie event. These tones range from light to dark. Black monk-strap shoes aren’t as popular as brown. However, they might be the best choice for a semi-formal wedding.
Oxblood and burgundy look sharp with blue suits. You can even wear them out at night with dark jeans.
Monk-strap shoes come in leather and suede. Buying high-quality options can ensure that you get the most longevity out of these footwear. Try not to wear suede outdoors in wet weather. Suede also shows scuffs and other damage more readily than calfskin.
You should always wear socks with monk-strap shoes if you’re attending a wedding unless the function is extremely informal, such as at the beach. Black socks are perfect with black shoes. Choose charcoal grey socks if you’re wearing burgundy or brown shoes.
If you’re not required to wear a tie at the wedding, monk-strap shoes might be your best option for footwear. They’re dressy enough to make you look sharp, and they show off your personality.
Many men wonder whether loafers are casual or formal. As long as they’re in good shape and don’t look as worn out as your bedroom slippers, loafers can work well with wedding attire.
These shoes are incredibly popular. That’s probably because they’re so comfortable. One of the keys to wearing loafers for a wedding is to make sure that they’re of high quality. This is not the time to skimp on your appearance. Consider choosing a designer brand to ensure that your look is formal enough for the occasion.
Plus, loafers are versatile. You’ll find many uses for them in your everyday life.
So what defines a loafer? These shoes are on the casual side of the spectrum, although you can wear certain types for formal events. They’re slip-on shoes and don’t have laces or buckles. Some say that the low profile makes your legs look longer.
Tassel loafers are some of the most casual. These are typically streamlined and don’t have much decoration except for leather tassels on the top vamp. Sometimes, these are wholecut shoes that don’t have any seams. They may also have the traditional seam across the vamp, though. You can wear tassel loafers to a wedding if chinos or gray slacks would also be appropriate.
Belgian loafers have a small bow on the vamp. They’re a bit more formal than tassel loafers. These shoes have soft soles because they were initially designed as house shoes. They’re also sewn while they’re inside-out, which creates a flawless exterior.
Are you looking for the most versatile type of this shoe? Look no further than the penny loafer. They’re more similar to moccasins than slippers. Their defining feature is a strip of leather across the vamp with a diamond cut-out. Unless you really want to get goofy at the wedding, please do not insert a penny into this slot.
Horsebit loafers can transition from casual to formal better than other kinds. These have a metal bar, called a snaffle, across the vamp. Some people call these Gucci loafers because the adornment was designed by Aldo Gucci to mimic a horse’s bit.
Once these shoes appeared in the U.S., men began to jump on the bandwagon of wearing loafers with suits. This is probably the easiest type of loafer to pair with your wedding outfit. Black is the most formal type of loafer. But you wouldn’t wear this type of footwear with a tuxedo.
If you’re going to an outdoor wedding and don’t want to wear light-colored shoes, try putting on some loafers. You don’t even have to wear socks. Because you might go barefoot in these shoes, make sure that they fit you properly. You might need to buy them a half size smaller than your regular shoes.
Leather loafers look smarter than suede. They’re also more durable. Wear suede loafers only in dry weather during the spring or summer.
Classic loafer colors include:
If you choose a pair of loafers with an adornment, make sure that they’re not too gaudy. Otherwise, they’ll detract from your suit, and you want everyone to keep their eyes on the bride.
Depending on the dress code, you might be able to wear boots to a wedding. We’re not talking about work or hunting boots. Sleek chukka and Chelsea boots are more appropriate.
Chukka boots are ankle-high shoes that are made with two whole pieces of leather. They usually have two or three eyelets and thin, streamlined laces. They also have a rounded toe.
This type of footwear is usually made from suede or unlined calfskin. Chukkas are similar to desert boots. However, not all desert boots are chukkas.
Before you eschew this type of boot as too informal for a wedding, you should know that they come in elegant, formal options. For a dressy function, choose calfskin over suede. Select a dark color and a hard, thin sole.
You can wear these with a sport coat or blazer and slacks as long as the color of the boot doesn’t match the slacks too closely. Consider wearing lighter-hued boots with dark pants and vice-versa. You can even wear these in the summer. Just don’t pair them with shorts.
Are you unsure of whether you should wear chukkas with a suit? You might be able to get away with it. Choose those with calfskin uppers and leather soles. The top won’t look much different than other dress shoes. If the wedding is extremely formal, you might want to select a different type of shoe.
Chelsea boots are a classic menswear staple. These don’t have any laces. Instead, they have elastic on the sides that allow you to slip them on and off.
This footwear is ideal for a winter wedding. You often see business people wearing Chelsea boots with suits. They’re versatile, and you can get a great deal of wear out of them in your daily life.
Like most other men’s shoes, Chelsea boots come in calfskin or suede. Suede is always a more casual option and could be worn with linen or seersucker. Calfskin is usually a better choice for most weddings.
If you’re wearing a black suit, you’ll need black Chelsea boots. You can even find patent leather footwear if you really want to turn on the style. Because Chelsea boots are already a unique option, select those that are unadorned. The fewer details, the better.
Avoid wearing black boots with a navy suit. Brown is more appropriate. You can choose lighter brown shades for the daytime and dark colors for the evening.
The best boots to wear with a gray suit could be brown or black. Just make sure that you choose dark brown tones over lighter ones.
Wingtips are instantly recognizable because they have a seam that makes an “M” shape across the toe. This type of footwear has peasant origins. Now, it’s considered classy and stylish.
The distinctive seam reaches around to the sides of the shoe. In some cases, it meets the sole around the midfoot. In other cases, it goes to the heel.
These shoes may be two-toned. Sometimes the wings are a different color than the toecap. However, that’s not always the case.
Many wingtip shoes are also brogued. This means that they have decorative holes along the seams or the edges of the toecap. Some brogue shoes have extreme decoration. People often refer to these shoes as “full brogue.”
Wingtips come in four levels of brogue, including:
- Quarter brogues – Perforations adorn only the seam at the toecap
- Semi-brogues – Perforations along the seam and flat leather at the toecap
- Full brogues – Brogueing appears on all of the seams as well as the flat leather of the toecap
- Longwing brogues – These have wingtips that meet at the heel.
Although they’re incredibly dapper, wingtips are historically casual. When the upper and toecap come in contrasting colors, these shoes are especially informal. In fact, these shoes originated as leisure shoes that men wore to hike through muddy fields. The brogueing allowed water to drain out.
You would probably wear sneakers for such activities nowadays. Wingtip brogues are ideally suited for weddings.
They’re versatile enough to wear with jeans during the day, but they look sharp with a suit or slacks and a jacket at a wedding. These shoes are not appropriate for black-tie affairs or any other serious function.
Some wingtips are dressier than others. Black ones with narrow wings and minimal perforations can be worn with most formalwear. Brown is a bit less dressy. Two-toned shoes with offbeat colors, such as oxblood, should be reserved for more casual occasions.
Wingtips shouldn’t be the first pair of wedding shoes that you buy. You should have some more basic footwear before you graduate to this style. However, if you want to perk up your wardrobe for weddings, work, and beyond, these would be an excellent investment.
Buying wedding shoes doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming when you have an idea of the dress code. This guide should help you decide which types of men’s wedding shoes to buy.
Ultimately, though, you should invest in footwear that makes you feel good. Don’t skimp on quality, or you might end up with a stiff pair of shoes that you want to kick off after the vows. And feel free to show off your personality if the function calls for it.