Stan Smith zip trainers Y-3 at Flannels (Hamish Stephenson)Stan Smith zip trainers Y-3 at Flannels (Hamish Stephenson) © Copyright

New Year! New shoe!

There are a lot of quotes about shoes that get a bit carried away – girls can conquer the world in the right pair and that sort of thing. Don’t get us wrong, we like shoes, but all of those quotes are about stilettos or heels. When it comes to men’s shoes, there’s less need for hysteria, hyperbole or hoarding.

You just need a few pairs for a few occasions – some that you’ll wear through by putting on every day, and some that you’ll save for just the big events, the kind of things you’ll get reheeled every couple of years. We’ve put together some of our favourite shoes, and paired them with trousers to help provide a little context. So regardless of what you’re into, the next few pages feature some shoes for you.

Beatle reboots

First created by cobblers in the 1850s, and immortalised over a century later by The Beatles, the Chelsea boot is probably the only style item from the swinging ’60s which feels totally contemporary in 2016. Designed to be tough and pretty hard wearing, they’re formal enough to wear with with a suit but casual enough to wear with a pair of rolled-up jeans.

Lanvin leather Chelsea boots Lanvin at Flannels 

Lanvin leather Chelsea boots £435 Lanvin at Flannels


Zips on white

Y-3 is headed up by Yohji Yamamoto, the Japanese tailor who makes frequent forays into casual wear for the three stripes. Here, he takes a classic white pair of Stans as a canvas. Yamamoto continues a Japanese heritage of adding zips to footwear – they’ve been added to boots for practical purposes, so it’s a wink to that that style. If you like this look, check the Nike x acronym® Air Force Ones from last year which feature a similar zip.

 Stan Smith zip trainers  Y-3 at Flannels

Stan Smith zip trainers // £225 Y-3 at Flannels


Party guy

Because nothing says ‘I came here to party’ quite like a pair of loafers. Bust in the party, dance with everyone, steal the show, dress like you’re André 3000. OK, maybe that’s not you, but you can’t wear the same ‘smart’ pair to every single event. So once you’ve got a decent pair of brogues, then you’ll probably want to invest in a pair of loafers.

Larkin Moc Tassel loafer Bass Weejun at Hipstore 

Larkin Moc Tassel loafer // £125 Bass Weejun at Hipstore


Original rockers

The desert boot may have kicked up a storm over the past few years, but there’s no pair of Clarks with a broader cultural history than the Wallabee – worn by school kids, cool dads, the Wu Tang Clan, Walter White,  indie bands and reggae sound system heads. Available in every colour, they’re an essential part of the smart casual canon. Just get a pair. And while you’re out, get a pair of desert boots, too.