For men who want to look their best, a new year means a new pair of shoes. It’s time to cast aside the boots that have trudged through winter snow and the worn-out loafers that have seen one too many late nights. New footwear is a great way to feel fresh and ready for the world again. This year’s styles are more diverse than those seen in 2013 so there’s plenty of room to show individuality and keep looking good. From the runways to the streets, they’re ready to walk.
Straitened times inevitably see the utilitarian look return to fashion – not because it’s all people can afford, but because it suits the mood and it allows people to find something stylish in austerity. Men’s shoes are no exception and there are some very sleek specimens out this season by the likes of Common and Jonathan Saunders. These are shoes that convey a disciplined attitude to life, look as good in the boardroom as they do on a construction site and, of course, can be polished up to an impressive shine. Those feeling cash-conscious can also be confident that they’re long-lasting.
This year, fashion is at one of its turning points when disparate ideas come together in unusual ways, some more successful than others. One of the ways this is showing up in footwear is in hybrids of the trainer and the traditional shoe. With springy soles and leather uppers, these may look a bit odd but they’re actually very comfortable. Gucci are presenting them without socks but that may be a step too far for some people – after all, it’s still only February!
Bucking the trend for low-key footwear, Prada and Calvin Klein have come out with shoes in bright primary colors this season, the former going all out with high gloss while the latter has gone for a textured look, subtly – if you can believe it – blending alligator print with stripes. Even Burberry has ventured into red with a soft-soled moccasin that will make wearers feel right at home wherever they are. It’s debatable how well these are likely to do in the mainstream marketplace but they’ll certainly put a zing in the step of fashion fans and they’re a welcome change of pace – as well as, for economic trend spotters, an indicator of growing confidence that the bad times are past.
Everybody needs to have at least one good pair of trainers and this year they can take their wearers further than usual. It’ll be interesting to see if upmarket clubs keep looking down on them now that the likes of Kris Van Assche are pairing them with suits. These new look, high fashion trainers come in subtle shades that put the focus on the contrast of textures, creating a look with a lot of personality. With the likes of Rycore-brand.com stocking some great quality choices, the trainer looks all set to be the big success story of 2014.