Mens Shoe Buying Guide

Written by Briggs Clothiers


Posted on March 20 2022

Shoes are not a one-size-fits-all kind of product. Every man has a different foot size and shoe needs. With endless available options, it can be challenging to narrow down which shoes are right for you.

Unfortunately, many guys end up having to return their new shoes because they didn't put much thought into them before purchasing. Instead of taking an educated guess while at the shoe store, consider these essential factors before buying a new pair of men's shoes.


The Quality of the Shoe Material

Shoe material is one of the most crucial things to consider before buying a new pair of shoes. The quality of a material impacts a shoe’s look, feel, and overall durability.

In general, the higher quality material a shoe has, the longer it will last. So, how can you tell which shoes have the best quality?

A common material in men's shoes is leather. Although faux leather is typically less expensive than authentic leather, it won't last nearly as long. High-quality leather feels grainy and wrinkled, whereas faux leather tends to be shiny.

For example, the Johnston & Murphy Mead Cap Toe shoe uses full-grain calfskin to create a high-quality shoe with an impressive lifespan.

Basically, you should always select natural materials over synthetic ones. Doing so will make your shoes look nicer, feel better, and ultimately save you money.


Your Feet's Measurements

Finding shoes that fit your feet is essential. Although you may think you have a consistent shoe size, your feet will change size and shape as you age.

To get an accurate measurement of your feet, most shoe stores use a Bannock device. The Bannock device measures your feet's width, length, and height. Although this is a more common practice for custom shoemakers, it helps to know your feet's exact measurements.

Knowing your foot measurements can also help you determine your foot shape. Different shoe styles can fit your feet better, depending on the shape. For example:

  • An Oxford shoe has a narrower fit.
  • A Monk shoe fits better for those with high insteps.
  • A Derby shoe is ideal for wider feet.

If you are shopping in a store, try several different pairs. Although this makes your shopping trip a little longer, you avoid the extra trip to return them later.


The Weight of the Shoes

The weight of your shoes can significantly impact on how you walk or run. For example, dress shoes tend to be heavier since they use thicker materials like leather. Running shoes, however, must be significantly lighter for adequate comfort and performance.

Although heavy running shoes seem like no big deal, they can affect your running pattern. Finding lightweight athletic shoes can do wonders for your foot comfort and your run time.


The Overall Appearance of the Shoe

Although you want your shoes to be functional, you should also aim to find ones that look stylish. With thousands of style and material options out there, it can be overwhelming to determine which shoes are best suited to your needs and personality.

To see which shoe looks best, think about your outfit. For example, formal outfits or office attire typically pair well with black shoes. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more casual shoe, stick to looking at brown loafers, sneakers, or chukkas.

Outdoor shoes tend to be more rugged; however, they can still be stylish. Finding high-quality boots to wear on your next outdoor adventure can take your hiking outfit to the next level.

When it comes to shoe appearance, it is essential to consider the following aspects:

  • Laces
  • Buckles
  • Toe shape
  • Shoe waist

How Comfortable the Shoe Is

If a shoe isn't comfortable, you probably won't wear it much. Even if you find a high-quality shoe with a distinctive overall look, it's not worth looking at unless it fits comfortably on your feet.

To test how comfortable a shoe is, try it on for at least ten or 15 minutes. Be sure to be wearing proper socks while shopping; then, walk around the aisles to see how the shoes feel. If they still feel uncomfortable after a few minutes or paces, move on and try other styles or sizes.

When you start your shoe-buying journey, consider the above factors, and don't rush. Take your time to ensure that your money goes towards a high-quality and good-looking pair of shoes that will last for years to come.