Purchasing a good pair of leather shoes can blow a hole in your clothing budget, but we would argue that it is worth it. Leather shoes last longer, look better and are generally more versatile than their synthetic fibre alternatives. We have put together a list of the five most versatile leather shoe categories for your consideration.
1. Penny loafers
These classic slip-on leather shoes can take you anywhere depending on the colour and gloss factor. These are a great between-seasons shoe and can be worn with or without socks. If you always wear socks, go for a longer vamp – the leather between the ankle and the toe – to ensure a smarter look.
2. Black Derbies
Not everyone can identify a Derby, but their versatility should put them on your radar. Chunkier than Oxfords and younger than brogues, they bring a certain minimalism to a smart modern look. Try them sockless with black slim chinos next summer.
3. Brown brogues
Brogues tend to come in dark and light brown and can be round-toed, pointy or almond shaped. It is this third type you should consider if you are looking for versatility. With a smart almond semi brogue with a perforated toe cap, but no wingtips, you can pull off several looks: the slightly less formal suit, the rolled up tight jeans and Farah shirts from a stockist such as ejmenswear.com/men/farah look, the worsted wool, the autumn gentleman, and the chino and blazer.
4. Black Chelsea boots
Once autumn has established itself, it is time to put away your loafers and get out your Chelsea boots. Most men are willing to stump up the cash for a good pair because there is a lot more leather involved. If you think you have seen every look you can pull off with Chelsea boots, take inspiration from designers such as Alexander McQueen.
5. White leather trainers
Lest we forget, the true unsung hero of the leather shoe family is the humble white trainer. All the big-name brands bring out a white leather trainer once a year because they are so versatile and everyone needs at least one pair. From jeans and T-shirts to classic suits, they can be worn with all outfits – just remember to leave the tie at home.