GreenMind creates authoritative and detailed guides to the things you're curious about.
I love shoes, and this guide explores one of my favorite styles: wing-tip Oxfords. Here, I will discuss why I like them and focus on a few particularly cool and appealing pairs. I'll discuss what's special about them, and how they compare to other brands.
Men, we need to be thoughtful about our fashion choices. We need to find a workable middle ground between looking like we're trying too hard and looking like we're not trying at all (like we've given up). We're best served by going for a sleek, classic silhouette and low-key shades in gray and blue, with dusky purples and charcoals for dramatic effect. Above all, we need to find shoes that enhance our gravitas and authority. People notice shoes, and if they're not right, the entire presentation is at risk.
I hope you find inspiration in this clear and elegant guide to some of the finest footwear available for older men.
Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.
— Bill Cunningham
Jo Ghost 1706 Bordeaux Wingtips
I love Jo Ghost shoes. They wear forever, they're comfortable beyond belief, and they look beautiful. It may be my imagination, but people actually look at your shoes when you wear Jo Ghost -- they seem to get noticed more than other pairs. Of course, this could be my imagination, but there it is. This pair of lace-up Oxfords are among my favorites simply because they're simply gorgeous. Jo Ghost is not a discount label -- if you're like me, you'll own one pair of Jo Ghost Oxfords and treat them with care and respect. Shoes like these are worth it.
This pair is a classic Oxford design with burnished bronze highlights and dark stitching. These gorgeous all-leather wing tip oxfords have the classic look that has inspired comments from fashion blogs such as Dellamoda.com and Styleforum. But the brand itself is, like the name itself, somewhat mysterious. The label has virtually no online presence, yet is surprisingly available on Amazon. All I know is the shoes are beautiful!
What Are Oxfords?
The definition of Oxford shoes, strictly speaking, is surprisingly technical: it's a shoe in which the eyelet tabs are attached under the vamp, which is known as "closed lacing." More commonly, Oxford shoes are present as dress/formal shoes in a wide range of designs, constructed with an equally wide range of materials. Oxfords are actually named for Oxford University, and were first popular in Scotland and Ireland. Back then, Oxford shoes had side slits that allowed room for the foot, and it was these side slits that eventually evolved into the top seam that we lace up in modern shoes.
Modern Oxfords can take on a wide variety of sub-styles and design, and often barely resemble the classic Oxford. However the presence of a top lace and a low cut profile, along with a distinct low-rise heel and (usually) leather materials are still characteristic of the style.
2. Cole Haan Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford
Cole Haan Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford
There's nothing like a fresh pair of Cole Haan lace-ups, and these are among the classiest of the newer designs from the label. I can wear Cole Haan shoes all day, and I'm on my feet a lot -- sometimes as much as 20K steps in one day, according to my pedometer. It's the rare combination of sharp style and smooth comfort that consistently put Cole Haan Oxfords on my favorites list. Here are some features of this particular pair:
- Leather construction
- Fully synchronized motion outsole -- this is one reason these shoes are so ridiculously comfortable
- Perforated leather -- these shoes have a laser-cut perforated pattern on the outsole. Very distinctive and lets your feet breathe .
- Energy foam sole inspired by running shoe designs. Another reason they're so comfortable
- Tongue and achilles padding
- Torsional arch supports and steadies every movement
Have I mentioned how comfortable Cole Haan shoes are? The features of this outstanding pair pretty much underline the reasons for the Cole Haan comfort. The "synchronized" outsole, flext welt, laser-etched pattern on the outsole, and the running-shoe inspired sole support all add up to a quality sole that keeps my feet happy all day, even on those 8-10 mile walking days.
Why You CAN Judge a Man by His Shoes
According to GQ, one of the best arbiters of men's fashion on the planet, a man's shoes "reveal whether he takes pride in the little things. If he throws on a nice suit and pairs it with cheap, clunky lace-ups, he's not what you'd call a detail man. And if he leaves his pricey wingtips scuffed and unpolished, he may not be the closer you're looking for." Fortunately we have a nearly endless range of choices that allow us to make the right statement without spending a month's salary. Let your shoes say who you are, but by all means put a little thought into your decisions. A classic look like the Oxfords in this guide will almost never steer you wrong.
3. Sutor Mantellassi Leather Wingtip Balmoral
Sutor Mantellassi Leather Wingtip Balmoral
What a beautiful shoe. The sharp styling reminds me of a shark, and the chill slate-grey tone has all kinds of cool style. Wear these shoes, and you radiate confidence, with maybe just a touch of aggression.
- Sutor Mantellassi is one of the great Italian shoe labels
- Leather, Brown Oxford Balmoral Lace Up
- Note that the size marked on the shoes is the UK or the EU size NOT the US Size.
- Hand-made in Italy
The name Sutor comes from the Latin for skilled shoemaker or cobbler. The Mantellassi label was started by two brothers who wanted to make shoes of the highest quality, and soon they were part of the "Made in Italy" style revolution of the 1950's. Mantellassi still uses artisan techniques to manufacture their shoes.
Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.
— Ralph Lauren
4. Vintage Foundry Lace-up Wingtips
Vintage Foundry Lace-up Wingtips
I have to admit that, for me and my particular sense of style, this pair is right on the edge of tipping from fashion-forward to fashion-face-first. But I will wear them on special occasions, or if I'm just feeling that slim and self-confident that I believe I can pull them off. And as Orson Welles once said, asdfsafd said, "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”
- 50% Leather, 50% Suede
- Rubber sole
- 100% leather lining, German outsole
- Italian style and construction
This is a recently established company that uses the skills and tradition of shoe-making that has been in the family for over 100 years.This Sicilian label makes some of the coolest shoes I have seen, and although they are very much on the edgier side of things, the lines and materials still very much reflect the century's-worth of experience and tradition behind the shoes. For the right person, Vintage Foundry is the perfect combination of style and tradition.
Clothes are like a good meal, a good movie, great pieces of music.
— Michael Kors
5. Cole Haan Carter Wingtip Oxford
Cole Haan Carter Wingtip Oxford
Cole Haan does it again with this straight dapper pair of wingtips. Not for every day, maybe, but most definitely appropriate for a night out in venue that can appreciate a fashion-forward gentleman. Good with a nice pinstripe suit, if you have one, or any well-tailored look that can balance the presence of these assertive duo-tone Oxfords. A necessity? Not necessarily, but about as close as a luxury can get.
Features of this pair:
- Leather uppers, synthetic sole
- Wingtip detailing and perforated trim
- Front lace-up closure with blind eyelets
- Leather lining
- Cushioned leather insole
- 1" stacked heel
Cole Haan adds a medallion toe and a traditional brogue to the contrast stitching that makes these shoes so striking. As I have said many times, I live on my feet, and CH shoes are just about as comfortable as dressy shoes get. Overall just a really great mix of style and comfort.
6. Mephisto Oxford
Mephisto Waldo Oxford
I have to confess that I don't often wear suede shoes, partly because they have a tendency to show wear and marks over time. But this pair is so cool I had to include them. I love the combination of color and stitching, and these would go nicely with a good pair of jeans and a sport coat.
- Suede uppers, rubber sole
- Heel measures approximately 1"
- An excellent walking shoe
- All natural materials
The joy of dressing is an art.
— John Galliano
7. Gordon Rush Brunell Tuxedo Oxford
Gordon Rush Brunell Tuxedo Oxford
Just a beautiful pair of shoes. I love the color, and the way the finish practically glows. Wingtip Oxfords are a classic look to begin with, and the venerable shoemakers at Gordon Rush combine that timeless style with handcrafted Italian craftsmanship. One reason the color is so striking is the fact that the leather upper is hand-painted, giving the it perfect burnished detail.
- Handcrafted in Italy
- Leather outsole.
- Fully leather-lined footbed
- Heel measures approximately 1.25"
- Smooth grain leather upper
This pair uses blake stitching, which means a single stitch attaches everything together. This method, simpler than a goodyear welt, allows for resoling once the outsole is worn or damaged. The Gordon Rush signature label , although a fairly recent start-up on the West Coast, is already offering some classically beautiful shoes.
Make Good Choices, My Friends
The following sources were consulted for this guide:
Christian on September 20, 2018:
Cedric The Entertainer