The formal shoes for men are shoe rack staple in every men’s wardrobe, worn constantly or occasion to occasion depending on your profession and lifestyle. The formal dress shoe can come in several guises so selecting a style, material and colour that is best suited to your attire and will be most versatile isn’t a decision to make lightly.
We’d always recommend taking the time to explore the fitting and sizing of a shoe before investing as it makes all the difference in the future. Goodyear welted handmade shoes by Barker are designed and made to last but wearing the best fitting for you will ultimately determine the degree of comfort when wearing your Barker shoes over time.
An iconic mens dress shoe that will be recommended always as the first shoe every man should own is the classic Oxford shoe in black. The toe-cap oxford shoe ,in particular, is a stylish workhorse that can be worn for business in the office, at weddings, funerals or special occasions as it makes for the ideal companion to a suit, particularly a dark shade. The Barker range of Oxford shoes features in several of the collections including the Handcrafted, London, Professional and BarkerTech. Popular Oxford shoes include the Arnold, Burford, Malvern and Winsford shoe styles which are Goodyear welted and made from premium leathers and soles. The majority of Oxford shoes are all available in black as well as shades of brown which compliment various suiting such as the classic dark navy. The only shoe style dressier than the classic toe cap Oxford would be a whole-cut which offers refined style and is made from one single piece of leather such as the Nelson.
Although it’s seen as the informal counterpart to the mens oxford shoe, the men’s Derby shoe is another shoe style that equally as stylish and can be worn formally. Characterised by its open lacing system, the Derby shoe is an understated Goodyear Welted style ideal for those of finding the fitting of Oxford’s uncomfortable for reasons such as a high in-step for example.
Historically seen as a Country shoe, the Derby has become a menswear classic that sits in-between dress shoe and casual workwear. Several men’s derby shoes feature not only the Country collection but also the Professional and Creative ranges. A Derby that features in the Barker Icon Series is the Nairn, a classic plain toe Derby made on the 29 last from premium calf and grain leather on a British Dainite rubber sole. Other Derby shoes to consider by Barker include Angel, Darlington, and Ellon (BarkerTech collection) and Skye (similar to Nairn as it’s from the Country collection but made on the 464 last).
The slip-on shoes can make for a tasteful dress shoe with the penny and tassel loafers proving firm favourites when worn with formal attire. The Caruso, Jevington and Portsmouth are classic Penny Loafers that come highly recommended but if a tassel loafer is more your style the Clive, Newborough and Studland slip-on styles are ideal.
During the Autumn / Winter seasons you may prefer to wear a Goodyear welted boot and if this is the case the Bedale and Mansfield are popular men's chelsea boots that can be dressed up depending on the occasion.