Men’s Footwear Buying Guide
Men’s Footwear 101
Types of Men’s Footwear
Men’s Athletic Shoes
Men’s Casual Shoes
Men’s Work Shoes
Footwear Buying Tips:
• Always buy the right size to ensure a comfortable and secure fit
• Shop for different types of shoes and styles to suit different outfits and occasions
• Match sports shoes to the specific activity for proper support and to prevent injuries
• Buy work shoes or workboots when necessary to meet dress code and safety standards
Men’s Footwear Features
The heel provides lift, balance and support, and can be made from reinforced rubber or wood to be durable and long-lasting. Men’s dress shoes and some casual shoes have a lifted heel to add height, and for a bit of style. The rubber heel on athletic shoes, work boots and men’s boots are made for foot support and comfort, not to add height or style to the shoe.
Insoles help hold the shape of the shoe, and add padding for comfort and arch support. Insoles can be purchased separately to get a more secure or comfortable fit. Some insoles are made from antibacterial material to control moisture and odour and to inhibit wear on the inside of the shoe.
Outsoles, or soles, are made from leather or rubber to give men’s shoes flexibility, stability and traction. Outsoles for casual shoes and athletic shoes are thinner and more adaptable, so that the foot has a greater range of motion for walking and exercising. Heavy duty shoes like work boots and winter boots have a thick outsole for extra support in harsh conditions and to keep a man’s foot dry and safe.
Since they’re worn for long periods of time, casual shoes and athletic shoes have fabric or mesh uppers to increase air flow and keep feet cool and dry. Men’s dress shoes, work shoes and some casual shoes can be made from leather or suede for a professional and stylish look that’s comfortable and durable. Work boots and winter boots are made from waterproof material to repel or block moisture and keep the foot dry. Most shoes have a full upper that covers the entire foot for protection, but sandals have a few straps to hold the shoe in place and keep the foot cool in hot weather.
A vamp holds the tongue and eyelets for lace-up shoes like trainers, athletic shoes and some casual shoes. The vamp can also be a smooth one-piece with no eyelets or laces for slip-on shoes that make for quick access and easy wear. The vamp can also be made from different materials, patterns or colours to add a stylish twist to men’s footwear.
The sides and back of the shoe are called quarters, and help retain the shape and structure of men’s shoes. In athletic shoes and work boots, the quarter is padded to add extra support, and for a close, secure fit that’s comfortable and doesn’t pinch or slip. Like shoe vamps, quarters can be made from different colours and patterns to give men’s footwear some fashion appeal.
Toe Box +
The toe or toe box at the tip of the shoe ensures that a man has enough room in his shoe so he can walk, stand or work out with ease. The right shoe size leaves up to a half inch of space between a man’s big toe and the toe of the shoe to allow for his feet to expand when warm. In men’s work shoes the toe is often lined with steel or other hard material to prevent toe injuries.
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Footwear Care Tips:
• Replace laces when they start to fray
• Allow wet or damp leather shoes to air-dry away from direct heat
• Replace shoes when they’re no longer comfortable or worn out
• Clean shoes thoroughly and remove insoles before storing between seasons
• Rotate different pairs of shoes to prevent excessive wear and restore shoes to their original shape