Men’s footwear more integral to signature style than ever
- 30 Nov 2018
It is a pretty well-known fact that women are quite deliberate with their fashion choices, placing great value in how they present themselves to the world. And while it is not necessarily a trait that is not also present in men, it is something that is not as inherently obvious. Men tend to have a lot more freedom with what they wear, from their clothing to their backpacks and laptop bags, and even to their shoes. But what a man puts on his feet actually has a lot more to do with signature style than many may realize. Whether the wardrobe staple in a man’s closet is the perfect pair of men's dress shoes, lovingly handmade by or his rundown converse, the fact is that what a man puts on his feet says more about their signature style than they would perhaps like to admit – not to mention the fact that women judge a man based on his shoe choice (insane, but true). There is a saying that the eyes are the window to the soul…if the eyes are the window to the soul, then shoes are the door to everything else. In the old days, men’s shoes were just as much of an indication of one’s signature style than women’s shoes were for them.
Over time, the emphasis on female footwear grew while the importance placed on male footwear as a style staple seemed to dissipate. However, there has been much deliberation and even research that indicates that men’s shoes are more of a signature style piece than most of us are aware. A male that is out at a bar on a Friday night, for example, is almost certainly going to be judged based on his footwear by both sexes he encounters in the night. Vans, for example, are considered the bulk of casual fashion and can pass on the style scale if very cleverly styled – the same can be said for converse. Dirty boots, however, are considered a reflection of the wearer’s life in general (meaning that the male wearing said boots has a chaotic, messy life). Meanwhile, a nice pair of black dress shoes or polished boots indicates that the male wearing them is well put together, has a sophisticated but fun signature style, and carries himself well. It might sound insane, but men’s footwear says so much more about their signature style than most think to consider.
When it comes to considering an individual’s sense of style, their choice of footwear is perhaps not the first clothing item that one would correlate with overall style, and even personality – this is especially true of men. But in actual fact, men’s footwear is more integral to their signature style than ever before. 64% of women judge a man’s sense of fashion based on his footwear, while 36% say they look to a man’s shoes to determine his financial position (again, insane, but also true). Additionally, 52% of women say that they judge a man’s personality based on his shoes, and 54% say that men’s footwear choices reflect their attention to detail (or lack thereof). So, bearing in mind the statistics, it appears that not only are men’s choice of shoes important to his own sense of signature style, but they are important to how the opposite sex – and the same sex, for that matter – perceive them.
Research shows that men now spend more on their footwear than women overall, but this does not necessarily mean that they are buying more pairs than women. For men, having stylish footwear does not have to mean having twenty to thirty (if not more) pairs, like it often does for women. For men, the perfect sense of style can be achieved by having five pairs (ten maximum). An interesting way of looking at this concept in motion is comparing women’s clothing styles to men’s clothing styles as a comparative measure. Women tend to have many more options for their clothing than men do, and so a woman’s sense of fashion is more broadly examined. The same can be said for footwear. Men can express an in-depth sense of signature style in carefully selecting five to ten pairs of quality shoes, because chances are those five to ten pairs will be able to align seamlessly with their entire wardrobe. As women have much more to consider with both their clothing and their shoes, their sense of fashion is criticized much more broadly.
It is not an unknown fact that men are not as openly obsessive about their fashion sense as women are (generally speaking, of course). What comes as a surprise to many people is that men’s footwear choices say a lot more about his signature style than he may be willing to admit to. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the shoes are the doorway to everything else. In the old days, shoes were a definitive staple of style for both men and women, but over time it seemed that that ideal drifted for the male population of the world.