A ladies guide to mens shoes

Anyone who has known me for at least a short period of time will know about my obsession with footwear – on myself, on other people and how a bad pair of shoes on a man is the ultimate turn-off. i.e. if the shoes are bad, there’s no point looking at anything going on above that. 90% of the time it’s true, 10% of the time you have to concede and force him shopping at the earliest convenience.

(Hiking sandals – the ultimate in offensive footwear)

So, I may not be a man and may not have many male readers, but I will attempt to provide a brief guide to what is acceptable and what is horribly offensive in my eyes. First off – cuban heels, rubber slides, jesus sandals, trekking sandals, crocs and cowboy boots are all no’s I’m afraid so if you have them in your wardrobe, time to build a good fire and send them hiking.

Smart shoes – a good leather shoe should form the basis of a working man’s wardrobe, but be sure to avoid the square-toed or overly pointy category. They’re just weird and either give the impression of an overgrown school-kid (square toe) or flashy chav (overly pointy.) You’re ideally looking for something with a nice oval / almond toe. I think these shoes are just right – the key is quality so be prepared to spend some cash.

(Alfrick, toe cap oxford, Reiss, £149)

Boots – great as long as you’re not tucking your jeans into them. You’re not in a boyband and you’re certainly not an All Saints model. Stick to either a simple, unfussy chelsea boot with slim fit jeans or these Chukka boots which are smart, without being overly formal. Remember chunky soles are for Tom Cruise. If you’re short, suck it up – no woman wants to date a man in heels!

(Crockett & Jones, Tetbury chukka desert boots, Selfridges, £280)

Casual – the trainer is where a lot of men go off-piste and you uncover some scary choices. Running trainers should stay at the gym – they look terrible with jeans. Velcro or slip-on trainers are creepy – don’t even think about it. Invest in some classic Converse (ideally white) or some slim-fitting Puma/Adidas/Onitsuka alternatives. A chunky trainer will cause some weird conflict with the bottom of your jeans so to keep the lines smooth, choose an understated, slim-profile shoe in neutral tones and you can’t go wrong.

(Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Trainers, ASOS, £65)

Hope this helps – now to find a man who fits the shoes!

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