Different Types of Shoes for Men and Women
Shoes are an ongoing love affair for every fashion-conscious and discerning person of any gender. The right pair of shoes makes you feel good about yourself and elevates your style. Picking the right pair of shoes is an important decision that should be taken after due diligence. A few quality pairs can complete your wardrobe and work with every type of outfit. To assist you in this endeavour we have compiled a list of different types of footwear for both men and women. We have divided the article into two sections for the reader’s convenience for both genders. Let us look into these below.
Different Types of Shoes for Men
We have curated a list of must-have formal and casual shoes for men suitable for different occasions.
1. Oxford Shoes
Oxford shoes are formal below-ankle shoes having closed lacing. This is achieved by having eyelet tabs sewn under the vamp of the shoe which imparts the shoe its classic elegant shape. These are also known as Balmorals. This shoe type was designed by the students of Oxford University in the 18th century in place of the ill-fitting high-heeled shoes of the time. Oxfords are considered the most formal of the shoes. Cap-toe Oxfords are a popular type that features an extra piece of leather stitched at the toe that provides extra space and protection to the toe. One other popular type is the Plain-toe version which does not have an extra piece of leather.
2. Whole-cut Oxfords
Whole-cut oxfords are the most premium among Oxford shoes. The whole shoe is constructed with a single piece of top-quality leather. These are mostly crafted by highly-skilled cordwainers. These types of shoes are premium dress boots paired best with a suit for formal occasions and black-tie events.
Brogues have distinct patterns punched in their multi-piece leather vamps. From their humble beginnings as workmen's shoes, they have firmly entrenched themselves in the footwear hierarchy. Brogues can be classified into different types of footwear as per the patterns punched on them. Quarter brogues only have a decorative punching pattern at the edge of the cap, while semi brogues also include a medallion pattern at the centre of the toe cap. Full brogues include all of the above patterns along with a unique W-shaped pattern at the toe ending at the heel in a wing shape giving them another name of ‘Wingtips’. Longwing shoes are another type of brogues originating in America where wingtips end at the back of the shoe. Brogues are versatile wear that goes well with formal as well as casual clothes. For formal wear opt for a quarter or semi brogues while wingtips and longwings look good with casual clothes.
4. Derby Shoes
Derby shoes have evolved a long way since the 18th century when they were first created as hunting shoes. These semi-formal shoes have open laces which translates into a more relaxed and comfortable experience for the wearer. This is done by stitching the quarters above the vamp in the shoe. After that eyelets (where the laces go through) are shaped on the quarters. There is no seam stitching between the tongue of the shoe and its front portion. These types of shoes are comfortable and stylish and particularly suited for persons having high arches or instep. Derby shoes are versatile shoes and can be paired with any type of clothing.
5. Monk Strap Shoes
Monk straps are closed shoes having straps and buckles instead of laces for closing. The straps may be single, double, or triple and the shoes may be ankle length or below ankle shoes. Monk strap shoes cannot be slotted into a particular type of footwear. These are more formal than derby shoes but less than oxford shoes. Thus, they can be paired with any type of clothing, whether casual, semi-formal, or formal. Single strap monk shoes made of leather look good with formal clothes while double strap or triple strap shoes in both leather and suede pair well with casual clothing.
6. Leather Loafers
Loafers are below-ankle shoes with a slip-on design without any laces. Loafers have a low heel with a vamp shaped like moccasin shoes. This shape is what separates them from different types of footwear of slip-on variety. Loafers come in a variety of styles which includes popular ones like Belgium loafers and Tassel loafers. Belgium loafers have a small unique bow on the vamp and have a soft sole and unconventional colours. Tassel loafers feature leather tassels attached above the vamp.
7. Penny Loafers
Penny loafers are a variation of classic loafers featuring a piece of leather called a saddle across the vamp having a diamond-shaped cutout in the middle. The cutouts are shaped like a pocket or pouch where a coin or two was inserted as a fashion statement when this style first became popular during the thirties and forties. Even now these types of footwear are called penny loafers. Though these are versatile shoes but look particularly good with relaxed business casuals like khakis and chinos.
Moccasins are heelless shoes with a vamp made of soft leather. The vamp may be made of different materials like leather, suede, or fabrics and the soles may be hard, soft, or flexible. Moccasins are casual shoes and look good with cotton trousers and chinos.
9. Spectator Shoes
Spectator shoes are the types of shoes made of two different shades of leather. These were first created as cricket shoes in 1868 and are still popular today. The uppers are made of a different shade of leather which usually contrasts with the wing caps composed of other shades, basically black on white. Now variations with vamp and wingtips of the same colour tone but with a light and dark shade are increasingly becoming popular. These are casual shoes but an adventurous person can even team them up with formal clothes.
Sneakers are mostly lace-up and sometimes slip-on strictly casual shoes having rubber soles. They may be below the ankle and also have a high ankle length as per the design. A classic pair of sneakers feature denim or canvas uppers with a white rubber sole. But new styles include uppers made of leather and suede which look particularly striking. Sneakers are popular casual shoes fit for relaxing and strolling.
11. Chukka Boots
Chukka boots are named after a style of boots worn by British Army personnel in India and Africa during colonial times. These boots were good for walking or a ‘chukker’ and thus named so. Chukka boots reach above the ankles with only two or three eyelets for fastening. These types of shoes usually are made of single-tone brown leather, nubuck, or suede. Chukka boots are best paired with sturdy casual wear like jeans.
12. Military Boots
Among the different types of shoes in our country, military boots have always maintained their popularity. Military boots are sturdy and radiate a hardy and rugged vibe. Military boots with lace-up style and thick rubber soles provide good stability and grip and are best for hiking and outdoor activities. These are strictly casual shoes best teamed with camouflage wear and jeans.
Different Types of Footwear for Women
In the below section we have curated the footwear that will work with all the ladies' ensembles.
1. Ballerina Flats
Ballerinas have evolved from the erstwhile ballet shoes. These are flat shoes with a highly flexible sole with a rounded appearance at the front. The vamps come in different shades of neutral, single, or multi-colour. Ballerina flats are classic and timeless. Use them with casual clothing.
Sliders are slip-on sandals with a backless and open-toed construction. Perfectly suited for summer they feature a strap across the toes for a secure grip. The straps may be braided, woven, or knotted suiting different styles. Among different types of footwear, sliders are best suited for beachwear and strolling.
3. Pointy Flats
Pointy flats have ballerina flats-like construction with the difference of having a pointed closed front rather than the round shape of the latter. These shoes look stylish and elegant and also make your legs appear longer. These are more formal than ballerina flats.
Pumps feature a signature low-cut vamp without any straps or fastenings. Pumps can be high-heeled or low-heeled and come in a variety of shades and tones. These are versatile shoes suited for any occasion or dress like jeans, skirts, or formal wear.
5. Kitten Heels
Kitten heels are thin-heeled shoes with a vamp shaped like a pump but with thin and short heels below 3 inches in length. These different types of shoes are the perfect combination of style and comfort. The upper pump-like construction coupled with short but thin heels projects a stylish and sophisticated vibe along with a comfortable wearing experience. Use them with jeans, office trousers, and skirts.
6. Peep Toes
Peep toes shoes have the front portion of the shoes open from where the toes peep out, thus giving the implied name. These types of shoes may feature different styles and heel lengths but having an open-toe box classifies them as peep-toes. These versatile shoes go with any type of dress.
7. Oxford Heels
Oxford heels are women’s shoes having a lace-up upper just like an oxford shoe but with relatively high heels suited for women’s wear. These are smart and stylish shoes suited for both casual and formal clothing. They look particularly good with office wear.
Stilettos are classic thin heels with pointed tips shaped like the Italian stiletto dagger. The front of the shoe can be either pointed or rounded. The core of the heel is made of steel or a durable and hard alloy for stability. Stilettos give the appearance of longer and thin legs when worn and are thus a favourite among different types of footwear for ladies. Do practice beforehand if you have not worn stilettos before.
9. Scarpin Heels
First, there were stilettos, and then came Scarpin heels. These sophisticated shoes have even thinner heels than stilettos with a closed pointed-toe construction. A favourite of the jet-set, they should be worn sparingly and only on those occasions where you do not have to walk or even stand much.
10. Ankle strap Shoes
Types of footwear that come with straps to be fastened around the ankle come under the umbrella of ankle strap shoes. These may come up in several designs and heel shapes. Lace-up heels have the same construction as ankle strap shoes replaced by soft laces or ribbons instead of leather straps. Wear them with short dresses when going out for a party.
11. Block Heels
Block heels are different types of shoes having similar solid high heels in a rectangular shape. These shoes are trendy and stylish as they are high heels yet comfortable to walk in as the heels are blockier and not thin which gets the body weight distributed uniformly on the feet. Use these with all kinds of formal and casual wear.
12. Ankle Boots
Ankle boots also called booties are ankle-high boots with heels of any length or shape including high, low, thin, or chunky. They can be made of leather or suede and come in different tones and shades. Wear them with trousers or jeans cut at the ankles for showing off these gorgeous booties.
13. Calf Length Boots
Calf boots are types of footwear that immediately attract attention. These striking boots as the name suggest end at the calves and are mostly worn during winters in the Indian subcontinent. These come with heels in different variations. These look particularly good with skinny jeans and boots are worn over them.
So, these are some of the different types of footwear essential for men and women. These shoes will complete your shoe collection and solve your shoe issues for a long time.