When it comes to men's shoes, there areis no shortage of options. For every occasion and every type of outfit, there is a men’s shoe style to match. The right choice of shoes can bring elegance or add a casual finish to your outfits. In this guide, we share the top five essential men's footwear styles, and when you should be wearing them.
If you support Fashion Activism, remember that second-hand are the most sustainable shoes, and the best way to be stylish while minimising your environmental impact. Use this guide as inspiration, but don't forget to incorporate your own unique style. Now, as always, you make the rules!
Oxford shoes, (also known in French as Richelieus), are often confused with derbies. But fashion connoisseurs know these two timeless styles have a few subtle differences. In terms of look, every detail counts. The main difference between the oxford and the Derby lies in the laces. The Oxford is characterised by a closed lacing system where the quarters, the side tabs where the shoelace eyelets are punctured, are sewn under the upper part of the shoe known as the vamp. Once laced, the two edges come together to form a V shape. They only spread out slightly and therefore allow for a tighter lacing, perfect for narrow feet. The derby, on the other hand, is designed with open lacing, where the quarters are stitched on top of the vamp. Less bound in both appearance and fit, they can therefore be spread out according to the foot's shape, offering greater comfort.
The style of lacing on the oxford shoe gives them a more formal look. Therefore, they will usually pair better with a suit, a dinner jacket, or straight trousers, where they can show off their longer toe. Oxfords are the best of their class because of their elegance. They are typically worn for special occasions and are a natural choice for those offices where formal dress is still required.
Those who dare, and have the confidence, can try the more risky combination of suede oxfords with a chino or well-cut jeans. When choosing a colour, traditional black should only be worn with an all-black suit or tux. The best colour for your wardrobe? The easiest option is the classic brown, a universally accepted colour for this type of shoe.
Known for being formal, understated, and timeless, the oxford is essential for occasions that call for elegance. You can find countless second-hand oxford shoes on the Vestiaire Collective app. Our selection is updated daily by our community of Fashion Activists from all over the world, so you're bound to find a pair that will add polish to your closet.
Close relatives of the oxfords, derbies are the more casual of the two and have the advantage of their incredible versatility. Light materials such as more breathable suede or canvas work perfectly when temperatures are mild, while stiff leathers and thick suedes are welcome materials to fight against the cold. Derbies come in multiple different silhouettes including the wingtip, the cap toe and the square toe. There's truly a look for everyone!
Derby shoes are suitable for all occasions and can be worn with either formal or more casual outfits. They look great paired with chinos, jeans, or dress trousers. You'll always find the derby reinvented each season in new styles and textures, whether smooth leather or suede. We are currently seeing oiled leather and distressed finishes on the latest models. They are available in every colour, but most commonly in black, grey, brown, navy blue, and camel.
There is a lot of freedom when styling the derby. When putting together an outfit, you'll likely only need to focus on matching their colour and material to your clothing. Both luxury fashion houses and more affordable brands offer derbies in their collections, which is all the more reason to add this timeless shoe to your collection.And not to worry, this style holds excellent resale value as they are unlikely to go out of fashion. For a more unique look, you can opt for single buckle or double buckle derbies (sometimes called monkstraps) worn with denim for a contemporary casual look.
If luxury footwear is your weakness, you'll relish in the vast selection of designer derbies on Vestiaire Collective. The greats are all available second-hand, from Dior Homme to Saint Laurent to Church's. You'll find an incredible deal while also respecting the environment because when you choose not to purchase new items, you make a vote to preserve the Earth’s natural resources. What could be more stylish than that?
Loafers are everywhere. You can spot them practically as soon as you step outside, on the feet of men as well as women. They're sprouting up all over the streets and shattering gender boundaries left and right, bringing forward a natural and subtle approach to everyday style. Loafers were once generally reserved for mild weather, but they can also look cool when paired with thick ribbed wool socks in the winter.This laceless shoe is all about minimalism and a clean aesthetic.
A versatile design, the loafer comes in many different materials, silhouettes and colours. Among the most classic is the "penny loafer," recognisable by its famous slit on the foot where American students used to slip in a coin in case they had to make an emergency phone call. The tassel loafer is another iconic shape with a retro feel. This timeless style was recently reconceptualized by the brand Off-White with a marble-like heel. Even more luxurious are the loafers adorned with a precious horse-bit, made famous by Gucci in 1968.
The iconic brand has revisited the popular style in many silhouettes, such as mules, heels, a thick notched sole, fur-lined, and even a mock-espadrille. We can't forget the flexible and comfortable driving shoe, a moccasin-like loafer with rubber grommet soles, popularised by Tod’s with the Gommino. As the name states, these were initially designed for driving to ensure the foot doesn't slip off the pedals but are now commonly worn for everyday wear.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, practical, and stylish shoe, the loafer is the perfect choice for any occasion. We love how they can be worn in any situation, whether with jeans, mismatched tailoring, Bermuda shorts, or cotton trousers. For one of the world’s largest selections of second-hand loafers, browse the Vestiaire Collective app and make this style your next favourite everyday shoe.
Nothing makes us swoon like designer shoes, each pair a truly prized possession almost as beautiful as art. Some find it their passion to acquire their favourite brand's signature model, making the waiting lists grow even longer.
Infinitely practical and easy to wear, sneakers are always in demand and at the top of the men’s shoe wish list. Lightweight and comfortable to wear, they blend into your looks like a chameleon, but they also have the potential to stand out. Our favourite sustainable sneaker brand is Veja. The French brand offers sleek and iconic styles that are dominating the streets. They’re our everyday allies for a durable and classic look, ideal for strolling the city or going from the office to a party with friends. Striking a slightly more sophisticated note are Louis Vuitton's Archlight sneakers.
Since 2018, no one has been able to look away from the extra-large sole and oversized tongue of these Dad shoes. When wearing this unisex model, you can be sure that your shoes will not go unnoticed. Athleisure’s influence never ceases to inspire brands and luxury fashion houses, and we can’t get enough of the creative take on sporty styles.
Ankle boots are a must for keeping your feet warm in the winter. They protect you from the elements in style with black leather that covers the ankle for optimal support. From Balenciaga to Bottega Veneta, the styles available for men are elegant and polished. Consider finding for your next pair of designer shoes second-hand on Vestiaire Collection and do your part to preserve the Earth’s natural resources for future generations. With new styles listed everyday by our community of over 10 million Fashion Activists around the world, there are looks to satisfy all your fashion desires. Download the app to discover men’s shoes from the world’s most beloved brands.
If following trends and blending in with the crowd isn’t your thing, vintage shoes are for you. These ultra-fashionable items bring spice and authenticity to your looks while also respecting the planet. At Vestiaire Collective, we give the ‘vintage’ label to items that are 15 years old or more. You can even consider our selection of vintage shoes to be naturally sustainable thanks to their quality materials and their ability to stand up to the test of time. By wearing vintage, you can achieve a totally unique look that gives you the satisfaction of consuming fashion responsibly. It’s the best way to express your personality and your environmental commitments at the same time.
Get a distinctly ‘90s look with a pair of Doc Martens and then make them your own by customising the laces, embellishing them with studs, or adding your name. Or, throw back even further with an ‘80s rock aesthetic and wear them with straight-leg jeans and a trench coat. Another style among our top vintage shoes are the Tabi boots by Maison Margiela. First introduced in 1989, they are now a collector's item that fashion lovers can't get enough of. The unconventional shape is split at the big toe and has developed into the brand's signature style.
The contemporary and radically innovative design has slowly emerged into moccasins, sneakers, and even flip-flops for men. The Tabi is a fashion outlier that has survived several decades without losing its originality.
Vintage shoes are durable and designed to last. Some rare styles are even coveted collector’s items for fashion insiders. Whether they will sit on your shelf or your feet, never miss your next style opportunity and create an alert on the Vestiaire Collective app.
Men's fashion is far more varied and sophisticated than meets the eye. It’s all about the small details that add up to create a complete style picture. With the right shoes, you can finish a polished look or create a cool contrast to your casual ensemble. As long as the material you choose is good quality, you can be sure they were constructed to last. Resist the draw of fast fashion and pick a timeless pair that will meet your needs season after season. You can never go wrong with a pair of Margiela shoes. They’re a timeless must-have that defies trends with their elegant, minimalist quality.
At Vestiaire Collective, we’re conscious that our planet is in danger and we will not turn our backs on it. That's why we're doing our part by working towards creating the smallest possible impact on the environment. Thanks to the help of our growing community of over 10 million Fashion Activists worldwide, we offer thousands of freshly listed second-hand pieces each week. With our vision for the future of fashion, we aspire to create a circular economy with a near-net-zero carbon footprint. Join the movement and support our efforts by buying less, but better on the Vestiaire app.