In today’s world of fast fashion, we are exposed to so much - stuff - a shoe for every day of the week, with matching accessories. There was once a time that our fathers would have had an everyday pair of shoes and one ‘good pair’. Imagine that. Times are now more complex, the world has opened up to us which gives us more options, particularly where our wardrobes are concerned. We’re not complaining, but sometimes we yearn for simpler times. A time with fewer decisions to make about footwear. Which brings us nicely to a question we were recently asked: How do you create a men’s minimalist shoe collection?
How to create a men's minimalist shoe collection
The first step is to analyse where you would spend the majority of your time. We’ve broken it down into the situations most modern gentlemen would find themselves in. We've then highlighted the types of shoes that are most fitting for these occasions.
Shoes for the office
Generally speaking, smart shoes are divided into Oxfords and Derbies, with brogues being a popular choice in both styles, albeit considered a less formal look. When deciding what pair of office-appropriate shoes to add to your collection, it really depends on how formal the office dress code is.
We’ll start at the most formal, Oxfords. The clean and minimalist style of an Oxford features closed laces which are considered more formal than the open lace system on Derby shoes. Derbies are similar to Oxfords but the more relaxed look of the laces makes them more appropriate for smart-casual settings.
Brogues were traditionally a shoe worn for country pursuits. Defined by the decorative holes that were once a functional feature for draining away water on wet terrain. Brogues can come in Oxford or Derby form but are less formal than alternatives, such as a toe cap, so are perfect for a more laid back office environment while still looking smart.
For a minimalist men’s shoe collection it is hard to go wrong with a handsome pair of black leather Oxfords, we suggest the Barker Elgar. However, If you would prefer something that can segue from office to casual, try the Ticker’s Robert Derby or the Robinson’s Kerry brogue.
Shoes for the weekend
There is a huge range of options when it comes to casual men’s footwear. For a minimalist men’s shoe collection you need to consider what style of shoe is most appropriate to your lifestyle. However, a pair of leather sneakers is a perennial fail-safe for most casual situations. We love the Barker Axel for such occasions as they are easily dressed up or down.
If sneakers aren’t your style then a pair of brown suede monk strap shoes, like the Robinson Dublin will see you through any casual occasion. If you want something a bit more unique, then try a penny loafer like the Barker Donnington.
For workout shoes invest in a quality pair of activity appropriate sneakers/ runners and keep these shoes for just that. Don’t be tempted to wear them at the weekend when you’re out and about as the extra wear will take its toll.
Shoes for different climates
Rotating your collection for the seasons is a good way to extend the lifespan of your shoes, keeping your feet protected for the season and keep you looking your best.
Boots are the go-to for colder weather, however, there are many different options to choose from. These styles can vary from smart to sturdy to stylish. For a reliable pair of boots that will see you through the colder months try the Barker Donegal. A solid, toe-cap boot is great for most conditions and if cared for correctly will withstand a lifetime of use.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a fair-weather climate then you’ll want a shoe to accommodate this. Espadrilles and loafers are perfect for hot weather, and a quality pair like the Moreschi Bahamas will last for many summers to come. There are a few other things to consider when choosing shoes for a minimalist shoe collection:
The shoes you choose for your minimalist collection will need to be appropriate for multiple occasions, so if in doubt always choose the most versatile style. The hallmarks of a versatile shoe are plain and simple lines, one all-over colour with no obvious logos or over the top decorations.
The foundations of a great minimalist shoe collection are colours that will work well with the rest of your wardrobe. If you’re truly considering creating a minimalist men’s shoe collection (which we hope you are if you’re reading this article). Then having an overall minimalist wardrobe will make things much easier when it comes to choosing colours. Sold neutral colours like black, navy, brown and tan are easy to style and are classic. Keep these colours in mind when choosing your shoes too.
Whether you’re trying to live more sustainably, or if you’re just a sensible shopper - buying a better quality product is always worth the extra upfront money. Think about it. If you purchase a sub-par pair of shoes every year you are paying the same amount of money on several pairs as you would with one good pair. Additionally, you are also sending multiple pairs of shoes to landfill sites.
Invest in one pair of high-quality leather shoes, take care of them and they will last many more years. Ultimately saving you money, and generating less waste.
Remember, it is important that you care for your leather shoes from the first wear. If you want to brush up on your leather shoe care routine read our Robinson’s men’s shoe care manual.
Use what you already have
If you already have a favourite pair or two of quality leather shoes then you can use this as the foundation for your minimalist collection. Use the style of these shoes as inspiration for any extra additions.
The size of your minimalist shoe collection will depend largely on the type of climate you live in and personal preferences. So if your minimalist collection consists of 3 pairs of shoes or 5, just make sure you buy with quality in mind. Keep your collection small, and rotate to climate-appropriate shoes for the changing seasons. Small rotations like these will extend the lifespan on your shoes.
Create your own minimalist shoe collection
Now that you have an understanding of the basics of creating a men’s minimalist shoe collection, why not begin to create your own today? Shop our huge range of quality shoes for the perfect men’s minimalist shoe collection.