Finding a good pair of everyday men’s shoes is every guy’s footwear dream. An everyday shoe has to be comfortable, hardwearing, and appropriate for pretty much any social occasion, up to and including the supermarket, hikes in the country, and dinner at your mother-in-law’s. The problem is, most guys find their favourite everyday shoe and then wear the same pair…every single day. Through rain, hail, shine and mud. If your everyday shoes are made of leather, this gives them a seriously limited life expectancy.
So what men’s shoes are best for everyday wear? And how can you make sure your favourite everyday shoes are still keeping your feet dry in five years’ time? Here’s everything you need in a good pair of everyday men’s shoes.
The best everyday shoes need to be breathable above all else, if only for the sake of people standing close to you on public transport. Synthetic materials tend to trap sweat, water and odour, especially after a few months of dedicated wear. Instead, look for everyday shoes with a leather upper and lining. This will let your feet breathe naturally, even on long walks DECO 2.0, SMITH and VICE sneakers are some of our best casual shoes, and they’re all good options here. These guys are cut from full grain leather uppers and finished with a rubber soles. Just match them with some light cotton socks (or even bamboo, for extra sweat-busting power) and you can keep walking all day.
For obvious reasons, the best everyday men’s shoes aren’t going to be made of suede or nubuck. We’ve written whole articles on caring for suede and nubuck shoes, and while both materials have a lot going for them, one thing they don’t handle well is moisture. You shouldn’t wear suede and nubuck shoes in the rain, if you can help it, and constant everyday wear will warp and damage the leather. Also, pay some attention to your soles. Men’s everyday shoes should have hardwearing rubber soles—not leather. They’re grippier, water resistant, less slippery, and they’ll last much, much longer
Any shoe that’s going to stand up to rigorous everyday wear needs some serious cobbling behind it. All Aquila shoes are made to the highest standard, but if you’re looking for a little extra comfort and quality, invest in Sacchetto construction. This is one of our patented shoe-making techniques: instead of wrapping the leather upper around a rigid insole, we stitch it to a supple piece of lining to form a kind of slipper, then insert soft foam in the heel (for comfort). Sacchetto construction makes quite possibly the comfiest everyday men’s shoes going around. You can find it on our HARLEY chelsea boots.
When it comes to everyday men’s shoe styles, you’ve got some options to explore. Sneakers are probably going to be the obvious choice: they’re incredibly comfortable, suitable for weekends, commutes, dinner at the pub, long walks in the park etc., and they come in a bunch of different styles and colours. But don’t forget the humble Chelsea boot either. Our LUCCA Chelsea boots are great for everyday wear, with their leather uppers, leather lining and rubber soles. Lastly, there are slip-on shoes, like the TREY and the BALFORT 2.0. These guys are less rugged than boots and sneakers, but the comfort factor is through the roof. Just make sure to avoid any slip-ons with leather soles and suede uppers: they’re too delicate for everyday wear.
A men’s everyday shoe needs to be versatile. And by that we mean it should carry you (almost) anywhere. Sneakers are pretty good at this – you can even wear them with suits – but the most versatile everyday shoes are usually going to be Chelsea boots or Chukka boots. You can wear these guys everywhere that sneakers are welcome, and they can even be dressed up for smart-casual occasions: just throw a pair of DEXTER Chelsea boots, or DECLAN Chukkas, under jeans or slim-fit chinos. Dress them up with a button-up shirt, or down with a simple crew-neck tee. Chelseas and Chukkas, if they’re made well, are as comfortable as any sneaker: just look for things like kid leather lining and rubber soles.
This is the big trick with men’s everyday shoes: don’t wear the same pair every single day. It’s a bit misleading, we know, but leather needs time to rest and recover—at least 24 hours, usually. Wearing the same pair of leather shoes day-in day-out will warp them over time, damaging the uppers from the inside out. You can prolong your shoes’ life with some care and good quality polish, but really the best solution is to get a few pairs of everyday shoes on rotation. Maybe one pair of leather sneakers, one pair of Chukka or Chelsea boots, and one pair of slip-ons. Give each pair at least a day’s rest between uses, and polish them all about once a month. Job done.