Footwear Fundamentals: The 5 Shoe Styles Every Gentleman Needs

If you were a Scout in your youth, you'll know precisely how important it is to “be prepared”. Equally, if you've ever left summer wedding season shopping to the last minute, you'll know that having a good pair of formal shoes on standby will save you a whole lot of horrendous after-work “stress shopping”.

From formal events to festival fields, there are a few crucial shoes every gentleman needs to have in his stash to make sure he's ready for anything. Today we're documenting the 5 essential shoe styles every modern chap needs in his footwear arsenal. Read up, get sorted, don't get caught short.

The sturdy, leather lace-up boot

fam_pic_1_0011_brocket_grain_brownWe may be entering summer, but thanks to the Great British Weather, you never know what the sky is going to throw at you. Fortunately, a sturdy leather lace-up is ready for anything and, these days, it's also a fashion staple.

No longer reserved for hikers, this key piece of footwear can be dressed up to smart-casual level or dressed down to “stomping-through-the-mud” status depending on the occasion. On top of all that, you'll get your money's worth out of these practical-yet-fashionable essentials; their sturdy characteristics will keep your feet dry and easy on the eye season after season.

The dapper, tan brogue

woburn_hi_shine_tanAnother supremely versatile shoe, with distinct Best of British charm. This chap will service your footwear needs from casual attire all the way up to the lower tier of formal occasions. Perfect for work, the park, the pub – these staple shoes look good with everything – and in virtually all weathers too.

The refined, suede loafer

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Perfect for smartening up in the summer without looking over-dressed, the deceptively simple suede loafer is a style classic. Fantastic for going sockless and continental in shorts or chinos, equally great with a light summer suit, these beauties are essential for suave spring/summer dressing.

The white, low top trainer

spam-2-scuba-whiteSimple, vaguely vintage, pleasingly casual but totally appropriate in slightly more spruced up contexts, the white low top trainer is an eternal style staple, whether you're lounging around or out and about. Whether you're wearing them with jeans, shorts or chinos, there's just one rule for white trainers – keep them clean or look like a proper scruff.

The black, leather Oxford

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The least worn, but in many ways the most crucial shoe in your fundamental footwear selection is the black Oxford. You need this bad boy in the bank for those special events which sneak up on you every so often. All too regularly, smart shoes are bought at the last minute with little care for fit or timeless style. Investing in a suave pair of good, eternally slick Oxfords will save you the pain when it's time to get your suit and tie on.

Do you have the full complement of footwear fundamentals? Which kicks do you consider to be essential? Tell us all about it and look out for new styles in the Base Facebook group