At any wedding the groom will spend hours on their feet talking to distant relatives and dancing the night away. For comfort purposes and to make sure you look good on the dancefloor, getting the right pair of dress shoes is vital.
With so many different styles and materials to choose from, it can be difficult to know where you should start when looking at the shoes you’ll say ‘I do’ in.
This guide will cover the various factors that will go into forming your decision, the preparation you have to complete before and after you’ve chosen your perfect wedding shoe, we will also break down how appropriate certain styles will be for certain weddings.
There are many factors that will influence the style of shoe you opt for but a good place to start for the majority of grooms having a traditional wedding will be the classic black oxford.
Jason Simmonds, MD of Herring Shoes advises a ‘safety first’ approach for most grooms. “They may not have have a strong idea of what they want, they just don’t want to get it wrong,” he says. “We would advise keeping it traditional and classic and with that you can’t go wrong.”
Jason describes the black or brown Oxford as a “perennial favourite” with a narrow shape that looks best when paired with a formal outfit. “If you’ve got a traditional suit with full-length leg then you’d want a sleek Oxford to mirror the sleekness of the suit,” he says. Dark colours are still the most popular choice but there can be the option of trying a two-tone combination in a brogue style for something a little different.
Herring’s Farnham two-tone brogue in chestnut and navy are a good example of how tradition can be combined with a little more jazz. Jason says they will go well with a navy suit and have a “traditional look with a little more interest rather than just being a simple shoe”.
Some grooms may well be inclined to move away from the most formal outfits and this is when there may be more scope for experimentation. “If you’re aiming for a turned-up, chino-style look then going for a boot could be a good idea. This can be quite trendy but is pretty out there,” says Jason.
A lot goes into deciding on a wedding shoe. A groom’s personal preference will certainly play a big role but first and foremost you will have to speak to your partner and find out what sort of style they’d like to see you in. After all, who knows your style better than the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with?
Coordinating with groomsmen will be the next factor for the groom to bear in mind. Sometimes it’ll be as simple as the groomsmen going for the same pair as the groom while there is also the option to “go for a contrast that is still complimentary” says Jason. If the groomsmen do wear something different to the groom, the chosen shoe cannot be more attention-grabbing than the groom’s. “If the groom’s wearing a very traditional style then groomsmen must also have a very traditional style. But if he’s jazzing it up with a black and white two-tone for example, then they might also go for something that has a little more jazz about it.”
Traditional designer styles and colours will be the best option for winter weddings but if you’re getting married in the warmer months then something a little lighter in weight and colour can work well. Jason suggests Herring’s Henley two-tone brogues, a lighter shoe made of leather and canvas that would be “absolutely perfect for summer weddings”.
Similarly, Jason says a relaxed loafer like the Matisse can work equally well for a relaxed summer occasion (pictured below).
Against all the other things you’ll have to prepare for the wedding, sorting your shoes out may not seem like a high priority but it should be. When you feel confident in your footwear, everything else will seem that much easier.
A prudent approach will be to treat your purchase as a dress shoe investment for the future, not just for the day. Jason describes Herring’s £225 – £275 price point as the “sweet spot” where quality, variety and value for money meet – these are the shoes that will last for years after your wedding is long finished.
To allow for deliveries and returns as you search for the best size and style, try and get your shoes sorted as early as possible once you’ve set a date. Jason explains: “Preparation is key, especially if you want to get your groomsmen tied in.”
It may sound obvious but giving yourself time to wear in the shoes is just about the most important piece of preparation you can do. In a cheap, poorly made pair of shoes, a day of walking, standing and dancing will inevitably end in a blister or two. “A quality shoe will not feel comfortable from the first moment you slip it on,” says Jason. “The quality components that make it last will mean they are fairly rigid so your foot has to break it in and the sole has to mould to your foot.”
Herring Shoes – who offer free UK deliveries and returns – have been in operation since 1966, designing their own shoes that are mostly manufactured by well-respected British factories. Each pair of shoes they produce is a heritage piece. “Getting married is a stressful time and you want to make it as easy as possible,” says Jason. “It’s worth spending that extra bit of money for a quality pair of British shoes as they will be part of a treasured memory for years to come.”
Visit www.herringshoes.co.uk/herring to find the perfect pair for your special day.