How casual is ‘casual’ ? by Guillaume Bo of MNMS


Nowadays casual means everything and…nothing. Originally, gentlemen had to wear suits in town. Casual meant country. Casual meant colours. Casual meant more “room for manoeuvre”

Thanks to our first article dedicated to dress or formal shoes, you know what you should wear with your suits. But nowadays far fewer people wear suits regularly and so things have changed a lot. The “old rules” are no longer available for a lot of men. “No brown in town” for example is completely out of date. These days you have choice and sometimes that is not easy!

Herring Shackleton

This is why also we must tell the difference between casual and…casual.

Do you still wear a jacket or a blazer? Do you walk a lot? Do you drive a lot? Do you want to have a nice pair for the week end only? Or do you only wear denim?

Herring Exford and Gidleigh bag

Basically, you should consider that if you do wear classic attire, like a blazer with nice trousers, or even nice blue denim trousers with a jacket, you are more “formal” than casual. In this case feel free to wear nice Oxfords for example, but not black ones. In fact you can almost wear whatever you want as long as it is not black. (This applies to your clothes too – no black!). Think about blue or brown loafers, tan double monks, nice derbies. Be bold and try and coordinate with what you are wearing.

Herring Fiennes

It is the same thing for your socks. Casual means fewer constraints and less rigidity.

Casual also means “practical”. Rubber soles can be very helpful for those who walk a lot or those who need to worry about the rain and the slippery sidewalks for example.

If you are lucky enough not to have a dress code at work, feel free to wear whatever you want. Same thing for your days off and weekends.

Herring Shackleton

But never forget that a nice pair of shoes makes always the difference. Play with textures, fabrics and colours but don’t go to far.

Just forget about black ones, horrible flip-flops or Crocs of course. A contemporary gentleman is still a gentleman and he knows that balance and moderation are the key.

Sartorially yours,

Guillaume Bo ( MenNeedMoreStyle )

Shoe style guide by Nicola Radano



Ciao a tutti, oggi sono qui per darvi alcuni consigli e aiuti, su come scegliere il modello di scarpa adeguato in base alle diverse occasioni. Vediamo di seguito,alcuni modelli dai pià classici ai pià casual.

Hello everyone, today I am here to give you some advice and help on how to choose the most appropriate model of shoes according to different occasions. Please see below for my selections.


Nata nel 1830, è la scarpa per eccellenza delle occasioni di gala sia diurne che notturne. Presenta un allacciatura a 6 occhielli, chiusa. Consigliata con un abito dai toni scuri e pantalone con risvolto ampio (5cm).

First popular in the 1830’s, this shoe is ideal for formal occasions, day or night. The closed lacing makes this style sleek in profile and so the most elegant design of shoe. In black leather it can be worn with a dark suit or brown leathers. For extra flair they work really well with cuffed (turn-up) trousers but you would not do this with a black pair.

Herring-Herring Knightsbridge (oxford)-Black Calf-448-418-1


la forma ¨ simile alla Oxford, ma dalla punta meno arrotondata, ¨ caratterizzata da forature dette a œnido di rondine” che rendono questa scarpa classica, ma allo stesso tempo pi casual. Si pu indossare con un abito, preferibilmente spezzato (giacca e pantalone diversi).

The brogue is a style that uses punching details in the leather to create a pattern. This makes it more casual than an Oxford. You can complement the shoe by wearing a broken outfit i.e. non-matching trousers and jacket.

Herring-Herring Gladstone II-Chestnut Calf-10859-5593-1


Una scarpa chiusa, con la tomaia che risale verso il collo del piede, sulla quale si sovrappone unâ ala allacciata lateralmente da una (single monk strap) o due fibbie (double monk strap, o dub-monks) a seconda del modello. Meno formale della Oxford, ma allo stesso tempo elegante. Indossabile con un abito dalle tonalità scure.

The monk can have either one or two straps depending on the style. The shoe is generally elasticated to allow the shoe to slip-on without needing to alter the tackles, although if you have a high instep you will need to undo the buckles. This is less formal than an Oxford but a little more elegant than a brogue. This is best worn with darker tones.

Herring-Herring Ranscombe-Brown suede-10457-5422-1Herring-Herring Cabra-Blue Suede-8773-4710-1



La scarpa pià usata dalglâ italiani, considerata un must per lâ uomo a cui piace essere elegante, ma non eccessivamente. La possiamo trovare con una punta sfilata o quadrata, in camoscio o di pelle. Indossabile con un abito spezzato o con un jeans e camicia.

This is an essential shoe for the Italian people, considered a must for men who like to be stylish but not extravagant. It can have a pointed or square toe and be made of suede or leather. It is best worn with an unmatched jacket and trousers or with jeans and a shirt.

Herring-Herring Charlton-Hazlenut Calf-2768-1485-1


Anchâ essa utilizzatissima dal dandy italiano, che si sente molto giovane. presenta la stessa forma della loafer ma sul collo piede presenta delle noppine in pelle intrecciata.

Adatta per look classic con tocchi sportivi (la mia preferita).

Another favourite in Italy is the tassel loafer, worn by a younger and more extravagant man, it has the same shape as a standard loafer but the tassel and lace around the heel add more flamboyance. This is my favourite design as it is great with classic styling or more sporty outfits.


Uno stivaletto con le stringhe, un must per qualsiasi uomo, comodo e chic allo stesso tempo. Utilizzabile su un abito non eccessivamente formale e su jeans.

The Chukka boot, a must for any man, is comfortable and chic at the same time. This is definitely a relaxed style that is best worn with jeans and informal attire.


Herring-Herring Campden-Brown Suede-464-434-1



Una scarpa molto casual simile alla chukkaboot, leggermente pià bassa e con la pianta molto larga e con suola in gomma o in para. Utilizzabile per qualsiasi situazione, non estremamente formale.

Derby designs are great for wearing if you have a high instep, but because of the construction of the lacing being open they are not as elegant and so less formal. They are often in wider fittings and can be seen in country designs with plain fronts. Suitable for most situations but not for formal wear.

Herring-Herring Rusland (Rubber)-Mahogany Grain-3624-1970-1


Lo stivaletto per eccellenza, adatto per chi ama gli abbinamenti classici con tocchi casual. Presenta la molla ai lati e possiamo trovarlo anche nella versione Brogue.

With elasticated sides the Chelsea is a superb boot for most occasions. It is sleek and formal looking in black or casual and relaxed in brown making it extremely flexible for your wardrobe.


Herring-Herring Robbie-Cedar Calf-10162-5280-1


Spero possiate apprezzare questi miei consigli, per qualsiasi domanda, non esitate a scrivermi.

I hope you can appreciate my advice, for any questions please do contact me here or via my blog at

Ciao a tutti, Nicola.

Gui’s gift guide

In the latest of our series of guest blog articles by fashion guru Guillaume Bo, he has compiled a short guide to help you chose the right shoes for your loved ones.

You have a great idea that you want to buy a new pair of shoes (for maybe your lover, husband, son, grand father). Then you realise it’s not that easy.

“Should I try something new?”

“Should I think about something for his job?”

“What about those beautiful red or green boots” and so on.

Finally, you give up and you buy a tie (again) a shirt (one more time) or even a cigar.

Let me give you some tips for these guys that might help.

So, a young man will love to wear nice loafers, chelsea boots or double monks with his blazer/shirt/sweater. Instead of his usual sneakers.

IMG_3870 copy
Herring Shelley
Herring Charley
Herring Charley

If you are really looking forward your husband/lover/friend wearing something different than his old battered shoes, just try to upgrade but not too much. Think about a nice derby with rubber soles. But not too “vintage” though. Think about casual boots, maybe with natural sole edges. Think about nice leather trainers or sneakers, maybe even brogued trainers.

Herring Canning
Herring Canning

Do you know someone that’s looking for a job? Black Oxfords, boots or loafers. They will be great for his interviews.

Is your man someone who travels a lot? or someone who lives in his car? Something light, easy to take off so the loafer is again great choice.

Herring Matisse

For your grandfather, choose some new velvet slippers, that will make him feel at ease and elegant at home.

Herring Monarch

Basically, it is not so difficult to choose a great and suitable pair of shoes as a gift, the secret is to try not to think about yourself, think about the person you are buying for.


The great thing about shoes is they all have different strengths, so once you know what you are looking for, the suitable styles will jump out at you. Think different if you want to be sure your present will be worn as men are often too conservative but can always wear a bit more colour than we expect. And think classical style – they may have the shoes for years so make sure it is something that will last. Shoes do make a great gift if you follow these simple steps, after all we all need a nice pair of shoes.

England vs Italy by Guillaume Bo of Men Need More Style

England vs Italy.

No, it’s not a football game. This is about their very different styles. For decades, a gentlemen had to choose which he wanted to follow. The British school is all about rules and codes that are very established. The Italian school is more about freedom, seduction and comfort. This is also the case for shoes.

For example, nowadays we can see a lot of men wearing their loafers without socks or with invisible socks. This is a typically Italian look that, for a British gentleman, is highly unorthodox, and constitutes sacrilege! In the British view a gentleman must not show his hairy ankles and I agree. Wearing formal or business attire can inspire a “style saving” restraint. This helps you to appreciate that you do not only wear clothes and shoes for yourself, but in a large measure as a way to communicate about yourself, to help other people understand you.



So British is best? No.

It can be very “cool” to rock your nice tassels and even monk shoes with more casual combinations. It says to the world: “hey, I’m a gentleman but I’m not that obsessed by myself. I’m open, I’m alive, I’m dynamic”. Italian style takes the essence of British style, the best of it, then modifies and softens it. They learnt the rules so they could break them.


So Italian is best? No.

You can like both schools as I do. Elegance is all about balance, not rules. First and foremost it is about knowing what flatters you and how you feel about what you are wearing. Which style you find most suitable can vary depending on your emotions, your social life and your work.

FullSizeRender    FullSizeRender

Thankfully our world is not as small as it used to be. Our tastes and inspirations have been evolving as influences from around the world inspire us. Good taste can be found in Asia, America, Africa, anywhere. But don’t forget gentlewomen and gentlemen, classic style is timeless, secure and understated but should never be boring at all.

So gentlemen, it is a draw, Italy 1- England 1 and we are all winners.

Shoes speak louder than words,

Guillaume Bo



What is a ‘last’ shape and why is it important?

Without doubt one of the biggest questions when buying a handmade, lasted shoe is, ‘will shoes made on this last shape fit me?’ Firstly I will try and explain exactly what a last is.

If you can picture a wooden shoe tree then you have a basic idea of what the last looks like. It is a piece of wood that is shaped a unique way, that will form the shape of the shoe when the leather is stretched over it.

Highly skilled craftsmen tack the leather onto the last to ensure it is evenly stretched. Excess leather is then pared away so the shoe-maker can start attaching the sole to the upper. The shoe will stay on the last shape until they are ready to be polished and boxed.

Individual bespoke lasts in one of the factories we use in Northampton


As you can imagine, there are many different last shapes from manufacturer to manufacturer. You will still find that last shapes cross over from style to style, for example the Herring Gosforth  is a Chukka boot made on the 026 last, as is the Herring Knightsbridge, an oxford toe cap shoe.  Although they are two different styles, the footbed and uppers will be the same and have the same overall shape and feel. On very rare occasions you get shoes made on the same last shape that can be a little different inside, this is down to the fact that one of the pairs was perhaps left on the last a little longer or shorter and so the leather may have stretched more or less than another pair. As these are handmade items, the subtle variations are to be expected and are part of the charm of a traditional crafted item, rather than a fault.

When looking at the last name or most commonly the number, unfortunately there is no recognised system or table to determine how each one will fit. There is no reliable relation between names and numbers so the 026 standard last is, for example, very different to the wide country 024 last.

The common mistake when looking at last shapes, is to think that a longer last is for a longer foot size. This is not the case. In theory the last is always sized to fit a standard foot size, meaning that a long last will fit the same foot as a standard last shape. The difference is in the appearance of the outline of the shoe.  A good example of this is the Herring Lewis which is made on the very sleek 486 last, but will fit just as well as any other lasted shoe.

Herring-Herring Lewis-Brandy cobbler-9354-4936-1
Herring Lewis in Brandy cobbler colour, made on the sleek 468 last


To summarise, the last is really more about the outline and style of the shoe, than how it will fit you. The key benefit of buying shoes from Herring is that we test all our shoes for size across all our manufacturers so you can be reasonably confident that any size shoe you find that fits will be similar to any other equivalent size. For the best results, you can just choose another style on the same last shape as this is virtually guaranteed to fit. You can search our website by last shape to make this easier. Just put the last name into the text search and all the styles on that last should appear. We have also added a shoe last comparison page which allows you to see the most popular herring lasts side by side.

If you do find that you have bought a pair of shoe on a last that is not quite right we are always happy to exchange or refund the shoes and we can always offer advice on what lasts would be best for you, based on your previous purchases and our extensive experience of helping customers for many years.

How to polish a calf and suede shoe:

We receive many calls from our customers asking us about polishing shoes, the best techniques and products to use. We have put a video showing basic polishing and bulling techniques on our youtube channel. But this blog post is aimed at the specific challenges of two-tone shoes. Due to the amount of superb two tone shoes we sell ( leather and suede ) we wanted to show you how easy it is to care for them and to show that suede is not as fragile as you may think.

Read on for a full tutorial (with images)