With all the great and good of the menswear fashion scene at the biannual Pitti Uomo fair in Florence, Italy, we are delighted to report Herring Shoes footwear was sported by certain members of the distinguished guest list.
Designer Filippo Matera, menswear consultants Guillame Bo and fashion blogger Nicola Radano have all been seen wearing Herring Shoes while enjoying the oversize suits and colourful hoodies from Pitti’s guest designer Glenn Martens of the Y/Project amid the street-style luxe outerwear, retro logos and gender-neutral accessories that have dominated this year’s fair.
It seems an unlikely scene for the traditional gentlemen’s shoe, but models and guests have been sporting long overcoats, scarves, ankle-skimming or turned-up trousers and even plus-fours, culottes and long tunics with brogues, monk and Derby-style shoes.
Socks are long and on display, so choice of shoe is crucial while tartan is everywhere too – both on the catwalk and in the crowd. Anything goes with tartan it seems!
It’s good to see the traditional shoe still has place among the high-end fashion that influences the high street designs despite the ever-present penchant for sports shoes. A happy harmony seems to exist between the two…and long may they that continue.
For a greater choice of quality British men’s footwear, please see our website where you can filter on style to achieve the look you want you want to achieve.
You don’t have to feel the pinch with wide-fitting shoes
In a perfect world, we would all have feet that fit a standard shoe and a standard width…but Herring is fully aware feet come in all shapes and sizes.
A standard shoe width in the UK is called an F fitting. This is determined by the lasts shoe manufacturers use to make their product. Previously made from hardwood or cast iron, lasts are now made from plastic and take the form of a foot. This allows manufacturers to mould the leather around the last to ensure the shoe grips the foot in the right way.
For most people, a standard F width is perfectly comfortable, but people with wider or flatter feet may feel the pinch. One of the many wonderful things about our lasted shoes is the flexibility we have to offer a slightly wider last so that we can accommodate these variations without noticeably changing the aesthetic of the shoe.
The standard UK designation for a wider fit is G. G fits are ever so slightly wider than an F fit. It does not represent a great difference in millimetres, but for the customer, it gives them a choice between a shoe that is just that little bit tight and a shoe that is actually very comfortable.
Herring understands this and we offer both medium/standard and wide fittings for our most popular styles, such asour Carnaby brogues and Mayfair Oxfords, so our customers can still have the shoe they want but will enjoy a little more wiggle room.
Wider fittings also give customers flexibility of choice. For instance, if your favourite shoe is not available in your usual medium fitting size, you could probably get away with a half size smaller in a wider fitting.
It is important to point out however that different countries have different measurements for shoe fittings. In the US, an F/standard/medium fitting for men’s shoes would be a D, and a G/wide would be an EE. With the letters being different, confusion should be minimal, but it is always best to check which size scheme your footwear outlet is using to avoid getting the wrong shoes!
Herring is proud to offer a decent range of wide fitting shoes. If you are unsure of what styles are available, please go to the Herring section of our website, filtered for G fits. We currently have 18 classic styles for you to choose from. You are also very welcome to call our customers services team on 01548 854886 who will be able to give you advice on the best shoe for you.
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.”
I wore a lot of sneakers when I was younger. Jordans, AND1, Adidas, Puma, LA Gear, Spring Court and so on.
I even used to collect them in the early 90’s, but I’ve never thought they would look nice with a suit or a blazer as a “matter of principle”.
As a matter of fact I do think sneakers are great for… sports. Even so I can wear them with Chinos sometimes, or Corduroys, with white pants during summer – casual styles.
The point is that everybody has been wearing them (and almost only them) for the last 25 years (same thing for denim) and you guys know how much I hate it when everybody looks the same and buys the same, especially when it’s expensive and made in Asia by factories with bad reputations for child workers. They are also now the symbol of the new tribe from the Silicon valley… and we all know they are the perfect epitome of…good taste.
I love nice shoes. Real shoes. They last. They become nicer when they age. We look nicer wearing them.
However I have met a few Gentlemen who wear tennis or basketball style shoes with a jacket or suit, light ones, mostly when it’s hot, and it worked perfectly for them. Their models were nice, very neutral or well mixed with their outfits and it was great. Yes, again, you are going to say it is very “Italian”. Well, yes OK, but if it works, why not?!
Nowadays we can find splendid pairs of sneakers, with great leathers and patinas for instance. Moreover, it’s a fact that we all agree with – they are comfortable! So choose a bespoke looking pair, don’t follow the crowd, and only wear them with a casual look and maybe you can kill two birds with one stone Gentlemen!
It’s been a long wait and now my Wildsmith Niven have arrived. I am so excited.
Whilst on holidays in May last year I had the privilege of visiting Herring Shoes in Devon, and got a glimpse of some of the new Wildsmith range. I was very impressed by what was on offer and started to save my pennies, even though I did invest in two pairs of boots at the time.
Herring have just relaunched the Wildsmith brand with some fabulous shoes. The brand was founded by John Wildsmith more than 170 years ago and represents the pinnacle of shoe making. Apparently the brand has quite an auspicious heritage with actors, royalty and various famous world dignitaries being part of the Wildsmith clientele. Browsing the range and names of the shoes will give you a hint of who some of the famous clients of the past have been.
So, back to the Niven wholecut. It comes in black, chestnut and mocha calf. I decided to go with the mocha. The colour is rich and stunning. Whilst black is always beautiful and a must in every man’s wardrobe, the chestnut is also a standout as the colour grabs you and goes well with a more relaxed setting. The mocha on the other hand is a little bit more daring and can be dressed up and be very formal or can fit the bill for a more relaxed and casual look.
The Niven is simply exquisite and clearly takes its cues from its namesake. It has the elegance and simplicity that only a wholecut can offer but with a twist. The last is sleek and modern but maintains classical lines that will make it a gorgeous addition to any ensemble for many years to come.
Now to the twist. The shoe exudes the sophistication that can only be achieved with a wholecut shoe, but that medallion punching on the toe! It is unique and so definitive. It is simply stunning.
As you would expect with a shoe of this class, it is beautifully made with the best leathers and handmade craftsmanship. As with most beautiful things, the beauty is in the detail. If you turn the shoes upside down you will see what I mean. It doesn’t get better than channel stitched welted soles. Like the Wildsmith of old, the new Wildsmith range continues to represent the pinnacle of shoe craftsmanship. And more specifically, a wholecut shoe is made with one piece of leather which means that the leather needs to be perfect and it requires the most highly skilled craftsman to make them.
I do love my Niven wholecut, it is however only one of many wonderful options. Credit to the team at Herring, the Wildsmith range is quite comprehensive and I am certain one, two or even more pairs would be suitable for the most definitive and stylish men.
Now, that the Niven is out of the box, what to wear them with? Yes, I have it! Of course, my flannel grey three piece Prince of Wales check would go fabulously. And I do have several fedora options too but what colour? Clearly, the Niven in mocha is so versatile. So many possibilities. And with all those celebrities and royalty of the past … it looks like I am in good company.
One more thing, as with all things how you look after them is directly related to how long they last and how good they look over time. I make a habit of ensuring that all my shoes are stored with shoe trees, which I believe is a must. In this instance, I couldn’t go past pairing the Niven with the Wildsmith shoe trees. It is an essential investment for such a beautiful shoe and they look pretty good too.
And, by the way, if you are ever travelling in Devon or just near the vicinity, do yourself a favour and visit the guys at Herring Shoes. They are most gracious and would be happy to show you around their showroom. But, if you have a weakness for fine things and great shoes, you will need to be very strong willed not to spend some money. As for me, I am not so strong willed but do have a great shoes collection, thanks to Herring.
So gents, Mr Niven and I are stepping out and signing off … cheers
A great pair of shoes will make you look great and feel great. There is a mystical effect when you tie the laces of a fine shoe and the handmade shape cups your foot in supple leather. Just putting them on makes you feel special and alerts you to the importance of what is about to happen, whether it is your wedding day, a business meeting or that all important first date. As with all items we choose to wear, your shoes say a lot of things about you that are often subconscious but are interpreted by those around us. A classic black toe-cap oxford at a funeral shows a deep respect for the deceased and the family – yet it is superficially just a plain black shoe. Similarly a subtle two-tone shoe at a party may hint at a flamboyant nature, hidden beneath a conventional front.
What is interesting is that many people choose their shoes with little thought even though they are in many ways the key to every outfit. It is often said that if you look at a man’s shoes you will be able to judge a lot about him. Next time you are at your office, walking around town or doing the shopping, take a look around at people’s footwear. You will see some very well dressed men with scruffy shoes – what judgements are you making when you see that mix? At the other end you may see a very casually dressed man in old worn shoes, that are nonetheless well polished and looked after. Now take a look down and see your own shoes – what would you think if you were seeing them on someone else?
As a very general rule a well looked after pair of shoes indicates a thoughtful, meticulous and maybe old-school approach to life, regardless of the age or apparent wealth of the person’s clothing. Badly maintained shoes on the other hand do not speak well of the owner. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Great shoes are a really great investment in yourself.
Last time I told you how much I love braces/suspenders.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like belts. I do wear them… sometimes.
There are two important things to think about when choosing a belt.
Firstly they must go with your shoes. A blue suede belt with blue suede shoes for example, or brown leather with your brown monks.
Secondly if you are wearing a tie, this tie should just touch your belt and not hide it.
Also a bonus tip; try and avoid low rise pants or you are going to look like you are “cut in two” with short legs and a huge trunk!
A last trick for you gentlewomen and gentlemen. If you want your belts not to be too deformed (because when you wear them often, they are), just think about wearing them the other way. Right for left handed, left for right handed and you will even out the distortion.
It’s time for me to tell you something that will change your life gentlemen! Maybe that is a bit too much but seriously it might…
Do you think braces are just for old fashioned people, that they are ‘Old School’? That they are only for old guys?
No they are not!
Surely you are sick and tired of people showing their behind because their trousers/pants slip down when they bend over or sit down. What about your own trousers slipping or the constriction of wearing a belt?
If you don’t find these things irksome you are not like most of the human race!
Please try wearing braces / suspenders, you will feel soooo much better and much more comfortable. They feel as light as air, just like a toddler feels in an overall or a craftsman in dungarees.
You can wear any trousers with braces but I prefer the original style button fixing to clip-ons. All Herring braces come with both mechanisms so you need not worry – just choose your favourite.
Just one more thing. Don’t forget that you must match your braces to your shoes, just like the rule I told you about with a belt. The leather part of the braces or belt should match the leather of your shoes.
First and foremost, noooo white socks with shoes. No exceptions. Sports shoes and some sneakers are the only possible styles to have white socks.
I hope it is obvious to 90% of you gentlemen but we must help the 10% who still kill our eyes everyday. (It’s true that in the 60’s for example, we saw JF Kennedy and students wear their penny loafers with white socks. It’s been called the “Ivy (league)” touch ever since. Very American. Very casual. Their loafers were the first sneakers).
You don’t wear black suits do you? You shouldn’t. Unless you are in mourning or an undertaker of course. I hope you wear grey or dark blue suits with black shoes. A suit is a business outfit so keep it as simple as possible. These subtle little details will make a big difference though. Try to find grey/black or black/blue socks. I always try to find the right colour so there is no difference between my trousers and shoes. Try also to choose knee high socks. No one wants to see your hairy ankles. Please.
With your casual outfits dare and have fun: but that does not mean Mickey Mouse socks or The Simpsons. Ever.
I love to find the same textures or fabrics as my blazer, jacket or cardigan. Or the same colour as my tie or pocket square. Sometimes the same pattern as my twill jacket or vest/waistcoat.
Heavy fabrics like wool will keep your feet warm and cosy, lighter cottons will help you not to feel too hot and sweaty.
Socks are also a good way to protect your shoes and to make them last longer, of course.