Simple Guide to Men’s Dress Shoes for Young Professionals

Why invest in shoes

  • Higher quality shoes last longer – do the math – replacing $100 Bostonians every year or so will cost $1000 over a decade where a $400 pair with one or two re-solings will last as long!
  • Shoes Signal Status – People notice your shoes – would you prefer women notice your shoes for the right or wrong reason? Like it or not – your shoes will signal to anyone paying attention if you are high or low value. This can impact dating, promotions and more!

These two reasons combine to drive you to buy the best shoes you can afford!

What to look for in shoes?

There are two things that general indicate the quality of craftsmanship that goes into a men’s shoe. If you look for these details you can ensure your purchase will stand the test of time.
* High quality shoes will be made of real leather and even have leather soles.
* High quality shoes are stitched (or welted) not glued. I always look for Goodyear Welting a technique prevalent with English shoes.
* Look for lining made from natural materials such as calfskin versus synthetics. This will let your feet breath better which keeps moisture to a minimum thus extending the life of the shoe.

How to care for shoes?

When you decide to shell out $200 or up on a quality shoe you need to commit to the maintenance of your investment. This means the following:
* Rotate your shoes – meaning buy more than one quality pair and give each pair a rest of a day minimum between wear.
* Invest in shoe trees – cedar show trees will help extract moisture from your shoes and maintain their shape. As a rule of thumb your shoes should be on shoe trees when not on your feet!


* Polish Frequently – wipe down your shoes after each wear. Perform a complete polish every month.
* Find a Cobbler – find a trustworthy local shoe repair place. They are often located in business districts and give your shoes a checkup and re-soling as needed.

Brands to Look For

I tend to be loyal to a few brand including:

  • Loake
    • Allen Edmonds
    • Johnston & Murphy
    • Crocket & Jones
    • Church’s
  • Young Professional Mans Shoe Starter Set

    This advice can be intimidating for a man just starting out – these shoes are expensive on an entry level salary. I recommend you put together the shoe wardrobe below for around $1200.

    • Pick up two pairs of Black Oxfords so you can rotate as needed. One can be higher quality than the other.
      • Loake Oxford
      • Johnston & Murphy Oxford
    • Pick either a burgundy or brown Oxford to pair with your navy suits.
      • Allen Edmonds Burgundy
    • Also aim to add a more casual loafer to your starter set so you blend in on casual Friday
      • Crocket & Jones Loafer
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