Owning a pair of formal shoes is a must for every man. Whether going to the office or dressing up for a wedding, you can’t go wrong with a decent pair of formal shoes or specifically talking, Wingtip shoes.
There are several types of formal shoes available for men, one of which is the wingtip shoe. Wingtip shoes are a style of dress shoes that are characterised by their decorative perforations, or “broguing,” on the toe cap and along the edges of the shoe. As the renowned American designer Thom Browne said, “When it comes to shoes, you really don’t need more than a few pairs of wingtips or oxfords. They’re classics”. These shoes typically have a low heel and are made from leather or suede. Wingtip shoes are considered a classic and versatile style of dress shoe that can be worn with a range of outfits, from suits and dress pants to more casual attire like jeans and chinos.
In addition to the traditional brown and black leather styles, wingtips can also be found in a variety of colours and materials, including suede, patent leather, and even exotic animal skins. They are often paired with matching accessories like belts and wallets to create a coordinated look.
Types of wingtip shoes
There are several types of wingtip shoes, each with its own unique design and features. Here are some of the most common types:
Full brogue wingtip
This is the most traditional style of wingtip shoe, characterised by its perforated design on the toe cap, sides, and heel. The perforations are often in the shape of “W” or “M” patterns.
This style is similar to the full brogue but with fewer perforations. The toe cap features the distinctive “W” or “M” pattern, while the sides and heel may have minimal perforations.
Quarter brogue wingtip
This style has even fewer perforations than the half brogue, with just a simple line of perforations along the edge of the toe cap.
This style features the wingtip design that extends to the back of the shoe, creating a “wing” that runs the length of the shoe.
This style features two-tone leather or suede, with the wingtip design in a contrasting colour to the rest of the shoe.
This style is a cross between a wingtip and a boot. It usually has a lace-up front and a higher ankle.
Factors to consider before buying wingtip shoes
When buying wingtip shoes, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right pair for your needs. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:
Consider where and when you will be wearing the shoes. Will you wear them to work, weddings, or other formal events? Or are you looking for a more casual pair for everyday wear?
Look for shoes that fit well and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Make sure the shoes are the right size, with enough room in the toe box and a snug fit around the heel.
Wingtip shoes are typically made from leather or suede, but there are also synthetic options available. Choose a material that is durable and appropriate for your needs.
Wingtip shoes come in a variety of colours, from classic black and brown to more colourful options. Consider which colour will best match your wardrobe and personal style.
Look for shoes that are well-made with quality materials and construction. A good pair of wingtip shoes can last for years with proper care and maintenance.
Wingtip shoes can vary widely in price, depending on the brand, materials, and construction. Set a budget and choose shoes that offer good value for the price.
When to wear wingtip shoes
Wingtips are a versatile style of shoe that can be worn in a variety of settings, from formal to casual. Here are some occasions when you can wear wingtip shoes:
Wingtip shoes are a classic choice for formal events, such as weddings, black-tie events, and business meetings.
Depending on your office dress code, wingtip shoes can be a stylish and professional choice for the workplace, especially when paired with dress pants and a blazer.
Wingtip shoes can be dressed up or down, making them a good choice for semi-formal events like cocktail parties, dinner dates, and graduations.
Wingtip shoes can also be worn in more casual settings, such as with jeans or chinos, for a relaxed yet stylish look.
When choosing wingtip shoes for a particular occasion, consider the colour and style of the shoes as well as the formality of the event. Choose shoes that are appropriate for the occasion and complement your outfit.
Tips to care for your wingtip shoes
Proper care and maintenance can help your wingtip shoes last longer and look their best. Here are some tips to maintain your wingtips:
Clean them regularly
Brush off any dirt or debris with a soft-bristled brush, then wipe them down with a damp cloth.
Condition the leather
Use a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple. Apply the conditioner with a soft cloth, then buff it with a clean cloth.
Use high-quality shoe polish to maintain the shine and colour of the leather. Apply the polish with a soft cloth, then buff with a brush or clean cloth.
Protect them from the elements
Apply a waterproofing spray or wax to protect the shoes from water and stains.
Use shoe trees
When you’re not wearing your wingtip shoes, put shoe trees in them to help them keep their shape and keep them from getting wrinkled.
Rotate your shoes
Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day. Rotate them with other pairs to give them a chance to dry out and rest between wearings.
Store them properly: Store your wingtips in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use a shoe bag or box to protect them from dust and scratches.
By following these care tips, you can keep your wingtips looking sharp and in good condition for years to come.