Diana V Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Men's Wedding Shoes

Published
August 2021
Fashion

Every journey begins with the right pair of shoes. You are about to embark on your biggest yet, marriage! This is certainly one journey you want to start off on the right foot.

So where do you begin when choosing your wedding shoes?

Don't know your vamps from your eyelets? Your Derbys from your Oxfords? There are a few things you need to consider when making your choice, right down to the facing and toes (yes, you need to pick your toes). So put your feet up, and settle into the ultimate guide to men's wedding shoes!

Picture your wedding. Are you wearing a tuxedo and hosting a black-tie event? Is your wedding be a casual get together in the park? Or are you somewhere in the middle, like Rachel & Harry’s vineyard wedding?

Whatever your style, embrace it, keep it in mind and imagine the following styles in your wedding photos.

Style

Oxfords

Slide on a pair of Oxfords and button up your best suit. It doesn't get much more classic than this.

Brogue Oxford shoes Displayed On A Shelf

If you want a quality look, consider Oxfords for your outfit. Although you can dress them either up or down, they are considered a more formal style of shoe. Closed lacing means the facing on an Oxford is attached beneath the vamp. This gives a sleeker and more refined appearance.

Derbys

A more relaxed sibling to Oxfords, Derbys will keep your outfit sharp while softening the formality of your getup.

Man Sitting in Chair Wearing Plain Toed, Open Vamp Shoes and Grey Trousers

Derbys are a very versatile shoe. They can dress up a pair of chinos or can be worn in a semi-formal setting. Open lacing is what keeps Derbys casual. Having the facing attached above the Vamp allows for more comfort but adds a bit of bulk to the shoe.

Monk Straps

Don't feel like dealing with laces on your big day? Why not ditch them altogether and go for Monk Straps?

Black Monk Strap Dress Shoe on a Park Bench

More formal than Derbys but not reaching the status of Oxfords, Monk Straps are a bold alternative to the classic laced shoe. The double and triple buckle types have recently taken centre stage. And centre stage is exactly what Monk Straps do best.

Loafers

Wearing Loafers to your wedding will tell guests that you've got a super smooth, relaxed style.

Colourful Loafers Propped Against Curb

Loafers are very low cut slip-on shoes. They usually have a decoration across the top of the foot known as a saddle. It's the saddle that determines a casual or formal style. Gucci raised these shoes to formal status with the Bit Loafer.

Dress Boots

Speaking of classic men's footwear, Dress Boots have been a wardrobe staple since the Victorian Era.

Man Sitting Wearing Shiny Black Dress Boots and Yellow Trousers

Constructed like Oxfords, Dress Boots create that sleek, fitted look we love in a formal shoe. Sitting just above your ankle, this timeless boot will complement your outfit no matter what. Dress Boots are the ultimate in classic formal footwear.

Chukka Boots

As Dress Boots are to Oxfords, Chukkas are to Derbys. A boot to suit almost any outfit.

Semi-casual Brown Chukka Boots on Hardwood Floor

Chukkas will be your go-to boot if you are planning on wearing a nice shirt and pair of pants to your wedding. Suede Chukkas will fit right in with your chinos or you can push leather Chukkas into smart-casual territory, but they are not appropriate for formal attire.

Chelsea Boots

Wanting to sharpen up that casual wedding outfit? Look no further than Chelsea Boots.

Wearing Black Chelsea Boots and Skinny Black Jeans in Courtyard

No laces, no broguing, no toe stitching, Chelsea Boots create a clean and simple look. These boots have never quite sat with Derbys and Chukkas in terms of formal wear. The simplicity of a Chelsea Boot allows you to easily match them to your outfit. They will dress up your jeans but will look out of place paired with a three-piece suit.

Toe Styling

The toe of a shoe really defines your footwear. In terms of shape, go with the golden rule of dress shoes: Choose a rounded toe.

Plain Toe

Dress shoe with no detailing on the toe

It doesn't get any simpler than no detailing. The smooth and uninterrupted finish of a plain toe shoe is what gives it the clean and subtle look. Traditionally one of the most formal styles, a plain toe shoe will allow your suit or accessories to shine.

Cap Toe

Brown Dress Shoes with Single Stitching Across Toe Displayed on a Shelf

If you're looking to add a subtle bit of character, why not go for the cap toe? Created with horizontal stitching across the toe, a cap toe adds a little something to the shoe, subtly catching the eye.

Wingtip

Shoe with a Wingtip Design along the toe and lots of Brogue Detailing

Sophistication and Attention. Wingtips are a brilliant way of bringing sophistication to your shoe. If you want your wedding guests gossiping about your shoes, go fo the wingtips!

Split Toe

Rugged Brown Leather Loafers Sitting on Twigs

If you're having a low-key wedding and want to keep it casual, the Split Toe will do just that. This style gives a softer appearance, tying into your casual look.

Medallion

Long Skinny-toed Brown Shoe with a Little Brogue Detailing on Point of Toe

Medallions add subtle detail to your shoe. If you already have a few accessories as part of your wedding attire, try a medallion toe to add a simple touch of elegance.

Whole-cut

Very Polished Black Shoes With NoSeams Sitting at the Front Door

Ultimately elegant and incredibly sleek. Whole-cut shoes form an uninterrupted contour tailored to your foot. It's your wedding day (and your other half's) so be the suavest in the room with a whole-cut shoe.

Broguing

Broguing can be added to any dress shoe. The term brogue means the shoe has been decorated with punch-holes and perforations.

Man with Star Wars Socks Tying His Laces on Shoes with Lots of Brogue Detailing
Photo by: Diana V Photography

Full Brogues

Want full attention? Go full brogue. If you're choosing full brogues, get ready to yarn to guests about your shoes. Full broguing adds detail across every seam and over the entire toe of the shoe.

Semi-Brogues

Not wanting to go full brogue but still like the style? Then take a look at the semi-brogue. Similar to full brogues, the shoe has a cap toe rather than a wingtip.

Quarter Brogues

If you are keen to turn it down a notch, quarter brogues are the most reserved style of broguing. With subtle detailing, nothing more quarter brogues will provide a smidge of detail without stealing the spotlight.

Longwing Brogues

For those of you who would consider full brogues boring, longwing brogues are a perfect choice. Punch holes and perforations from heel to toe! Longwings don't leave an inch of shoe undecorated. These are anything but boring.

Material

These days, shoes are made of anything and everything. To keep it simple, we will focus on the two main dress shoe materials: leather and suede. If you are vegan or just love animals, don't worry! We're talking both real and faux here!

Shoemaker Cutting Out the Sole of a Shoe

Leather

You can wear leather shoes anywhere and the best part is they are super easy to clean. When choosing leather, high quality really makes a difference, and don't forget to shine them before your big day.

Suede

The texture of suede is both captivating and easy on the eye. Suede can offer fabulous vibrancy or pure subtlety depending on the colour you choose. Want to add some pizzaz to your wedding day look? Pick a coloured suede that matches or even contrasts your wedding colours!

Both

Finding it hard to pick between the two? You don't have to choose. If you're feeling adventurous, seek out a pair of shoes crafted from both leather and suede. This will add contrast and create some striking colour combinations that will wow your guests and show off your style.

Colour

The colour of your shoe plays a big role in your outfit. Shoe colour is such a big topic, especially with the variety available today.

You can find shoes in any colour under the sun, so below we've included a handy cross-reference chart for all your colour matching needs.

Infographic Depicting the Correct Colour Shoes To Match With Certain Coloured Suits