When you’re getting married, there’s so much to organise that one essential part of the wedding often gets overlooked – the groom’s footwear. He’ll spend time and money on choosing a good wedding suit, but will then ruin his look with a cheap pair of shoes. But if he invests in a good pair, he’ll not only look like the perfect groom, but will have a pair of shoes that he’ll wear for years. So it makes sense to see this as an investment, and treat himself to the best pair of shoes that he can afford. What do your shoes say about you?
Chances are that you want to give a clear message with your wedding outfit: that you love your bride and want to do her proud. And why shouldn’t the groom want to look as good as the bride? So this isn’t a time to economise and try to find a cheap outfit. A smart, well-cut suit made of quality fabric will pay for itself in the long-term use it will provide – as long as you don’t gain too much weight over time!
But the suit is only part of your wedding outfit; choosing the right pair of shoes will complement your suit and make you feel like a true gentleman. If you skimp on the cost and buy a pair of cheap shoes, trust me – it’ll be obvious! So do yourself and your bride justice, and invest in decent shoes that will give you years of wear (the bonus being that even if you do put on weight, you’ll still stay the same shoe size!).
Choosing the right pair of shoes
Men need comfortable shoes just as much as women do; remember that you’ll be on your feet for a fair part of the day, and dancing as well. If your shoes hurt, you won’t be able to keep the smile on your face – and this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. So buy your shoes well in advance of the big day, which will give you ample time to be sure they fit and wear them in.
Ordering online may be a temptation if you don’t want the hassle of trudging round shops trying on shoes, but buying online has one obvious drawback – you can’t try them on to check the fit before you buy. The answer may be to order several different styles or two different sizes in the same style. You can then return the ones that don’t fit. Check the retailer’s policy on returns though; some offer free returns, which is an advantage.
What kind of shoes style should you pick?
The best wedding shoes for men are classic black lace-ups. These never go out of style and will give you years of wear. They’ll take you to every wedding and special occasion you’ll ever attend, and will also do for work. Leather is the best material; suede will mark if it rains. Unless you have a signature style, and the nerve to pull it off, avoid any ‘statement’ shoes and stick to a classic style.
Handmade & custom made shoes
Since this is such an important day, and you don’t need to economise, you could really go for it and treat yourself to a pair of handmade shoes. You’ll probably spend less on a suit than your bride will on her outfit, so you can justify splashing out on a quality pair of shoes. Choosing a handmade pair will mean that you’ll have top-quality footwear – and since they’ll last for years, you’ll get far more use out of them than a cheap pair.
Another option if you want to splash out is to choose a custom-made pair. This is the best way to get the perfect fit, as they’ll be made to your precise measurements. While it won’t be cheap, they’ll more than pay for themselves in the comfort factor and the use you’ll get out of them. Besides, you can pay quite a lot for shoes in the High Street, so why not go that little bit further and invest in real quality?
Caring for your shoes
Of course, if you want your shoes to last, you’ll need to look after them, and even a good-quality pair need appropriate care if they’re going to last. This starts with correct storage. Keep your shoes in a box to protect them from scuffing, and in dust bags if these came with the shoes.
You’ll also need to use a good cleaning product for your shoes; if you spent a lot on them, they deserve the right care. Leather shoes should be cleaned with a good-quality wax polish; avoid cheap liquid polishes which could damage the leather. Make sure that the shoes are dry before you clean them. Waterproof leather should be cleaned with a waxed leather cream.
Should the worst happen, and it rains on the day, let your shoes dry out before you next wear them. Leave them to dry away from direct heat. It’s worth using wooden shoe trees while they dry out, as this will help maintain the shape of your shoes while they dry out. You may also benefit from using a shoe horn to get your shoes on; never force your feet into your shoes.
If you wear your shoes frequently, keep an eye on the soles for signs of wear, and take them to the mender’s before they wear down too much. Your expensive shoes could be ruined if they wear down too far, and they’ll look scruffy. Try to avoid scuffing them as well. The soles may also need replacing eventually.
It may be tempting to think that a cheap pair of shoes will do, but you really do get what you pay for. Cheap shoes will fall apart before you even celebrate your first anniversary; besides, you’ll have to replace them so often that you’ll end up spending the same on several pairs over time as you would on one good pair. So consider spending as much as you can afford on a really good pair of shoes. Perhaps you can economise in other areas if your budget is limited; do you really need 200 guests or a luxury vehicle for what is just one day? A good pair of shoes, on the other hand (or foot), will be around long after the last champagne cork has popped. It’s a question of priorities – what matters more to you?