What Are Men’s Wingtip Shoes?
Wingtip shoes originate from Scottish and Irish laborers, who frequently had to trample through bogs and wet terrain. They adorned their shoes with perforations known as brogues to help with drainage.
Often, these holes would follow a curvy W-shaped pattern along the shoe’s upper, resembling a bird stretching her wings. As you can imagine, this is how wingtip shoes got their name. The same can be said for wingtip boots.
Since the early 1920’s, wingtip shoes, also known as brogue shoes for their namesake holes, have been adopted as semi-formal, and casual footwear for men and women alike, the holes becoming purely ornamental.
They are not considered a formal shoe as shoes are considered more casual the more decorations they possess. Hence, a whole cut shoe with no decorations, not even a medallion would be the most formal of shoes.
Are Men’s Wingtip Shoes Comfortable?
When it comes to comfort, if you buy off-the-rack shoes, you’re rolling the dice. Sure, your shoe might feel snug on the floor of the retail store, but if it’s made of cheap material, as you break in your shoes, they’ll feel less comfortable with age. Plus, they’ll wear out comparatively quicker.
Made-to-measure shoes are customizable and of higher quality material. You’ll have a greater variety of colors and styles to choose from, and you’ll know the shoes you’ll be wearing won’t be haphazardly made in a sweatshop with underage, child labor.
Bespoke shoes are specifically handcrafted with the size of your feet in mind, the shoemaker taking your exact measurements. You won’t receive your shoes for 4 to 8 weeks, but if quality and longevity are your top concerns and you’re willing to spend just a bit more for excellent footwear, it’s your best bet.
Can Men’s Wingtip Shoes Be Resoled?
Yes, but only if they have a Goodyear 360 welt.
A welt is a thin strip of material that runs along the out sole. A welt is 360 degrees if it runs along the entirety of the shoe, around both the upper and heel. In contrast, a 270 degree welt only goes as far as your heel.
When your shoe is being resoled, the cobbler will remove the old out sole and leave the welt as an anchor for the new one. If the welt only goes as far as where your heel starts, it poses a real problem for the cobbler.
Are Wingtip Shoes In Style?
Yes, they are. Since the first days when ranchers and farmers made holes in their work shoes to let the water escape in the boggy, wet, lands of Scotland and Ireland to today they remain immensely popular being paired with everything from suits to jeans.
Are Men’s Wingtip Shoes Ok To Wear To The Office?
This depends how formal your office is.
Whole cut shoes are the gold standard for office formality. Whole cut shoes are sleek, spiffy, and come from a single piece of leather.
Men’s wingtip shoes, on the other hand, are much more ornamental and seen as something closer to semi-formal, though not as casual as loafers.
Much of it will come down to what color wingtip shoes you wear and their style. Two tone wingtips and wingtips with extra ornamentation may not meet your office’s dress code, but black or brown wingtips with subtler patterns are versatile and would be fine in most semi-formal offices.
Can You Wear Men’s Wingtip Shoes & Jeans, Khakis Or Chinos?
Absolutely! Brown wingtips and dark blue jeans are a solid combination for when you want to present yourself as casual but also refined.
Medium brown wingtips and khakis make for great semi-formal wear when paired with a khaki blazer. The same can be said for pairing them with chinos.
The unique thing about wingtips is their position in between formal and casual wear, giving you much opportunity to pair them with different styles.
Just be certain that the shoes are darker than your outfit or at least the pant you are wearing.
Best Wingtip Shoes For Men – How Are They Constructed?
Some of the best wingtip shoes are made with full grain leather. Full grain leather is thick and has not been buffed or sanded to become more visually appealing. This means the fibers are undisturbed and highly durable.
Calfskin and box calf leather derive from young calves. Calfskin is more expensive, since you get fewer shoes per hide, but it’s also smoother and very durable. This is because a young calf’s skin is less aged, scarred and stretched than an adult cows.
Whichever you choose, you’ll want real leather over faux leather, which has a shorter lifespan. It’s a more expensive choice, but it’s also an investment when you consider you’ll need far fewer replacement shoes.
Wingtip shoes can have leather or rubber soles. Leather soles are classier than rubber ones, which can be slightly bulky. On the other hand, leather soles can be less durable and may need to be replaced more often. Rubber soles are highly capable in rain and snow and can withstand a lot of use and abuse in wet weather for a long time.
Are Handmade Men’s Wingtip Shoes Better?
Yes. For starters, handmade wingtip shoes are put together with more care and deliberation. Shoes that come from sweatshops are made to be worn and then thrown away once they start to break down. Handmade wingtips are designed to be integrated so that if one part fails, the shoe can be repaired and easily resoled.
This will help your shoes last longer and save the money of having to routinely replace cheap wingtips. And if you end up liking them, you won’t have to say goodbye to your favorite pair so soon, maybe even ever.
Plus, handmade wingtips are more often than not made with higher quality leather, so they won’t crack or split prematurely, and when properly maintained, your shoes will still retain their quality appearance after years of use.
Is It Ok To Wear Rubber Soles With Men’s Wingtip Shoes?
Where leather soles excel in class, rubber soles excel in durability and longevity.
Wingtip shoes with rubber soles have superior grip, letting you trod on carpeting and ice alike. They better protect your feet against electrical shocks. Rubber soles also don’t damage as quickly as leather ones and are able to handle water and the natural elements much better.
Plus, rubber soles are just plain comfortable, being readily flexible and a natural shock absorber. With rubber soles, you can be confident you walk in comfort and won’t need resoling for a while.
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Wide Width Men’s Wingtip Shoes
Wide width shoes can be hard to find in classic men’s shoes. We have (pardon the pun), the widest selection of men’s wide width wingtip shoes available.
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Men’s Wingtip Shoes And Boots Size 10 to Size 14?
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What Is The Brogue For On Men’s Wingtip Shoes?
Wingtip shoes originate from the marshlands of Scotland and Ireland. Trampling around the countryside, your shoes can easily get drenched in water and mud. Holes, known as broguing, were added onto the leather when the shoes were crafted. These holes help drain out the swamp water.
Brogue comes from the Gaelic word bróg, meaning shoe. It entered the English language in the 16th century, specifically referring to this perforated footwear worn by the Scots and Irish.
Things have changed since the 1500s. Wingtip shoes are acceptable for more occasions other than laboring in the highlands, and the holes are now only decorative. Though you might want to wear work boots when you’re hiking through the swamps instead of scuffing up your fancy wingtips.
Brown Men’s Wingtip Shoes Can They Be Worn With Blue Suits?
Yes, as long as you’re wearing shoes on the darker side.
Brown and blue can be complementary colors, but only if you’re wearing the right shades. Navy suits and dark brown are a great combination, as they’re of a similar brightness, but your shoes won’t overshadow your suit. Similarly, if you’re wearing a lighter shade of blue, you’d want a lighter shade of brown wingtips.
Beige or ivory wingtips would stick out like a sore thumb if paired with a navy suit.
What Can You Wear With Light Brown Men’s Wingtip Shoes?
Light brown wingtip shoes go well with similarly colored tan or brown suits.
However, if you wear them with a navy or black suit, they’ll attract too much attention by virtue of being so many shades lighter than the suit itself. They work with lighter forms of grey, but you’d definitely want black shoes for a medium to dark grey suit.
Light brown wingtips wouldn’t quite work with a white suit, as the contrast would be too strong. You could, however, pair them with standard colored khakis and a white button-up shirt.
The general principle is to keep your wingtips the same shade as the cloth of your suit, or darker, though not excessively darker.
Black Wingtip Shoes – What Can You Wear With Them?
Although less popular than their brown counterparts, black wingtip shoes can be very stylish.
Black wingtip shoes are more formal, though still not as formal as cap toe or whole cut shoes. You might pair them with a black or grey suit. Black wingtips would match with a blue suit as well, so long as it’s a darker blue and not something too light.
This outfit would be acceptable for the office or an evening at a fancy restaurant, though it still wouldn’t cut it for a funeral or wedding.
The one color they won’t pair with is white, as the contrast will be too strong. White suits generally require white wingtips.
Black And White Wingtip Shoes – What Are They Used For?
Black and white wingtips, also known as spectator shoes, are a very quirky type of footwear. Supposedly, John Lobb invented them as cricket shoes. Cricket shoes are historically white, and as such, they dirty quickly. Lobb used black leather for the parts that dirtied quickest like the upper sides to increase their lifespan.
For a while, the shoes were seen as ungentlemanly for being so ostentatious. They caught on in the 1920s, being worn by mafioso’s and African-American jazz musicians alike, and becoming synonymous with the energy and changing fashion of the Roaring Twenties.
The shoes were worn by attendees of sporting events like polo matches and the Kentucky derby, be they indoors or outdoors. This gave them the name spectator shoes.
They weren’t and still aren’t worn with formal attire. They’re best paired with odd jackets and trousers, where your style defies a single solid color and incorporates 2 or more different but not clashing colors.
Two Toned Wingtip Shoes – What Are They Worn With?
You can still wear two toned wingtips with black-and-white pairs with odd jackets and trousers today, as long as you’re attending a formal venue. You’ll just want one color, typically that of the upper and counter, to be darker than the trousers so it’s not too conspicuous.
For instance, dark brown and white wingtips, beige trousers, and a navy blazer. You’ll present yourself as gentlemanly and unique without being too gaudy.
Red Wingtip Shoes – What Can They Be Worn With?
As with any shoe, they go well with suits of the same color or lighter. Even if you don’t have red dress paints, you could match them with a red blazer or sweater and khakis.
You also might pair them with odd jacket and trouser combinations if the shoe is darker than the trousers. Just note that the shoes should be the same shade red as the jacket or darker. Light and medium red stand out as colors so you’d want to be wearing an equally bright jacket to balance your shoes.
Tan Wingtip Shoes – What Should They be Worn With?
Tan wingtips go well primarily with tan suits. You don’t want your suit to be darker than your shoes, as your shoes will overshadow the rest of your outfit. But you also wouldn’t want to wear tan wingtips with a white suit. Even though they’re darker, the slight contrast will work against you, and this combo will be jarring.
White Wingtip Shoes – Are They Only For White Suits And Clothes?
Yes. White is the lightest color, immediately drawing attention to itself. If you wear white wingtip shoes with a non-white suit, they’ll become the focal point of your outfit, short of you wearing a jester hat. As nice as your white wingtips are, you’ll want them to be more in the background so they don’t distract from your suit.
Suede Wingtip Shoes – How Should They Be Worn?
While suede wingtips are slightly less formal than top grain (reversed) leather ones, the general fashion rules still apply.
You’ll want to pair your suede shoes with suits of the same color or lighter. Wear white suede wingtips with white suits. Brown suede wingtips go especially well with navy suits. And so on.
The main thing to note is that suede dirties quicker than finished leather and is less durable, so suede wingtips might not be the best choice for outdoor gatherings.
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