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5 GREAT TRANSITIONAL FOOTWEAR STYLES
BRIDGE THE YAWNING GAP BETWEEN WINTER AND SUMMER
Transitional footwear can be a particularly tricky facet of a man’s wardrobe. Finding a pair of versatile, comfortable, style-appropriate all-rounders to bridge the yawning gap between winter and warm weather has all too often left us in limbo… until now. Read on for advice with help from Charles Clinkard on the 5 new season shoes that will see you stylishly through until spring.
True, pair of solid brown leather brogues is ideal for dashing to the office when it’s wet and windy out, but if all you’re battling is a brisk springtime breeze do you really want to trail around that extra weight? Suede is ideal for when the climate starts to climb, as the grain is more breathable than full-grain leather – although if you want to avoid rain stains you may want to check the forecast before heading out. Keeping all the formality of a traditional brogue, a suede pair will add a season-appropriate texture to any look.
The loafer has long since earned pride of place in any discerning gentleman’s wardrobe, but now variations on the style are becoming much more pared back. Navy suede makes a perfect alternative to leather, ensuring your shoes get noticed without running the risk of looking flashy. Laid-back loafers are as adept at dressing down your formal wear as styling up casual Fridays - team your trousers with a bare ankle as the weather warms.
Once the worst of the cold weather is over, leather trainers should be your casual go-to. A good pair of trainers shouldn’t date, so it’s best to avoid crazy colours, patterns or styles and stick to something classic when it comes to picking your kicks. Brown leather is always a safe (and, more importantly) stylish choice; it’s relatively grown up and pairs perfectly with off-duty denim.
The men’s boat shoe is transitional staple, not least because their slip-resistant rubber soles keep hold when you’re caught in a sudden shower. A shoe style with plenty of history, the classic boat shoe may have been initially designed with function in mind, but today’s take on this footwear staple is thoroughly tricked out to work with a wide variety of looks. Traditionally made in canvas, suede or leather, for the in-between period we recommend you stick to the latter; they’re warmer, more resilient and their tailored silhouette will take you from boardwalk to boardroom in the sharpest of style.
Chukka boots are the undisputed kings of in-between. They’re not quite a formal boot, but not quite a casual shoe either. It’s got some height to it, which will keep your not-quite-ready-to-be-exposed ankles warm. A classic black or dark brown leather chukka will provide you with a pair of versatile, easy to wear boots that will complement all of your looks before the summer is in full swing; later in the season opt for a lighter desert boot, with a suede upper and crepe sole.