Recommended business shoe companies/designs/shoeshops in London?
July 21, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Business shoes in London for a man?

I've been making do with a pair of leather shoes that I bought in Next seven years ago. They are at this point essentially one big scuff held together with cheap rubber.

Now I've got a grown up job and a Summerful of weddings to attend, I'm looking to buy a solid pair of business shoes.

I want these things to be multi-purpose - they need to be able to close the deal, congratulate the bride, and commiserate the bereaved. For this reason black is really the only colour option. Simple is best, too - no logos or gaudy patterning.

I'm a big-footed gent - size 11, width G, and am thinking of spending around £100.

Anyone have any recommended companies / designs / shoeshops in London?

posted by Cantdosleepy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would go for a traditional black Oxford half-brogue, which should do the trick for most occasions. For £100 you should be able to get a pair of Barker's which should do nicely - e.g. Jones sells them. Otherwise Russell & Bromley make quality men's shoes, or Church's, but each might be a bit more expensive.
posted by patricio at 7:56 AM on July 21, 2008

Just one pair? Like suits, alternating two pairs will get more life out of them than wearing the bejayz out of one pair then getting a resole or replacement. £100 is tricky, too, because it's still technically Clarks-Principles-Next territory, sorta Russell & Bromley, and not quite into the Crockett & Jones, Church's and upwards range.

Loake, though, may sort you: brogues, half-brogues, Oxfords. Sold in Clarks, John Lewis. Also, Barker, on Regent Street or in Selfridge's. (Window-shopping? John Lobb in St James, Oliver Sweeney near Liverpool Street...)

This thread makes for good reading: there really is a noticeable leap in quality when you hit around £150, no matter how much that hurts your wallet.
posted by holgate at 7:58 AM on July 21, 2008

Thanks gents.

Holgate- thanks for the tip on alternating. I won't be wearing them every working day, though - I have smart casual shoes that are fine for most days, but I have maybe one meeting/event every three weeks or so that will require the extra smartness.

Great suggestions from both of you! Those Barkers look nice, Patricio.

My pop wears Church's. They're excellent shoes but the cheapest ones are double my budget.

That Men's Health discussion is crammed with knowledge. Cheers!
posted by Cantdosleepy at 8:08 AM on July 21, 2008

Also, regularly polish your shoes, or have someone polish them for you, and use shoe trees. This will ensure that they aren't "a big scuff" after only seven years.
posted by softsantear at 9:05 AM on July 21, 2008

there are 50%+ off sales on right now(ie the last couple of weeks) at Jones the Bootmaker in London. I saw some boots at £99 reduced from £199. - perhaps you can pick up soemthing at a reasonable price.
posted by mary8nne at 9:06 AM on July 21, 2008

Oh, for 'Weddings And Deadings' shoes, one pair's fine. Get a shoe tree if you can -- you might be able to find junk/car-boot/eBay ones -- or take the economy route of stuffing the toecaps with crumpled newspaper. Air them off after you wear them, and if they go unworn between wedding seasons, give them a bit of TLC to make sure the leather doesn't dry out.

I'm a fan of Derby or Gibson brogues myself. Something like the Loake Hilton fits my tastes, and here's a secret: if you have brown shoes that are just a bit too 'brown shoe' for your liking, repeated applications of black or cordovan polish can do wonders.

Lastly, leather-soled shoes + rain + church car park gravel (i.e. British summer wedding) = picking out the embedded bits of grit afterwards, and hoping the soles don't get too scarred.
posted by holgate at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2008

Blackman’s Shoes was originally set up in 1935 as a purveyor of cheap, quality shoes to the Jewish community around Brick Lane. (It was also the first shop in the UK to stock Doc Martens boots.) Still a father and son business, it buys well-made shoes from factories at times when business is slow, thus ensuring low prices, then sells them on cheaply to a loyal fan base. Currently popular with local Shoreditch sorts are the ‘cool again’ plimsolls, which remain modestly priced at £5. Don’t expect slick presentation – the store is tiny and chaotic.
Blackman’s Shoes, 42-44 Cheshire St (07850 883505) Liverpool St tube/rail. Open Mon 12noon-5.30pm, Tue-Sat 11.30am-5.30pm, Sun 8am-2pm.
From Time Out Shopping Guide

Also :
Mens Traditional Shoes
171 Camberwell Road

020 77034179
posted by Dr.Pill at 12:42 PM on July 21, 2008

Thanks guys - will head over to Jones after work and see what they have for me.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 5:59 AM on July 22, 2008

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