When the feet talk

Last Updated 30 January 2015, 16:24 IST

Moving beyond mere functionality, men’s footwear is making fashion statements and setting new trends. Be it moccasins, loafers, boots or sneakers, there’s something in store for every modern man, says Ishaan Sachdeva

The famous French footwear designer Christian Louboutin once said, “Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally.”

True that! In the earlier days, men settled for anything comfortable in the shoes department. But with changing lifestyles, trends and tastes, they are now ready to experiment. Many shoe designers are tapping into this newfound craze and creating shoes that are diverse and appeal to all kinds of tastes and occasions.

Footwear manufacturing and designing is a large part of the fashion industry and today a massive segment has been dedicated to footwear – from work shoes to hi-style footwear. Reputed online shoes stores offer a great collection of footwear and other accessories, updated with the latest designs. The modern man has no dearth of choices.

Footwear has always been considered as the status symbol of people. Different cultures have created varied forms of footwear, with the essence of durability and quality. Footwear is not just a part of men’s wardrobe now. It has become a passion for many.

A big boost to the men’s footwear world is the fact that the Indian footwear retail is the fastest growing sector among all other sectors of the Indian market and is expected to sustain its growth in the coming years. Sales are expected to hit 15.7 billion pairs of shoes by 2017 as the per capita spending on footwear increases.

With the merging of business casual in the workplace and beyond, there is a fine line between formal and casual shoes. Many shoes can pass for both, formal and casual, and can go with everything from chinos and jeans to a suit.

Traditionally, shoes had a separate heel, but today, shoes with a wedge and a rubbery heel are in. The 2015 trend in men’s dress shoes leans towards square toes rather than wingtips. Say goodbye to narrow and round shapes in shoes and let your feet breathe in some comfy, wide shoes – this goes for both, laced shoes and loafers. As for laces in formal and casual shoes, thin is in.

Here’s a dekko at some of the trends in men’s footwear for this year:

Colour me bright

Go in for colours like tan, brown, burgundy and purple to make a bold statement with your shoes. These colours are not just for formal footwear, they are also perfect for a casual outing or party with friends. These prominent colours are never out of fashion in the footwear arena and make for a classy appeal.

All-in-one pair

The onslaught of multipurpose shoes is continuously hitting the market and is expected to increase over the coming years. A unique representation of utility, comfort and personality, multipurpose shoes are loved by many. For instance, fisherman sandals can be worn anytime – for a day out or even for a casual hangout; it is comfortable and stylish.

The ‘M’ effect 

Moccasins in suede leather are a smart alternative to your black leather shoes. Semi-formal in nature, they complement formal trousers and chinos perfectly. Suede leather in shades of natural, vibrant and neon colours can make your feet the talk of town. When it comes to moccasins, generally, go for a colour that suits your personality – blue, brown and maroon are instant hits.

Rugged factor

No matter how you look at it, a pair of boots has an undeniable adventurous spirit hammered into them; they stand for defiance, toughness and adventure like no other footwear. Innovative and stylish patterns emerging in this section of the footwear industry reveals the drastic shifts in consumer tastes. Boots are not just functional anymore.

Men are now moving beyond snow boots and rain boots and investing in stylish ankle and desert boots. Ankle boots either with laces, a velcro strip (that fastens the shoe) or an elastic band will be in vogue in 2015. 

Casual you

Initially designed as practical footwear option for all sorts of athletic activities, the sneakers morphed into what is now a fundamental piece of the modern man’s urban getup. Integrating function and style in a series of classic or revised hybrid silhouettes is what the new footwear movement is all about. The revival of the sports shoe is set to conquer new heights in the seasons to come. 

Breaking the fashion rules, men’s sneakers are definitely on the way to building a new legacy for themselves. High-fashion sneakers or fashionable men’s trainers are also a part of embracing innovation, comfort and quality. And it is for those who love details.

(The author is director, Alberto Torresi)

(Published 30 January 2015, 16:24 IST)

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