An Unexpected Pop Of Colour
Today’s modern gent is embracing colour like never before, so it should come as little surprise that footwear has a received a bold-tone rework for SS14.
From formal to casual styles, ubiquitous shades of tan and black have been conspicuously peppered with flashes of cobalt, canary yellow and neon orange, while rich oxblood and burgundy add further depth and substance to the mix.
Here at FashionBeans we’re rather partial to a dash of colour, so it seemed appropriate to take a look at some of the vibrant treads that are likely to be gracing your feet this season…
Slip-Ons & Loafers
The comfortable car shoe – a perennial favourite for the warmer months of the year – has received the bold-tone treatment, with many labels offering bright, energetic takes on this classic driving silhouette.
Ideal for adding a summery feel to everything from tees and chinos to shirts and shorts, they’re best worn with invisible socks for a clean and modern look. Scanning the high street, Zara’s sunshine-yellow take on the car shoe is guaranteed to put a spring in your stride this season.
Deck shoes, a legacy of maritime dressing, have cemented themselves comfortably into urban dress over recent years and are another classic warm-weather silhouette for pairing with predominantly casual attire. Reinterpreted in either two/three-tone designs or solid block-colour hues, they will provide an undeniably summery slant to any look. Why not opt for River Island’s pastel pink version for a softer take?
The monk-strap, whether double or single, has been the hero shoe for several seasons, with every runway and high street paying tribute to the style. Traditionally a dressy, formal silhouette the monk-strap has been given a fresh lease of life for SS14 via the use of unorthodox hues, in a brave move away from standard brown and black tones.
These alternative colours are a great way to add a contemporary edge to smart-casual or formal looks while maintaining an air of urban polish. Katie Eary, a key fixture of London Collections: Men, has teamed up with Northampton shoemakers Grenson to create a bang on trend cobalt blue pair this season.
Espadrilles – once much maligned – are perhaps the ultimate summer shoe, and have become a fundamental silhouette for holidaying. Traditionally crafted from canvas and jute rope, reflecting the design’s Riviera origins, they have been re-imagined in bright tones and luxe fabrics such as leather and suede for SS14, giving a more substantial feel to this classic lightweight style.
TOMS’ signature canvas espadrilles are perfect for beach-bound days or just a casual kick-around in the park on sultry weekends.
- Zara Nubuck Driving Shoes
- Asos Driving Shoes In Suede
- Car Shoe Suede Driving Shoes
- Ps By Paul Smith Casey Loafers
- London Collections. Men Sibling X Grenson Nubuck Penny Loafers
- House Of Hounds Alfred Suede Dress Slippers
- Antoine And Stanley Mens Knox Suede Monk Shoes – Red
- Gucci Suede Monk-strap Shoes 157600
- London Collections. Men Katie Eary X Grenson Suede Monk-strap Shoes
- River Island Light Pink Boat Shoes
- He By Mango Suede Boat Shoes
- Sperry Topsider Razor Boat Shoes
- Toms Linen Classic Espadrilles
- Fins Eddie Light Blue Suede Plain Espadrilles
- Castaner Pablo Canvas Espadrilles
Many gents choose to abandon boots when the mercury rises in favour of more lightweight footwear options. However, boots don’t have to be a cumbersome, winter-only affair. Less robust designs and clever hybrid styles built for the spring/summer climate have been on the rise recently.
With their smart combination of a suede desert boot upper and a jute espadrille sole, Christian Louboutin’s Cadaques boots are a smart investment this SS14. Elsewhere, Acne’s cobalt-blue Pedro boots will lend a bold accent to your springtime looks while seeing you comfortably through to autumn/winter.
For those a little wary of attracting too much attention to their feet, designs which incorporate a colour-pop accent are a much safer bet – take a look at Ask The Missus’ suede Chelsea boots with orange inserts, or Flossy’s suede desert boots featuring a contrast-tone sole and laces.
- Christian Louboutin Cadaques Suede Espadrille Boots 158797
- Topman Clarks Original Desert Boots
- Acne Studios Pedro Suede Desert Boots 192272
- Ask The Missus Simeon Chelsea Boot Rust Suede Orange Pop
- Allsaints Miter Boot
- Caino Kg Kurt Geiger Grey
- Selected Homme Leon Desert Boots In Orange
- Geox Zal Suede Desert Boots sage
- Quoddy Wabanaki Crepe-sole Suede Chukka Boots
For gents looking to add a bit of flair to their smarter looks, there’s no shortage of lace-up styles that have been influenced by the pop-colour trend.
Traditionally a dress-down ‘country’ alternative to the formal Oxford, brogues are now considered a smart staple of the city dweller’s wardrobe and one of the most popular silhouettes available on the market.
SS14 sees the style offered in rich, warming tones as well as bright, energetic shades. Still retaining an air of refinement, these modern brogues are perfect for breaking up monochrome tailored looks with a bold accent. Try Oliver Sweeney’s Hakeston brogues with a sharply-cut pair of Prince of Wales check trousers and a freshly-pressed white shirt for an alternative office look.
Derby shoes present a more clean-lined approach to the colour-pop trend than brogues. Offered in smooth leathers or texture-rich suedes, these classic lace-ups will sit neatly with chinos or formal trousers. They’ll also look great worn with invisible socks and shorts when the weather really warms up.
Ami’s light turquoise blue suede Derbies feature a comfortable crepe sole and a fine suede upper. A smart, versatile shoe, they’ll pair equally well with cotton shorts and a Breton tee or slim-fit chinos and a linen shirt.
- Hasketon Blue Suede Brogue
- Ted Baker Jamfro3 Soft Suede Derby Brogue
- Topman Dune Traditional Brogues
- Bertie Aston Pastel Leather Brogues Blue
- Grenson Teddy Brogues
- River Island Dark Red Semi Brogues
- Tods Suede Derby Shoes 190594
- House Of Hounds Ritchie Derby Shoes
- Allsaints Miter Shoe
- Ted Baker Tich Derby Shoes
- John Lewis & Co. Dorset Suede Derby Shoes red
- Ami Crepe-soled Suede Derby Shoes
With menswear’s obsession with sportswear still in full swing, trainers have evolved into evermore sophisticated takes on the traditional running shoe. These days, many specialist trainer brands and design houses seem to be engaged in a competition to see who can formulate the most ingenious colour and fabric combinations.
Athletic design-led styles, such as Ami’s suede and mesh sneakers and Valentino’s camo trainers, sport eye-catching pop-colour details for SS14 and succinctly capture the trend.
Iconic favourites Converse have also reinvented their celebrated canvas styles for the summer months, releasing bright canary yellow and peppermint green colour ways to reflect the warmer weather.
Trainers have gone beyond the confines of the gym and, if carried off correctly, can be slotted into both formal and casual looks. Admittedly, it does take a particularly style-confident gent to pull off a pair of trainers with a full suit, but if you choose the right trainers and opt for well-cut tailoring and accessories to complement, this tricky combination can look decidedly fresh and modern, particularly in high summer.
- Vans Era 59 Suede Trainers In Orange
- Puma Classic Suede Trainers In Mint
- New Balance 574 Runner Suede Trainers In Blue
- Converse 1970s Chuck Taylor Canvas High Top Sneakers
- Valentino Camouflage-printed Leather And Canvas Sneakers
- Ami Suede And Mesh Sneakers
- Nike Men’s Blue Roshe Run Sneakerboots
- Maison Martin Margiela Suede And Leather High-top Trainers 187080
- Nike Air Safari Trainers
As any footwear aficionado will tell you, it’s obvious that the pop-colour shoe trend is not a mere seasonal fad. Each summer season produces more inventive colour combinations and considered challenges to tradition.
A much easier way for gents who suffer from colour-phobia to inject some life into their wardrobe, bold-tone footwear has the ability to add an energetic accent to your looks, which can bring a whole new dimension to an outfit.
So next time you think about pulling on those water-stained tan brogues with your grey weekday suit, why not consider upgrading to a pair of cobalt suede derbies and put your best foot forward for the summer season?
As always, we want to hear your thoughts: what are your favoured pop-colour footwear styles? How would you wear them?
Let us know in the comments section…