Tying in nicely with AW14’s big statement footwear trend, we’ve noticed a lot of colourful kicks being released recently, from printed brogues to polka dot trainers.
However, vibrant footwear is often considered tricky to pull off and can raise a whole host of questions: what should I wear them with? Will they clash? Does it look ‘too much’?
But in actual fact, styling them is dead simple. Just employ a trick we like to call ‘business on top, party down below’: use neutral, pared-back staples on your top half to anchor the look, leaving you free to go as colour crazy as you like down below. Essentially, it’s all about balance.
So, when it comes to statement footwear, where should you start? Well, here are the five key types you will find on the current market and our recommendation for each:
Paul Smith epitomises what it is to be an English eccentric. And for SS15, the designer has put a suitably quirky spin on a classic.
The classic in question? The four-eyelet Oxford. Utilising a digitally printed sole, Smith has given a fun twist to an otherwise smart shoe.
Because this tweak isn’t blazingly obvious, these shoes are totally suitable for work (or any other formal occasion you might find yourself attending). Pair them with a crisp shirt and slim-cut suit and you’re good to go. Easy.
Black Leather Isaac Oxford Shoes With Pot Plant Sole, available at paulsmith.co.uk, priced £330.
Another refined but quirky option for SS15 is the Clopton from Oliver Sweeney. The quirk? A contrast white sole and printed map fabric upper.
More suited to smart-casual events, wear this pair with some slim-fit dark wash jeans and your favourite blazer for a night on the town.
Clopton Tan Derby Shoe, available at oliversweeney.com, priced £229.
3. Bold Coloured
He writes a good song, he wears a good hat and, as it’s now clear, he designs a good shoe, too.
May we present the Pharrell Williams’ Stan Smith trainer. Made in collaboration with adidas Originals, these sneakers incorporate a bold all-over dot print that cannot fail to get you noticed.
Again, team them with a dark pair of jeans and your trusty bomber jacket for an effortless streetwear aesthetic. Or, if you fancy a bit of adidas-on-adidas action (like the man himself), wear them with the matching polka dot pack jacket.
Pharrell Williams Stan Smith Big Polka Dot Shoes, available in three colour ways at adidas.co.uk, priced £110.
The beauty about trainers is that there are so many models and designs to choose from these days. So, if you’re not sold on Pharrell’s Stan Smiths, then how about these colour-blocked Sauconys, made in collaboration with Play Cloths?
An update of the brand’s popular Grid 9000 Motocross silhouette, inspired by off-road motorcycle racing, they incorporate a mesh and premium suede upper and come complete with ‘Motocross’ branding throughout and ‘077’ embroidery to the toe – the year of Play Cloths co-founder Pusha T’s birth.
Elsewhere, New Balance is another go-to brand for technicolour trainers, with their 410 silhouette being our recommendation if you want a current and easy to wear shoe.
In general, bold silhouettes such as these work best with a pair of minimal indigo jeans or dark chinos. Roll up your hems, but not too high – they should hover just above the tongue of your shoe.
Saucony X Play Cloths Men’s Grid 9000 Motocross Sneakers, available at oki-ni.com, priced £105.
Unisex 410 Trainer, available at newbalance.co.uk, from £42.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to do a shoe collaboration of your own. Well, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, now you can.
The likes of Nike, adidas and Converse allow you to create or customise your very own trainers. Starting with one of the brand’s most popular silhouettes, you can create your ideal pair from scratch utilising a huge array of colours and prints, with many services even allowing you to personalise the upper to make them truly individual.
With delivery taking approximately 3-4 weeks, look to create your own pair now in time for spring.