Posted in Shoes

Choosing the Perfect Shoes – What to Look For

Your shoes are important. Believe it or not, your shoes are often the first thing that someone notices about you. For men, shoes don’t have the same mystique as they do for women. Not a lot of men say “Let’s go shopping for shoes on our lunch break?” Why? There are many answers to that question, but one of them is that men don’t know what to look for when purchasing new shoes. Shopping for shoes is not as complicated as many men fear. There are two basic rules you should follow. First, pick a shoe that matches or is darker than your pants. Second, if you are wearing a belt, try to match it to your shoes. Below we offer some advice on what to look for when purchasing shoes and what shoes styles to wear with specific clothes.

Before you buy your next pair of shoes, you should have your feet measured by a trained professional using a Brannock device. This measures the width, toe length, and the arch length you will need in order to get the proper fit and style. Many men are wearing the wrong shoe size because they have not had their feet measured since high school. This can cause shoes to wear out quicker and in some cases cause the wearer back pain. Some men with wide feet are not aware that they need a wider shoe. Your feet may have also changed over time. It’s worth the few minutes it will take to be measured to ensure you are looking for the right size.

Once you begin looking for shoes, you will need to find shoes that can hold up to everyday activity. The average person takes over 4,000 steps a day, so it is important to look for shoes with a thick sole and a sturdy insole. You should also make sure the heels are the proper size so that the heels do not disrupt your natural gait. If the heels are oversized, your shoes will be uncomfortable.

With shoes, you generally get what you pay for. Inspect the quality of the leather to ensure the material is worthy of your money. Leather quality is graded on a scale from one to five, with one being the best quality leather. Most shoes do not have a leather grade and the salesperson will most likely not know. Quality leather will have a smooth, fine grain with very few blemishes. High quality leather will be higher in price, but it is well worth the investment.

Choosing the correct style for the situation is essential.

Men’s Shoes for Jeans : Almost any color and style will work with jeans, but try to avoid shoes that are intended for dressier outfits. Boots, lug soles, sneakers, loafers and sandals all work great with jeans, so you should let the style of your shirt guide you. If you have a sporty polo shirt, wear a loafer; t-shirts go well with sneakers or retro-style shoes; long, button-downs work well with sandals or oxford styles.

Men’s Shoes for Casual Pants : For chinos or khakis, there are a variety of loafers, oxford and other men’s shoes that work well with casual pants. Let the style of the shoe guide you towards the look you’re trying to achieve. For example, a tassel or a buckle is a little more on the dressy side, while a woven pattern or heavy stitching is a little more on the casual side.

Men’s Shoes for Dress Pants : With dress pants, go with the same type of shoe that you might wear with a suit. Shinier materials usually indicate a dressier shoe, as do less bulky heels and soles. Choose a shoe that is the same color or darker than your pants, and if wearing a belt, match your shoes to it.

Color Matching for Men’s Shoes

  • Black Shoes work well with navy, grey or black pants.
  • Brown Shoes are best suited to tan, brown, beige, greens, other darker earth tones. You can wear brown with the dark suit, but it is a rather fashion forward statement and please remember the brown belt.
  • Burgundy Shoes work well with khaki, lighter browns, blue and grey.
  • Tan Shoes look great with lighter earth tones, blue, beige, lighter tan or white.

Remember these things the next time that you are shopping at a store or online. The experience should be better and you should get the shoes you really need.

Posted in Shoes

Choosing The Right New Balance Shoes

Every single person’s body and feet are different. So finding the right shoe for any person means meeting their individual needs. It is important that body type, foot shape, activity, and any problems or ailments be taken into consideration when choosing a pair.

One must account for heel and forefoot widths as well as instep, toe box, and arch heights. To meet these needs, New Balance has developed different relative foot models (or “lasts”) for men, women and kids. Lasts are represented by short alphanumeric codes, like “SL-1” for example. “SL” standing for “Straight Last” and “1” the type Identifier. The definition of an SL-1, their most common last, is a standard heel width, standard forefoot width, standard instep height, and standard toe box height.

Size and width measurements for New Balance shoes correspond to the widely-used Brannock Device measurements. For men’s shoes, the “D” width is usually the same thing as a regular or medium width. However if you are talking about women’s shoes, the “D” width is usually considered a wide width, while a “B” width would be the women’s medium or regular width. If you do not know your usual size and width, it is strongly recommended you visit a local shoe store to be properly sized.

Then you should decide your primary use of this footwear. While there are some sneakers out there that seem to serve just about every purpose fairly well, certain activities require specific levels of support, stability, cushioning and traction. With that in mind, the best shoe is going to be the one that best meets the needs of your activity. With running shoes, walking shoes, cross-training shoes, basketball shoes, and tennis shoes, it can be difficult when trying to decide which type is best for your needs. However, there are some basic differences which can help you understand and usually hold true for all shoes.

A traditional basic running shoe design supports and encourages forward motion. You can expect a higher heel and lower flexible forefoot with roll-up toe. A decent running shoe will always have plenty of dense, yet responsive heel cushioning and the better ones include it also in the forefoot or even throughout the full-length of the sole. They provide the perfect foot support for fast, forward-rocking movement.

These days, New Balance running shoes have become incredibly specialized and there is usually a match suitable for any unique set of needs you can imagine. Online stores like New Balance North Shore categorize the men’s running shoes as well as the women’s running shoes, allowing you to shop easily through the various styles:

Motion control running shoes offer maximum stability to control over-pronation. They are best for runners with a heavier stature, flat fleet, weak ankles, fallen arches or general stability problems.

Stability running shoes combine a moderate level of stability and cushioning. They are suitable for most runners with medium-to-low arches.

Cushioned running shoes (sometimes called neutral-cushioning shoes) offer maximum cushioning and shock absorption, with less support and stability. They are best for lighter runners with neutral gaits and without stability or arch problems.

Lightweight running shoes are constructed to be especially light for racing and speed training. These are best for competitive runners with neutral gaits.

Trail running shoes offer a more aggressive outsole tread for better traction and some models also offer a solid-plate in the midsole to protect your feet from the shock of sharp surfaces.

Similar to running shoes, walking shoes are designed for forward motion but not as much speed. So unlike the running shoes, these will keep your heel and forefoot more evenly transitioned or simply put, more flat. Also, you can normally expect a less-dense cushioning than in running shoes, which is more responsive to the lighter pressure of walking.

Tennis and basketball shoes are similar in that they are specifically designed to support the foot and body through strenuous lateral (side-to-side) movements. You can expect durable leathers, more rigid shoe-sidewalls and some higher-cut styles which offer additional ankle support as well.

As the name might suggest, cross-training shoes are meant for a little bit of everything. Go to the gym, do some aerobics or run a couple miles, cross-trainers can serve well. They generally offer more lateral support than running/walking shoes– like a tennis or basketball shoe, but at the same time are typically too rigid and supportive for the long runs or all day comfort you might get out of a running or walking shoe.

So the next time you’re in the market for New Balance shoes, remember that combining the right style, shape, length, width and shoe technologies will ensure your feet get the support they need and the comfort you demand.