It would be no hyperbole to say that my foremost material passion resides in footwear, and by footwear, I mean shoes; brogues, derbies, oxfords, monkstraps and chelsea boots, not trainers. I’ve never been keen on trainers, but I do own a good thirteen pairs of leather shoes. Now I know for some, thirteen pairs of shoes may not be anywhere near an extensive collection, and yet some may be sat reading this with their jaw now hanging a few centimetres from the floor, thinking “how on earth could anyone on a budget afford thirteen pairs of lavish leathers?” Admittedly, upon first look, leather would seem an expensive indulgence to regularly partake in, with the general consensus for a sturdy pair of men’s leather oxfords weighing in upwards of £80. Luckily for me, I have somewhat of a ‘talent’ (and I use that term very loosely) for bargain-hunting, and especially when shoe-shopping. I have never spent more than £60 on any pair, with most of my beautiful brogues and boots having snatched no more than £40 from my bank account.
My problem with fashion has always stemmed from the incessant desire of many for a label and a logo, irrespective of design and construction quality or fair value, and this problem is no less prevalent in men’s footwear. That’s not to say that more prestigious brands don’t offer quality to match their price-tags, because often that is the case, but unfortunately for most of us, that pair of Saint Laurent suedes is merely a pipe dream, and we must look elsewhere to find equally appealing pairs for our wardrobe. And I stand by that remark – there most definitely are shoes of a near-equal elegance available to us at a fraction of the cost.
The 4 main spots for a good shoe-shop, I find, are ASOS, MandMDirect, Shoeaholics and TheIdleMan. It isn’t actually the places themselves so much as the timing that tends to offer up the best buys. There is never a drought of desirable shoes during the sales hosted by those sites, and their clearance or outlet sections are always worth a peruse. One predominant factor that comes into play in my shoe-hunting is percentage saving; anything below a 40% saving I don’t tend to look at unless I am particularly in love with the pair, or they are a cheaper pair than usual. Just from a quick scan, I’ve already found a couple of pairs on each site that wouldn’t break the bank but would make wonderful additions to any wardrobe.
These oxblood derby shoes by Base London are £45, down from £74.99, saving you 40%.
This pair of black chelsea boots, also by Base London, is £40, down from £79.99, giving a saving of 50%.
This site is great for those who are fans of Kurt Geiger footwear; it serves as an outlet for the brand, and offers some stunning shoes at discounts usually above the 50% mark. They are also currently offering an extra 15% off for just signing up to their newsletter, so, overall, we’re talking some very steep discounts. There’s too large a number for me to pick from with this place (I’m very keen on KG), but here’s a handful that I liked:
This is a classic black brogue, costing a measly £19, down from £70, which saves 73%.
The Ambrose is a sleek derby shoe, available in wine, grey or black, priced at £29, down from £110, saving 74%.
This pair of black ankle boots features minimal brogue detailing, and costs £39, down from £120, saving 67%.
A buckled chelsea boot, which costs £39, down from £80, and offers a saving of 51%. (I really like these).
These are a smart pair of ankle boots, part-leather, part-synthetic fabric, at £39, down from £130, saving 70%.
Oh how I’d love to buy all of them.
This site is a little less reliable for consistently good shopping, but they do tend to have at least a couple of pairs that will catch my eye. Today it was a Peter Werth derby brogue and a Base London monkstrap:
These derbies are in high-shine black with brogue detail, and cost £39.99, down from £89.99, saving 56%.
This pair of monkstraps by Base London are particularly pretty, with embossed patterning and a crowned lion on the sole. They’re priced at £24.99, down from £59.99, saving 58%.
ASOS tends to be my one-stop shop for most of my wardrobe, and they are usually the best place to find well-priced leather shoes, with their own-brand pairs ranging between £20-45 in the outlet section. The percentage savings on ASOS don’t tend to be as steep as the other sites but they more than make up for it with their expansive range. Plus, the pricing is pretty modest to begin with. There’s far too many to pour over but here’s a couple I found that suited my own style:
This studded pair of brogues will set you back a whole £30, down from £60, saving 50%.
I would recommend anybody to fit their wardrobe with a tough pair of tan leather boots, and I loved this classic brogue-detailed pair, priced at £30, down from £60, once again saving you 50%.
Finally, this high-shine derby shoe by Ben Sherman costs £30.50, down from £80, offering savings of 62%.
Hopefully this has shown you just how easy it is to find some really great footwear at prices well below average. I mean, it took me a whole half hour to scout out those dozen pairs, and whilst some of you might not agree on a few of them, if you root around the sites for a little while you’re almost guaranteed to find something to your fancy.