Tuxedo shoes. Which ones are best?
A tuxedo is much more than just the coat and pant. It’s made up by the entire outfit you choose to wear as part of it. Coat, pants, shirt, vest, tie, and yes, shoes.
Tuxedo shoes come in many different looks and styles. But there are a few categories they can be broken down into. Knowing these could help you choose your tuxedo shoes when it’s time to rent or buy. Because you don’t want to be that guy that thought white shoes with a black tux was a good idea. Not unless it’s part of a theme, in which case, knock yourself out.
Matte finish shoes
Matte shoes is one of the two biggest categories you can break tuxedo shoes down into first. These generally have a less glossy finish, looking more like an actual leather good. Matte shoes are a bit more flexible than their patent leather counterparts in terms of choice. You can wear a pair of black matte shoes with a suit or a tuxedo.
Patent leather shoes
These are the fancier, less flexible of the two major tuxedo shoe categories. These are a lot glossier, and the cheaper ones are sometimes made of plastic. These look great with the classic black tuxedo, and really round out your ‘elegant’ appearance, so to speak. However, wearing these with a less dressy outfit like a suit, is a bad idea. You’ll just look silly.
Square toe vs round toe tuxedo shoes
Now this is really a matter of personal preference and comfort more than looks. Sure, some people have a beef with the way one or the other looks. For example, I once watched a loud groomsman proclaim that the round toe shoe made him feel ‘girly’ and like ‘less of a man.’
Personally, in my opinion a real man would suck it up for a day and show his buddy the support he deserves on his wedding day. But digressions aside, that’s just an example of an opinion on one or the other.
The issue more people take to heart with tuxedo shoes is the fit. Round toe shoes look more tapered toward the toe. But this makes them smaller in that area, too. Not really good for people who have wider feet (which I find a fair amount do.)
Squared toe tuxedo shoes
Squared toe tuxedo shoes are a bit more comfortable, and thusly I find more people prefer them. They feature a flat, wide toe area, and generally wider around the ball of your foot too.
But square toe tuxedo shoes that have too flat of a toe area look a lot bulkier. They also tend to be a lot heavier in the heel area, which makes them more susceptible to heat damage and breaking apart.
In my experience, a hybrid toe is the best. This combines the comfort of a square toe with the elegance of a round toe; the best of both worlds. And judging from the rental tickets during my years of experience, I’m in the majority with that opinion.
There are many other small variables when it comes to tuxedo shoes. Things like color, design, etc. are all noticeable little details. But those two categories are what you’ll notice first. And to me, they’re the most important.
Just make sure that whatever tuxedo shoes you choose, you’re comfortable in them too. After all, you’ll be standing around for a long time in these things, and they’re not built like tennis shoes. Presentable, you look nice. But presentable AND comfortable? You win.