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Classic footwear rocks

This spring, men may not need to look beyond the back of their closet to find the latest trends in shoes.

This spring, men may not need to look beyond the back of their closet to find the latest trends in shoes.

Classics rock for the fashionable-footed man, with a new wave of ’80s greats seeing a return across the footwear field.

Ron White, creator and CEO of Toronto’s Ron White Shoes, says retro-influenced ’80s products are presently designers’ top sellers, pressing major brands to follow in their footsteps.

“It’s being adopted by baby boomers because they lived through it and they have a lot of positive thoughts and memories because the ’80s was a good time,” he says. “If you’re in your 20s, you don't remember the ’80s, so it’s also fresh for the younger crowd.”

The classic preppy theme presented itself sparingly last season but White says it will be prominent among this season’s styles. “When you think of the look of Nautica, Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, those are classic preppy looks,” he says. “It’s one of the hottest styles for men’s footwear. What that translates into for shoes are penny loafers.”

Similar to penny loafers are leather boat shoes, which Michael Pilling, Aldo’s public relations coordinator, marks as a new spring casual trend. “Casual is key this season,” he says. “Look for relaxed shoes that can be worn for any occasion, with any clothing.”



Skater shoes like Chuck Taylors and Vans fit that bill, according to White. “You can be the skater dude at a park and wear it, but you could also put it on with a really cool sweater from Lacoste or Polo and go to the country club.” He says the winning skater feature is vulcanized construction, described as a half-inch of white rubber that wraps around the shoe, making the sole appear white.

But White says fashion must progress, referencing the variations on the skater theme designed by Alexander McQueen for Puma as examples to follow. “When you see these shoes, but done in a fresh way, it will give someone a reason to buy.”

One reason to buy a slim, pointy-toed leather dress shoe is because Pilling says it, added to a skater and preppy shoe, will be the splash of dress to set your closet for the summer. “Do not be afraid of it! It is one of the must haves this season and will last for many more to come,” he says. “The three pieces can be mixed for work and play – both dress and casual.”

 
 
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