With so much attention focussed on the Bride's footwear, you'd think when it comes to the mens wedding shoes it would simply be a matter of grabbing the first pair of slip-on's out of your cupboard and putting them on - but nothing could be further from the truth.
You may have heard the saying that you can judge a man by his choice in footwear, so whilst you may be thinking that no-one will be looking, you simply won’t be able to get away with a scruffy pair of mens wedding shoes - full stop.
Local outfitters are sure to have plenty of mens wedding shoes available for hire and these are ideal if you only intend to wear them the once. Alternatively, grab yourself some decent footwear from the high street or online and you'll be able to wear your wedding shoes day after day.
There are a huge variety of shoes and boots out there and below we highlight the three main mens wedding footwear options open to Grooms, Best Men, Ushers, Fathers of the Bride and Fathers of the Groom.
Mens Wedding Shoes
If you're a Groom or Groomsman who'll be wearing any form of Morning Wear, Evening Wear or Military Wear to the wedding, a snazzy pair of shoes are by far your best bet.
Shoes come in all shapes, styles and materials, and are by far the most popular choice of footwear when it comes to mens wedding footwear. From patent leather cream shoes that look perfect with a cream tux, through to highly polished black brogues that work well with a Frock Coat, you'll be spoilt for choice.
When choosing your pair of mens wedding shoes, it's important to pay close attention to the toe. A squared toe will help to make the shoe appear smaller and these are ideal for guys with feet the size of submarines. Conversely, rounded, or pointed, shoes will tend to make the feet appear larger than they actually are - any single Ushers out there take note!
As long as you can afford them, leather shoes are by far the best option when it come to the shoe material. They are not only more traditional, but they also far more durable than their synthetic counterparts - as such, any pair of mens wedding shoes that you hire from an outfitters are bound to be made of leather. Alterntative materials such as crocodile and snakeskin are available, but both environmentally and financially, leather shoes are still the best option.
Leather shoes tend to ‘give’ far more than synthetic shoes, so it is essential that they are worn before the day, at least once, so that they can stretch to fit and help eliminate the possibility of getting blisters during the day. You'll be wearing the wedding shoes for a long time, so the last thing you'll want to feel is uncomfortable!
Regarding colour, the main piece of advice is to make sure that all the mens wedding shoes match. Your eye will tell naturally you what colour goes with your wedding outfit, but don't assume that everyone will think the same. For a fully co-ordinated look, make sure the Groom, Best Man, Ushers, Father of the Bride and Father of the Groom all plump for exactly the same shade shoe.
Whatever mens wedding shoes you go for, make sure that you polish them on the morning of the wedding, or preferably the day before - clean and shiny pairs of mens wedding shoes will look far better than dirty, scuffed pairs on the wedding snaps!
Mens Wedding Boots
Boots, be they ankle, cowboy, or steel toe-capped, are an option, but unless there is a really good reason for wearing them, then we would advise against them.
On the plus side, a heeled pair of boots can add height the wearer, and if your partner is considerably taller than you they can help close the gap by a good few inches. However, you should be aware that even the smartest pair of ankle boots will force the trousers you're wearing to ride up a little, affecting the overall hang of the garment significantly. OK, it's not a major flaw, but it's sufficient reason for us to try and push you in the direction of a smart pair of mens wedding shoes instead.
For those with an interest in Highland Regalia, Ghillie Brogues are an item of footwear worth considering. Also referred to as ‘kilt shoes’ the Ghillie Brogue is a shoe without a tongue that laces up above the ankle and it looks superb when worn with traditional highland socks (also referred to as 'hose')
For those who are interested, to fasten them, pull the laces tight, cross them over then twist the lace round three to four times to make a one inch cord. Then, take each end of the cord around the back of the ankle, cross the cords over then bring them back round to the front. Finally, wrap them horizontally around the leg several times (if the length in the laces allows) before tying in a conventional bow.
Like normal mens wedding shoes, the Ghillie Brogue should ideally be worn before the day to allow them to ‘give’ and, of course, be highly polished just before wear on the big day itself.
Mules, Sandals and Flip Flops
For any beach or overseas wedding, mules, sandals and flip flops are viable alternatives to mens wedding shoes. Casual, comfortable and stylish, more formal versions (please avoid sports versions at all costs!) can really add to the relaxed look such a wedding portrays. Like with other footwear items, it is important that all the male wedding party members are co-ordinated both colour and style-wise, and if possible try to wear the item of footwear at least once before the wedding to aid comfort on the day. For a quick final tip, as the toes are often exposed, a pedicure just before the wedding hand may come in handy.
Related: There are hundreds of wedding articles on the site, each filled with superb ideas, advice and inspiration. Check out the links in the left hand column to read more. Alternatively, to search for a local wedding venue, product or service provider, try our Wedding Directory. With over 13,000 companies already listed, you're sure to find what you're looking for.