If you’re active in the men’s style sector, you may have heard rumblings of a post-sneaker world. Those who adhere to this doctrine are rejecting highly coveted sneakers, a once-niche pursuit that’s gone decidedly mainstream, in favor of long established, less trendy footwear. And as unlikely as we are to see a widespread rejection of sneakers any time soon, there’s something to be said for wearing something more timeless and opting out of the Sisyphean cycle of disappointment that comes from chasing the latest hyped kicks.
Shoes like oxfords, derbies, and loafers are suddenly daring in a landscape when you’re just as likely to see a finance bro wearing Yeezys as a veteran sneakerhead. Not only are these silhouettes more appropriate in more formal settings, they can also be downright subversive when worn in place of sneakers with, say, a pair of five-inch inseam shorts. If everyone else is going more casual with their footwear, putting something more handsome on your feet starts to sound more attractive.
You may not be ready to entirely enter a post-sneaker world, but it is worth diversifying your rotation to include a smart shoe, a proper boot, or a do-it-all sandal that can stand up to cooler temperatures. A change of season is the perfect opportunity for the change-up, and we’ve put together some of the best non-sneakers to wear throughout fall.
Dr. Martens 1461 Ziggy ($120)
Doc’s classic derby gets a little more edge through a serrated sole. A little punk and a little buttoned up, the leather shoes will only look and feel better as you wear ‘em in.
Noah Suede Trail Oxford ($298)
Noah’s newly introduced Oxford is essentially a boat shoe more cut out for fall than summer and proof that casual doesn’t have to mean a sneaker.
Bottega Veneta Puddle Chelsea Boot ($650)
These are not your Chelsea boots of the skinny jean and flannel shirt era. Instead, the familiar shape is sculpted into rubber for a waterproof boot you want to save for rain.
Reese Cooper Wilson Boot ($595)
LA-based designer Reese Cooper approaches outdoor gear more like L.L. Bean than The North Face. His Wilson Boot has a heritage-like feel, but ballistic nylon and a versatile lacing system put them firmly in the moment.
Blackstock & Weber The Ellis Penny Loafer ($325)
Penny loafers are becoming cool again thanks to the Brooklyn-based brand churning them out with dashing prints and in the finest materials. The suede here is extra shaggy and in a champagne color that’ll go with nearly everything.
Birkenstock Boston ($145)
Birks aren’t just for summer. Worn with a thick pair of stocks, the Boston’s closed toe will keep you in mules until snowfall begins.
Maison Margiela Slip-On Tabi ($720)
Margiela’s signature split toe isn’t for the feint of heart, but these fuss-free slip-ons will make embracing the Tabi seem less daunting.
Dries Van Noten Padded Loafer ($790)
This oddball from Dries is like a pillow for your feet. Once you slip them on you want want to take them off.