Shipping to
United Kingdom

Staff Picks

Our Go-To Shoes

We do some sole-searching to reveal the pair we can’t bear to be without

Imagine a Desert Island Discs situation, but with shoes instead of music. In the same way that you could be dropped on Bequia, for example, and survive only with Mr Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or The Beatles’ Revolver for company, what one pair of shoes or sneakers would you choose to last you for the rest of your life?

If you ask cobblers in leather-shoe Mecca Northamptonshire, they may talk wistfully about Goodyear welts and a pair of well-built brogues or timeless Oxfords. How about the sneakerheads? Mr Sean Conway, of Kith NYC store, once slept outside for three days in the depths of winter just to purchase a pair of limited-edition sneakers, so his pick might be an impossible-to-find pair of Nikes.

But what about us, the humble MR PORTER staff? We may not make shoes, or be obsessive experts, but it’s a tricky conundrum (especially if you’re like our Brand and Content Director Mr Jeremy Langmead, who reportedly commands a shoe collection that would satisfy the entire population of Luxembourg).

Below, some of the MR PORTER team bare their “soles” on the matter. Read what they have to say and shop for the picks you prefer.

“For some reason, despite envying other people’s for years, I’ve never owned a pair of light-brown suede Chelsea boots. They always look great teamed with a dark navy or black pair of slim-fit jeans and, if you’re popping out for dinner, an equally slim-fitting dark blazer. Slipping on a brown shoe – never to be worn in town according to the very dictatorial Sir Hardy Amies – signals for me the end of work and the start of play. I hope to discover some mischief when I pull on a pair of these.”

Wear them with...

  • Gucci Navy Slim-Fit Cotton-Corduroy Blazer

  • FRAME L'Homme Slim-Fit Dry Denim Jeans

“I’ve owned a pair of these for a couple of years now, and I really do love them. The chunky crepe sole makes them almost creeper-esque, with the contrast stitch adding to the effect. Since they look as good with black jeans as they do with a suit, I find myself wearing them all the time (the sole is super-comfortable, which helps). With many years of wear to go, they’ve already earned their not-too-slight price tag.”

Wear them with...

  • Thom Browne Button-Down Collar Cotton Oxford Shirt

  • Saint Laurent Skinny-Fit 15cm Hem Denim Jeans

“I never board a transatlantic flight without an emergency supply of chocolate – both in my carry-on and on my feet. These chocolate-brown loafers from John Lobb slip on and off easily through airport security, and they multitask better than driving moccasins. Lopez Suede is dressy enough to wear with a blue suit for a meeting – and they look great sockless with chinos or jeans when you’re off the clock.”

Wear them with...

  • Thom Sweeney Navy Weighhouse Wool Suit

  • Kingsman + Drake's Basketweave-Print Silk Tie

“The longest-running relationship I have with any item in my wardrobe is with my Jack Purcells. While Vans checkerboard slip-ons and Nike Air Max have been a recurring theme in my life, these plain-white minimalist shoes have been a faithful foot soldier for 20 years. These days, I tend to favour leather over canvas ones since they last longer and are easier to keep clean (watch our how-to video). Part of their appeal is the timeless utility. I always pack a pair in my suitcase, and when I look down fondly at the toecap they seem to ‘smile’ right back at me.”

Wear them with...

  • visvim 101 Slim-Fit Denim Jacket

  • Officine Generale New Fisherman Cotton-Twill Chinos

“Founded in 1936, Bass Weejuns feels like a classic brand – and these tasselled loafers have that laid-back, everyday look about them. They can just as easily be worn to the office with a sharp suit as they can to the beach with shorts and a tee. If you’re wondering about the price, they are worth the investment as they should last for life (I’m currently putting that to the test). Incredibly durable and practical, they are – above all – stylish.”

Wear them with...

  • Gucci Striped Mohair and Silk-Blend Sweater

  • J.Crew Stanton Cotton-Twill Shorts

“The first time I wore these around my – how can I put this? – less style-conscious friends, everyone pretended not to notice. The second time, I was ridiculed. The third, physically assaulted [joke]. But, as Mr Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ I think he was referring to the plight of supporters of the Indian independence movement in the 1930s and 1940s and not, you know, the pains of wearing slightly ‘edgy’ shoes. But my point remains.”

Wear them with...

  • Wooyoungmi Panelled Wool-Blend Sweater

  • Wooyoungmi Tapered Wool-Blend Twill Trousers

“Like a lot of guys, I’m a sucker for hunting down and rebuying products I treasured in my youth. I vividly remember getting my first pair of box-fresh Nike Air Max 1, in purple and black, and debuting them with my heavily emblazoned Nike Air Jordan tracksuit (I can assure you, it was a strong look at 12 years old). Unlike the garish tracksuit, the Max 1 has improved with age. The Ultra Moire model has retained the iconic look of the original, but is super-lightweight and considerably more comfortable.”

Wear them with...

  • Stüssy Printed Cotton-Blend Sweatshirt

  • Lanvin Slim-Fit Cropped Wool and Cashmere-Blend Trousers