The 3 Most Important Points Before Shopping For A Quality Leather Dress Shoe In Singapore

Every men need a good looking pair of formal dress shoes

But most don't know the difference between an oxford and a Siberian deer.

(trick question...there is no such thing as a Siberian deer)

These are 3 things you need to know about men formal shoes for your next shoe shopping trip.

1.      Style & Design

2.      Construction

3.      Leather

Lastly, and most importantly, what is the purpose of your shoe?

Is it for formal work, smart casual wear

or you simply just have $300 in spare change...



This is where the purpose of your shoes play a part.

You want the style/design to fit the purpose.

Certain styles are more casual, while some are more formal in nature.

While style is not the only factor in how casual/formal a shoe is,

It plays a fair part.

These are the general styles of dress shoes:

1.      Oxford - closed lacing (most formal)

2.      Derbys - open lacing

3.      Monkstraps - buckles

4.      Loafers - no lace and buckles (least formal)


Designs of a shoe refers to its intricate pattern on the upper (main leather part).

There are two main kinds of designs -

  • Brogues (shoes with perforated holes) and drumroll please....
  • Non brogues.

For designs, less is more formal.

The front of the shoe which is the main part has 4 main different designs

1.      Captoe

2.      Wingtip

3.      Apron toe

4.      Plain

These designs are independent of whether the shoes are brogued.

KEY POINT: Style is more fundamental while design refers to the patterns on the shoe.

They are independent.

KEY QUESTION: What purpose am i getting the shoe for? 

If its formal office wear, get a cleaner design and oxford style

If its smart casual, you can experiment and go for brogues and derby/monkstraps

There is no such thing as a one shoe fits all. 

You can't have a shoe that is both formal and casual at the same time....

It just doesn't work that way. 



Construction is the method used to make the shoes.

Different constructions require different machines, techniques, labor, etc

And have their own respective pros and cons.

There are 3 main kinds of construction

1.      Cemented - found in most Bata shoes and buildings.

2.      Blake Stitch - found in most Italian shoes

3.      Goodyear Welt - found in most British shoes

KEY POINT: Try to stay away from cemented shoes.

They typically do not last long and break down after a heavy downpour. 

KEY QUESTION TO ASK: What kind of construction is this shoe made of? 

Note: Some designer brands of a higher price point use cemented construction



The most important part of a leather formal/dress shoe!

Typically, most premium leather formal/dress shoes would be in full leather which means:

1.      Upper - the main part

2.      Lining - the inside of the shoe

3.      Sole - the bottom

These would all be in leather.

Having them in leather means more breathability (airy) and also, over time,

it would mold to your feet, giving a more customized fit.


There are 3 grades of leather

1.      Full Grain (highest quality)

2.      Top Grain

3.      Corrected Grain (lowest quality)


KEY POINT: Stay away from corrected grain leather.

They tend to flake and peel off after a short period of use.

(some designer brands of higher price point use corrected grain) 

KEY QUESTION TO ASK: What kind of grain leather do you use for this shoes?

(note that corrected grain also means genuine leather)

Don't mean to brag but hey, my CustomMade shoes are made out of full grain calf leather.

(actually i did mean to brag).  


KEY TAKEAWAY: Know the purpose of buying a pair of shoe and shop accordingly while keeping these 3 things in mind.


you would be interested in these....