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PAUL PARKMAN MEN’S BLUE & PURPLE WINGTIP OXFORDS (ID#084VX55)3
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Thanks to the HBO hit Sex and the City, there are probably few women out there now who have never heard the words “Manolo Blahnik.” Among the many joys of New York life the show celebrated, few were as admired or envied as the lead character’s collection of 100, give or take, of the Spanish designer’s expensive, elaborate shoes. Over the show’s six years the shoes became fetishized, and sales of Manolo Blahniks skyrocketed.

It is, however, extremely unlikely that the same kind of publicity would ever work for men’s shoes. For one thing, most men don’t sit around fantasizing about shoes all day. For another, most men’s shoes are rather prosaic, not to mention strongly similar in design and function.

While shoe shopping may not mean the same for a man as for a woman, it would behoove many men to spend a little more time weighing their options the next time they need to stock up on footwear. Contrary to what many people might think, there is a considerable difference between makes and styles, even if it is not always apparent to the untutored eye. The result, too often, is that men end up buying cheap, uncomfortable or overly trendy shoes when, with a little bit of extra thought, they could have spent their money on a shoe that would have lasted them happily for years. In other words, a wingtip is not a wingtip is not a wingtip.

“Men let themselves down on their shoes,” says Lynne Marks, Lynne Marks, an Atlanta-based image consultant and president of the London Image Institute, whose corporate clientele includes executives at Coca-Cola , American Express , AT&T and the Weather Channel. “They either don’t think that shoes are important, or they seem to think that shoes can’t be seen. Either way, it’s a big mistake.”

Believe it or not, at different periods in history men’s shoes were more Carrie Bradshaw than Cary Grant. While before the French Revolution most of the world’s population was lucky to have shoes at all, European aristocrats used to flaunt their status through such ostentatious touches as floral clothing, embroidery, makeup and high heels for both men and women.

After the revolution, “social mores emphasized equality, and businessmen veered dramatically away from anything that might be considered frivolous toward a more somber, serious and almost puritanical style of dress, including their shoes,” says Elizabeth Semmelhack Elizabeth Semmelhack , curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Heels gave way to flat soles, shiny buckles to sensible eyelets, and pretty soon men’s dress shoes had all the flare of fuel-efficient subcompacts. The now ubiquitous, Oxford-style men’s dress shoe, notes Semmelhack, has been around since about 1910, when businessmen finally abandoned the ankle boot styles of the late 19th century.

While historical social upheaval certainly had a huge role in shaping what today’s gentlemen wear on their feet, the current lack of distinctive dress shoe product can also be traced to the fact that, unlike women, men actually give a damn about fit. “Comfort is an enormous factor for men,” says Michael Atmore Michael Atmore , editorial director of Footwear News. “The traditional wingtip left a lot of room and was very forgiving in terms of fit. But men’s feet tend to go up in size as they age. As such, most manufacturers don’t put a lot of effort into extreme designs for fear of limiting their customer base over fit issues.”

The question, of course, is why a man should choose to wear anything other than Rockports or sneakers. For one thing, a well-made shoe can, and should be, extremely comfortable. For another, a well-made shoe sends the rest of the world a signal about the wearer. More than any other article of clothing, shoes can influence how others view us, not to mention how we view ourselves. There’s a reason, after all, why mothers traditionally advise their daughters to first look at a man’s shoes.

Show Stopper Shoes

Show Stopper Shoes strives to be recognized as a leader in the footwear industry and to continuously strengthen our brand. We operate with long term focus and seek to develop high quality relationships with our customers/ partners. We strive to exceed your expectations and are committed to continuous improvement.

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Address: 2104 Park Lake Ln, Norcross, Ga. 30092

Email:contact@showstoppershoes.com

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