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Getting dressed up for a special occasion isn’t just reserved for girls and adults, showing how suave and sophisticated you can look is something that many little boys like to do too. Whether it’s a family wedding or school disco where your little one can really turn on the charm, one of the most important ingredients is the perfect pair of boys shoes.
The perfect pair of formal shoes for your boy could be anything from a nice smart pair of dress loafers or something a little more traditional in style like a quality pair of brogues.
But let's not forget about the practical side of formal shoes. Formal shoes are designed to be worn occasionally, so any wearing of shoes that are chosen for a formal event should be limited. Wearing formal footwear for long periods of time can cause issues in growing feet.
Here we’re going to take a look at the types of formal shoes that are available for young boys, what might need to be considered when buying them and when formal footwear is expected to be worn.
There are a few different styles of formal footwear for boys that you can choose from, all with their own unique features. Below are some of the most common styles available:
Loafers can be a great formal shoe for young boys as they’re simple to wear and can be taken off and put on easily. Traditionally a flat shoe made from leather, they’re a plain shoe without ornamentation such as buckles or laces. Most loafers made for little boys have an elasticated gusset to help with fitting. Though this can be a useful addition when putting the shoes on and taking them off, it can cause problems over time when walking if the shoes are too large, potentially causing sores or blisters due to the movement. Make sure they’re well-fitted to avoid any issue. Check out our boy’s shoe fitting guide to find out how. Loafers are a great choice of smart footwear for any age and are versatile enough to be worn without issue at any formal event.
Brogues are a particularly trendy addition to any wardrobe at the moment. With a series of patterned perforations, they’re understated yet super smart, they’re suitable for any formal event and often come in a variety of colours to suit. Generally, brogues for boys are a more detailed version of the sleek Oxford style shoe and tend to have an open lace up fastening as opposed to the close lace up fastening you would see on an Oxford shoe. Due to the fact they’re they most commonly come with a lace up fastening, Brogues are great for younger boys as they can be secured correctly without the worry of excess movement.
Much like Loafers, slip on shoes can be both formal and informal. Boys slip on shoes for a formal occasion would normally have a slightly chunkier sole, making them particularly suitable for formal events that are held during the winter months as well as for school where a little more substance is needed. Also much like Loafers, formal slip on shoes tend to have an elasticated gusset, so care should be taken to size correctly, particularly if they’re to be worn as school shoes.
Sometimes boots might be required as an alternative to formal shoes. Because of that, it can be difficult to work out what would be classed as formal and what wouldn’t. Generally, a good formal pair of boys formal boots would be ankle height, lace up and have a strong, durable sole. Easy or zip fastenings and slip on boots are also a good option, especially for those unable to tie laces. A soft, supple upper will also be of benefit, especially to younger boys as it will allow them to move their feet more freely, helping them to walk more naturally. A boot that is too stiff around the ankle should be avoided.
When buying boys formal shoes, the style isn’t the only thing to consider. There are a number of other factors that should also deliberated before making a final decision. Some of these factors include:
It’s important to get the colour right when dressing for a formal occasion. Traditionally black, navy blue or brown would be the main choices as these are the most neutral and least imposing. However, today there are many other fashionable colours available in the market. It all comes down to outfit and knowing what kind of statement you want your boy to make.
The type of material is an important one as some don’t necessarily work well in particular weather conditions. For example, suede doesn’t work well in wet weather as the leather will mark and stain easily. The most fail safe option would be polished leather as it’s easy to maintain…something that’s definitely needed when you have a young boy! Synthetic leather will work well too. Try to avoid canvas or material shoes as these would be seen as too informal.
Ordinarily, a slightly polished and clean finish would be best. Suede or nubuck leather is a nice finish to go for in the summer months this this is slightly less formal. For younger boys patent shoes may also be an option for a formal occasion.
Choosing a style that is not only suitable for the occasion, the time of year and one that also matches your boys outfit is probably one of the hardest tasks. Do you opt for loafers over brogues? Would boots be better than shoes? Any style chosen should also be fitted well and comfortable.
Fit is probably one of the most important aspects of choosing formal footwear for boys. Though formal footwear is mostly only worn occasionally, it’s important to make sure all aspects of the shoes or boots fit well. A solid instep, with the correct width fitting and suitable fastening will mean your little one can remain comfortable for as long as needed. Some formal shoes can be quite stiff depending on the type of shoe, make sure you check how flexible the sole is for your little one. Choose something too stiff and they won’t be able to walk correctly, this is particularly important for younger boys.
Younger boys may not be expected to wear formal shoes very often but there are occasions where smart footwear is required. Below are a list of the occasions where formal footwear may be required:
It could be that your little one is attending a wedding, as a guest the need for formal footwear can be a little more relaxed however it could be that he’s is going to be a page boy. Often that means there will be a set colour scheme as well as a particular theme. At the moment, vintage weddings are very popular and brogues suit this theme very well.
When your boy begins school, it’s customary for him to wear black school shoes. Because of this it’s important to invest in a good quality pair that is well fitted with a durable sole. The shoes should also be somewhat formal. Lace up or easy fastening shoes would be best as boys school shoes as they can be fitted more securely.
As your little boy gets older, it’s likely that he’ll be invited to parties. As well as looking smart, it’s probable that he’ll want to run around and play party games. Slip on shoes with a sturdy, non slip sole will be most effective. This will allow your little one to take off and put the shoes on without fuss.
Much like a wedding, christenings can be a extremely formal events or a little more relaxed. Generally there isn’t a theme however it would be expected that your little one would wear smart footwear if he was a guest. If your little boy is the one being christened, it could be that he is to wear a christening outfit, in which case matching shoes in a traditional style would be best.
Whether it’s a wedding, party or your little one is about to start school, buying the correct shoes for the occasion is extremely important. Selecting formal footwear can be a hard task but using our guide should help ease the pressure!