How Do Men’s Shoe Retailers Ensure The Perfect Mix Of Styles?

Men’s fashion retailers reveal how they curate the perfect selection of shoes.

Jorge Valls
Men’s fashion director, Nordstrom
“The key to balancing the offering is to listen to our customers in each market so we can offer them something for every occasion. Classic sneakers like Adidas have increased in popularity in the casual market. There’s also a newer market for dress sneakers, like [styles from] Common Projects that guys are wearing to work. The popularity of [these looks] has led to their acceptance as a workplace dress option.”

Common Projects Sneakers
Common Projects.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Damien Paul
Head of menswear, Matchesfashion.com
“We know dress codes for most men have relaxed, and they have fewer occasions where they need a traditional smart shoe. For that reason, it’s important to offer a thorough selection of sneakers, incorporating technical activewear styles from the likes of Adidas, as well as cleaner, more grown-up pairs that men can wear day-to-day. Within that arena, we see a particularly strong response to luxury sneakers from Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Margiela.”

Laure Heriard Dubreuil
CEO & founder, The Webster, Miami & Houston
“Our buy varies each season. While we always have traditional men’s shoes, our clients are savvy and follow the runway trends, so it’s important to have styles with a strong fashion message. Valentino’s running sneakers and Saint Laurent’s skate shoes have done well [for us]. However, some of our best-selling sneakers have never seen the runway, such as those from Balenciaga.”

Valentino Men's Runway Collection
Valentino on the runway.
CREDIT: Giovanni Giannoni.

Erika Vala
Partner, The Shoe Market, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Our male customer isn’t shopping the trends so much as [looking for] shoes he can wear most of the season. A shoe that works for casual and dress is usually a big hit for us. In the spring, we [lean] toward a sport/casual shoe — Asics, New Balance, Clae and Seavees. In the fall, we move into boots and dress shoes, such as Timberland, Red Wing, Clarks and Sperry.”

New Balance Sneakers
New Balance.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Aaron DelGuzzo
Co-owner, Likelihood, Seattle
“Because we’re a small boutique, we have to be selective in what we bring in. I try to stay away from performance athletic and make [the offering] more lifestyle. I don’t want to be Athlete’s Foot. I carry Puma, but the McQueen or Rihanna styles, such as the Creeper. With Adidas, I carry the Stan Smith — that has a lifestyle [and performance] balance. It’s always in stock and continually sells.”

Alexander McQueen Puma Sneakers
Alexander McQueen x Puma.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

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