Herring Shoes, Shoe style guide

The rock star finesse of the pointed shoe and boot

13 May 2024
The Clint

In the last of our series on men’s shoe shapes, we come to the pointed or elongated shoe or boot. Not just the go-to toe shape for court jesters and Teddy Boys, the pointed toe offers an opportunity to lengthen your foot shape and to add an edgy elegance to your outfit.

Court jesters aside, the pointed toe was a 15th century phenomenon, known as crakows or poulaines, and were said to be a sign of virility. Some even featured bells just to really get them noticed (cue eye roll)!

The British rock scene, often a leader in fashion, adopted the winklepicker style in the 1960s, accompanied by drainpipe jeans and trousers. Punks and goths were keen on the pointed toe too, while these days, Russell Brand and Noel Fielding continue to carry a torch for the winklepicker.

Like any extreme fashion, a softer version can be adopted to make a less shouty statement in the office or when you’re out and about. A bit like sneaking a cowboy boot vibe into everyday life, you can find them in the shoe collections of the manufactures we work with, including Barker and Loake.

These styles simply have an elongated toe, a bit like the almond-toed shape shoes, but longer! The narrow, long toe shape does not mean you need to cram your toes into such a tapered area; you get that bit as extra.

This is great if you have small feet and don’t want them to look quite so small. Even if you do not have smaller feet, the elongated toe is great if you just want to command attention. You will see what I mean when I show you some of the styles we have here at Herring.

Check out the Clint brogues. I feel these could have bells on and still make you look like a rock star. Made from black polished leather, this is a seriously sexy shoe! A little less stadium tour and a bit more arena are Loake’s Larch Oxfords. Available in chestnut or black calf, these are snazzy but snappy shoes that will look great with a suit.

Barker’s McClean brogues also have extra space in their toe… all the more space for some beautiful brogue detail! Barker has several other pointed toe shoes in their portfolio, such as the rather fine Woody brogues.

At Herring, we have applied the elongated toe space and swagger to our Thatcher brogue Chelsea boots. Like all the pointed toe styles, this Chelsea boot is oh-so sleek and just that little bit special.

The Z401 last allows for that extra bit of space too. See the Fleming loafer and the Roche monk shoe as excellent examples. While the 205 last has given us the Henley two-tone brogue and the Z160 is the foundation of the Chaucer wholecut and the Farnham two-tone brogues.

I think it is true to say that often toe styles begin to merge into one another with square (see shoes made on the Z460 last – you can filter by last in our website search facility) and almond toes flirting with the elongated looked of a pointed toe.

And, having been through each toe shape now, my underlying feeling is to just go with what you like the look of! If you need guidance on fit, please contact our excellent customer service advisors who can help you choose the right shoes or boots for your feet.

Find our other toe shape guides here:

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