The Best Shoes to Wear for Drinking

An Englishman explores the importance of proper footwear at the pub.

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Written by Charlie Morgan (@sofarek)

Ah, the great drinking shoe. Hitting the pub requires considered footwear. You want to look good. You don't really want to stand out. And, certainly, you don't want any ruinous experiences with any type of liquid—the inevitable splash back and stench of disinfectant in the urinals make suede and mesh a risky endeavor.

I just moved back to London after three years of living in rural Switzerland, where I work pedaling a authentic Californian brand. Like any Brit abroad there were a lot of things I missed about Blighty, but the one thing I truly craved was the pub.

A real English public house that is, not some ex-pat’s ye-olde reimaging, stuffed to the gills with 'authentic' vintage replicas of Guinness toucans sign and other detritus—I’m talking about the bonafide backstreet ‘battle cruisers’ of my youth.

The pub shoe is more about conforming and being one of the boys than it is about trying to peacock.

Sitting in a pub with no real agenda other than perhaps the consumption of a light ale, possibly augmented with the watching of a televised football match, is a simple but necessary pleasure, the want for which is engrained in every true Englishman.

The pub shoe is in itself the by product of many different contributing factors, but let's not oversell it: It is nothing more than the middle ground between your work shoes and your going-out shoes—shoes either relegated from evening attire or pulled from ranks of functional work clobber to serve their time in the trenches.

For the most part I would argue the majority of footwear found on hype sites is the antithesis of the pub shoe. The pub shoe is not an obnoxious display of wealth. Nor is it a knowing homage to a subcultural reference or heritage trend. It’s just a shoe you wear down the pub for a couple of beers and some banter with lads. It's more about conforming and being one of the boys than it is about trying to peacock.

Grab your notebooks—here is a crash course in pub-certified footwear.

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