Simply Red: why you need some red shoes in your life
Red gets kind of a raw deal in the hierarchy of shoe colours, often lumped in as a kind of novelty option for dandies. But after dark brown and black, I think it's actually the ideal "third shoe" colour.
In a perfect world I'd be talking about red-red shoes, like the ones above, which makers might call a cherry red. I'll also list some "safer" options in case you're not quite sold but would like to dip your toes in the scarlet water. If you're browsing sites for something like that, try looking for oxblood or burgundy as the shade names.
There's a couple of classic models that come to mind writing about this. Obviously, all of these models are available in other colours, but they are at their most iconic in red.
And to prove I practice what I preach, the red shoes currently in my rotation are:
Gaziano & Girling St James II in vintage Cherry
The red shoe as far as I'm concerned. I just picked a pair of these up after years of looking - check other posts for a review of these. Gaziano & Girzling's vintage cherry is just a beautiful colour. Standout features here are the Adelaide detailing around the laces and the unusually scalloped backstay section at the heel. Speaking of which...
Alfred Sargent / Paul Sargent Moore
Okay, so a bit of a cheat of a second choice. The Moore is a very similar looking shoe to the St. James II from G&G right down to the scalloped heel. Interestingly, Alfred Sargent and G&G shared a factory when the latter was starting off, and the similarities between the AS Exclusive last and G&Gs TG73 last are notable.
I suppose you could think of the Moore as the "budget" version of the St James II, though we live in a strange world where a near £500 pair of shoes could be considered budget. I owned a pair of these years ago but have since sold them, but the quality is very respectable for the price.
As to why these have been listed as Alfred Sargent / Paul Sargent - regular readers will know that AS went out of business last year, but the spirit of the company has been carried on in the new company Paul Sargent, who are offering the Moore in the same colour and last as AS did. Check out Paul Sargent's site to order, or keep an eye out on eBay for Alfred Sargent versions (though they are of course an endangered species now!)
Stefano Bemer Replica Russian Reindeer
Made from a replica leather of the famous Cleverley Russian reindeer leather, Stefano Bemer's captoe oxford is a strong choice. The only barrier with SB can be some eccentricities around the fitting, but they do have a fitting shoe service available, which would be sensible if looking to drop such substantial sums on your footwear.
Edward Green - various options
EG have a couple levels of "red" available, so you can choose your preferred intensity. Redwood is the... reddest, shown below:
Rosewood is next:
They're all pretty solid options, though Burgundy is probably the "safest" colour and would still look pretty acceptable in a business setting.
Tricker's - Various Models in Marron leather
Finishing on a slightly safer option if the previous ones are just too darn red for you, Tricker's Marron leather is an attractive reddish-brown