This is an area you really need to invest in some quality. A £25 pair of shoes are just not it though. Look at getting some good grade and if you can afford handmade shoes. Crockett & Jones or Church's are the best I've found for high quality grade A leather handcrafted footwear and are really gorgeous. Loakes and Barkers are very good shoes and still have a lot of handwork in them too but are a little lower down on the budget scale. And all are still English made.
Crockett & Jones £230 - £460
Churches £235 - £475
Loakes £125 - £205
Barkers £140 - £220
And by the way, those cheap shoes are really ugly to boot. When you rock up to meet friends, or try to close a huge deal at work or, even worse, go to a job interview and you are wearing any of the shoes below then you are shooting yourself in the foot (ha, ha!). Nothing says hopeless waste of time more than a pair a thick, clumpy, frankensteins monster looking creations. And the worse thing is it actually has no bearing in reality. Most of the chaps I have met that wear these clogs are sensible, logical, good natured guys who are very good at their jobs. Trouble is they don't come across like that at first because of the image people see.
A study done by Professors at Princeton in 2006 showed that a first impression is made by us sometmimes as fast as 1/10th of a second. That's barely enough time to see each other let alone, shake hands, grab a coffee and sit down. And a further study showed that these first impressions can take up to 5 years to be changed in the mind of the holder if strong enough. Yes, 5 years! That's a hell of a long time for someone to think you look scruffy and unprofessional. And it's all wrong. I know tons of guys and even friends who look pretty relaxed and slobby in their appearance but are great guys. But if people are making snap judgements after seeing your expression and how you look after yourself by your dress and polish then you better make sure that image is giving you the best opportunity to make a good first impression.
So help them out. Most of us aren't blessed with looking or even talking like George Clooney so you have to give yourself the best shot at making a first impression.
So these below are what we will now call morgue shoes (only fit to be worn after death). Study them well and go through your collection and throw them away. Then go out and buy some new ones taking into account the later part of this post.
Split ties are not a good look. I know some gents will swear by them and if you wish to swear by these then fine but that doesn't make them look good. They look like they are worn by the guys that will laugh at cracker jokes. Avoid.
Winklepickers. These had a fleeting moment in the 80,s but they are never to be worn unless you are a bit punk. Turning up to a work event or a first date makes you look way out of touch. Again they will have their devoted fans but guys...please stay away.
Buckle shoes were in in the 90's and we all know how that decade is remembered for fashion. Big swash buckles need to be on belt and that's it.
Non-patent leather shiny shoes. These never look good. Every time I see someone wearing this I invariably see a pair of white jeans mentally. The only shoe that should be plastic shiny is patent leather ad because they're patent- eather they look good. These don't.
I see these way too often. Bin them. My most hated morgue shoe of all. Always look in a bad state. Probably very comfortable but so is a dressing gown and you wouldn't wear that out of the house. Donate to a homeless shelter and make someone else love them for you would not.
Square toes. Another real let down by shoe fashion in the last decade. Just look like Frankenstein's has got his shoes ready by the bed for a days work of making the kids scream.
What the hell are these? Oh please. If you have these then please bury them and make an offering to whatever religion you think might answer a prayer and hope they don't crawl out your back garden and come and pkill you.