It’s almost unimaginable to think of what menswear would look like without the British. Thanks to that one outsized island nation, we have — among other things — the suit, the trench coat, the dinner jacket, a whole host of knitwear, and, of course, the wingtip.
Essentially a lace-up derby with brogue detailing (i.e. the little holes) and a cap toe that runs up the sides, the wingtip has long been a stalwart of the well-dressed man. Though originally intended as a casual country shoe, today’s wingtip is just about the most versatile dress shoe in a man’s closet.
This month, as part of a special, highly-limited one-off dress shoe collection called ECCO VITRUS™ International Agenda, Danish footwear brand ECCO will release a range of specially-crafted wingtips that not only offer tons of upscale versatility, but also some serious small-batch street cred.
Along with the wingtips, this limited edition ECCO VITRUS™ collection will also include a range of other premium dress shoe styles as well, all crafted in high-grade leathers and released in extremely limited quantities over the course of seven days in seven different cities: Tokyo, Moscow, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Copenhagen, London, and New York (at the Nordstrom NYC location on Friday, Sept. 28). While these small-batch shoes have certainly peaked our interest, the simple fact is, they’ll be pretty hard to get.
So, in an effort to provide you with a Plan B should you miss out on the ECCO International Agenda collection, here’s a look at the brand’s classic VITRUS™ collection, specifically the VITRUS™ I Wing Tip Shoe and VITRUS™ I Wing Tip Boot. Mixing traditional styling with cutting edge technology, these three wingtip variations — a black shoe, a brown shoe, and a brown boot — are elegant, lightweight, and versatile, plus they’re just about as comfortable as your favorite pair of sneakers.
They’re Built For Both Style and Durability.
The Calf Crust full-grain leather upper of every pair of VITRUS™ I shoes, which is hand-treated and dyed at the company’s own tanneries, has been individually hand-polished and buffed to bring out its natural grain and luster. That means the VITRUS™ is a dress shoe that’s certain to attract plenty of eyeballs.
They’re Incredibly Comfortable.
ECCO has employed a number of technological innovations that help make the VITRUS™ I Wing Tip and VITRUS™ I Wing Tip Boot some of the most comfortable dress shoes on the market. First up is the specially designed shank, which is uniquely shaped to create a cupped heel so that it naturally curves with your foot. This further increases stability, which in turn maximizes comfort.
Next up is the ECCO FLUIDFORM™ direct-injection technology, a production process that uses anatomical molds and injection engineering for the outer sole to improve cushioning and rebound with every wear. Long story short, they don’t just provide great comfort — they actually provide increased cushioning as they age.
The VITRUS™ I Wing Tip Shoes and Boots also use fully anatomical lasts — the foot-shaped forms that shoes are made on — which complement the natural curvature of your foot to help enable natural movement when you walk. (A definite bonus in the comfort department.) And finally, they are made with moisture-wicking cork in the forefoot to help keep you dry. A dry foot means less friction, and less friction means no blisters or irritation, especially over the course of a long day.
They Can Be Dressed Up or Down.
The great thing about classic wingtips, whether in shoe or boot form, is that they have far more versatility than most other styles of dress shoes and boots, especially for fall. Unlike the sleeker, more formal Oxford, wingtip shoes have a slightly chunkier profile, not to mention a hint of ruggedness—they were once country shoes after all—which makes them ideal for more casual and business casual settings.
Like Oxfords, they look great with a suit. But unlike Oxfords, they pair well with jeans, chinos, cords, and heavier-weight trousers. Pretty much anything except shorts and sweatpants. So, you can dress them up with a suit for a day at the office, and then dress them back down for a night on the town with jeans and a blazer, or even chinos and a crewneck sweater.
On the boot side of the equation, the wingtip adds a dash of sophistication where most other boots miss out. Work, combat, and desert boots skew too casual, while Chelsea boots are often a little too rock ’n’ roll. The wingtip boot, on the other hand, is hardy enough to stand up to the elements, but elegant enough for dressier occasions. Which means that, come fall, these VITRUS™ I Wing Tip Boots are certain to be a regular feature of your footwear rotation.