They seem to get a bad rap.
The common stereotype is to stay away.
Is it strictly aesthetic?
Did someone say “never wear them” one day so everyone started saying it?
I do think curve toe look better overall.
But square toes do have some pros.
Curved-toed shoes have become the norm for shoe shapes while square toed shoes have become a polarizing topic.
You either hate square shoes or you love them.
Where do you stand on this debate of square vs. curved toe shoes?
Are there are any advantages to getting one shape over the other?
Yes. Listed below are 3 pros for each type.
The curved shape of modern shoes is a recent development in the timeline of human shoe history.
For thousands of years, shoes had a block-like appearance. Common folk wore wooden blocks while the upper class indulged in sandals and then closed shoes. It was difficult to distinguish between the left and right shoe as both had a similar block shape. That was until the development of a curved toe shape, a development that made the distinction easy to spot.
A possible reason for the rise in popularity of a more pointed curved-toe shape is their practicality for horse riders. A square shoe made it impossible to fit your feet into the stirrups. At that point, curved-toe shoes were reserved for the upper class and denoted higher quality and workmanship.
We have come to accept curved shoes as the better option, but square shaped shoes offer the following advantages:
Pros Of Square Shaped Shoes
Square shaped shoes have developed a bad reputation in recent times, often referred to as the Frankenstein shoe or the Pilgrim’s shoe. Although I prefer the classic and elegant shape of a round toe, the square shape offers the following advantages:
1. Comfortable For Men With Foot Abnormalities
Your shoe should follow the natural curve of your feet. And some people have seemingly square feet.
This style is suitable for individuals who experience toe swelling or people with foot abnormalities. Long distance runners frequently experience swelling that requires more space in the toe box.
Square toe shoes typically have a low heel and tend to have a wide toe box. The extra space in these shoes allows for the placement of a removable insole for extra arch support.
2. Better Fit For Men With Wide Feet
As you work up the ladder of shoe quality, shapes get more narrow and refined. The better the quality of the shoe, the more the last is going to be shaped and as a result, making it harder for a wide foot to fit into a small shape.
Good fitting shoes should have the right pressure around the foot – neither too much or too little. If the pressure is high, as a result of broader feet forced into a narrow curved toe shoe, the tissue around the ball of the feet will be compressed reducing blood circulation.
Considering that we all have different sized feet, it would be difficult for shoe companies to accommodate all of the different shapes.
Since there are more people with broader feet than narrow, it is easier to make block-like shoes that have no shape and can safely fit the majority of people with broad feet.
The majority of the world of shoes is not catered to the narrow feet market. It costs less to make shapeless shoes.
3. Square Toe Shapes Correct Visual Flaws
A square toe is a design element that can be used to correct the visual flaws in your feet.
If your feet are disproportionately long, they can be visually shortened with a square toe. The chopped-off style of the square toe gives the appearance of smaller feet.
Slender or undersized men looking to add a little visual bulk to their feet can benefit from the widening effect of square toe shoes.
Pros Of Curved-Toe Shoes
The rounded shape of modern shoes is a recent development in the timeline of human shoe history. Shoes evolved from wooden blocks to square shapes that were identical.
It wasn’t until the development of a curved toe shape that one could distinguish between the left and right shoe. Apart from this crucial distinguishing factor, curved toe shoes offer the following advantages:
1. Classic, Timeless & Elegant Shape
Some argue that round toe shoes are the only type of shoes a man should wear.
Whether the shoe is a casual shoe, a boot or a dress shoe, it is always safest to stick with the round toe shoes.
They are a classic and timeless style, accentuating the size and shape of the foot. The uniform curved lines on this shape work in cohesion for an attractive overall effect.
Curved toe shoes are versatile and are suited for formal as well as casual occasions.
Wearing curved toe shoes signals that you are aware, and care about elegant footwear.
2. The Round Toe Shape Is Visually Appealing
The design of a curved toe shoe is as connected with art as it is with functionality
Aesthetically, the square-toed shoe with its harsh angles stands little chance against the elegance of a curved front in the toe. A sleeker, round toe shape accentuates the straight lines of your outfit much better than a chunky square-toed shape.
Switch to a more natural, rounder shape to be considered a man of style and elegance. Round-toe shoes finish an outfit off in a clean and neat way, whether you’re wearing formal trousers, jeans, or chinos.
3. Better Quality & Workmanship
Shoes with rounded toes started showing up in the middle of the 20th century. Until then, a round toe was a practical choice only for the working class. The curved shape gave their toes enough room while they were on their feet all day.
Shoemakers did not differentiate between the right foot and the left foot for shoes until the middle of the 19th Century. They were made as a single block that could fit either foot. This is where the square shape comes from.
It wasn’t until the twentieth century that shoemakers improved comfort by making foot-specific shoes. A curved toe shoe is hence harder to make.
Without definite ends and the defined ends of a square toe, the leather used to make a curved toe has to be expertly pulled and shaped. No spaces are left between the wooden mold (last) and the leather.
The shape of the curved shoe makes it a practical choice for all-day wear.
Why Square Toe Shoes Are Problematic For Men With Narrow Heels
In the West, most men have a high instep and a high arch in their feet. The high instep and arch are usually accompanied with a broad ball of the foot (where the toes join the rest of the foot).
It is a common mistake to consider the foot wide just because the instep is high and the ball of the foot is broad. The foot may very likely have a narrow ankle
Square toed shoes cater for broad forefeet but are a poor fit for men with narrow ankles. An overly wide fitting shoe for these men will be very sloppy, resulting in the feet popping out at every step.
Switch to a different shoe style (like a derby) to solve this challenge instead of opting for a shoe with a block-like shape.