Now onward ho! Shoes today are greatly limited in design and materials. This is probably due to the market in mens fine shoes being usurped by sneakers and cheaper alternatives. One can only get an idea of this by reading and studying ads from the past. As an avid thrift shopper and yard sale aficionado I can tell you that even regular people could afford to purchase fine leather shoes. Why, the market was flush with a surplus of makers and the entire environment supported it. Sneakers were utilitarian and only for sport thusly, the propers shoes due to saturation and demand could be offered and low as well as astounding price points. Another side effect was that, just like today, the various makes could be creative and market different styles and fashions.
You don't believe me do you, take a look at the following:
Too many to describe. Just know that they would look proper even today. I'm really digging the straight tip oxford in the corner.
This appears to be spectators with 2 different kinds of materials. It appears to be suede, calf skin, and white leather. The materials contrast highly and look sharper for it.
A casual design with some perforations. Botegga Venetta still designs shoes like this every S/S.
A spectator monk hybrid next to a spectator with some perforated leather panels.
Photo Credit: All are Esquire and found all over the internets...