Welcome a Post-Sneaker World With Our Favorite Black Shoes

Back-to-school season is upon us, though it’s likely to be happening from home for most people. From the ultimate pencil case to work from home slippers, our Homecoming: Preparing for a Back-to-School at Home hub is a virtual class in new-age school essentials.

For the past decade or more, sneakers have been the MVP of the shoe game, pushing aside traditionally respected styles to take the number-one spot on most-popular and most-expensive tables everywhere. The collectability of sneakers may well be the driving force behind this cultural revolution, but have we hit critical mass? Recent shows like Prada, Lemaire, Dries Van Noten, and many more exhibited Spring 2021 collections that firmly suggested a move from high fashion’s streetwear obsession. While you might expect it from names like that, Off-White’s focus on soft tailoring seemed a more trustworthy sign of the beginning of the end for sneakers and streetwear. We may well be entering a post-sneaker era.

If this is the case, it’s always better to be ahead of the curve, so start sizing yourself up for a pair of black leather shoes today. This might be unfamiliar territory for you but fear not because the Highsnobiety curators have been hard at work doing the legwork by rounding up the best black leather shoes which are ideal for back-to-school. We’re going to go ahead and assume that you’re more focussed when you look down to see a pair of freshly polished Dr. Martens than your slippers.

Dr. Martens’ treats the classic tassel loafer to its unmistakably chunky style for the Adrian Tassel Loafer. We love this style because it allows you to express a bit more character than a traditional penny loafer.

Norwegian label Mephisto combines high-quality suede and full-grain leather to give the Peppo a textural boost. This classic workwear styles easily with wide-leg pants and shorts.

If you like to maintain the status quo, opt for the original leather iteration of the shoe.

Birkenstock has firmly grabbed the attention of the under-30s in recent weeks and we’re here for it. The London Clog sits somewhere in between a sandal and a formal shoe which makes it the ideal transition style for any still reluctant to enter the post-sneaker world.

The Gucci Horsebit Loafer has been the loafer of choice for discerning gents since its release in 1953. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

France has a number of notable exports: some of the world’s best cheeses and wines, ground-breaking art and literature, and the Paraboot.

Bottega Veneta gives the loafer a super-casual edge with this slimline version. A thin sole and supple nappa leather upper with an elasticated heel make this the perfect house show with a strong babouche style.

Bottega Veneta explores the dichotomy of past and future using the loafer silhouette as its canvas. Tassels up top hark back to traditional loafer style while a statement chunky sole is topped off by a transparent outsole.

Ferragamo takes the traditional derby shoe as a starting point and takes it through a world of ruggedness. Peep the Timberland laces for proof — that’s attitude.

Margiela obeys no rules. This babouche slipper features a split toe which is much more comfortable than you’d imagine.

Toga Virilis loves silver-tone embellishment and that — combined with a cut-out vamp — is what distinguishes this pair of classic leather brogues.

We may have omitted A.P.C. from our list of France’s greatest exports — we didn’t mean to. Jean Touitou’s brand does understated Parisian chic better than anyone else.

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