Men's shoes aren't the kind of thing you buy on the spur of the moment just when the mood grabs you. Our shoes need to suit us in every way: they need to fit with our personal style, be comfortable to wear and it's best if they can worn in any situation. That's asking a lot – but that's what it takes to make an ordinary pair of men's shoes into our absolute favourites that we lovingly look after and that still accompany us everywhere even when they're showing the first signs of wear. Regardless of whether it's stylish sneaker boots, half-height biker style boots or classic smooth leather lace-ups: our outfits are not complete without shoes – we are not complete without our long-term favourites that seem tailor-made for us and our own individual look.
This week has a few particular challenges in store for you: together with a friend and work colleague you'll be representing your company at an annual international trade show in your town, where you'll be making new contacts and collecting ideas.
The first day of the trade show is Thursday. Your day starts early with a long walk in the woods. In jeans and a pair of brown leather lace-up boots, your boisterous dog at your side as always, you cross the dew-soaked meadows glistening in the early morning light gulping in the fresh air. You get home wide awake and full of energy, jump in the shower and then, in a pair of comfortable velour slippers, you start setting the table for breakfast. The kitchen is soon filled with the smell of fresh coffee and a huge portion of scrambled eggs. You sit down at the table with a newspaper and the documentation for the trade show. Casually dressed in dark denim jeans, dark suede lace-up boots and a cotton shirt you arrive at the trade show site where your colleague is just in the middle of sorting out the last few details at the booth along with the trade show assembly team. Together you connect up the computers, check the documents, flyers and presentation pack and start the day. It couldn't go better. The trade show is packed and even before lunch time you've already arranged some really promising business meetings for the following day. During a walk round the exhibition halls you come across a former work colleague at another company's booth, who's planning to be in town for the duration of the trade show. On the spur of the moment you invite him to join you at your favourite bar that evening to watch a football match.
In comfortable used-look jeans, leather jacket and coloured velour sneakers you pick up your colleague at his hotel and just make it in time for the kick-off. Your team does pretty well but whichever way it would have gone everyone in the little bar is in high spirits. As the final whistle blows you all raise a glass to the victory, loud and cheerful, then it's time to go: there'll be another long day at the trade show tomorrow. Friday goes by in a whirl of meetings, prospecting and an exciting exchange of views with your competitors and potential partners. In elegant smooth leather shoes, a pair of plain business trousers and blazer you establish a few valuable contacts and draw inspiration from your conversations with people working in other sectors. With satisfaction you and your colleagues note that your list of new contacts is getting longer and longer.
The Saturday is unexpectedly quiet. While your colleague is taking a walk around the other booths, you use the time to enter all the data you've collected over the past week and to put together some preliminary information packs for the interested parties. In half-length lace-up boots, Chinos and a V-neck jumper you're sitting at your booth concentrating when a Japanese business man introduces himself. He is preparing to open a branch in your town and is extremely interested in collaborating with you. During an initial meeting you establish the fact that your two companies really would complement each other and after a short phone conversation with your boss you arrange a business meeting for the same evening. Together with your boss you arrive at the classy French restaurant right on the stroke of eight o'clock in whose calm, subdued atmosphere you've often held business meetings. You welcome your guest in a pair of plain black business trousers, a light-coloured shirt and high-quality real-leather ankle boots and introduce him to your boss. It turns into an interesting meal – you're really enthusiastic about the new opportunities that this new partnership could mean for you. By the time you say your goodbyes later that evening you've already arranged a series of follow-up meetings for the coming week. In a great mood you set off for home through the dark streets. Things couldn't really get much better – but you're still looking forward to tomorrow.