Toe shape is a very defining feature of shoes. People definitely notice this part of your feet, so it is important to consider which shape works best. I will highlight a few styles and compare them.
Almond-toe shoes are very classic of English style and one many Japanese shoemakers have emulated. How round the toe actually is really varies between companies and makers. Having a very obtuse, round toe, for instance, will make your shoe look heavier and more casual.
If you’re looking for a natural, round toe, think Hiro Yanagimachi or TYE shoemaker. It’s a classic style I favor. Formal or casual oxfords and derbies can look very advantageous with this shape.
Much more angular and resembles a square at the point of the toe. Shoe aficionados sometimes like to incorporate something called a “chiseled” or “eagle claw” toe. These two terms are used interchangeably.
This means that the top part of the toe last is shaved (with a tool called a rasp) to create a tapered effect at the point.
Shoemaker Yohei Fukuda is well known for this style.
Squared (if not too square) and chiseled toes look best on black business shoes. Chiseled toes on brown shoes look a bit odd because brown (casual) clashes with the toe (formal).
Chiseled toes can definitely look smarter than a round toe and show more personality. But it’s a rather distinctive style, like pointed shoes (below).
Indicative of French shoes and looks slightly pointier than the English rounded toes. There’s also less room in the toe area since the lines taper more sharply.
Pointed shoes are more stylized and slightly showier. If the shoemaker isn’t careful the point can look too exaggerated and the shoes, elf-like. I liked this style before but gradually preferred a softer look.