You may have heard that women notice the shoes you are wearing and that you will be judged accordingly. Not only is that often true, but other men, employers, potential clients and your employees may also be secretly rating you according to the style, color and condition of your shoes.
All this pressure could turn you into a man who never wears anything but sneakers or pigeonhole you as the man who wears boots. Take a risk and try something different. At the very least, pair your shoes with the right outfit. The following 10 fashion tips for men’s shoes are guidelines that will serve you well.
- Get familiar with the wide variety of men’s shoes available to you. If you have been hiding behind work boots or Chucks your entire adult life, at least consider the possibilities. There are loafers, sandals, lug soles, sneakers, moccasins, oxfords, wing tips, cowboy boots and much, much more.
- Take a cue from your shirt. If you are in a quandary over what style of shoes to wear with a pair of jeans or casual pants, consider the style of shirt you are wearing; button-down shirts can handle a dressier loafer (except flannel button-downs–they look better paired with a sturdier shoe), a sweater or thick Henley shirt looks nice with thicker soled shoes or boots, and a polo can be paired with athletic shoes or a casual loafer style shoe.
- Jeans can be paired with nearly any style of shoe depending on the shirt you are wearing. However, shiny dress shoes should be saved for a suit situation and sports-specific shoes like running shoes look better with workout wear.
- Speaking of athletic shoes, there are several sports-specific shoes that are fantastic for training or competing in, but do not translate as well into day to day life. Having a pair of casual sneakers is a good idea. Saving the workout gear for working out extends the life of your equipment and presents a more polished image to the world.
- Socks do not have to match your shoes. This is the safest bet with men’s shoes; black shoes with black socks and brown shoes with brown socks. But it is possible to accessorize with a little pattern or color in your socks. Do keep the style consistent though. No one wants to see white sport socks with your wing tips, ‘kay?
- Men’s shoes should generally match the color of your pants. Black shoes with black pants, grey or navy. Brown goes best with tan, brown, beige, green or other earth toned pants. Khaki, light brown, blue and grey pants can all potentially work with burgundy shoes and tan shoes go well with light earth tones, blues, beige and white.
- Match your belt to your shoes. This simply makes the outfit look more pulled together, and saves you the trouble of wondering what belt to wear. If you can not match the belt color-wise, at least keep the style consistent. A sporty canvas belt works with sporty casual shoes and dressier belts are for dressier shoes.
- Find a pair of dress shoes that suit your style. A shiny black tie up or a nice slip on is just good to have on hand. If you do not see yourself as a man who normally wears formal clothing, choose a pair that are timeless classics with simple, very basic styling. On the other hand, if you are often in the public eye wearing a suit, look for a more fashion forward pair. The effort will be noticed by your peers and the women in your life.
- Sandals are a great summer option, minus the socks. Socks and sandals are not a good look.
- Above all, no matter what, please remember to keep you shoes clean. Dirty shoes are not attractive and reveal more than you want them to.