Nothing completes a great outfit like the right pair of shoes. In fact, the right pair of shoes can elevate a mediocre set to party talk. There are literally dozens of options for men to choose from when it comes to choosing the right shoe for your wardrobe. But what are the types of shoes that every man should own?
When building your shoe wardrobe, there are basics every man should add to his collection to ensure you have the right shoe for every occasion. To help you navigate the supersaturated waters of every shoe store, here are the seven types of shoes every man should own.
Black Dress Shoes
The black dress shoe is your formal shoe. This will most likely be the shoe you choose when heading to weddings, funerals, or any other occasion where dressier formal wear is required. Versatility is something to keep in mind with all shoes when building a wardrobe. So it’s best to keep things simple. Opt for an oxford or derby shoe, adopt timeless classics and make sure your shoes will last.
Brown/Tan Dress Shoes
The brown dress shoe will look best in the office and in most work situations. They work exceptionally well when paired with charcoal, navy/blue and light gray suits or trousers. When buying these shoes, remember that you’ll probably end up wearing them for eight or more hours at a time, so focus on comfort. Of course, most dress shoes aren’t known for their comfort, so a more luxurious oxford shoe is your best bet.
You can thank the swinging sixties and seventies for the flourishing Chelsea Boot. While they were made for royalty as far back as the Victorian era, the musical royalty of the Beatles and Rolling Stones brought them into vogue in the sixties. Even stormtroopers wore them in the 1977s star wars.
You can now find them in virtually any color and in leather, suede or canvas. These are great shoes to replace sneakers and elevate any ultra-casual outfit to a more edgy streetwear look. If you choose leather boots, you can pair them with a costume for a unique look. Here are some great options to experiment with.
Chukka boots are halfway between dress shoes and sneakers. When wearing denim, shoes can determine the formality of the outfit. There will be occasions when dress shoes or Chelsea boots are too formal and sneakers are too casual. It’s a job for the chukka.
Originally worn by the British Army in the desert, this boot knows comfort and mobility. By pairing this shoe with jeans or chinos, your outfit will go with virtually any top. An untucked button-down shirt, a sweater or a classic t-shirt will work well for the chukka.
Sometimes a man has to get dirty. Sometimes in a man’s life he needs to feel manly just to feel manly. Fewer shoes exude masculine energy than a sturdy pair of leather boots with a straight toe. These are also suitable for strolling the streets of New York or getting lost in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.
These boots will probably be the most comfortable of any shoe in your collection, but you’ll almost certainly feel the growing pains because they have to be broken in. They pair well with jeans, chinos, or even work pants while you’re hiking or mowing the lawn.
Every guy reading this needs a pair of clean, white sneakers. They are a must-have that will be your best friend. Whether it’s planning an entire outfit around the shoes or putting them on as an afterthought when you step out of the house, your white sneakers will never work. And they will never be fashionable.
You can opt for canvas or leather, but either will have the same catch; they will inevitably be dirty, scratched or start to yellow. You’ll have to dedicate yourself to cleaning them often and be very careful not to wear them on rainy days where you might end up in the mud or, if possible, find yourself in a pick-up football game.
Call them sports shoes, running shoes, tennis shoes, whatever you want. The purpose of this pair of shoes is movement. These shoes are not about fashion or style. It’s about comfort and achieving goals. You will want to take your time when shopping for your exercise shoes. Find a brand and model that best suits you and will take care of your feet when moving. The better you keep in shape, the better your entire wardrobe will be.
No matter what occasion or dress code you’re up against, there’s a pair of shoes on this list that’s right for you. While you want to make sure you’re finding high-quality shoes to get the most out of your investment, there’s no need to break the bank. There are many options that can suit any budget. With these seven classic options for your feet, you’ll never go out of style.