Nothing finishes off a great outfit like the right pair of shoes. As a matter of fact, the right pair of shoes can elevate an ensemble from mediocre to the talk of the party. There are literally dozens of options for men to choose from when it comes to picking the right shoe for your closet. But what are the types of shoes every man should own?
When building your shoe wardrobe, there are some staples every man should add to his collection to ensure that you have the right shoe for any occasion. To help you navigate the over-saturated waters in every shoe store, here are the seven types of shoes that 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 a dressier formal attire is required. Versatility is something to keep in mind with all shoes when building a wardrobe. So it is best to keep things simple. Opt for an oxford or a derby shoe, embrace timeless classics, and ensure your shoes will last.
Brown/Tan Dress Shoes
The brown dress shoe will fare best in the office and most professional situations. They work exceptionally well when paired with charcoal, navy/blue, and light grey suits or pants. When shopping for these shoes, remember that you will likely end up wearing them for eight or more hours at a time, so focus on comfort. Of course, most dress shoes are not known for their comfort, so a more luxury 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 music royalty of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones brought them into fashion in the sixties. Even stormtroopers wore them in 1977’s Star Wars.
Now you can find them in virtually any color and in leather, suede, or canvas. These are great shoes to replace sneakers with and elevate any ultra-casual outfit to a sharper streetwear look. If you choose leather boots, you can pair them with a suit for a unique look. Here are some great options for you to experiment with.
Chukka boots are your midway point between dress shoes and sneakers. When you wear denim, the shoes can determine the outfit’s formality. There will be occasions where dress shoes or Chelsea boots are too formal, and sneakers are too casual. This is a job for the chukka.
Originally worn by the British Army in the desert, this boot knows comfort and moveability. Pairing this shoe with denim or chinos sets your outfit up for virtually any top. An untucked button-down, a sweater, or a classic tee will feel perfectly suited for the chukka.
Sometimes, a man has to get dirty. Sometimes in a man’s life, he needs to feel manly simply for the sake of feeling manly. Fewer shoes give off masculine energy than a rugged pair of cap-toe leather boots. These are equally appropriate for walking the streets of New York City or getting lost in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.
These boots will likely be the most comfortable of all shoes in your collection, but you will almost certainly feel the growing pains as they need to be broken in. These pair well with denim, chinos, or even work pants while you hike a trail or mow the lawn.
Every guy reading this needs a pair of clean, white sneakers. They are an essential staple that will be your best friend. Whether planning an entire outfit around the shoes or throwing them on as an afterthought as you run out of the house, your white sneakers will never not work. And they will never not be in style.
You can opt for canvas or leather, but either one will come with the same rub; they will inevitably get dirty, scuffed, or start to yellow. You will have to be dedicated to cleaning them often and being very careful not to wear them on rainy days where you can run into mud or, if possible, end up in a pickup football game.
Call them athletic shoes, running shoes, tennis shoes, whatever you want. The point of this pair of shoes is movement. These shoes are not about fashion or style. These are about comfort and reaching goals. You will want to take your time when shopping for your exercise shoes. Find a brand and a model that fit you the best and will take care of your feet when moving. The better shape you keep, the better your entire wardrobe will look on you.
No matter the occasion or the dress code you face, there is a pair of shoes on this list appropriate for you. While you want to ensure you find high-quality shoes to get the most out of your investment, there is no need to break the bank. There are plenty of options that can fit any budget. With these seven classic options for your feet, you will never go out of style.
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