You’re at your best friend’s wedding, and you’re dressed up in the best suit you have. As you look down, you realize your sneakers are starting to look far too worn out. We’ve all been there at least once in our lives. Finding the right pair of men’s shoes for different occasions isn’t easy, but with this guide, you’ll learn all about choosing the right men’s shoes so you can put your best foot forward every time.
Choosing the right men’s shoes can make or break an outfit. It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal event, casual outing, or even a job interview; everyone sees the shoes on your feet when they look at you. Men’s shoes are more than just an accessory.
In this guide, we’ll also give you some tips for men’s shoe shopping, as well as some tips on caring for men’s shoes. After reading through our guide, you’ll feel more confident choosing the right pair of shoes for every type of event.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Shoes
Shoes play an important role when it comes to improving your sense of style and self-expression. Footwear serves more of a purpose than just keeping your feet protected. It also shapes your appearance and can leave a lasting impression on the people you’re around.
If you’re a fashion-conscious man, the right pair of men’s shoes can make you stand out as polished, professional, and confident. Let’s take a closer look at the impact of shoes on style and first impressions.
Making a statement: Shoes are a reflection of your personal style and taste. If you wear a classic pair of oxfords, you’ll typically exude elegance and charm. If you wear a pair of unique sneakers, people will get a more laid-back vibe from you. Your choice of shoes can say a lot about your fashion sense.
The overall look: Another reason why it’s so important to spend time choosing the right men’s shoes is because it ties the rest of your outfit together. If you show up to an event with shoes that don’t fit properly or a color that doesn’t mesh well with the rest of your appearance, you might get some awkward stares.
Details are everything: People generally notice the smaller details in life, and shoes contribute to a well-maintained and stylish appearance that shows you care about yourself.
Professional image: If you’re showing up to a job interview wearing shoes that don’t match your attire, that could be the deciding factor in getting the job. First impressions are huge, and your shoes are typically one of the first things people see when you walk into a room.
Matching Shoes with Occasions
As you’re trying to decide on what shoes to wear, you need to think about the occasion. Wearing the right footwear for the right occasion shows you have high social awareness and respect for the event you’re attending.
You should wear classic dress shoes like loafers, derbies, and oxfords to black-tie events, weddings, or upscale parties. Classic dress shoes portray sophistication and elegance while complementing the rest of your attire.
You have a little more flexibility if you’re attending a casual gathering, like a weekend outing with some friends. You can wear clean sneakers, brogues, or chukka boots. These options offer the right combination of style and comfort.
When you’re involved in any type of sports activity, you should invest in a pair of shoes designed for the sport you’re participating in. Wearing the wrong shoes for the sport can increase your chances of injuries, cause discomfort, and damage your shoes.
You should always wear reliable hiking boots or trail running shoes when hiking or camping. They offer a nice amount of stability for the ankle and will make your feet feel much more comfortable than any other shoe type.
Enhancing Confidence and Self-Expression Through Shoes
Many men don’t consider how important shoes are for improving confidence and self-expression. Let’s take a look at how shoes can do both of these things.
Comfort and posture: A well-fitted pair of supportive shoes will boost your physical comfort and improve your posture. You’ll feel more confident in your daily tasks with better foot support and posture.
Self-expression: Shoes are available in many colors, styles, and designs. As a man with so many different choices at your toes, you can express your individuality and expression through your choice of shoes.
Mood booster: After finding a pair of shoes that aligns with your personal preferences and comfort levels, you’ll feel better as you go about your day. This can have a positive impact on your self-esteem and overall demeanor.
Ice breaker: Wearing a unique pair of men’s shoes to an event will typically grab the attention of other people around you. It can be a good ice breaker and conversation starter, and you might even make some new friends because of your shoes.
Types of Men's Shoes
Every fashion-conscious man should have a wide array of shoes in their collection. Every pair of shoes has its own purpose and is ideal for different occasions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the different types of shoes.
Dress shoes are central to formal footwear and are perfect for special occasions and professional settings. They offer a sleek and sophisticated look and feature a closed lacing system. They’re made from high-quality materials, such as leather, and some of the common styles of dress shoes are oxfords and derbies.
Men’s dress shoes are commonly worn to business meetings, black-tie gatherings, weddings, and other professional settings.
Casual shoes are characterized by comfort and flexibility. Many different types of shoes can be included in this category, such as regular sneakers, canvas shoes, and even boat shoes. Casual shoes feature a relaxed design; you can wear them to social gatherings, weekend events, and informal get-togethers.
Athletic shoes are all about providing you with performance and support during your physical activity. Athletic shoes are known for their comfort, stability, and support so that you can excel in your sports while reducing the chances of injuries. Some activities athletic shoes are good for are
- Gym sessions
- Weight workouts
- All types of sports
Boots feature a combination of style and durability. They keep your feet protected and offer you ankle support no matter what you’re doing. There are many styles of boots, including Chukka boots, Chelsea boots, and winter boots. Boots are a versatile type of footwear that you can wear in cold and wet conditions and to casual and semi-formal events.
Loafers are another type of shoe that strikes the perfect balance between formal and casual. Loafers are slip-on shoes that you can easily pop on and head out the door to semi-formal events or even business casual settings. They’re manufactured from many different materials, such as suede and leather. Some unique types of loafers have metal accents, while others even have tassels.
Everyone loves the gentle breeze of fresh air on their feet during the middle of summer. Sandals can range from your casual flip-flops to more refined leather sandals. Sandals are perfect for vacations, trips to the beach, casual outings, and leisurely activities.
Choosing the Right Shoes for Every Occasion
Figuring out what types of shoes to wear can be a frustrating task if you don’t know much about style and appearance.
If you have a wedding coming up, a business meeting, or a black-tie event, you’ll want to invest in a good pair of dress shoes. There are a few appropriate types of dress shoe styles for formal events.
Oxfords: Oxfords are a classic shoe style that’s usually plain black or dark brown in color. They complement many different types of formal attire.
Derbies: Derbies are very similar to oxfords but have an open lacing system. Their lacing system makes them a little less formal than oxfords, and they’re ideal for those that want a bit more comfort out of their dress shoe.
Monk straps: These shoes have one or two buckled straps at the front instead of laces. If you’re the type of man that wants to add some unique flair to your appearance, monk straps are a wise consideration.
While deciding what dress shoes to wear for formal occasions, you should focus on neutral colors like burgundy, dark brown, and black. Black typically works best with most outfits, while dark brown and burgundy can work well if you want to add warmth to your attire.
A good pair of high-quality leather shoes can give off a luxury look. Another common choice is full-grain leather. Some men also like to wear suede dress shoes to less formal events because of the texture and visual appeal they can lend to their outfits.
Business or Office Settings
When you’re in the office all day at work, you want to wear a pair of shoes that is durable, comfortable, and stylish at the same time. Consider some of the following types of shoes for business or office settings:
Classic leather oxfords: In the same way that oxfords work so well for formal occasions, they also work in the business and office worlds. Their refined design and closed-lacing system will make you look professional and sophisticated. Black and dark brown colors are the best to choose from because they pair well with business attire.
Derby shoes: Derbies are another great choice for business or office settings. While they’re a little more laid-back than oxfords, they still add a nice balance of contemporary style and sleek aesthetic appeal.
Loafers: If you’re working in a business-casual atmosphere, loafers can be a suitable option. Their slip-on design makes them convenient, and they work well with chinos and dress pants.
Monk strap shoes: Consider trying a pair of monk strap shoes in the office to add a bit of personality to your appearance. Monk strap shoes have a buckle that closes instead of a laced system.
Importance of Comfort and Durability in Office Shoes
In the office, comfort, style, and durability all go hand-in-hand. When you spend long hours in the office on your feet or at your desk, you need a comfortable pair of shoes to reduce the fatigue your feet experience throughout the day. At the same time, your office shoes must also look good and make you feel confident. Have you ever noticed that you feel a little more positive and more confident in a new pair of shoes?
Office shoes that you wear daily need to be able to withstand wear and tear. Investing in shoes that are manufactured well will ensure they’ll stand the test of time.
Casual Events or Social Gatherings
Casual shoes are the type of footwear that you’ll most likely be wearing the most because they’re suitable for so many different occasions. They offer just the right combination of comfort, style, and personality. Let’s take a closer look at the flexibility of casual shoes and some options to consider.
Classic sneakers: White or neutral-colored sneakers with basic designs work very well with shorts, chinos, or jeans. They’ll make sure you stay comfortable all day while appearing contemporary at the same time.
Boat shoes: Boat shoes are another stylish option for casual outings. They’re perfect for the summer months, and you can wear them with shorts, khakis, or linen pants.
Casual loafers: If you can find a pair of loafers with a laid-back and relaxed design, they’re a great choice for social gatherings. Their slip-on style makes them convenient and they pair well with chinos and jeans.
Chukka boots: Chukka boots can be a good option for casual events that are expected to be a little bit on the dressier side. These also work well with jeans and chinos.
Canvas sneakers: Slip-on and lace-up canvas sneakers portray a carefree and fashionable vibe and work well for many casual occasions.
Casual Shoes and Suitable Occasions
There are many occasions where casual shoes shine, so it can be a little difficult to decide exactly which type of outing to wear them to.
Weekend outings: Casual shoes are perfect for when you’re just taking a walk through the park or city, meeting a friend for lunch, or even going on a date.
Concerts: Comfortable casual shoes are ideal for concerts and festivals where you’ll be on your feet most of the time. Your casual shoes will let you experience the concert instead of experiencing pain in your feet.
Casual work settings: If you work in a more relaxed environment, casual shoes are a great option. You can still look professional while enjoying the casual shoes' comfort.
Athletic or Sports Activities
Choosing the right athletic shoes will help reduce your chances of injuries and increase your performance.
Foot health: A pair of athletic shoes that don’t fit properly will lead to blisters, plantar fasciitis, and bunions.
Comfort and endurance: When you find a pair of athletic shoes that fit you well and provide you with a high degree of support, you’ll find that you can perform much better for more extended periods of time.
Better performance: With the right pair of athletic shoes, you’ll experience better traction, grip, and responsiveness. This is especially important in sports like basketball and tennis.
Injury prevention: Investing in a good pair of athletic shoes will give your feet support, lowering the chances of succumbing to injuries like stress fractures, strains, and sprains.
Tips on Selecting Shoes Based on Specific Activities
Think about the following tips when choosing the right men’s shoes for specific activities.
Running: If you’re a runner, look for shoes that provide cushioning and shock absorption. Also, think about your gait and foot mechanics.
Basketball: With basketball shoes, you should feel a lot of support in your ankles so you can perform quick jumps and side-to-side movements.
Trail running shoes: Trail running shoes should have aggressive outsoles so you have a lot of traction on rugged terrain and uneven debris.
Hiking boots: Ankle support should be your number one focus when looking for a pair of hiking boots.
Tips for Men's Shoe Shopping
Shopping for shoes can be a lot more enjoyable when you know what you’re looking for. If you don’t, it can become a time-consuming, frustrating process. Consider some of the following tips to ensure you don’t get burned out while shopping for shoes.
Measure Shoe Size Accurately
Knowing your exact shoe size will help you narrow down the suitable shoe options for you. To measure your shoe size, use a Brannock Device. Most shoe stores use these devices, and you start with your weight evenly spaced with your heels against the back of the device.
Make sure you measure the length and width of your feet and then write the measurements for both feet down. You should also pay attention to your arch and instep type. Some shoes on the market feature more arch support and higher insteps.
Try On and Walk in Shoes
As you shop for shoes, always try on the ones you’re interested in. Shoe sizes might differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you should always do a walking test in the shoes you try on. Ensure you don’t feel any discomfort while testing them out. See if there is enough room in the toe box, and try to move your toes around freely.
Investing in Quality Shoes for Long-Term Use
Men’s shoes should be considered an investment instead of just another expense. High-quality shoes might come with a higher price tag, but they offer more benefits than cheaper ones.
Durability: High-quality shoes are manufactured from better materials than cheaper ones. Because of that, they’ll last longer and be more resistant to wear and tear.
Comfort: High-quality shoes will also feel more comfortable than cheaper shoes. You’ll find that your feet will feel better and more supported with the pricier shoes during prolonged use.
Researching Brands and Reading Customer Reviews
Another tip to keep in mind when you’re shopping for men’s shoes is to take the time and research brands and customer reviews. You should always look for reputable shoe brands with a background of quality, comfort, and positivity.
Look at testimonials and customer reviews to figure out what other customers say about the shoes you’re interested in.
Caring for Men's Shoes
To maintain your shoes for years to come, you should always keep them clean.
Leather shoes: A soft brush is all it takes to keep your leather shoes clean. You’ll then use a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple.
Suede shoes: A suede brush or eraser will help you remove stains and marks.
Canvas shoes: You can clean canvas shoes with a mixture of soap and water. Make sure not to put them in the washing machine.
Mesh/fabric shoes: Use a soft brush and mild detergent.
Proper Shoe Storage and Maintenance
Invest in a shoe tree to keep the overall shape of your shoe intact. This will help prevent creasing. You should store your shoes in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Also, steer clear of stacking shoes on top of each other, as it can cause them to lose shape.
Try to clean your shoes after each time you wear them, especially if any mud, dirt, or moisture has come in contact with them. Doing so will prevent stains from settling in. Try to wear a different pair of shoes each day, so you give them to recover and breathe. If you notice your soles beginning to wear out, replace them.
Get Your Next Pair of Men’s Shoes at Shoebacca
In this guide, we’ve looked at the importance of choosing the right shoes for different occasions and how they can impact your style and self-expression. Now that you’re armed with more knowledge about the perfect shoe choices for different events, it’s time to start focusing on adding to your shoe collection for other occasions. Remember, try to focus on comfort, quality, and versatility. At Shoebacca, we're not your ordinary online store - we're a lifestyle that welcomes everyone. With a vast selection of footwear and apparel from top brands and a commitment to philanthropy and community, we at Shoebacca offer a seamless shoe-shopping experience from start to finish.