When it comes to shoes, the limit for how many you can own does not exist! If you’re a shoe lover, there's no reason for us to tell you what you already know because there's no doubt in our minds that you already have these essential pairs of shoes in your wardrobe. However, if you’re a little less fashion inclined or just downright fashion-challenged, then we have some information that you definitely need. There are a few pairs of men’s shoes that are absolute must-haves for any well-rounded wardrobe, and we have the lowdown on what those are. Read on for the details, and before you know it, you’ll be the sharpest dressed man on the town.
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The Leather Boot
The leather boot has been with us longer than almost any other shoe. The sheer variety of colors and shapes that you can choose from is enough to baffle the most fashion-oriented brain, but don’t worry, you’ll get through it! Leather shoes are wonderful not only because they’re usually of excellent quality and last for ages. But they also stretch to accommodate the unique shape of your feet, and after they’ve been worn in for a while, they really start to gather some character. Cut through the noise and go with something simple and tasteful in a classic shape, in brown or black.
When they were first conceived, brogues were far more practical than they were beautiful. Luckily for us, these days, we can have our cake and eat it! The tiny holes fashioned into the intricate designs on the shoe aren't just there for show. When the brogue was invented, those holes were there for water to drain through after the shoe owner had tramped through swamps and bogs in Ireland. These days, the brogue is a far more well-respected shoe and can be worn with a suit or dressed down with a pair of chinos. Black or brown with a suit and a lighter color for casual wear.
The White Low Top Sneaker or Trainer
A simple way to polish or elevate a casual look is to pair it with a pair of spotless white trainers with a little bit of ankle showing. We aren’t tree climbing youngsters anymore, so these trainers should be kept brilliant white and clean at all times. Opt for a pair with minimal braising and logos to keep the look casual but still clean and sophisticated. Stay away from shoes that look like they’re designed for running because they probably are.
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Originally of Scandinavian origin, the humble loafer comes in many different shapes and colors. While they have developed into a staple for preppy dressing, whichever kind of loafer you prefer for whatever your style dictates are fine. You can go for very structured, firm leather loafers in dark brown or black for more business-oriented looks or go for a softer, floppy version in suede or canvas and a lighter color to compliment a more relaxed look.
The Running/ Training Shoe
Athletic wear is for athletics, and leisurewear is for leisure time. An athletic shoe is designed with movement in mind and can take the strain of movement more than regular sneakers may be able to. It's also designed to support your feet and provide comfort while undergoing strenuous activity, which regular sneakers don't do as well. The kind of trainer or running shoe that you’ll purchase will depend on your needs and your style preference, but it is essential to have a pair on hand.
Usually an ankle-high, boot-shaped shoe, the chukka is a great casual to smart-casual shoe to have in your wardrobe. This is a very minimal and reasonably practical shoe with two to three eyelets and a round toe. Tan or cream chukkas are a great option as they go with most things. A black pair is another good option but they may be superfluous if you have a pair of simple, black leather boots. Keep an outfit casual with chukkas, where it may become too formal with brogues.
This excellent little shoe can take you from date night to drinks with the boys to running errands on a busy morning. Just like a running shoe, the kind of sneaker that you choose will depend on your personal style and the fit you prefer. We advise staying neutral to allow your shoes to blend well with any outfit that you could put together.
The oxford has humble beginnings but now comes in a wide range of styles from intricately patterned to simple and classic. A good-quality pair of oxfords will complement a well-cut suit and keep you looking sharp in the boardroom or on a date at a fancy restaurant. While there are now many options when shopping for oxfords (many fabrics, colors, and detail options), it's best to stay simple to start with.
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Plastic is all the way out, and leather is all the way in. A sandal is a must for the hottest summer days but keep the style simple and classic. Plastic flip-flops do not count!
While some may argue that these are technically not “shoes” and fall into a class of their own, we disagree! A comfortable, warm slipper with a firm sole will keep your feet warm and clean all year round. Buy them with enough space to add socks in the winter months.
You can go as crazy with your shoes as you want, but we recommend starting simple and building on the basics. If you can maintain a wardrobe featuring these ten pairs of shoes, you’re A for away!