Choosing the right shoes can be a tricky business. There’s always a temptation to wear them until they drop apart when you find a really good pair, but it’s easily avoided. There are a few essential shoes that all men should have (at least) and plenty more optional extras that can vary your wardrobe.
Here’s our guide to must-have footwear for men, including how to choose shoes, how to wear them and general shoe care.
Everyday smart shoes
If you work in an office then it’s important to have a pair of good quality formal shoes, that you’re not too worried about getting worn. There’s no point wearing your best for every day.
Pick a pair with a decent sole, don’t buy an expensive pair but don’t go too cheap either, you want them to stand up to regular wear and tear. A black or brown pair is ideal in a relatively simple style, even better get one in each colour.
There should be a definite divide between casual clothes and gym gear, and the same goes for trainers. Choose a canvas or dark leather pair for casual wear that will work with most outfits. Sports trainers are not a good look with jeans, whilst canvas trainers can look quite smart. Plus it keeps you’re your casual shoes smelling sweet (er).
A good pair of sports trainers is crucial if you plan to take part in exercise regularly, and they should be made for what you plan to do in them. If you’re more of an all rounder then just make sure they fit well and offer good support. Never scrimp on sports shoes – it’s just not worth the pain.
A really smart pair of formal shoes is a must. Stick to classic shapes, and black is the most versatile. The price is up to you, either spend more and get a pair that last or save because you won’t be wearing them very often. It very much depends on how often you get bored of your shoes.
Ever spent a day walking and felt like your feet are going to fall off? That is exactly why walking shoes have made our list. A pair of properly supportive hiking boots or trainers is ideal for everything from rambling to wandering round the shops. They’re also a must have for music festivals – if the ground is dry and hard you won’t want to be stuck with thin-soled, hot wellies. They are available in a wide range of styles, colours and sizes so it’s very much up to you, but they can look good as well as being functional.
Fashion Shoes (optional, but a good idea)
Then there are your fashion shoes, from desert boots to boat shoes and brogues (although of course all of these could serve at least one of the other functions above). These are optional but a great idea for mixing up your outfit a bit!