Men’s Shoes Guide: Types, Matching & Style Guide

mens shoes guide

Picking the right kind of shoes can actually be really tricky. All the different types of shoes available in the fashion world surely make us all go crazy while shortlisting out the one suitable pair. However, you need not worry. We have narrowed down a list of some of the best men’s shoes that you would like to pick from, based on your requirements and preferences.

mens dress shoes guide

A. Types of Dress Shoes:

  1. Oxford Shoes
  2. Derby Shoes
  3. Brogue Shoes
  4. Loafers
  5. Monk Strap Shoes

1. Oxford Shoes

Oxford shoes are one of the neatest pairs of dress shoes that you can ever own, with a low heel and a short back. The closed lacing system with stitching at the bottom is what characterizes this classy pair of shoes. Oxfords feature a plain cap toe and showcase a deep shine when polished properly. Having a pair of black Oxfords, which go perfectly with almost every suit, for almost every formal event is surely a must-have in every gentleman’s wardrobe.


2. Derby Shoes

Derbies are the second most commonly used dress shoes, just next to the oxfords. The characteristic feature that separates Derbies from Oxfords is their open lacing system, sewn closed, at the bottom. If you have wider feet, you need to go in for Derbies instead of Oxfords. If you seek a highly formal look, a pair of leather Derbies is perfect for you. However, for a bit casual look, you can also pick a pair of suede Derby shoes.


3. Brogue Shoes

Actually, any pair of shoes can be termed as Brogue if they feature tiny decorative holes on them. However, here we would refer to Oxfords or Derbies that might feature brogues. Initially, brogues were designed to drain out the water from inside the shoes, however; over time they got adopted by the elite due to their classy look. You can pick from a range of quarter brogues, semi brogues, as well as full brogues. However, the more the number of perforations, the less formal would your brogues look. For highly formal events, we would only recommend you to go in for quarter brogues. However, semi-brogues are good to go with office attire and semi-formal events.


4. Loafers

These are the only lace-less, slip-ons that actually qualify as dress shoes. They are low-profile, slim shoes and provide you with the best possible comfort as well as a classy look. Loafers work out perfectly with almost all kinds of suits, especially the ones that have flares. Three of the most formal-looking loafers that you can pick from are Penny Loafers, Tassel Loafers, and Bit Loafers. Leather loafers are surely the very first choice for any formal attire, however, you can also experiment with velvet loafers for a more impressive look.

5. Monk Strap Shoes

Monk Straps fall at the very bottom of the formal dress shoes. They feature a strap across the top, connected with buckles, and are perfect for almost every business meeting, due to their sleek look. These are also perfect for people who wish to take a break from Oxfords and Derbies to make a unique fashion statement. Remember to stick with only shiny leather Monk Straps for a formal look. Single Strap Monks are much more formal in look as compare to Double Strap Monks.

B. Types of Casual Shoes:

  1. Sneakers: Sneakers are definitely the most beloved pair of casual shoes for every age group. Sneakers come in a number of styles and shapes. The most popular and commonly used sneaker types are slip-ons, basic, stylish, and sports. Sneakers can be paired with almost every outfit in your wardrobe. Moreover, they are perfect for everyday use and can also be carried with confidence to a date or a casual party.
  2. Boat Shoes: These are casual laced shoes and come in leather as well as canvas variants. They have a soft rubber sole and feature laces that run through the eyelets on the sides as well as the top. These shoes are quite versatile and can be worn for a number of casual occasions. Moreover, they come in a number of classy as well as funky colors, including brown, navy, tan, yellow, and many others.
  3. Loafers: Yes, you heard it right! Loafers perfectly qualify as casual men’s shoes as well! However, if you are going for a casual look, we would recommend you to stay away from the leather ones. Suede loafers provide you with a more casual look and are perfect to be worn for trips, parties, as well as everyday regular use.
  4. Moccasins: Moccasins usually don’t feature a heel and may feature rubber pods on their outsole. They provide you with a highly casual look, however, are not at all recommended for occasions that may include a lot of walking or any other physical activities due to the absence of a heel. Otherwise, they are highly comfortable due to their soft insoles. The outsole and the upper of Moccasins are generally made of the same material.
  5. Espadrilles: These are some of the best picks for summer casuals due to their hassle-free slip-on feature and cool look. They are usually made of canvas and are perfect to be paired with shorts as well as denim. They are particularly designed to make your casual attire more comfortable and trendier. They are perfect to be carried to a Sunday brunch, beach, and pool.

C. Types of Athletic Shoes:

  1. Running Shoes: Running shoes have actually become very popular amongst people, even as regular wear. A cheap pair of running shoes can actually be really comfortable while walking and for casual wear. However, quality running shoes are actually designed keeping in mind different types of running. If you are buying a pair of quality running shoes, you certainly would not want to wear them for casual use. Neutral Running Shoes, Motion Control Shoes, Stability Shoes, Trail Running Shoes, Maximalist Shoes, and Minimalist Shoes are the different types of running shoes available for professionals as well as amateur runners.
  2. Training Shoes: If you work out regularly, you certainly need good quality training shoes in order to boost your performance. Moreover, training shoes are designed to go for almost all kinds of physical activities. However, you will still need to narrow down the activities that you are more inclined towards. Cross Training Shoes, Weight Lifting Shoes, and Walking Shoes are some of the different categories of Training Shoes to pick from.
  3. Sports Shoes: These shoes come into the picture when we talk about specific sports. Different sports are played on different types of courts and surfaces; moreover, they require specific types of movements and activities. Therefore, there are specialized shoes designed to boost the performance of a player for almost every different sport. Basketball Shoes, Tennis Shoes, Wrestling Shoes, Badminton Shoes, Skating Shoes, Bowling Shoes are some of the different types of Sports Shoes, and the list surely goes on!
  4. Hiking Shoes: Hiking Shoes are designed to be highly lightweight as well as comfortable. If you are going to be hiking on a trail that is highly uneven and dangerous, you surely need a pair of good-quality hiking shoes to be safe as well as to elevate your hiking experience. Hiking shoes are made of a really thin material to boost breathability and to dry off quickly. They offer great traction and great stability even on uneven and slippery surfaces.
  5. Cycling Shoes: Cycling shoes provide snug-fitting and help you attain a steady grip over the pedals. They are very lightweight and offer great breathability in order to allow the user to attain a higher cycling speed. These shoes actually have a very stiff base, with cleats on the outer sides. If you are an amateur cyclist, you can even go in for casual cycling shoes, that focus more on providing you comfort rather than boosting your performance.

D. Types of Boots:

  1. Formal Boots: Format boots tend to offer a sleek and polished look for any formal occasion. They are usually ankle-high and can be slip-ons as well as laced. They are made particularly of leather or similar-looking synthetic material. Plain Toe Boots like Oxfords are some of the most popular formal boots.
  2. Desert Boots: Also termed as “Chukka Boots”, Desert Boots feature soft suede uppers with a crepe sole. They usually also have a waterproof covering and are ready to go for almost every season. They are pretty casual and are best paired with t-shirts and denim, or chinos.
  3. Walking Boots: These boots are highly sturdy, supportive, and offer great traction. In general, walking boots are waterproof, offer great padding, and good support to the ankles. They are usually tight-fitting, yet comfortable, and highly safe.
  4. Chelsea Boots: Chelsea boots are one of the most commonly used slip-on boots. They are a bit dressier, especially when bought in the shades of black and brown. They are quite simple and do not feature any fastenings. However, they feature an elastic band on the side to easily slip in your feet. They are best paired with denim.
  5. Trekking Boots: Trekking boots are a must-have for all those who love to travel and go out on excursions. They are pretty durable, tough, waterproof, and offer a great grip. Apart from being highly durable and effective, these shoes are also designed to be highly comfortable, keeping in mind long hours of wear.
  6. Safety Boots: Safety boots are designed for those who tend to work in dangerous work environments like construction sites and industrial settings. Some of the most common features of safety boots are shock-proof, oil-resistance, anti-skid, steady midsole, and abrasion resistance. They are usually lightweight and made with top-quality leather.
  7. Jodhpur Boots: Jodhpur boots are popular amongst those who love wearing ethnic attires. They have a soft insole that goes up to the ankles for a softer and warmer feel. These boots are commonly made with either black or brown leather and suede. They can also be elegantly paired with shirts and chinos, and are a go-to for winters.

E. Shoes Socks & Pants Combination

  • Always pair your socks with the color of the pants that you wear, and not the shoes.
  • Try to wear only over-the-calf socks, to prevent your skin and hair from showing off, especially with formal shoes.
  • White socks are strictly a no-no with any full-length pants.
  • Double tone socks are easiest to pair with any color of pants and shoes, and mostly look good.
  • To make a bold statement, you can also wear deep blue socks.

F. Shoes & Belt Combination

  • Always pick a belt shade that matches your shoes. Go with an Oxblood belt with Oxblood shoes, however, the shade could be a bit lighter or darker. For black shoes, you can even pick a grey belt.
  • If your shoes feature any kind of metal, ensure that your belt also features the same color metal.
  • Never match Black Belt with Brown Shoes or vice-versa.
  • For dual-tone shoes, pick the belt of the dominant color.

G. How to Choose Shoes that Fit?

1. Measure your feet correctly:

  • Try to measure your feet towards the end of the day and do it while standing.
  • Measure your arch length correctly as it can also make a lot of difference in comfort, even if the shoes fit perfectly.
  • Do not focus too much on the size number of the shoe.
  • No two feet are similar in size, therefore, go ahead with the size of your bigger foot.

2. Trying out Shoes:

  • Always try out shoes wearing your socks.
  • Consider having at least a 1/2-inch gap at the front and a 1/8-inch gap at the back.
  • Your toes must be able to move freely after wearing the shoes.
  • Buy only the shoes that are instantly comfortable. Do not wait for them to stretch over time.
  • Try going in for laced shoes if you are going to wear them for long hours daily as they are a bit adjustable.

Going through all the above-mentioned types of men’s shoes and styling guides would certainly help you pick the perfect pair of shoes for you and help you carry the perfect attire for any desired occasion. It’s about time that you rethink your wardrobe and completely transform your outlook with some classy pairs of shoes, by pairing them with the right kind of accessories!

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Bruno Lee

Bruno is a senior editor at LooksGud. He is a fashion observer and devotee who is always curious to know what’s trending in the field. He loves trekking, playing cricket, and fantasy movies. He loves to write about practical, budget-friendly fashion and simple hacks…. want to join the fun?

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