No matter who you are, there’s never a limit to how many shoes you should ideally be owning. While we’d all prefer having one of every kind, as with all material things, that’s not possible for the most of us.
To keep it realistic and still have all the footwear you’d ever need, here’s a handy list of every shoe style a guy needs at some point in life or the other.
A pair of sneakers has been an unwavering part of every guy’s wardrobe since forever, and for good reasons; they’re comfortable, work for multiple occasions and look good. These can be of various kinds:
- Plimsolls: Traditionally meant for beachwear and originating from Britain, plimsolls are usually low in height and made out of canvas with a rubber sole. Plimsolls work quite well in casual, everyday settings, like going to work.
- High tops: High tops are basketball shoes refashioned for daily wear, with some compromises on their use on the basketball field. A lot of high tops in the market would not fare well on a basketball court, though they do quite well with a neat shirt and pair of fitting trousers.
- Runners/Trainers: If your schedule includes going to the gym, running or some other type of exercise, though, you definitely need a good sturdy pair.
- Tennis Sneakers: The all-white, low-top sneakers usually seen on tennis players (hence the name) are increasingly gaining popularity among shoe brands. They have a more relaxed and sportier vibe than others and can be worn anywhere.
Increasingly showing in the latest trends sections and backed with a bunch of brands with their own versatile takes on the classic, espadrilles are essentially our go-to when it comes to dressing up stylish-yet-comfortable.
Espadrilles are probably the oldest existing type of shoes on this list, dating back to about 4,000 years ago, and have still managed to stay in style for so long. Characterised by their cloth uppers and sole stitched together with esparto rope (esparto is the type of grass found around Spain that lends the shoe its name), they score high on comfort for us. While not sturdy enough for daily-wear, a nice pair of these provide a good option for occasions like a casual evening-out or meeting.
Traditionally sturdy and designed keeping the cold in mind, a good pair of boots is a must-have if you’re planning to survive the winter in style.
Usually made out of leather, boots are a seasonal addition to your wardrobe, so make sure to go for one with quality, long-lasting material. You can also get them in suede. Pick your boots according to your purpose (hiking, walking, just keeping warm, to glam up an outfit).
Leather Dress Shoes
While the rest of the shoes on this list are relatively flexible and forgiving towards what you’re pairing them with, dress shoes are bought keeping specific occasions and the matching outfit to go with them in mind. Take your pick from the following:
- Brogues: Probably the only type of shoes that can make holes work, Brogues are not necessarily formal/partywear - there are shockingly quite a few canvas and cloth brogues available in the market, too. Brogues in leather work for more occasions than other dress shoes, including formal ones, making them a versatile option.
- Monk Strap: You can identify these by the buckles wrapped to one side and the lack of laces; while a double-buckled pair of slip-on monk straps is all the rage these days, we prefer a single one for a more classic and minimal look. Get these in browns or maroons and wear them on your most formal occasion for best results.
- Oxfords/Derby: The most popular lace-ups are Oxfords and Derby. The only difference between the two is the stitching of the lace tabs; in the case of Oxfords, it’s stitched towards the inside, and Derbys have it outside for more versatile functionality. Both can be simple or with other types of styles, like brogues, mixed together, so make sure to do your research before making the purchase.
It may sound weird to include flip flops on the same list as Oxfords, but that’s assuming chilling about isn’t serious business for you. For a Sunday brunch or just going out shopping when you’re not at work/college, there’s nothing that beats the classic flip flops for uber casual occasions.
Boat shoes actually trace their origins to boats, as they were the preferred choice for boaters and sailors in the olden days. Eventually, owning a boat stopped being a sign of sailing to feed your family and turned into a status symbol, bringing boat shoes into high fashion streets rather and out of boats. We’re not even sure if modern boat shoes go that well on a boat, but they do look quite good in a casual/semi-casual setting.
Traditionally meant to keep the feet cool and water out, these are the only type of shoes we’d recommend wearing without socks at all times. While they may look like sneakers at first, they have a more handmade appearance and chilled down - rather than sporty - look, and could also be made in leather.
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