Hey gents —
If you look in our closet this very moment, right under K’s shoes are mine… some 12 or 13 pairs. One pair of black Calvin Klein lace ups, and 11 pairs of brown shoes in different shades and styles. I find brown to be my go-to hue 98 percent of the time; I feel they add an extra punch of color and warmth… something a black lace up just can’t do (in my opinion, at least.) I’ve always reserved black shoes for a particularly dressy occasion, but maybe that’s just my excuse because I love brown so much.
Now, an ill-equipped man has only one pair of dress shoes… usually of the square-toed, thick-soled, clunky variety that one should not be caught dead in.* But you’re not an ill-equipped man, so let’s assume you already have a good pair of black dress shoes. It’s time to explore your other options, because a gent needs some variety in his footwear.
There are many shades of brown to consider, from a dark burgundy-brown, to a lighter caramel or tan. Coordinating clothing with different shades of brown may be confusing to some men, but let’s save that for later. We’ll start with some examples of classic, affordable brown dress shoes. These are the types of silhouettes you want to look for when on the hunt for your next pair.
Pay attention to each pair’s low-heeled, slim-soled silhouette and natural toe box. You want your selection to mimic this shape of shoe. Here’s a closer look at the details I’m talking about:
And here is a contrasting example of a silhouette you want to stay away from:
This plastic-like finish and thick rubber sole are marks of a tasteless shoe, and the squared-off toe makes your foot appear stumpy. Trust us, you don’t want stumpy. You want natural.*
Gents, I want to point out (in case you were worried) that scoring a nice pair of shoes does not have to mean dropping serious cash. At the time of this writing, the four examples I’ve displayed are all under $160 (on endless.com). Not bad for a sturdy, well-made dress shoe meant to last you years.
Once you’ve made your purchase, you may be asking, “What do I wear with these brown shoes?” Stay tuned for part II!
*For you square-toed diehards, here’s some tougher love: Men Shouldn’t Wear Square Toe Shoes
All shoe images: endless.com