Style Basics: Must Have Shoes for Men

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Of all the clothing that I have ever had to buy, nothing confuses me more than shoes. It almost feels like a Herculean task to first find the type that’s right for my outfit/occasion and then to select a pair that I actually like. Add that to the fact that I wear a UK size 14 with feet that are exceptionally wide, and I usually have a real problem on my hands. Luckily enough for me, I found where they have shoes for people with feet even bigger than mine (I never thought that was even possible!). But, as I have seen that many men share my problem regarding how to buy shoes for different occasions, I’ve come up with a comprehensive list of shoe types that every man should own at least one pair of.

Lace Up Leather Brogues

This is the most basic and most important style that you can own, simply because of how useful they are. As long as the occasion isn’t particularly formal, leather brogues pretty much go with everything from jeans and trousers to even semi-formal suits.

Cap-Toe Oxfords

Stick with black and a pair of these will help you through enough awkward formal parties and tense business meetings.  I couldn’t do without mine.

Informal/Casual Boots

Typically meant for a hike or a walk through some rough terrain, casual boots are also perfect for pairing up with a lumberjack shirt or just some plain old T-shirt before going on a casual outing.

Penny Loafers

Ever wanted to experience the comfort of slipping on/off a pair of shoes without the annoyance of tying up laces every time? You probably have, and that’s exactly why these are a must have for those semi-formal or casual family occasions where people won’t judge you for not wearing a full-on Oxford.

Sneakers/Sports Shoes

I would recommend wearing these outside the gym only if you really belong to the fit species, because wearing a pair of cool sneakers is never cool unless you have a fit enough body, or you are actually working out. It is recommended to avoid the flashy colours as much as possible.


Wearing certain type of shoes is not only about style, but comfort too, and it doesn’t get more comfortable than slippers. If you are young enough, you can try a pair of funky, sporty slippers/flip flops that the manufacturers are releasing nowadays.


I’ll end this list with the old American (Norwegian really) nemesis of the Oxford, which is more comfortable, but does not score as high on the “formal gentleman” scale. Nevertheless, the open lace design of the Derby makes it perfect for wearing to those formal occasions that last just way too long for wearing Oxfords.

You don’t really have to go and buy each and every style I’ve listed right away, but this should give you a fair idea about how to cover your feet, depending on the occasion at hand.  Good luck!

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