This list is by no means exhaustive, but instead covers 10 types of shoes that a guy should have in his collection. Having 10 rotational pairs of shoes is important and pretty essential for the stylish modern man (I have thirty-seven pairs, myself), but having at least one of each of these 10 types is an absolute must. Don’t be afraid to spice things up with fun colors or colored laces too, once you own these shoes in the more classic and darker colors. Also, make sure you take care of your shoes with a shoe brush, leather cleaner, suede cleaner, polish, and shoe trees! Below are 10 types of shoes every guy should own!
1. Chukka Boots
Also known as desert boots, these ankle-cut boots are the classic and stylish go-to shoe that can be worn in both casual and semi-formal situations. These timeless shoes can easily upgrade an outfit and make a guy look his best. When in doubt, choose the chukka. These are the most versatile shoes every guy should own on this list!
Leather boots are a man’s best friend in colder months and can be worn with many different kinds of outfits, ranging from casual to uber-formal. There are different kinds of boots, ranging in height, color, and style. Work boots and chelseas are two examples of great boots to own. I would stick with brown or black, but adventuring into colors like navy, gray, and taupe can easily make you look dapper. Boots always make for awesome guys shoes!
For everything from semi-formal to formal events, oxfords are a must-have shoe. Oxfords are some of the most versatile shoes on this list, and a great pair can truly impress. Brown and black are good colors to have, but these days, I recommend trying a navy or gray; gray especially works in a multitude of different outfits and always looks good. As one of the most classic types of shoes every guy should own on this list, with many different types, there really isn’t much else to say, except to definitely buy a pair or two or three!
As the generally semi-more-formal version of an oxford, wingtips can be found in many colors and styles. The only major difference between wingtips and oxfords, I’d say, is the perforation (yes, literally punched-out dots) that wingtips have. However, the true definition of a wingtip is that it has that signature “W” design on the toe.
Classic and cool, monk-straps can be found in either single or double, and should be worn in semi-formal and formal situations. Wearing monk-straps tells people that you’re a guy who knows a thing or two about shoes, and can do more than just go to the store and choose any old pair of shiny leather shoes off of a display. Monk-straps are probably the coolest shoe there is; walking into a room with an amazing pair of these will turn more heads than any other shoe on this list, and for that reason, monk-straps are my personal favorite type of shoe.
Loafers are a classic shoe, unworn by many guys today. The number of situations in which a guy would wear loafers is quickly dwindling; nonetheless, it is important that a guy have a good pair of loafers, for when the appropriate occasion arises! Loafers are to be worn at semi-formal events, but a singularly nice pair can also be used in formal situations. Leather and suede are the materials of choice here, and I recommend sticking to black, navy or brown loafers.
7. Fashion Sneakers
These shoes, which I define as any sneaker you wouldn’t actually work out in, are the go-to for a guy who moves a lot. Fashion sneakers are generally any sort of comfy shoe you can walk around a lot in. Though you may see a guy wear chukkas or boots to a museum, it’s the guy who can walk to the second and third museums without foot pain who wins–he who wears sneakers. Converse are a good example, but a more grown-up sneaker might be New Balance sneakers or dark-colored Vans.
8. A Formal Shoe
A must-have, formal black shoes can range in style from dress boots to loafers and oxfords, but especially to a type I haven’t mentioned: the brogue, a very similar cousin in the oxford/wingtip family. When it comes to a formal shoe, stick to black or brown. Whichever you choose, make sure you can shine it and see yourself in the reflection (if you want to stick to classic men’s style.)
9. Rain Shoes
This category is the one with the most customizability, and I’m honestly excited for where waterproof shoes will go. By rain shoes, I don’t mean old sneakers or some leather boots that get ruined every time it rains; I surely also don’t mean waterproof work boots that are steel-toe and make a man look like a construction worker on-site. I mean any kind of waterproof leather or suede shoe you can find that combines wateproofness and style. These days, you can find waterproof chukkas, chelseas, wingtips, and oxfords, but you’ll probably have to pay an extra few dollars. Save up those pennies, though, because shoes to wear in the rain that don’t fall apart after a month and look dapper are absolutely essential for a man to own.
10. The Boat Shoe
An iconic summer footwear classic, the boat shoe is made from either leather or canvas and is related to the loafer. They’re one of the classic shoes every guy should own. These shoes were made famous by the Sperry brand, and countless men wear these every summer. I personally wouldn’t start wearing these until the summer starts, but I’ve seen a fair share of guys pull off boat shoes in the dead of winter. I encourage you, once you’ve gotten your first pair of classic boat shoes in navy or brown leather to go out and play with different colors of boat shoes.
Do you know of any other good guys shoes that should be on this list? Share in the comments below!
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