For the Guys / helpful sites / Style

The Male Appearance: Three Shoes Every Man Should Own

My experience has taught me to build from the ground up. Building a roof means nothing, if you do not have a strong foundation on which to place it.

Believe it or not, I have built a house before

And that’s why we are discussing shoes.

I was able to attend the 10th Annual StyleForum in San Francisco this weekend and learned/observed some men’s style tips from fashion enthusiasts and industry professionals. I asked around for different perspectives regarding men’s shoes. The overwhelming opinion was the attention to detail. A man’s shoe choice makes an automatic statement about who he is.  Alhough the right shoe sometimes goes unnoticed, the wrong shoe brings the wrong attention.

I must be honest with you: I loathe purchasing men’s shoes. It is a bittersweet experience: bitter because we don’t have many options and sweet because we don’t have many options. This is why we must be careful and selective in our choices. Minute differences take a shoe from standard to extraordinary. There are three types of shoes all men should have, regardless of the image you wish to portray.

I own this pair. They are comfortable, but still look good.

1. Dress Shoe– The MOST important consideration you should make when purchasing dress shoes is your body type. Just like people start to look like their dogs, your shoes should look like you. Correlate your shoe to your clothing and body type. Creating a nice flow from your head to your toe will make a world of difference when you are dressed to the nine. Black, Brown, or Grey. Matte, Polished, or another finish. Choose what works with your personality, wardrobe, and comfort level.

See its versatility?

2. Boot/Chukka – This type of shoe is equivalent to a button-up shirt: it is versatile and appropriate for almost every event in life. Yes, you read that correctly: EVERY EVENT IN LIFE. Epic. One shoe for every circumstance. Boots vary in height and laces, but generally made of leather. *side note* Don’t purchase a work boot. *end side note* Chukkas, also known as desert boot, vary in material but generally hit right above ankle. Consider these two an insurance policy for your fashion presence: you will always look like you know what you are doing. Again, epic. Suede and leather are the two primary options. Be sure to treat the suede to prolong its life.

You can still look good while working hard.

3. Casual Shoe – You don’t dress up all of the time, but when we dress down, there is no excuse to look less than our best. We can still maintain a fine appearance while wearing shorts and a painting shirt. I prefer Toms, but my friend prefers Converse. Loafers and boat shoes have a slightly more formal feel to them. Sandals are appropriate too, BUT (a very big, important BUT), no plastic/rubber. Those immediately cast the wrong opinion, plus they give you blisters and retain ‘dirty feet’ odors. Find a comfortable leather or canvas/cloth sandal. Structure of the sandal is up to you: gladiator, flip-flop, etc. Again, choose something in your comfort zone.

Notice, no where did I mention a tennis or an athletic shoe. There is a valid reason! The only time it is appropriate to wear an athletic shoe is if you are exercising. You own them, I own them, we all own them, but it does not mean we take them out in public. There are plenty of comfortable shoes (or comfortable inserts) that still project a stylish appearance.

Just don’t do it.

What do you think? Guys and Girls, do you agree?

Please leave me a comment, letting me know your opinions.

What do you want to read about next? Suggest a topic and I will try and write about it next week!

Until then,
Keep it classy.

The Guy with the Red Hair.

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Photo Cred (non-hyperlinked)

  • House: Thermablog.com
  • Black Dress Shoe: Calvinklein.com
  • Red Circle Athletic Shoe: lulahealth.com
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20 thoughts on “The Male Appearance: Three Shoes Every Man Should Own

    • Hahaha. I don’t necessarily think sandals merit their own category in America. Maybe in a different country. I don’t think we have many options regarding sandals that look good. But I could be naive. I will look into!

  1. Mr. Red Hair, my boy friend likes to wear well tailored stylish clothes. This unfortunately has lead to other men trying to take him home. Do you think you could do a post to help him find stylish options that don’t scream “come get my boys!” At least, I’d really appreciate it. (he’s going to kill me for writing this hahahahaha)

    • A valid point. I will post about this very issue!! But consider these points until I write a full post.

      Associating ‘stylish’ with one’s sexuality is an unfortunate stereotype in our society. The person with whom one chooses to sleep with doesn’t dictate their propensity to look good. But with that said, consider it a compliment when a guy or a girl hits on your boyfriend. Who knows, maybe he can charm his way into a free drink for you!!

      I would look through a few galleries on GQ.com because they have created a balanced look.

      But most importantly is his attitude. Compliments will come to those who put time and effort into their appearance. Learning to accept them regardless of the deliverer’s gender is an asset.

      I will find an article written by a straight, fashionable male who gave tips to other straight men on how to handle the moment when gay men hit on them.

      Hope it helps. Have him (or yourself) read my previous post titled “The Male Appearance: three steps to expression”. It talks about the foundation a guy should have as they become more stylish.

      🙂 Thank you for the comment/question!

  2. I know this may be a really dry topic, but I feel like guys don’t know when and what socks to wear. Do you think you could do a post about when you should wear socks and when you shouldn’t. Also, say you’re wearing brown shoes with a grey trouser, should you wear brown or grey socks or something different? I mean, black on black on black I get. But when color pallet gets complicated I get lost.

    Also, how many different types of socks should one have, dress, casual, athletic, ankle? toe? crew? And what should they be made out of?

    How should I fold them and organize them? Should certain socks be washed differently? Should I bleach my white ones every time I wash them?

    Clearly I need some help in this realm . . . you know . . . for the guys and stuff

    • If anyone can make the dry topic of socks ‘wet’ (or interesting…awkward word choice?), it would be me! I will compile my little nuggets of wisdom and bring them to you ASAP!!

      Fear not! My nugget for now is this. Guys have few options when it comes to appearance, due to a lot of reasons: availability, societal norms, etc. Therefore men should take care in the options they do have, such as socks, hair styles, ties, and so on.

      Check out http://www.happysocks.com for inspiration and a tour through the many options for men. Their socks are COMFORTABLE, soft, durable, and come in enough styles to appease almost every man (and woman!! They are unisexual!)

  3. Call me impressed! Beautifully written my dear! And quite to the point. Very easy to fallow. I loved it. And here comes the but..me and my big but 😉 tennis shoes are for more than just exercising. Errands are the perfect example for tennis shoe appropriateness. You don’t always have to be Kyle styled every waking moment. Occasionally tennies are the most appropriate shoe. Good ones though.

    What? I’m not a barbarian.

    ❤ the girl with the blonde hair

    • I would venture to say you are a barbarian. How could you wear tennis shoes?!

      I am just kidding. Everyone has their veg days and comfort clothing is a way to go. However, if one wears them everyday, then there is room for improvement. Reiterating the post, there are comfortable shoes that still are stylish.

  4. I agree completely. my boyfriend wears white socks with his brown leather loafers (minus penny slot) but at least he has casual shoes. I give him a hard time, but he doesn’t want sweaty feet.
    1) Are there peds for guys? what is appropriate?
    they re like driving mocs. they were his fancy shoes. well, they still are. thank goodness he NEVER wears running shoes.
    WAIT, what about trendy tennies?
    2) like those japanese oasics in crazy colors? are those acceptable casual shoes?

    • Yes, there are peds for men. I wear some with my TOMS (the leather on the inside of the shoe retains odors unfortunately).

      Trendy tennies are trendy. I left them out of the post because they are trendy and difficulty when trying to advise. There are so many styles and options available, it is best for a guy who is comfortable with himself and his look to choose for himself. I have seen gentlemen wear a tuxedo with gold hightop trendy tennies. But then there were the DREADFUL Spongebob Squarepants sneakers worn by Lil’ Wayne at the grammy performance I think with Chris Brown.

  5. Kris, I would have them wear a sock to match the trouser, not the shoe. the shoe is obv a different article of clothing and you wouldn’t want it to blend with the leg, through the sock. you want the shoe to stop where it’s designed to stop, you know?

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  8. I’ve always wanted to get me a good pair of boots. For a while I did the whole Timberlake thing and as my style evolved and I lost weight they just looked really silly on me. retarded even. I quickly dismissed the idea of ever wearing boots again, but seeing this post, I’d like to give it a shot. what do you think of these? Iv’e been dying to check myself out in these

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/78086460/vintage-mens-distressed-dark-cordovan?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_includes%5B0%5D=tags&ga_search_query=mens+zipper+boots&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

    • They look like a solid pair of boots, but I would be concerned with their versatility. How many different ways could you wear them? If you are getting them to wear frequently, I think you might find it difficult to make multiple outfits. I do like the color. It depends on why you are getting the boots: statement or everyday shoe.

      • Well I’ve always really dug that 70’s style boot. I really just like the look, but of course it requires at least a snazzy pair of jeans or nice slacks. though, yeah they do seem limited in their usage, so not all occasions for these. I wouldn’t want to wear these everyday either since I’d like to keep them nice.

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