It's no secret that women are obsessed with shoes, but should men take it as a hint to be obsessed too? Hell yeah! Today more than ever we’re constantly being judged by our outfit—15 out of 100 job interviews finish before the hand shake. If that is not scary enough for you, according to a survey done by a well-known shoe manufacturer, 64 out of 100 women judge a man by his shoes. Whether it’s your taste in fashion, your personality, your level of attention to detail or your financial status, shoes say a lot about you—and you better step up your game.
Before we start dishing our advice on the matter, we’ve got some good news coming your way: one of the great things about being a man is that you don’t have to own hundreds of pairs to be stylish. You can manage with a handful of pairs if you know how to choose wisely. So read on before you pull out your credit card and hit the stores.
Considering shoes are a wardrobe staple, you should own, at a minimum, a pair of black and a pair of brown shoes. Set up a regular rotation for them and take care of the ones you own—they'll do the same for you. And remember, we said two pairs “at a minimum”. Wearing the same shoes everyday is the type of thing that causes bad odor. Buyers, beware.
Get black lace-ups and brown loafers for your first pairs. You can dress them up or down very easily; they'll work with everything from jeans to suits. And that’s were you should be smart—don't think of them as special-occasion footwear and you'll be able to wear them to the office or the club.
Square Shoes make Square Pegs
Let's talk shape for a minute. Square-toe “Pilgrim” shoes came around during the late eighties and early nineties, and somehow managed to follow us far into the 21st century. Please let us clarify, they didn’t look good then and certainly don’t look good now.
If you're still walking around in square-toe, rubber-soled lace-ups, turn around discretely, walk back home and throw them straight into the trashcan.
Your shoes should always be as streamlined as the rest of your outfit. That means a slim silhouette (not painfully skinny) and a rounded (but not too sharp) toe. They'll look stylish, tasteful, and masculine.
Lose the Laces
So many designers these days are doing slippers and loafers in a streamlined, sharp shape that will actually make your feet look long instead of stubby. A pair of fashionable loafers will add style and character to any outfit—when you're in a business suit, they’ll look formal; when you're wearing a Polo and jeans, they’ll amp up your casual flair.
Many people think leather soles equate to a stiff and uncomfortable stride. False. If the shoes are well-made (for Goodyear Welted, be sure they are sewn on, never glued), they'll mold to your feet and serve you just fine. Note they won't be as cushiony as a pair of Air Jordan’s, but when you’re looking for real dress shoes, it’s leather soles you’ll want to get. Go for the sturdier lace-ups with chunkier soles. They go great with skinny jeans or trim-cut suits. And if you take care of them, they'll last you a lifetime (remember that resoling is always an option).
Shoes and belts
There’s nothing much to say here. Wearing black shoes? Sport a black leather belt. Going for brown shoes? Reach for a brown belt. A simple tip that’s 100% women-approved.
Please gents, no white tubular socks unless you are playing the Wimbledon final. Your socks should have as much personality as—if not more than—the rest of your outfit. If you are the conservative type, your socks should match the color of your suit, not the shade of your shoes. If you like dressing with a rebel streak, a hint of a fun, printed or colorful dress sock will go a long way and will set you miles ahead of the pack.
The Shoe Saver
If you really want your shoes to last, you’ll need shoetrees. And when it comes to shoe tress, cedar is the way to go. They'll preserve the shape of your shoes, avoid deep creases from developing, absorb moisture, and they will even make your oldest pair smell better. That’s right; shoetrees will save your shoes. So buy them. They're a no-brainer.
To take care of the upper, be sure to polish them regularly. You’ll only need a damp cloth, a brush, and polish or wax. It’s a very simple task and one that’ll make sure your shoes last decades.
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