Every Guy Should Own: The perfect pair of shoes

(Brittni Hengesbach | GCmag.org)

If I were to make a list of the top five things that guys struggle with in fashion, it would go something like this:

  1. Shoes
  2. Shoes
  3. Shoes
  4. Shoes
  5. Pairing patterns

No disrespect to pairing patterns- it is an art, you know- but I think that selecting the proper everyday shoe is the most undervalued and disregarded aspects of everyday men’s fashion.

Walking around campus I cannot help but notice what the people around me are wearing. Some look especially nice and dressed up, some look like they just rolled out bed and some…well, some leave me wondering. There is very little consistency or pattern in how CMU students dress, and this often leaves me feeling unsettled. However, one thing I know I can always count on is seeing a multitude of men who take the time to put together a great outfit and then ruin it by wearing atrocious shoes.

Not good, guys. Very, not good.

An outfit is only as good as its weakest component, therefore if you are wearing socks and sandals, your outfit is automatically ugly. Sorry guys, socks and sandals are not a thing. Neither are sneakers. Sneakers are for the gym, not the classroom.

Every guy needs to own a respectable pair of everyday shoes. These shoes should not be made by your favorite basketball player, and they definitely should not come in neon. Neutral colors people, neutral. This way your shoes can go with almost any everyday outfit, saving you the time and money you could spend purchasing multiple pairs of shoes in statement colors and giving you the peace of mind of being able to slip your shoes on and go.

I suggest styles like oxfords or boat shoes, which look polished but not too formal. There are many styles to choose from, but you can never go wrong picking something that is a classic in menswear.

I also encourage looking for shoes that are made with quality materials like leather or a sustainable textile so that your purchase is worth the investment. These shoes should be able to last you a few seasons of constant use. Often times quality shoes will cost a little more than we are comfortable paying, but knowing that you can wear the shoes for a long time justifies spending the money. Shoes like these are a necessity. They polish an outfit and send the message that you care about how you look and that you are an adult. The right pair can take an outfit from gross to great.

If you’re struggling a little with this, I understand. Waking up one day and realizing that your footwear is more appropriate for a middle school kid than a college student is difficult.

Trust me, if you make the leap and buy some respectable shoes, you’ll come out a better person, or at least a better dressed person. I am not an authority of matters of morality.

Next time you walk around campus, look down and notice some of the footwear your classmates sport, I guarantee you will see a difference in their overall appearance and impression. Choose to look nice and wear shoes appropriate for class.