Whether you are frugal or minimalist and choose to own a limited number of shoes to sail you through life, we agree with the choice of avoiding unnecessary decision making that comes with having a lot of something. Luckily for men, the complicated world of shoes is easy to conquer. Life’s moments can be divided into job and casual events and the latter can again be sub-divided into leisure and adventure. So basically just having four shoes suitable for these occasions should work for most men. If you own a lot of shoes, but still feel like you have nothing appropriate to wear for a particular kind of occasion, then have a serious look at your wardrobe again and make sure you have these basics covered first. Read the difference between Loafers, Moccasins and Boat shoes so that you understand better what’s covered here.
SHOES FOR FORMAL EVENTS
The jack of all trades, Oxfords are the most classic pair of shoes that can carry you from a job to a black-tie event to a funeral and everything in between. If you want only one pair of shoes to work for all professional events, invest in a good quality black/brown oxford shoes (and preferably a similar color belt) and your footwear is all set. The leaner the shoe at the front, the more formal it looks. Oxfords come in a variety too, but unless you care much about the subtle differences in design which make one look more professional than the other, having a plain toe oxford is the safest choice without getting bothered. If you like a slightly dressier version, consider a cap-toe oxford.
SHOES FOR CASUAL EVENTS
For time out with colleagues and likes or date nights, Loafers or dress boots/Chelsea boots are a good pick for non-professional occasions. They go well with jeans, pants and sometimes with suits as well depending on overall styling. Black or brown is again the safe choice. A good way to add variety is to have oxfords and loafers/dress boots in different colors.
SHOES FOR ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES
Funnily enough, this is often the kind of shoe that most Indian boys consider an all-purpose style until they reach the age when they start taking their looks seriously. Whether you lead an active lifestyle or indulge in it occasionally, everyone needs a pair of trainers/walking shoes/tennis shoes, etc. that fits their purpose. If you engage in a variety of routines, then a pair of Cross Trainers is your friend in need.
FOR EVERYTHING ELSE IN BETWEEN
For times when even thinking about work is forbidden and you are either on a vacation, watching a movie with friends, shopping, etc. get either Boat shoes or plain Sneakers. They are comfortable and playful and will match your attitude when your job is just to chill.
Bonus: Flip Flops
This one is a no-brainer we know, but it has been included in this list to remind people that slippers have their own area of use and should not be worn on outings, whether casual or not. Some people find them too comfortable to give up, but they will never give you a groomed look that is appreciated. It is better to leave them for home, grocery runs or beach wear.