There’s no doubt about it – buying shoes is always going to be a headache! They’re a real expense, tricky to get right, it takes hours to find the right pair and poor quality shoes can lead to foot, ankle or even back pain.

And yet, the right pair of shoes can be a real deal maker; they can smarten up the shabbiest of outfits, pull in a barrage of complements and generally brighten up your day.

But what exactly do you need to have tucked away on your shoe rack to ensure you’re prepared for every occasion? Below is a list of footwear you should have at your disposal to ensure you’re never lost for the appropriate footwear ever again:

1. Sneakers/Trainers – The cornerstone of casual footwear. A good pair of sneakers should feel comfortable but sporty. Trainers are versatile and hard wearing, but make sure you treat them right; jumping into muddy puddles and scuffing the heels will have a negative effect on your investment.

These are great for: a quick jog, helping a friend move apartments, doing your weekly grocery shop.

2. Formal – The black, leather oxford shoe is ubiquitous in Western society. A pair of good quality brogues can set you back several hundred big ones, but they should last you a decade or more if treated right. These can be complemented with a matching pair in tan, brown, ox-blood or grey should you require something a little bit different.

These are great for: everyday business, weddings and funerals, important formal events.

3. Informal – Slip-on loafers and moccasins are incredibly stylish, but a little more casual than your cap-toes and wing-tips. They tend to be sleeker and slimmer than formal shoes, but still look sharp and chic.

These are great for: a night on the town, a relaxed date, meeting colleagues outside of work hours.

4. Boots – I’m talking ‘ankle’ rather than ‘Wellington’ (although a pair of rubber boots probably wouldn’t go amiss). Ankle boots are durable but refined; a good pair will work nicely in both semi-formal and informal environments.

These are great for: Walking the dog on autumnal evenings, standing on the terraces at outdoor sporting events.

5. Slippers – After a hard day, a pair of comfortable house shoes will be most welcome. Your slippers won’t have the same level of endurance as outdoor footwear, but you should still attempt to find a pair that’ll fit well and offer appropriate arch support, especially if you intend to be wearing them several hours a day.

These are great for: traipsing around the house, warming your feet on a cold winter’s evening.

6. Sandals – A summer favorite; avoid sweaty, clammy feet in a firm pair of sandals. Never, ever, ever, wear sandals and socks; it’s one of the ultimate fashion faux pas, not to mention it looking completely unbecoming. If you’re desperate to wear socks with your summer footwear try a pair of light canvas shoes instead!

These are great for: walking on the beach, pool parties, lazy summer evenings, vacations abroad.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

3 Responses