“It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.”

 - Hardy Amies

Precisely. A lot has been mentioned about the importance of shoes in one’s clothing ensemble. The internet and fashion magazines have flooded to spread the awareness about “ Men and their choice of shoes”. I am doing no different today. Though I will not re-invent the wheel today, I will make sure to ease your drive.

The misconception, that a formal shoe and a casual one is enough to fill in your wardrobe essentials is a myth. If you are someone who is image-conscious, has an eye for details and makes sure all the time that everything is in-place then let me tell you, your wardrobe needs few additional pairs. 


So let’s start with “formal” shoes. Firstly those are called “Dress Shoes”, suitable for office-meeting and formal events like wedding, award ceremony or a gala dinner. Widely known as “OXFORDS”, these shoes have cap-toe and closed-lacing. Commonly found in the colours like black, brown, tan and burgundy, it is better if you can start off with a black one.

Types of Dress shoes: Oxfords, Derby’s

Where to wear: Black Tie-Event, Wedding, Business Event,

Must-do: Polish often. Invest in a shoe-tree (see image). Make sure your socks match the trouser and not your shoes.

Strictly avoid: Never wear these on denims or shorts. Make sure it is made of leather and the sole is preferably from wood and not rubber.

“Semi-formal or semi-casual”

The other essential shoe-type is “semi-formal or semi-casual”, however you like to address those as, but important is to have them in your wardrobe. These shoes are majorly worn on a casual-Friday at office or fun-date or a dinner with friends. Apart from being differentiated from Dress-shoes in terms of their shape and fabric, these shoes are often slip-ons (without laces). But, one of it types, Loafers, when made of rich-leather and having a tassel, are a good replacement to your oxfords to add style your formal-look. (see image).

Types of semi-casual/formal shoes: Loafers, Driving Moccasins, Brogues, Leather Loafers

Where to wear: for daily Office, after-office Dinner, Concerts, Art Exhibition, , Fashion Event, Date

Must-do: Polish often or at least keep it clean. Take care of the shape and fabric. Go sockless or team up with coloured/ patterned socks matching your attire.

Strictly avoid: Apart from driving moccasins, never wear these on denims or shorts. Keep it smart and subtle but avoid loud-colours and designs.


The word says it all. Casual shoes are for those care-free, laid back attires. These shoes showcases relax-mode with style. These kind of shoes are usually worn over the weekends or on holidays at beach and has no particular rules-to-follow except the quality of the shoes.

Types of casual shoes: Boat-shoes (see image), Driving Moccasins

Where to wear: for Beach, BBQ, Men-at-Bar, Movies

Must-do: Keep it clean. Wear it with smart casual clothing. Try going sock-less.

Strictly avoid: Don’t over-do. Avoid cheap ones.


We all men know this one. We have be wearing these ones since childhood and if you remember, we use to wear it on shorts or jeans. The rule hasn’t changed and it applies today, even to a grown man. Mainly worn at the gym or sporting events, such shoes are must-haves if you are a fitness freak. Available if variety of colours and style, these are mainly called sneakers or runner. These are always lace-ups with rubber sole.

Types of casual shoes: Canvas, Runners, Sneakers

Where to wear: Gym, Jogging, while playing any sports

Must-do: Keep it clean. Wear colourful one. Always wear socks, preferably ankle-length.

Strictly avoid: Avoid full-white ones. 


There shoes are categories of their own. These shoes are trendy, smart and off-the-traditional look. Generally worn by ultra-stylish and fashion fanatics, the major styles are Double Monk-straps, Chelsea boots and Espadrilles (see image). The main thing to be concerned while wearing such shoes is that you carry it with confidence. 

Guide for Men-Shoes

1. Dressy Oxfords | 2. Brogues |3. Moccasins |4. Leather Loafers |5. Boat Shoes|6. Chelsea Boots |7. Double Monk Straps




This post has been written by Hardik Gandhi, who is style adviser just-for-men and the founder of this site:  I am Mr

He is a frequent contributor to the magazine writing about  the aspects of men styling-grooming, wardrobe shopping and management. 

Follow on Twitter

Like on Facebook