7 Must-Have Men’s Shoes: How to Upgrade Your Wardrobe

Shoes are an essential part of every man’s wardrobe. Not only do they protect your feet, but they also complete your outfit and add a touch of style. With so many shoe styles and options available, it can feel a lot to know which shoes to invest in.

Man and Woman Shoes

A man’s footwear collection should comprise a variety of shoes for different occasions and purposes. From classic oxfords to trendy sneakers, we’ll cover everything you need to know to create a versatile shoe collection that will have you looking sharp and stylish no matter where you go. In this article, we take a look at the must-have men’s shoes.

How to Pick the Perfect Pair?

Consider purpose, fit, material, and style. Prioritize comfort and quality. Think about the occasion and color coordination with your wardrobe. Research brand reputation and reviews. Set a budget and be open to trying different sizes.

Man Ties Laces on His Black Leather Shoes

For a more detailed answer, read our article on How to Buy the Perfect Shoes

Must-Have Men’s Shoes

Essential men’s shoes include versatile options like classic leather dress shoes for formal occasions, clean white sneakers for casual wear, comfortable loafers for business-casual settings, and durable boots for versatile outdoor activities.

1. Oxford Shoes 

Oxford shoes are the quintessential formal shoes for men. They are a timeless classic that can be worn with a suit or dress pants for business meetings or formal occasions. The sleek design and elegant lacing make them a perfect choice for any gentleman looking to add sophistication to their outfit. They come in different styles, including plain-toe, cap-toe, and wingtip.

Black and brown are the most common colors for oxfords. Oxfords should be a staple in every man’s shoe collection. When you find the right piece, you should feel like the most stylish man in the room. Especially if you pair it with a killer suit

Black Leather Oxford Giacalustra by © Velasca
Black Leather Oxford Giacalustra by © Velasca

2. Loafers 

Loafers are comfortable and versatile shoes that can be worn with both casual and semi-formal outfits. They are slip-on shoes that come in various designs, including penny loafers, tassel loafers, and horse bit loafers.

Loafers are ideal for weekends, casual Fridays at work, or when you want to dress down for a semi-formal event. They look great with jeans, chinos, or khakis, making them a perfect addition to your shoe collection.

7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: Loafers
A Pair of Brown Leather Loafers Captured by Noah Smith

3. Derby Shoes

Derby shoes are similar to oxfords, but their lacing system is open, which makes them more comfortable for men with wider feet. They come in different designs and colors and are suitable for both formal and casual occasions.

Derby shoes can be worn with a suit or dress pants for a formal look or with jeans and a blazer for a casual look.

7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: Derby Shoes

4. Sneakers

Sneakers are a must-have in every man’s shoe collection. They are comfortable, and versatile, and can be worn with almost anything, including jeans, chinos, shorts, and even suits. Sneakers come in different styles, including high-tops, low-tops, and slip-on.

White sneakers are a timeless classic that can be worn all year round, while colorful sneakers are perfect for adding a pop of color to your outfit in different seasons. If you are looking for a pair of sneakers that will be good in all seasons, go for white sneakers. If you want must-have shoes, no matter your age, it should be this pair.

7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: Sneakers
White leather sneaker captured by Bannon Morrissy

5. Sandals

Sandals are perfect for the summer months when you want to give your feet some breathing space. They are comfortable and come in different styles, including flip-flops, slides, and fisherman sandals.

Sandals are ideal for the beach, pool parties, or casual outings with friends. When choosing sandals, it’s essential to find a pair that fits well and provides adequate support to your feet.

Men's Sandals
Men’s Sandals © DMARGE

6. Dress Boots

Dress boots are a great addition to any man’s shoe collection, especially for those living in colder climates. They are designed to be worn with suits or dress pants, but they can also be worn with jeans or chinos. Dress boots can come in different styles – including Chelsea boots, Chukka boots, and Brogue boots.

Black and brown are the most common colors for dress boots, but you can also find them in other colors like navy, grey, and burgundy. There are many fabric options when it comes to boots. I place my bet on leather Chelsea boots as it is one of the most elegant boot options and can be easily maintained.

7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: Dress Boots

7. Stylish Athletic Shoes

No man wants to be stuck wearing their cognac brown dress shoes day in, and day out, no matter how many fashion gurus tell them it’s the only way to be stylish. Sometimes, you just need to throw on a pair of comfy running shoes and hit the pavement for a leisurely stroll with your family or your furry friend.

Just because you’re dressing for comfort, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice being stylish. You should avoid flashy colors and opt for sleeker, and understated colors like black, gray, or white. 

7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: Stylish Athletic Shoes
Photo by Malik Skydsgaard

To sum up, if you pair your sporty shoes with a sharp tracksuit that fits you like a glove, you’ll look just as suave and dapper as you would in a tailored suit and tie. Of course, in the respective environment.

How Many Shoes Should a Man Have?

A well-rounded men’s shoe collection typically includes around 5 to 7 pairs for various occasions: formal dress shoes, casual sneakers, versatile loafers, everyday boots, athletic trainers, and perhaps specialized shoes like sandals or running shoes based on personal needs.

Leather Shoes in a Drawer


In conclusion, every man should have a shoe collection that covers all occasions and purposes. The seven types of shoes discussed in this article – oxford shoes, loafers, derby shoes, sneakers, dress boots, sandals, and athletic shoes – are the essential shoes that every man should own.

Man Adjusting His Laces on Brown Leather Brogues Shoes

Investing in high-quality shoes that fit well and are comfortable will not only make you look great but also help you feel confident and ready for any event or occasion.

Keep on reading: What a Guy Should Wear to the Gym: Workout Essentials

7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: How to Upgrade Your Wardrobe
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7 Must-Have Men's Shoes: How to Upgrade Your Wardrobe
Shoes are a vital part of every man's wardrobe. They protect your feet and add style to any outfit. Check out the must-have men's shoes for that perfect look.
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Midway Gentleman
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