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Tips for Choosing Men's Shoes to Wear with Shorts

Tulika Nair Oct 09, 2020
The dress code says shorts, but you aren't sure what the right pair of shoes to wear to that BBQ party is? Well, here is everything you need to know about choosing the right pair of shoes to wear the next time you're dressing up in shorts.

The Shorts-Shoes-Socks Confusion

When wearing shorts, give socks a miss if you're wearing sandals. With closed-toe shoes like sneakers, it's best to stick to ankle-length socks. With loafers and boat shoes, you can omit the socks unless you need them for comfort, in which case, we suggest you pick ballet or invisible socks.
Till a couple of years ago, everyone believed that men wearing shorts were a sight restricted to sports grounds or jogging parks, or at the most, yacht events. Then a couple of years ago, dressy shorts were resurrected. It became completely acceptable for men to wear shorts in public and in the city. Sorry Mr. Tom Ford.
But the problem that arose from that little social okay to wearing shorts was, then, what do you wear on your feet. Is it permissible to wear sandals? Is open-toed footwear OK, or do you always need to cover up your tootsies? What works and what doesn't?
This story is for all those men out there who are utterly bamboozled about the shoe options that they have at their disposal when wearing shorts. We tell you which shoes work for casual occasions and which styles of footwear you should save for slightly more formal events.
There are also some tips in here that will help you pick out the best men's shoes to wear with shorts.

The Shoes-Shorts Romance: The Complete Story

Now, before we go on to telling you how to pick the perfect pair of shorts, let us look at a visual guide which will tell you exactly what to choose from.
There you have it; options that will best serve you when you don shorts. But what are the occasions to which footwear styles is best suited? And how do you pick the right pair? Here's what you need to know.

The occasion should define your choice

Understand the difference between semi-formal and casual events. Restrict casual footwear like flip-flops, sandals, and sneakers to times like chilling on weekends, trips to the supermarket, or even tanning yourself on the beach.
If you are wearing shorts to a BBQ or a yacht party, or even a casual date, then we suggest you choose from options like loafers, moccasins, or deck/boat shoes.

Versatility should trump variety

Choose shoes for their versatility. A pair of flip-flops work amazingly for a beach party, but they are a complete no-no when invited to your boss's yacht. Loafers or boat shoes, or even sandals are more all-purpose. They can be worn with denim shorts or tailored shorts with equal panache.
They travel between events with more ease, and also have a timeless quality about them. Add to this, the brownie points that they give any outfit instantly.

The color should complement

Pick the right color. While it is fun to experiment with different bright colors in footwear to give your outfit a bit of zing, choosing a pair in a neutral color will allow you to coordinate it with more outfits. We suggest that you have pairs in brown, tan, or white.
If you want a little color in there, then a pair of red loafers can be a lot of fun. Black can look a little stuffy, so try to avoid shoes in this color.

The material should be comfortable

Consider the material of your shoes. With flip-flops and sandals your feet get to breathe a lot, with closed-toe shoes your feet can feel cloistered. Wearing leather shoes in the summer months, for example, can be sweltering.
Another reason to pick shoes in right material is to ensure you are going for the right look. Suede shoes exude a sense of casualness, while leather shoes are better suited to events that are more refined and formal.

The shoes should suit your leg type

Take into account your leg type. Sandals and flip-flops suit most men whether they have muscular, skinny, or large legs. The only thing to keep in mind is to pick strap styles proportionate to your leg width; so men with skinny legs should opt for thin straps while men with wider legs should opt for thicker straps.
Those who have thin legs should opt for shoes that have thick soles. Men with shorter legs can opt for thicker soles, so as to get an illusion of height. Slim styles look best on men with muscular legs so that they don't look too chunky.
With these tips in place, ensuring that you are always correctly dressed (even in shorts) is going to be smooth sailing. Pick the shoes most befitting the occasion, and you should have absolutely nothing to worry about.