How to buy the perfect pair of shoes for men? Your choice of footwear says a lot about you. The right pair of shoes can make an outfit, and the wrong pair can ruin your look. Finding the perfect kicks is essentially a matter of personal preference, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! There are endless styles, and you might have to sift through some duds before finding your holy grail.
This guide will get you on the right track but don’t be afraid to branch out. Confidence is the essential fashion accessory, so if you feel good about your shoe choices, keep on doing your thing. Below are some tips to help you put your best foot forward.
#1. Think About Your Typical Day
A solid wardrobe for men should include at least five unique pairs of shoes—a well-rounded mix looks like this:
- Athletic Sneakers
- Dress Boots
- Casual Sneakers
- Tuxedo Dress Shoes (for special occasions)
With those five styles, you should be able to cover a lot of ground. However, if you’re looking for one perfect pair of sneakers, versatility is vital. Consider how you spend your time using the shoes. If you do a lot of walking, dress shoes will probably collect dust. If you work in an upscale office, those skate shoes aren’t going to cut it. Think practical.
#2. Consider Your Wardrobe
Are you more likely to wear a vintage leather jacket or a formal overcoat? When you get up in the morning, are you more likely to put on your favorite band’s tee or a polo shirt? Sure, it’s fun to change up your style from time to time, but if you’re seeking the perfect pair, you want them to align with your style. Don’t break the mold and stick with what best suits you.
#3. Find Your Palette
Again, you’re going to want to reference your wardrobe to determine the right color for your daily drivers. For a dressier look, black or brown shoes are the classic choices for a reason. Solid white is a safe choice for a more casual sneaker if you’re not spending a lot of time outdoors. Grey can provide a similar effect while hiding wear and tear a bit more. Of course, if you tend to dress on the flashier side, you’re only limited to your imagination.
#4. Search for Looks Online
Shoes can look very different in the box or in photos than they are worn. Spend some time searching for the shoes you’re considering. You’ll be able to get a better feel for how they look in action, what types of outfits they complement, and ideas on how to make them pop. Of course, trying them on in person is ideal, but that’s not always possible. Even if you plan on hitting your local shoe store, it still helps to go in with a plan. Be sure to browse reviews to make sure there aren’t any issues you might overlook otherwise.
#5. Wait Until You Can Afford Your Holy Grail
Sure, you could settle for something similar, but is that really the perfect pair? The simple truth is that the ideal pair of shoes may require an investment. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little extra to get shoes that will last for the long haul. At the same time, you might get lucky and find something stellar on the cheap. In short, try not to be limited by your budget, if at all possible.
#6. Check the Return Policy
Looks aren’t everything. Whether you’re shopping brick-and-mortar or online, you never know if the perfect pair could end up being a flop a few days down the line. You want shoes that are stylish and comfortable. After all, you’re going to wear them regularly, so even a tiny pinch will get old fast. Make sure you have the option to return or replace them if you’re not 100% satisfied.
#7. Know Your Size
Shoe sizes vary widely among brands, so don’t just go with your go-to and hope for the best. If you can’t get measured in person, you can still do it yourself at home. Here’s how:
- Tape a blank piece of paper to a hard floor
- Put on a pair of socks that you would typically wear (thickness matters)
- Put your foot on the form and lean forward slightly
- Trace your foot, making sure to keep the pen close against your sock without pushing in too far
- Use a ruler to create lines around the front, back, left, and right of the tracing
- Measure from front to back and side to side.
- Round the measurements to the nearest 1/16 of an inch
- Repeat the process with your other foot
- Match the more extensive measurements to a shoe size chart
#8. Find Something Durable
If you’re looking for the perfect pair of shoes, it makes sense that you would want them to last. Additionally, you want them to age well. For example, a nice pair of leather boots should provide decades of enjoyment, and they might even look better with time. On the other hand, those polyurethane kicks might look stunning for a month or two, but you’re probably going to replace them. That said, there are plenty of non-leather shoes that you can count on to last if you find a reputable brand.
#9. Trust Your Instincts
Only you can acknowledge this sense. If a pair of shoes captures your eye and you cannot deny them, go for it. The most important thing is to feel confident in your kicks. Suppose you feel like a million bucks strutting yourself in neon cowboy boots. Don’t let anyone’s opinion taint your idea of perfection.
#10. Stick With It
There’s no guarantee that your next buy will be your dream shoe. Discovering your style takes trial and error. It takes time for shoes to reveal themselves as the ultimate pair, so don’t get discouraged if your perfect purchase spends most of the time in your closet. Remember things you don’t like about those shoes, and factor that information into your next purchase.
#11. Shop Smart
Spend some time researching the shoes you have in mind. If you score a sweet deal, you might be able to buy two pairs for the price of one. While shopping for shoes online may seem inherently risky, many retailers offer generous return policies, so you don’t have to stress if the shoes don’t meet your expectations. If you’re not in a rush, browse for sales every so often until you know that you’ve struck gold.
#12. Connect With The Community
If you’re not already aware, you might be surprised by how passionate people get about footwear! Like many other niche hobbies, you’ll find that there are plenty of people who are willing to talk shop and drop some knowledge. You will learn many things from the people who have already walked a mile in your shoes.
How to buy the perfect pair of shoes for men? I hope we have provided you with some insightful ideas about how to choose the perfect pair of shoes. Is there anything that we miss? Let us know in the comment section below!
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