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The Ultimate Shoe Guide for Men

Are you one of those guys who can’t tell his loafers from his brogues, his loafers from his loofah? Threw in a trick question there – the loofah is used to scrub your feet, not wear them! Don’t worry; we assure you that you are not alone! From dapper dress shoes to casual Converse sneakers, we’re here to help you and your mates choose the right shoe for the right occasion in style!

Going out
Dress shoes

If you’re heading out for a black-tie event or a wedding, chances are you already own a pair, maybe more, of ‘dress shoes’. But what are dress shoes? Very simply, they’re a pair of formal, leather shoes with a slightly elongated shape and lacing. The most common style of men’s dress shoes are ‘Oxfords’. Another popular variation of the Oxfords is called the ‘Brogue’. The most preferred colors are black and possibly a ripe chestnut brown. Brogues are a kind of Oxfords which only differ because of the decorative pattern of perforation and the open lacing. Every gentleman, no matter what his occupation or age, should own good pair of plain black Oxfords. These are versatile and classy…and we promise they never go out style.

When and where? Dress shoes can be worn with formal trousers or a suit for the office, to a club, for a black-tie event and even to a wedding.

Go desi

The most popular kinds of ethnic shoes worn by men are kohlapuri chappals and mojiris. Team your kohlapuris with a khadi kurta and jeans for a morning wedding. These open-toed leather slippers are great for visits to religious places as well since they are very easy to slip on and off. Mojiris, a type of embellished closed shoe with a pointed toe, is popular in northern India, especially during the festive season. They can be worn with a bandgala or even a kurta and pajamas.

When and where? To weddings, to the temple and to all religious and festive occasions where ethnic ensembles are the norm.

Keeping it casual

The most popular casual footwear in India are the open-toed flip flops but these are only acceptable at home, at the beach or at the swimming pool. Other casual options are leather sandals which can be worn with chinos and jeans. A word of caution though: no one likes to see long, ugly toe nails so keep them short or choose closed sandals. Sneakers like Converse are great for casual wear and for travel that involves a lot of walking. For athletic activities however it’s best to choose from the bewildering range of colorful sports shoes available in India. Chunky hiking boots and ‘chukka’ boots are best for backpack travel and hiking!

When and where? To sum up – flip-flops are meant to worn at home or at the swimming pool, hiking boots on hikes or in very chilly winter, Converse sneakers are great for walking, sailing, frisbee-throwing at the park and even for a fun afternoon with the family at your nearest wildlife sanctuary.

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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!