Did you know that shoes are often the first thing a woman notices about your outfit? We put so much thought into everything else…
Do I wear vertical stripes or horizontal? Jeans or trousers? Pleat or no pleat? Which belt really matches my personality?
…and yet her eyes immediately fall to our shoes. This kind of makes sense if you think about it. I mean, do you know any woman with less than 10 pairs of shoes? Neither do I. Shoes are important to women, and they should be important to us.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a million pairs of shoes. You can get away with a small, thoughtfully curated selection of footwear (more on this here).
Like any other piece of the fashion puzzle for men of modest height, the idea with shoes is to compliment your figure, draw attention purposefully, and streamline your look. A lot of shorter guys will only buy shoes with thick soles because they think it’s an easy way to add an inch or two to their build.
This is not necessarily the right thing to do.
Some shoes should have a tough, thick sole, and it is a nice little bonus to get that extra couple of inches. But most types of footwear don’t have thick soles, and you won’t be fooling anyone with your collection of platform shoes.
Go for comfort, proper sizing, quality and diversity. DO look for the following:
- Shoes with gently tapered toes (i.e., nothing too pointed or boxy)
- Shoes that fit right – This seems obvious, but it’s hard to find that 7.5 among the sea of 10s and 11s. If you know which style you like but can’t find the size in the store, order it online. And never be embarrassed to ask if they have your size in the warehouse.
- Simple designs – Don’t draw attention to your feet. If anything, draw people’s eyes upward by wearing simple but flashy details on your upper body, like a scarf or pocket square.
- High quality, especially in leather – You will either pay more for good shoes now or have to buy a new pair later. Good shoes will last forever if you treat them right.
Now here are some things to avoid:
- Heightening shoes or “risers” – These are obvious attempts to look taller. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Work with what you have and be confident in your skin…and shoes.
- Pointy toes – These are best for slender, taller men.
- Shoes that are too big – I know, I know…there’s that saying about guys with big feet. Ignore it, and wear your size. Over-sized shoes will make you look like you are overcompensating. Or training to become a clown.
- Boxy, square toes – The idea is to elongate your limbs, and shoes with square toes will only make your feet look stumpy.
- Cheap shoes, especially in leather – Buy high quality, buy once. It’s worth it to pay more for dress shoes. Make sure to take get them winterized every year, and when they rip or break, it’s much cheaper to have them fixed at a local cobbler than to replace them with a new pair.
Follow these DOs and DON’Ts and you will be on your way to a beautiful shoes collection. Whether you have five pairs or twenty-five, make sure each one is right for you. If you have old ones that you were never really happy with and don’t wear very often, donate them and move on.