Ever wonder what shoes to wear with shorts? These six types of shoes are perfect for wearing with shorts.
Maybe you're gone of those guys who wear shorts from late February through early November. Or maybe you only wear shorts during those sweltering triple digit summer days.
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Either way, you have to know which kind of shoes to wear with your shorts. The good news is, you have a lot of options. If you're not 100% certain about how your shorts should fit, I recommend reading this post first:
This article will focus specifically on footwear.
Okay, here are six types of shoes that you can wear with shorts, in order from least casual to most casual:
In general, loafers are the least casual type of shoe that men usually wear with shorts. That said, there are many different types of loafers.
I recommend staying away from dressy options, such as velvet tassel Belgian loafers, and instead opting for more casual options, such as leather or suede penny loafers.
When in doubt, you can't go wrong with medium or light brown leather penny loafers. Loafers look great with a button up shirt or polo. You can wear them with loafer socks (a.k.a., no show socks) or no socks at all.
Moccasins are just a small step down from loafers on the formality scale, which is why they're so versatile. Of course, there are different types of moccasins.
Driving mocs are slip ons that have those instantly recognizable rubber studs under the toe box and behind the heel. They're kind of like boat shoes, but they're more suitable for year round wear.
Camp mocs, also called blucher mocs or ranger mocs, are a more substantial shoe. They're even better than driving mocs for four season wear.
You can wear them sockless in the summer or wear them with thick wool socks in the fall and winter. They're one of the most versatile pairs of shoes you can buy.
Boat shoes are decidedly preppy, and they're not for everyone. If you do like the preppy look, boat shoes are the perfect shoe for summer.
They can be worn with shorts a t-shirt, polo or button up.
Boat shoes are traditionally worn without socks, although many men choose low profile socks for comfort.
If you want to be less preppy and more unique, you can go with espadrilles instead of boat shoes.
Like boat shoes, espadrilles are designed for warm weather and bare feet. They're usually made from thick textiles like canvas, and they require a bit of breaking in.
Make sure they're nice and snug when you try them on, as they'll probably loosen up and conform to the shape of your foot over time.
Espadrilles can be dressed up or down. You could wear them with swim trunks and a tank top or a button shirt and pressed linen shorts.
Boat shoes are ubiquitous, but espadrilles are still somewhat under the radar. So if you want to stand out, opt for espadrilles over boat shoes.
Sneakers is a huge category since there are so many different types of sneakers. In general, sneakers are more casual than loafers, moccasins, boat shoes and espadrilles.
They look great with t-shirts and polos, but they can definitely be worn with button up shirts too.
Most sneakers fall into one of these overarching varieties:
- Minimal leather (e.g. Common Projects Achilles Low, Stan Smiths)
- Canvas (Vans Old Skool, All Stars)
- Athletic (Flyknits, Ultraboosts)
I prefer a minimal leather sneaker, but the choice is really up to you. Go with something that speaks to your personality and aesthetic!
Last and possibly least, we have sandals. Sandals are more casual than sneakers because they leave your toes exposed.
You shouldn't wear socks with sandals, ever, no matter what kind of sandals you're wearing.
Sandals fall into three general categories:
- Walking/hiking (Tevas, Birkenstocks)
- “Dress” (gladiator style or “strappy” sandals)
- Flip flops
While all sandals are inherently casual, flip flops are just one small step up from bare feet.
They're so casual that, in my modest opinion, I think they should be reserved for the pool and the beach.
Basically, if you're within 30 seconds of jumping into a body of water, flip flops are totally okay.
Any of these seven types of shoes will look great with shorts, but that doesn't mean you have to own all of them.
If you like the preppy look, for example, go with loafers and boat shoes. If you want to be more unique, opt for espadrilles and some cool sandals. Either way, save the flip flops for the pool, beach and gym shower.
And no matter what, don't wear socks with any type of sandals. With the other summer shoes (loafers, sneakers, etc.), you can choose between going barefoot or wearing low profile socks.
Again, if you need some great low profile socks, check out my favorite no show socks review.
What's your favorite type of shoe to wear with shorts? Leave a comment below!