Okay, we know guys don’t always pay attention to fashion guidelines. If they did, you would never see a perfectly good pair of jeans hanging far below the waist. For that matter, you wouldn’t see mismatched belts and shoes and guys wearing socks with sandals. This brings us to the topic of this article.

If you are a guy who struggles with what you should or should not do when choosing footwear for the day, you’ll appreciate the list below. In it, we share with you some of the most important things to consider with footwear. We’ve even condensed it down to five simple rules to make it easier for you. Here they are.

1 – The Rule of Shoe Buying

This may sound obvious, but it has to be said. Do not buy shoes based only on how they look. Sure, style is important–but not if your feet are in pain each time you wear a particular pair of shoes. When you are shopping for shoes, you should use fit as your primary measuring stick. If you are not sure about the look of the most comfortable shoes you have just tried on, stick with conservative-looking footwear.

While it may be tempting to be on the cutting edge of a new trend, the last thing you need is to spend good money on a pair of shoes that goes out of style just months later. As for your overall wardrobe, your shoes should be the most expensive article after suits. This means spending more on shoes than you would on shirts or pants. You’ll thank us for that tip later.

2 – The Rule About Sandals and Cowboy Boots

The sandal rules are simple to understand if not straightforward. First, as hinted above, you should never wear socks with sandals. There is no practical reason for it unless you are trying to repel people. It’s not only a bad look, but it’s also bad for your socks. Always spend the money on a new pair of flip-flops each summer and toss the previous pair.

You don’t need them for more than a season unless you work at a surf shop or some other beach resort-type venue. Also, don’t wear sandals if your feet are well, unkempt. As for cowboy boots, they don’t look good paired with cut-off jeans or shorts of any kind. On the other end of the scale, cowboy boots are not a good match with a suit. Unless you are an actual cowboy. And if that’s the case, why do you own a suit?

3 – The Rule About Sneakers and Athletic Shoes

Being an authentic runner/marathoner is a whole lot different from just looking at the part. If running is a big part of your daily activity, then you’ll want the best fitting footwear for your running style. Long-distance runners have different needs than cross-country runners and those who just run casually in the neighborhood to burn off steam.

Your best option for getting the right running shoes with the correct cushioning and support for your running style is at a professional running shoe department where they will have the best running shoes on offer. Have one of the experts there give you proper fitting. They can ask you about your running and identify issues from the wear pattern on your existing running shoes. Do you pronate? Do you supinate? A shoe expert will know how to help you with shoes that can prevent these from getting out of hand.

4 – The Rule About How to Avoid Pattern-On-Pattern

This one is particularly important when it comes to matching parts of your wardrobe. For example, if you are wearing shoes or pants with a bold pattern, your socks should not have a bold pattern. That means passing on the striped or argyle socks when your shoes or pants dominate the pattern style. Conversely, when wearing solid shoes and pants, a boldly patterned or striped sock, according to No Cold Feet, can be an excellent call.

The idea here is to provide a break between the patterns or solids to make everything visually appealing. Think of it as the patterned socks providing a comma to the sentence between the solid pants and shoes. That pause causes all three of the clothing items to stand out on their own rather than get lost in a jumble of patterns.

5 – The Rule About Shoe Appearance

Dress shoes should always look new, whenever you are wearing them. This means either learning how to shine your shoes or knowing where to find a professional shoe shine. Depending on where you live, you may end up having to learn a new skill. It won’t be so bad as you’ll be able to spiff up any of your shoes with a little time and the right tools for the job.

The exception is casual occasions where you can get away with wearing sneakers that may look like they have had better days. Just don’t wear shoes that distract you from the rest of your wardrobe. Some athletic footwear can be cleaned in the washing machine. Be sure to verify with the shoe manufacturer’s website to prevent premature damage to them.

The types of polishes and brushes to use on your good dress shoes will have a lot to do with their ongoing condition. Shoes don’t last forever, but with proper care, you can get them to last long enough that you won’t need to replace them as often as you once did before.

In Conclusion

Guys generally need a hand when it comes to fashion. When that fashion revolves around footwear, there are five general rules to follow. If you can meet the minimum requirements of each, you’ll be able to take care of your shoes which will, in turn, take care of your feet and look good while doing so. It’s not too much of a chore once you get the hang of it.