Man Up: Step up your Shoe Game (4 shoes you need to own as a grown man)

If there is one game the fairer sex has on us, its the shoe game. If there’s a second game women have on us, its mind games. We’re gonna focus on the former in this post. The latter, we’ll never figure out.

Forrest Gump once said “Momma always says there’s an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they’re going. Where they’ve been. I’ve worn lots of shoes. I bet if I think about it real hard I could remember my first pair of shoes.” Forrest taught us about a lot of things in life, and this is no exception.

From a business meeting, to a first date, to the gym, people are going to notice your kicks and then they’re gonna judge you…especially the lovely ladies. On an unofficial website “Art of Seduction – A Woman’s Perspective” your shoes are ranked #24 of the top 100 things a woman will notice about you. The chart says it all.

Clothing that attracts women

In the ensuing paragraphs I’m going to suggest 4 different styles of shoes that every grown man needs to own and leave it up to you to pick out the exact style that fits you. If you have em, great. If not, get em.

1. A formal pair of kicks. This is something my dad called “hard shoes” and people in the South call “church shoes.” Think of it this way, if your going somewhere in a suit or your girl is rockin’ her little black dress, put these on. Think business meeting, wedding, Easter etc. These treads can be either black or brown (get both if you have the dough). Lately wingtips have really taken off.  You know, like Nucky Thompson rocks in Boardwalk Empire. If the wingtip is a little too strong for your taste buds, stick to something like a cap-toe. Whatever you do, I’m BEGGING you, do not ever wear the square-toe dockers you get from Kohls for $35. People can tell.





2. Business casual. This is a step down from the formal, but something you would sport on a date, at the office, downtown Saturday night and so on. There’s a lot of wiggle room here with the one rule that they have to look just as sharp with a pair of khakis as they do with a pair of jeans. This should be the most versatile pair of shoes on your arsenal; something you can wear everyday. I’ll even accept a boat shoe in this category (you’re welcome EVERY FRAT GUY IN THE SOUTH). Here are some examples of what I’m referring to:

Desert boots:

Oxfords/Saddle Shoes:

Driving shoes (Can’t figure out why they’re called that – I can drive in any shoe):

3. Casual sneakers. Pretty simple here guys – something you’d wear to a concert, a casual dinner, a cook out, etc etc etc. What I’m NOT referring to are the same sneakers you’re using at the gym. You want to look more a long the lines of a pair of Vans, Chuck Taylors, New Balance.  Something that you can rock with a pair of jeans and just as easily with a pair of shorts. I’m not gonna over complicate this. It’s simple. If you can’t figure this one out, may God have mercy on your sole (see what I did there?)

4. Your gym sneakers. True story, I went to college with a guy who’s gym shoes were 8 years old, and the sole of the shoe was duct taped to the rest of the shoe. But that was college – we had no money. Now that you’re making some dough, do yourself a favor in invest in some sharp gym shoes. Do you really think that cute girl on the elliptical isn’t checking you out top to bottom, finishing up with your kicks? You have a lot of choices here, but below are a few of my favorites:

Nike Free:

New Balance Minimus:

Reebok Nano: 

So guys – it’s time to take your shoe game a little more seriously.

Walk softly and swing a big stick,


5 responses to “Man Up: Step up your Shoe Game (4 shoes you need to own as a grown man)

  1. Dustin Riedesel

    My only pair of sneakers–gym, casual or otherwise–is an 8 year old shoe that was gifted to me by my college roommate in 2008. They seem to get it done. And what about my flops, brah? Flops are appropriate for, like, 90% of life. Ever see Spartacus?

  2. Wearing flops to the beach or a Jimmy Buffet concert is fine (being a Parrothead says a lot about your persona in its own way). I opt for an older pair of vans or chuck t’s or Toms. A grown man shouldn’t be wearing flip flops to the office, downtown, on a date, etc. What if your ladies purse gets stolen? Are you going to chase the thief down in a pair of 3 year old Rainbows? Sure, they rocked sandals in ancient times, but do you really think Moses would cross the desert in a pair of sandals now-a-days? No. My man would be rockin so fresh, comfy athletic shoes for his 40 year trek.

    As for your sneaker game…man up, bro.

  3. Every guy should read this! Much respect for a man with style, especially decent shoe style. Still, this quote says it all: “.. its not so much about the shoes, but the person wearing them” 🙂

  4. Agouti, thanks for the read and the props on the post! I agree – Forrest Gump was one of the few guys who can roll up with a fresh suit and a pair of dirty Nike’s and pull it off.

  5. Bless you. I went on a date last night with a 39 year old who wore gym shoes to the restaurant. I’m sending him this link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s