Every month, roughly one million men worldwide perform a Google search how to coordinate various shoe colors with different trouser colors. To fill this need, we’ve generated the ultimate guide of 25 pages to help any man coordinate any shoe with any trouser.

As much as matching the color of your shoes may seem intuitive, sometimes coordinating them with your trousers can be confusing. Even we have occasionally fallen into common pitfalls and paired the wrong shade of brown with our trousers!

In this guide, you will learn the basics of shoe color coordination. Use the following menu to jump ahead:

  1. All Shoe & Trouser Coordination Guides
  2. Common Shoe Color Coordination Overview
  3. Rare Shoe Color Coordination Overview
  4. Why Is It Hard To Coordinate Shoes?
  5. Our Methodology
  6. Free Printable Coordination Download

Alternatively, scroll down to read it all!

Wolf & Shepherd Breakaway Boots On Box

How To Match Your Shoes & Trousers

In this guide, you will read an overview of different options for matching shoes and trousers. If you want to learn more, there are 24 specific guides in total: 12 for the shoe colors, and 12 for the specific trouser colors:

Shoe Coordination Guides
Click a shoe color to see its best trouser matches:
Black | Dark Brown | Light Brown
Beige | Burgundy | Green | Grey | Navy | Orange | Purple | Red | White
Trouser Coordination Guides
Click the trouser color to see its best shoe matches:
Navy | Grey | Jeans
Beige | Black |Blue | Brown | Light Grey | Olive | Tan | Red | White

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Coordinating Trousers With Common Shoe Colors

In this guide, we provide a basic overview for matching your shoes and trousers. This section is dedicated to the most basic shoe colors, which are black, brown, and tan as you can see below:

Visual Guide To Matching Black & Brown Shoes With Trousers

Less Common Shoe Color & Trouser Coordination

Not all shoes are just black and brown, however. Men nowadays have plenty of colors to choose from, so we’ve included a number of contemporary shoes colors as well:

Visual Guide To Matching Contemporary Shoes With Trousers

You can learn more about these different colors and how to coordinate them with our detailed guides. Simply head to the menu above to head to the right one that you need.

Why Is It Hard To Coordinate Shoes & Trousers?

Beckett Simonon Yates Full Brogue On PavingsWe men have difficulty with this for a number of reasons:

  1. There’s a lot of conflicting information when we research the topic. Some folks say wearing black shoes with navy trousers is perfectly acceptable. Others say it’s an abomination. How are you supposed to know who’s right? Are both right? It can be confusing and frustrating to look for a standardized, straightforward answer and be unable to find one.
  2. It’s just as much an art as it is a science. Even though we’re proud of the resource we’ve created, we concede that there is rarely a solution that works 100% of the time. This is particularly true when we start talking about more unorthodox colors, like purple shoes or red trousers. For those of us who are more left-brained than right-brained, this can be quite tricky.
  3. There’s a plethora of factors that come into play. Dark brown shoes with dark grey trousers makes total sense. Does this still work when the shoes are suede as opposed to leather? How about if they’re penny loafers? Or if the trousers are casual instead of dressy? Should you even wear this combination in the summertime? It’s enough to make your head spin.

These questions only put a crack in the tip of the iceberg. No wonder so many guys are looking for answers!



Allen Edmonds Dalton Wingtip Brogue Boots & Dianite SoleOur methodology was to focus on color, first and foremost. We feel that this is the most important factor to consider and that everything else falls into place underneath that.

We analyzed every shoe color we thought was relevant in today’s market and paired them with every trouser color we though was relevant in today’s market. This formed a large portion of how we arrived at the conclusions we did.

With that said, there are going to be certain colors we didn’t address in the matrices above. We didn’t mention purple trousers, for example. Nor did we mention yellow shoes.

This isn’t because these items don’t exist, but rather because their rarity gave us the leeway to exclude them from this resource.

We feel that the information given in each individual article will help you make good decisions for anything we don’t cover explicitly here, and as always we welcome your questions in the comments section.

After color, our primary focuses were:

Beckett Simonon Leonard Single Monk Strap Shoes Metal StepsSeasonality: Some shoe and trouser colors work best in cold months, others in the warmer months. This played into our decision-making as it renders certain colors useful for portions of the year, but useless for others.

Material: Certain color combinations will work best with worsted wool dress trousers but not work well with, say, cotton chinos. The reverse can also be true. Some combinations will look better with leather shoes as opposed to suede, and vice-versa. We did our best to keep this in mind when we made our “yes,” “no,” and “sometimes” calls.

Shade Of Brown: We know, we already mentioned color. Brown shoes are such an extensive category, though, that they warrant a mention here. Even someone shopping for brown shoes for the first time will learn that there are approximately ten bazillion (give or take) different shades of brown, even within the “dark brown” and “light brown” categories. Whenever it was relevant, we made it a point to discuss particular shades of brown working well with particular trouser colors, or not.

Multi-Colored Shoes

Multi Color Shoes With Tweed

One style we intentionally omitted from of our matrix was multi-colored shoes.

We did this because the potential permutations for color combinations are theoretically endless, and if we dove down that rabbit hole we never would have finished this resource!

This occurs often in the sneaker world, but you can also find shoes with more than one color on dress shoes as well. Saddle shoes and spectators come to mind.

Our advice is to coordinate your trouser according to the dominant color of the multi-colored shoe. After that, you can tie the other colors in the shoe back into your outfit by being strategic with your accessory selection.

Let’s say you have some red, white, and blue saddle shoes, where white is the dominant color. You would want a neutral, summery trouser to pair with these, but then wear perhaps a blue shirt and a red tie to play off of the other colors in the shoe.

Free Printable Download For Reference At Home

You can download a one-page printout of these guides for your convenience. We hope you find it to be a useful reference and that you share your experience with us in the comments section!

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What Next?

Now that you have read about the most comfortable men’s dress shoes, you can read some of our other related guides to dress shoes and other types of shoes:

Shoe & Trouser Color Coordination Guide
Reviewed by Mike., on .
"This is a great resource. Between this color matcher and the concept of a capsule wardrobe you are helping make those of us working at being well dressed a little bit easier. Thanks."
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

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