It doesn’t get much more classic than navy blue trousers for men. We wear them to the office, first dates, and important life events like weddings and funerals.
Even my four-month-old kid wears (and subsequently throws up on) navy pants to day care at least twice a week.
Dark enough for business, light enough to wear during the day (unlike black), and versatile enough to be worn to everything from a meeting to a first date, they’re a wardrobe workhorse, a necessary staple to get by in the world.
The thing is, they can’t exist on their own. Plenty of guys have questions about which shoes they can wear with navy trousers, and we’re here to help. Read on for in-depth analysis on how to make your navy trousers look their best.
NOTE: There are exceptions to every rule.
Use your good judgement, and feel free to leave us a comment if you have questions!
Read on for full explanations and reasoning of the above coordination suggestions. Or, click here to go see our Ultimate Shoe & Trouser Color Coordination Matrix showcasing how to match any color shoes with any color trousers.
How To Coordinate Navy Trousers With Different Shoes
Best Shoe Matches – Have These In your Closet
Burgundy shoes are reddish-brown or brownish-red, depending on the shade. The red in burgundy syncs beautifully with navy trousers because red and navy blue are both primary colors, which look great together. Wear this to nearly any function or event with the exception of black-tie.
Men have been wearing dark brown shoes with navy trousers for years. It’s a classic combination that will fare well in any setting. Only the fustiest of organizations (typically government) will take issue with dark brown shoes. This combination also works for casual navy trousers and casual brown shoes like drivers, moccasins, and loafers.
“Grey dress shoes? Are you guys nuts?” – You, upon reading that we suggest grey shoes with navy trousers.
Yes, we love grey shoes with navy trousers. Not only does the combination offer uniqueness, but it’s just as versatile as if you wore brown shoes. You may not want to wear it to a meeting with a new client, but on a regular day at the office? Why not?
Navy shoes aren’t easy to come by, it’s true. Years ago, the rule used to be that you wore navy shoes with navy trousers, but that’s changed nowadays. Still, if you can find a pair that looks good, try it out.
It’s a casual, seasonal combination, but it looks amazing when you pull it off well. Don’t go for wool but rather cotton trousers to make this pairing work.
Acceptable Shoe Matches – These Work Sometimes Under Certain Conditions
As we address in our article on black shoes, there is an ongoing debate about whether it’s kosher or not to wear black shoes with navy trousers. Our thoughts on the subject are straightforward: it is highly preferable to wear brown shoes, as they offer equal formality with superior style. However, some men are involved in professions that are very sartorially conservative that require black shoes with everything. Often these are white shoe firms or government agencies, and we concede that real-world circumstances dictate what we wear just as much as our own personal styles.
Light brown is an acceptable color shoe to wear with navy trousers, though our preference is for a darker brown. Your navy trousers will still look good with these shoes, just make sure your belt or suspenders coordinate well.
Green is a very casual color for a shoe, so we recommend that they be paired only with casual navy trousers. This could be cotton or linen, or even a lightweight wool trouser that’s dressed down by virtue of removing the jacket and tie.
Your navy trousers must be cotton or linen to be able to pull off orange shoes with them. This is not for the office but rather weekends or after-work shenanigans in the spring or summertime. Who doesn’t like warm-weather shenanigans, anyway?
Purple is a cousin of blue and can look good with navy trousers. Again, this is a casual pairing and should be kept to social occasions, not professional ones.
Red and blue are complementary colors and look very good when placed next to each other. As red dress shoes don’t so much exist in the practical world, this is another casual combination. Think red boat shoes or drivers with cotton navy trousers.
No-Go Shoe Matches
To our eye, the pairing of beige shoes with navy trousers does neither article any favors. There are plenty of other options to pair with navy blue pants, we suggest exploring those. Alternatively, a shade of dark blue lighter than navy would work with beige shoes, but that’s covered in another article.
Links To Other Shoe & Trouser Coordination Resources
Shoe & Trouser Master Coordination Matrix – FREE Download