Olive Trousers – Do’s & Don’ts For Shoe Coordination

Olive Trousers – Do’s & Don’ts For Shoe Coordination2018-06-12T22:42:43+00:00

trousers-olive-sqOlive green is a tricky color in menswear.

The term covers dress trousers that are just as much brown as they are green, and it also covers lighter greens.

Either way, it’s a brownish green. That’s the important takeaway.

It’s a surprisingly versatile color, but you have to be very careful in terms of what shoe color you select.

Keep your level of dressiness in mind in addition to the actual shade, and you’ll be golden.  Our guide below will provide a framework for how to pair these trousers with different shoe colors.

Olive-Trouser-Coordination-GraphicNOTE: 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 Olive Trousers With Different Shoes

Best Shoe Matches


Casual beige shoes will work wonderfully with a casual olive trouser. Think of an army green color here, maybe a shade or two lighter. This will open up your options up top as well, so have some fun with your shirt in this scenario.


Burgundy shoes work especially well as dress shoes with dressy olive trousers or suits. Try this combination if you have an olive suit laying around, as it provides a fun alternative to a plain brown dress shoe.

Dark Brown

Olive Trousers With Brown Shoes

This is the most natural pairing with olive dress trousers. You can’t really go wrong, and it translates well to dark brown casual shoes with olive chinos. This is a perfect example of Earth tones playing really nicely together.


In a casual setting, navy shoes make a wonderful complement to olive pants. Try some casual moccasins with casual olive trousers for a cool, off-the-beaten-path look.


As always, keep it in the summertime. As always, white shoes will look sweet with a casual outfit, and lighter-colored olive trousers are no exception. Try it with a simple blue shirt and a Panama hat for some serious summer style points.

Acceptable Shoe Matches


Green Pants With Grey Suede Brogues

A little tougher to pull off and less forgiving than other colors, grey shoes are still acceptable with olive trousers. Keep the shade of grey in keeping with that of the olive.

Light Brown

This pairing absolutely has to happen with lighter olive chinos, but when it does, it’s quite a sight to behold. Throw on a simple white shirt and you’re ready to step out.


This is a tough one. The shoes should be a burnt orange, preferably with a brown undertone. If you can make that happen with a not-too-bright olive trouser, you’ll be successful.


Purple and green isn’t just for Donatello, my second-favorite Ninja Turtle. If it’s a deep, subdued purple, it’ll work against nearly any olive trouser. Just make sure the trouser isn’t too dressy.


It is imperative that the olive and red be subdued in this combination, unless of course you’ve got a Christmas theme going on. If this is your Christmas-themed outfit, the jury is still out as to whether or not you should wear your ugly sweater.

No-Go Shoe Matches


We really, really don’t care for black and green. We’re not saying it can’t be done, we’re just not recommending you do it.

Links To Other Shoe & Trouser Coordination Resources

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

Go back to trouser coordination main page.

Shoe & Trouser Master Coordination Matrix – FREE Download

Download PDF | Download JPEG



  1. Mason August 28, 2017 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Thank you! My first day of medical school and I was unsure whether my black or dark brown shoes would be best with the dark olive trousers I was wearing. Went with brown. Thanks for the tip!

    • Michael Oxman August 28, 2017 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Hi Mason,

      Glad we could help, that’s great that you went with brown! Thanks for commenting, and best of luck in med school!


  2. John Smith November 22, 2017 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Really helpful material for me. I like to wear black and brown both shoes but with my olive trouser now I would like to wear brown shoes which looks really wonderful. Thanks!

    • Michael Oxman November 27, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reading, and we’re glad you found the information so helpful. Try burgundy shoes with your olive trousers too, they look fantastic!


  3. Brock Osborn March 17, 2018 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Will light pink go with olive green?

    • Charles-Philippe March 19, 2018 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Hi Brock,

      It’s very bold but it could work!



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