Red shoes are the very definition of niche for men. They are rare, often tackily designed, and difficult to work into outfits.
How do you wear them without looking like a clown?
The answer is to keep it casual. “Red dress shoes” is an oxymoronic phrase, but red casual shoes can look great.
Try boat shoes, driving loafers, or camp moccasins. As always, is to exercise good judgement and truly wear the concept of “less is more.”
Read on for a comprehensive guide, we’ll get into specifics below.
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 Red Shoes With Different Trousers
Best Trouser Matches – Keep It Casual
As two primary colors, red and blue are at home next to each other. This is a great combination with any blue, be it powder, periwinkle, or even deep cadet blue. Though the shade of blue is irrelevant, but the material isn’t. Keep it cotton, wool is too dressy.
Tan and red are actually a nice combination. The beauty of this is that it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing blue-red or red-orange. Tan is totally neutral and will take well to either. Try it with a blue top to add a cool color to a warm outfit.
A neutral, beige will pair with red perfectly well. The large swath of neutral pant will allow you ample opportunity to play with color on top, with your red shoes safely taking their place on their own.
During the summer months, there’s little we like more than some sweet white jeans or cotton chinos and some red boat shoes. It’s perfect anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and you get extra patriotism points if you wear a blue shirt.
*EDITOR’S NOTE* Even though we’re talking about American holidays, our British, French, and Australian readers are all eligible for patriotism-related cool points based on the colors of their flags. Cool point submissions may be made via the comments section.
No one ever gave a guy in denim, red suede drivers, and a white oxford shirt a hard time, and they won’t start with you. The wash of denim is of no consequence here, just make sure they fit well!
Acceptable Trouser Matches
We put this as “acceptable” to hammer home the point that these should not be light grey dress trousers. Cotton pants, though? That’s a fun canvas on which to paint some sweet red shoes.
Another case study in which hue plays a make-or-break role, olive pants can indeed be paired with red shoes. Just be sure that both the olive trouser and red shoe are relatively muted shades of each. Green and red gets very Christmas-y very quickly if you’re not careful.
Dark navy dress trousers will not work well with red shoes. As you can see above, though, casual blue trousers will, and if it’s not a near-black navy, you’re in the clear.
No-Go Trouser Matches
Are you a college kid trying to look sexy on Valentine’s Day?
No? Don’t wear this combination of things.
Yes? Try something else, like a slim-fitting shirt. Don’t wear this combination of things.
There’s not really a context in which you’d wear dark grey trousers outside of dress pants or chinos. Both of these things are a no-go with red shoes.
Brown and red are not going to mesh well. Steer clear of this pairing, but feel free to indulge in lighter shades of brown. You might want to try the tan or beige options listed above.
Red trousers with red shoes is far too matchy-matchy. There are a plethora of other shoes to be worn with red trousers, and we strongly suggest going another route.
Links To Other Shoe & Trouser Coordination Resources
Shoe & Trouser Master Coordination Matrix – FREE Download