What Shoes to Wear With Jeans

spiridons with jeans

No man’s wardrobe is complete without a good pair of jeans, so getting your trousers to match your footwear is therefore extremely important. Here’s our style guide on what shoes to wear with jeans.

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It can be a hard thing knowing what shoes to wear with jeans. Are your Vans gonna go with your new jeans? Of course they are (that was a good example from us), but that’s not always the case. Sometimes your favourite loafers aren’t gonna go with your favourite jeans and that’s a hard thing to take in.
In this guide, we at The Idle Man are going to show you the best shoe combinations for your jeans. We’ll cover everything from trainers, to formal shoes and everything in between. Take a look at the guide below and see how we can help.

Jean and Shoe Combinations


Now this may seem like the easiest combination, wearing formal shoes and jeans always go together, right? Well, unfortunately, it can actually be trickier to pull this off then you might think. Typically, this is a hard style to find jeans for, as if you get them too loose, baggy or wide, then it ruins the neat and formal nature of the shoe style. Smart looking jeans shouldn’t be too long, they’re slim or skinny, and fit well around the waist and hips.

Team a pair of slim navy jeans with a pair of black leather shoes. The dark colour palette will create uniformity within the look and avoid clashes. Next, combine a grey sweatshirt with a long camel overcoat. The overcoat will bring some much-needed formality whilst the lighter colours will contrast and balance with the bottom half of your outfit.

The shoes you should go for are brogues or boots. Chelsea boots are a good option as when paired with slim jeans creates a complete aesthetically pleasing look. If you want something that’s a little lighter than a pair of boots, then brogues or chunky loafers work well with fairly skinny jeans. However you don’t want your jeans to be too spray on, as your feet to leg ratio may look a bit weird.

jeans smart shoes
Jeans and smart shoes.


Smart Casual

Slightly different from formal, the smart casual look takes on a more relaxed element (obviously). This style allows your jeans to be slightly looser, whilst also giving you more leeway with your shoe choice. Whether you’re going into work or on a first date, this outfit gives you an effortless sense of sophistication and class. Try wearing a crisp white dress shirt with a pair of light blue straight cut jeans. The bright colour combination is perfect for a relaxed summer outfit that’s subtle and understated. For the shoes, get your hands on a pair of black or brown suede desert boots. The simple and sleek design makes these the ultimate smart casual footwear, working in both formal and informal situations.

If you’re cold and need an extra layer then don’t be afraid to wear a tweed blazer or sports jacket. These give you an element of formality, whilst not becoming overly professional like a suit would.

Smart casual outfit
Smart casual outfit.



A casual jean and shoe combo is where you can really play about with your style depending on the look you’re going for. Trainers have become a staple item of every man’s wardrobe. With the help of designer ranges such as Nike Air Jordan’s and Adidas Yeezy’s, sneakers are now one of the most popular and collectable items of clothing around.

As jeans are traditionally seen as a casual item of clothing, teaming them with trainers is arguably the most classic shoe / outfit combination. Wearing a pair of black ripped jeans with some white trainers is an excellent way to balance your look.

To continue the monochrome palette, wear a white T-shirt and black bomber jacket. This lightweight piece of outerwear is a must have for this autumn/winter season and is a perfect way to finish a casual outfit off. With so many different types of bombers available, a staple style and colour is needed in every wardrobe.

levis jeans outfit
Trainers and jeans are the ultimate casual pair


Shoes to Wear With Skinny Jeans

Now the rule with skinny jeans is simple – if your jeans are super tight then your shoes can’t be too chunky. If your footwear is too big then your outfit will be out of proportion and it will look like you’ve got clown feet – not ideal. When styling a pair of skinny denim trousers you want a simple and slimline shoe. Thanks to their sleek slip-on design, Chelsea boots are the perfect footwear to accompany your skinny jeans look. They won’t bulk out and will continue the line of your leg to a neat point.

As well as a pair of boots and skinny jeans, if your jeans aren’t completely glued to your legs, you can pair them with some trainers. Trainers are the best of a casual outfit and with them being such a big part of fashion, you need to style them well. If your trainers are the main part of your outfit, you need to keep the rest pretty basic to the attentions all on your feet.

Blue skinny jeans and bomber jacket
Bomber jacket with skinny jeans and trainers.


Shoes to Wear With Black Jeans

Black jeans are undoubtedly the most adaptable pair you can have in your wardrobe. They can be dressed up for your late nights in lounges and bars, or worn with trainers for the everyday. With that being said, there are a few combinations that require a little bit more thought. So, the big question; what colour shoes with black jeans?

Brown shoes with jeans, especially black ones, need to be well balanced. For example, if you are wearing brown or tan Chelsea boots, make sure that you wear a jacket of the same or similar colour. On the other hand, you have black shoes with jeans. This is the easiest combination to get right, especially if you’re in black jeans. If you don’t have Chelsea boots, then jeans and brogues are always a favourite combination. This is a very smart look so will be suitable for a whole array of occasions.

What Shoes to Wear With Jeans

  • Up your formality with loafers, oxford shoes or Chelsea boots.Keep the top half smart and make sure the jeans are a slim fit.
  • Take a more casual approach with trainers. You can also go for plimsolls or Desert boots as these are still on the casual side.
  • Bolder colours and styles work better in a casual outfit, keep to the basics for your formal ensembles.
  • Colour coordinating is a must. Knowing what colour shoes to pair with what colour jeans is essential.
what shoes to wear with jeans for men
Jeans and trainers.

On That Note

Whether you’re relaxing with friends, or commuting into work, jeans are versatile enough to work in a whole host of outfits. The style of shoe you wear can drastically change the look and feel of your outfit. Therefore, it’s extremely important to know the right type of footwear to wear with different jean combinations. Whatever the occasion, these simple denim trousers have become the ultimate companion for every man. Jeans are so popular partly due to their versatility – no matter what your body size is, there will be a pair of jeans out there to suit you. Therefore, getting the correct footwear combination is something that can make or break your outfit. As long as you put a little bit of time and effort into your look, you’ll be styling the best jean and shoe combos in no time.


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No man’s wardrobe is complete without a good pair of jeans, so getting your trousers to match your footwear is therefore extremely important. Here’s our...
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