A Guide to Men’s Shoes for Jeans

There are very few items, if any, that quite match the versatility of jeans. Since their invention decades ago, they have transformed into an item of clothing that can be found in any wardrobe worldwide. And matching them to the shoes in your closet has never been easier.

As more styles, shades, and cuts have been introduced over the years, their inclusion into everyday outfits, both casual and professional, has expanded exponentially. So whether you pair them with boots or boat shoes NZ, there is a footwear option to match every pair of jeans you own.


Thanks to the ever-growing street style and athleisure trends, wearing sneakers with jeans has never been more popular. Of course, we aren’t talking about the trainers your dad wore during the 80s, but sleek fashion trainers and sporty hi-tops are the perfect pairings with jeans.

For a sleek look, choose plain black or white sneakers to match with fitted jeans and a simple graphic tee. Or swap out the tee and pair it with a button-up and winter coat for a semi-casual winter look. If your footwear is going to be the standout piece, keep your outfit neutral for maximum effect.

Nike sneakers


Boots are an incredibly versatile footwear option to wear with jeans because there are so many styles from which to choose. It comes down to finding the right type to match your needs and selecting jeans to compliment them appropriately. As a rule of thumb, more fitted jeans in darker washes are considered more formal than their light, looser counterparts.

Mens Shoes That Works Well With Jeans

Keep this in mind when dressing for social occasions or the office. For a formal option, select a pair of Chelsea boots or lace-up ankle boots with dark blue or black jeans, suitable for a work meeting or a night out with friends. Alternatively, distressed jeans with biker boots give you an edgy twist on the traditional. Lastly, pair your favourite Timberlands with baggy jeans and a hoodie for the perfect expression of street style.

Oxford Shoes

If you need to stick to the formal side of the spectrum, oxford shoes are a must-have footwear choice in your wardrobe. They are ideal for business functions and any social function you find yourself in with a semi-formal or formal dress code.

They match nicely with any wash of jeans, from light blue to black, with a regular hem or cuffed hem and look best with fitted jeans with no distressing details. Avoid pairing these with t-shirts or graphic tees, as the conflicting formalness looks random and out of place.


Loafers are a must-have for any wardrobe. They combine the perfect elements of smart and casual to create the ideal laidback yet luxurious footwear option. They can be worn all year round, although one should avoid them if snow is typical in your area, and they can be dressed up or down.

For a traditional outfit, pair leather loafers with cuffed jeans and a smart blazer for a dapper and sophisticated smart-casual look. Alternatively, match them with light-wash cuffed jeans and a loose linen button-up for the ultimate vacation feel.


If you are looking for a shoe that is more formal than sneakers but not quite as formal as the oxford shoe, Brogues will be a popular option for you. They are ideal for a smart-casual look and, thanks to their sturdy and comfortable design, are suitable for everyday wear.

Brogue winter navy boot for men

Sleek, minimal, dark-coloured brogues lean more towards formal, while lighter, chunky, detailed brogues are far more casual. Keep this in mind when you are selecting a pair to wear. There is no set rule to follow when picking out jeans to match, but classic fitted jeans in dark neutral tones will allow your brogues to take centre-stage.

Boat Shoes

Boat shoes have long carried a stigma that they look best paired with chinos on a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean. But this simply isn’t true. Ideal for a summer brunch meal or day out in a seaside town, selecting the right pair of jeans can create the ultimate relaxed yet refined look.

Boat shoes are best matched with very light-washed jeans or, for those slightly more daring, white jeans. However, pairing them with linen button-ups in fun and colourful designs and a pair of stylish sunglasses oozes sophistication with all the comforts of casualwear.

What to skip

Although it has been a fashion choice for years for many men, pairing jeans with sandals or slip-slops is a pairing that is best avoided. It creates a conflicting expression and is considered out of place for most social gatherings.

Stick to close-toed shoes when it comes to jeans, and leave the sandals for outfits with shorts, denim, or chino shorts for a more balanced look. At the end of the day, if it is hot enough for sandals, it is hot enough for shorts. And if it is cool enough for jeans, closed shoes will be a suitable choice.