What Shoes To Wear With Jeans?

Ah, the perennial question that haunts every style-savvy gent: “Which shoes to wear with jeans?

Whether you’re hitting a casual brunch or painting the town red, your footwear should do more than just get you from point A to B. From the crisp elegance of Derbies and Oxfords to the effortlessly chic vibe of loafers, let’s not forget the rugged charm of desert boots your footwear can make or break your outfit.

Wearing jeans is a universal affair. According to Statista, the global denim jeans market was forecast to be worth around 95 billion dollars by 2030. No article of clothing has graced as many different types of occasions and been accepted so widely as the good ol’ pair of jeans. Yet, even with this versatile wardrobe staple, things can go wrong, especially when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes. 

For men, the array of options can be dizzying. From loafers and boat shoes to sneakers and boots, the choices are endless. So, how does one decide? Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best shoes to wear with jeans for men, tailored to fit both your style and your lifestyle.

The Best Shoes to Wear With Jeans

Brown Casual Sneakers and Jeans

brown sneakers shoes to wear with jeans

When it comes to jeans, brown leather sneakers serve as a bridge between the casual and the semi-formal. They pair well with an array of denim shades—light, dark, and everything in between. Want to wear your favourite blue jeans? Brown leather sneakers can offer a softer contrast than black footwear. If you’re sporting a pair of black or grey jeans, a dark brown can lend an air of sophistication without going full formal.

Style brown sneakers with a pair of lightly faded blue jeans and match with a casual crew neck t-shirt. This look is great for summer evening socials or casual weekend vibes.

Loafers with Jeans

loafer shoes to wear with jeans

If there’s one pair of shoes to wear with jeans that are the chameleons of the footwear world, it’s loafers. These easy-to-slip-on shoes can transition you from business casual attire to an evening soirée without requiring a change of outfit. Opt for classic colours like black and brown, and keep them in pristine condition.

When pairing loafers with jeans, the cut of the denim matters. Straight-leg or slim-fit jeans tend to work best as they align well with the loafers’ streamlined aesthetic. 

Loafers can pair well with light, dark, or coloured denim.  Match them with a mid-wash denim and a breton sweater for a casual yet chic look.

Desert Boots and Jeans

desert boots shoes to wear with jeans

From military history to urban fashion, desert boots have carved a unique niche in men’s footwear, serving as a go-to option for those seeking comfort, durability, and style.

Desert boots offer a rugged look that pairs nicely with jeans, especially those of a slim or straight cut.  They give a casual look but add a touch of sophistication when paired with the right garment combination. 

Opt for a brown pair of desert boots and match them with dark denim jeans. Add a plaid shirt and a simple crew neck t-shirt and finish the look with a corduroy jacket. 

Lace-Up Boots and Jeans

lace up boots shoes to wear with jeans

When you’re seeking a look that is military-inspired, the leather lace-up boots can be your best bet. Whether it’s the biker-chic look or the vintage vibe, these boots serve as statement pieces that captivate attention without screaming for it.

Black and brown are the go-to colours for lace boots. Black jeans work well with black boots.  Keep the top a lighter colour to contrast with the dark jeans and boots.

Dress Shoes and Jeans

When the conversation turns to dress shoes that can seamlessly blend with jeans, Derbies and Oxfords often lead the pack. While they are traditionally associated with formal attire, these classic styles have found their way into the casual domain, setting a sophisticated tone when paired with denim.

Dark jeans have a transformative quality. They can look utterly casual or significantly dressed up,, depending on what they’re paired with. Enter formal leather shoes like derbies and oxfords. 

A tan or brown shoe works well with most denim outfits—pair denim jeans with a denim jacket or leather jacket, and a plain white T-shirt.

Boat Shoes and Jeans

One might argue that boat shoes are best left to shorts and chinos. Although boat shoes and jeans might not be the first combo that comes to mind, they work surprisingly well, particularly in the warmer months. With their moccasin-inspired construction and slip-on design, they add a hint of seaside leisure to your overall look. 

Sockless is the way to sport boat shoes. However, if you must, opt for no-show socks to maintain the illusion.

Stick to wearing lighter colours with boat shoes. Offset darker jeans with a lighter shirt or jacket to balance the summer vibe of the shoes.

Chelsea Boots and Jeans

Chelsea boots are not confined to any single occasion; their versatility makes them ideal for anything from social gatherings to business casual settings.

With their minimal, sleek design and absence of laces, Chelsea boots have been spotted on the feet of our modern style icons. 

Chelsea boots pair superbly with a variety of jean styles, but they truly come alive with slimmer cuts. Think slim-fit or skinny jeans that taper toward the bottom. This allows the boots to become a focal point without overwhelming the look. 

Opt for a pair of brown suede boots and pair with slim-fit jeans. On the top half, add a white shirt and a matching brown jacket. 

White Sneakers and Jeans

White sneakers have undergone a renaissance, transcending their athletic origins to become a fashion staple for men worldwide. 

White sneakers are to footwear what the white t-shirt is to apparel—a universal canvas that brings out the best in everything paired with it.

Their neutral tone allows for unmatched versatility; they can be effortlessly teamed up with jeans of all hues, from indigo and black to grey and even pastels. White sneakers are perfect shoes to wear with jeans and are great additions to a capsule wardrobe.

Pair white sneakers with jeans and a white shirt or t-shirt for a classic, versatile look. 

Black Sneakers and Jeans

What makes black sneakers a particularly compelling choice for jeans is their adaptability across the denim spectrum.

Wearing light blue jeans? Black sneakers offer a stark, eye-catching contrast. Opting for dark or black jeans? The sneakers create a seamless, monochromatic look that’s always in vogue.

Their universal appeal allows them to harmonise with whatever type of jeans you decide to sport.

Pair some black sneakers with jeans and a black T-shirt for a simple yet stylish look.


Can I wear running sneakers with jeans?

While running sneakers are primarily designed for athletic endeavours, style is all about breaking the rules, right? If you must wear running sneakers with jeans, aim for a more tapered or skinny cut to avoid looking overly casual. Just be cautious—these shoes to wear with jeans combo can easily veer into ‘dad-on-the-go’ territory.

What about dress shoes? Too formal for jeans?

Dress shoes like Oxfords and Derbies can actually pair elegantly with jeans, especially darker washes. It’s all about balancing the casual and formal elements to create a smart-casual ensemble.

Is going sockless only for boat shoes?

While going sockless is a classic look for boat shoes, the trend has spilt over to other types of footwear like loafers and certain types of slip-ons. If you’re aiming for laid-back shoes to wear with jeans, summery vibe, feel free to ditch the socks.

By: Stephen Antonio