It’s no surprise that we love a pair of khakis — they’re the only pants versatile enough for anything you might need to do, whether you’re meeting a client, heading to a party or meeting the parents. But a lot of guys out there are stumped by choosing what shoes to wear with khakis. Does a super casual shoe look weird with khakis? How does the fit of your chinos affect the kind of shoes you should be wearing? Truth is, you can pair more kinds of shoes with more kinds of khakis than you think — and if you keep a few simple things in mind, you’ll be good to go in any situation. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about wearing shoes and khakis at the same time. And to make it even easier, we’re using our own Dockers® shoes and khakis to demonstrate.
How To Wear Your ‘Everyday’ Shoes
We all have those shoes: the ones you reach for over and over again. They might not be your favorites, but when you’re hopping from work to dinner, running errands around town or just don’t know what the day has in store, you’re reaching for ‘em. For most guys, this is a shoe that rides the line so you can wear them all day long no matter what the occasion. So what khakis go well with an everyday shoe? If you like to keep it comfortable and casual, you’ll need pants that are durable, with versatile detailing and — this is important — a slimmer cut. Our ultra-modern Ultimate Chinos fit the bill perfectly, and if you prefer a look that’s more put together, our Alpha Chino will do the trick. Pro tip: rolling or cuffing those chinos just above the ankle makes you look extra modern and gives you a little more flexibility as you go about your day.
How To Dress Up Your Dress Shoes
This isn’t the most out-there tip, but we’re begging you: if you’re dressing to impress, you should absolutely reach for a pair of dress shoes. (Dress shoes, for those not in the know, are usually made of dark leather with low-profile soles and matching laces, and they’re what you reach for when you’re going to a wedding, an interview or any event where you need to look stepped-up.) There are a bunch out there to choose from — from wingtips and oxfords to monk straps and loafers.
The general rules for dress shoes are as follows: stick to more neutral colors. (Having a versatile brown pair or a more formal black pair on hand will take you very far.) And keep your pants dark and neutral until you get a feel for the intricacies of dressing up. The khakis that you pair with dress shoes should have a streamlined fit, with a crisp finish or pressed look that reinforces the sharpness of your look. Our Alpha Refined Khakis, Signature Khakis, and Easy Khakis are all perfect for this; they’re all elevated, wrinkle free styles that never look schlubby.
What To Wear With Casual Shoes
Is it warm out? Are you just kicking back? Then fully embrace that California cool vibe with a pair of slip-ons or boat shoes. These low-cut styles will give you a confidence boost while giving your ankles some breathing room. And since we’re trying to beat the heat, pairing low-cut shoes with some lightweight, breathable khakis is the way to go. Grab one in a bright, bold color to show that you’re in the coastal spirit.
We know we’ve been talking about khakis, but since you’re most likely to wear slip-ons when it's warm out, we’d be remiss not to throw shorts into the mix. Pair slip-on shoes with styles that have a modern, slimmer cut and added stretch. Might we suggest our Ultimate Shorts?
Some advice from the experts: if you’re doing anything other than hanging out — say, going to work or having a sit-down meal — we’d recommend choosing boat shoes over just about every other style of slip-on. They’re a little more substantial, with detailing that adds a much-needed bit of decorum.
Don't Forget The Socks
You can’t put on (most) shoes without putting on some socks. Here's a quick guide on which socks go with which kind of shoe: no-show socks expose those ankles, making them perfect for low-cut shoes and casual everyday shoes. Dress socks, as their name implies, are made to wear with dress shoes. Athletic crew socks are meant to be paired with sneakers. And our Ultimate Socks do double-duty; they look like dress socks and feel like athletic socks, with temperature management, shock absorption and a comfier fit.
Why Dockers® Has The Best Shoes
We’re known for being the absolute authority on khakis and chinos. And we’re here to tell you that our shoes are just as game-changing. We’ve built them from the ground up — pun intended — with the same dedication to innovation and easy style as our pants. Dockers® shoes are built with stretch for maximum comfort. They repel stains to keep you looking right and ready for anything. And they fight bacteria for next-level odor control. Explore all of our innovative shoes below — and while you’re there, check out our innovative pants, too.
We’ve taught you how to pair the right shoes with the right khakis. Now it’s time to go forth and wear them proudly.