For the Guys: 10 Non-Basic Shoe Styles for the Non-Basic Dude

From easy to tricky, these pairs deserve a spot on your shoe rack.

( Shoes are a good indicator of a man’s ability to cross over from basic to bold. It’s an ability most evident in how we are willing to endure insane queues at a sneaker store or pore over a sneaker app just to get first dibs on a limited-edition collab or an update to a well-loved pair. Imagine that enthusiasm merge with a “never say never” attitude and a purchase power reserved usually just for fresh drops. Your shoe closet "cup" will surely run over!

Below, a list of shoe styles you should wear aside from the usual ones in your arsenal. From easy to tricky pairs, consider them the second layer to your growing shoe collection and worthy additions to your evolving taste. Trust us, your soiled white sneakers and all-occasion oxfords will thank you for them.

Here are 10 men's shoe styles you might want to try aside from the basics:


Classic espadrilles (starts at P1,400) from Wataru by Collezione C2
PHOTO BY Wataru Collezione C2

Perhaps summer’s favorite closed shoe, the espadrille is comfortable to wear all day—from mornings at the weekend market up to casual dinners at your default neighborhood restaurant. Distinguished by its rope sole, its fabric upper comes in practically every color, print, or pattern imaginable. It is a refreshing alternative to sneakers in sticky weather situations.

Boat Shoes

Authentic Original 2-Eye Richtown in Taupe (P5,795) from Sperry

The modern boat shoe traces its roots to 1930s Connecticut where a man named Paul A. Sperry—you know where this is going—designed a shoe with a mocassin-like upper and non-slip sole perfect for the boating life. Worn to hilt in the '80s—ask your cool tito—and the late '00s, the boat shoe has survived enough trend cycles to become a classic for men the world over—city or coast, preppy or not.  

Off-Palette Sneakers

POD-S3.1 in Clear Orange and Core Black (P7,500) from Adidas
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If black, blue, or white are your go-to color options, going for a slide or lace-ups in a different hue or print all together may feel too risky or disconcerting for your taste. But do not ignore the look-at-me appeal of an off-palette sneaker. When worn with a neutral top and trousers, allowing a pastel or faux snakeskin sneaker to do the talking makes a lot of style sense.

Chelsea Boots

Black Leather Ankle Boots with Track Soles (P3,495) from Zara

The ankle-high Chelsea boot is arguably the most comfortable boot out there. In place of laces are garterized side panels, allowing you to look spiffy at work and sharp while in transit (and fetching courtesy upgrades). A version in shiny black leather is best worn with a slim-cut suit a la mod-era John Lennon and a brown suede variant goes well with gingham checks and chinos.


Desert Boots

Desert Boot in Beeswax (price available upon request) from Clarks
PHOTO BY clarks

Lightweight, ankle-high, and with only two or three pairs of eyelets, the desert boot has military roots that date back to the 1940s. A pair in light-colored suede or brown leather offers a lot of mileage today—it looks great with a navy blazer and khakis as it would with a safari top and denim. If you’re a fun sock wearer, consider the space between your rolled-up pant and desert boot a blank canvas.

Leather Sandals

Gladiator Sandals in Brown (P2,995) from Mango Men

The leather sandal is where comfort and style find their sweet spot, offering the ease of flip-flop dressing but also showing off a sense of structure and refinement. Keep it sharp by wearing a pair with a top and bottom of the same color, such as pale blue linen shirt and matching pale blue linen pants with brown multi-straps. Now all you need is a sunset party.

Sport Sandals

Patton Sandals in Blue (P4,099) from Calvin Klein

Make an outdoor athletic sandal work harder by wearing it for form and not just for function. Build an urban look from the ground up by picking up a color or two from a sandal and making it the palette of your entire look. For example, a blue sandal with a sliver of white worn with a black T-shirt tucked under trousers with blue piping already seems a streetwear hit.


Double Monkstrap Shoe

Grand Double Monkstraps (made to order from P5,950) from Marquina Shoemaker
PHOTO BY Marquina

You know it’s a monk strap shoe when you’re seeing straps and buckles instead of eyelets and laces. A pair in brown or oxblood goes well with your navy blue, olive, or gray trousers or suit—and wearing it to work feels more polished than sporting loafers or oxfords. Confused about how many straps your first pair must have? Do as the dandies do and make it a double.

Driving Moccasins

Hugo Bit Driving Shoes (P5,800) from Sebago

Specially designed to feel comfortable when you're behind the wheel, this driving moccasin in a bright orange color will also look great when you’re hitting the pavement. Remember to keep your overall look casual and tailored for optimum effect, like those Italian men who tackle the streets with stylish nonchalance.

Velvet Slippers

Velvet Slippers in Burgundy (P20,748) from Brooks Brothers
PHOTO BY brooks brothers

Pulling off a luxurious yet comfortable velvet slipper without looking papal (Pope Francis wears them daily) or encroaching in DOM territory requires youthful styling. The easiest trick is to wear it like you would a penny loafer: With an oxford shirt and well-cut denim on casual Friday, a T-shirt and khakis during the weekend, or a blazer during date night. A word of caution: velvet requires a lot of care and does not emerge from public commute unscathed.  

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