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Your boss pays attention to your feet

September 18, 2013

black shoesThrough the years, I never polished my shoes. I didn’t know I had to care for them. Once I learned about the importance of polishing, I realized how badly my shoes looked in the past. My shoes might as well have glowed in neon green. I would buy a nice enough pair of shoes and wear them for 1-2 years without a single polish. Shoes will become quite scuffed in that amount of time. Back when I worked in my mother’s décor and furniture store, I owned a pair of these well-worn brown oxfords. One day, I attempted to walk through a ditch to plant a sign in the ground by the road. As I stepped into the grass at the bottom of the ditch, my foot kept going and I found myself standing in water up to my calf. I tried everything possible to salvage those sorry shoes, but thankfully gave up and threw them away. I then went out and bought another nice pair of shoes. Did I ever polish the new shoes? Not until years later.

Now that my eyes have been opened, I can spot unpolished scuffed shoes 30-50 feet away. Believe it or not, your shoes and their condition say a lot about you. Do you pay attention to detail? Do you perform quality work? Your boss may be assuming things about you from the condition of your shoes. So, why not make them and you shine a little?

Options abound in this category. Styles range from casual sandals up to spit-shiny black tuxedo shoes. To begin, every man should own a pair of black oxfords (also the slightly less formal brown). They will carry you through most office days and pair nicely with stylish work clothes, especially trousers. In addition, they compliment suits as well as khakis. Spice up your style a bit more by trying wing-tips – a particularly stylish and more ornate shoe to be saved for suits. To complement your casual wardrobe, consider loafers or boots (not work or hiking boots). With all these shoes, leather is your best option.

For ultra casual, get yourself a timeless pair of sneakers. Every well-stocked male closet needs them. When you’re confused about what to wear with jeans, throw on your trusty sneaks. As for sandals, proceed with caution. Coupled with linen pants, leather sandals add a certain amount of laid back California spirit to your evening summer walk. Save the flip-flops for the SplashyCoveWaterPark or floating down a river in an inner tube. Most importantly, never wear socks with sandals.

Buy properly fitting shoes. Steer clear of flashy laces and give straight-lacing a try. Use shoe trees in your dressier shoes after each wear to preserve the shape and pull moisture from the leather. Also, wipe off your leather shoes when they get wet.

Before you leave this page, let me say it again. Keep them polished.

For more on dressing well for the workplace, check out:
You’re hired! Wearing the right interview attire
Hindering your career with poor fashion
© Copyright 2013 Fashion for the average man.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2013 5:01 pm

    So true…..Many years ago I was told by one guy who was interviewing me ” Your a smart young man, I can see my face in your shoes…but can I suggest that you also clean the instep the bit you cannot see but I did!”…..never forgot that and yep I do check the bottom of my shoes. Sad I know but old habits die hard.

  2. October 24, 2013 8:51 pm

    Cheers for liking my Collateral Lettuce post about raita!

    A bit off-topic, but when I’ve been in China, people tend to wonder what footwear I have on. I might need to invest in a pair of sandals…

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