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The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Shoes With Different Pant Styles

There’s nothing worse than having a new pair of pants that just don’t go with your favorite pair of shoes.

If only you had consulted our ultimate guide on how to pair shoes and pants, you may not have found yourself in this situation.

The Ultimate Guide To Pairing Shoes With Different Pant Styles

There are many ways to pair pants with shoes, and many ways you can potentially save an outfit with some of these pro tips.

We’ve tried to find all the circumstances you may encounter where you are pairing shoes to create the ultimate guide.

Hopefully this will help you out of any fashion mishaps you have found yourself, inspire your style in the future, as well as help you purchase pants and shoes together with your new found knowledge.

Keep reading to learn more about shoes and pants!

1. Chunky Shoes

Chunky Shoes

Some shoes can be quite chunky, meaning that their sole is often quite thick or just the design makes them chunky. Doc Martens, Nike Air Force, Fila Disruptors. These sort of larger shoes, sneakers or otherwise, can require specific styling.

Our recommendation is to go big on the pants too. A pair of wide leg pants or jeans can really help taper out the chunky nature of the shoes.

Moreover, either rolling up the cuffs of your pants a little, or having some slightly cropped trousers, can also help them stand out without making your feet look huge.

The main thing to avoid here is skinny jeans that are tight around the ankle cuff and the whole way down the leg, this can make your feet seem strangely skinny and make your feet seem quite large.

Your pants can still be tight, but consider the cuff as this is what will make you feet look big. Even shorts can look great with chunkier footwear.

2. Small Shoes

Small Shoes

While shoes are obviously fitted so they aren’t ‘small’ in a literal sense, certain shoes can have a less prominent profile.

Classic vans, for instance, have a slender profile that hugs the foot, the same could be said for Nike Janoskis or classic low rise Converse Chuck Taylor’s.

Although in terms of more casual shoes, this could be a pair of pumps, loafers, or a flat heel.

With these shoes you want to avoid wearing a super wide leg or baggy pants, as this can have the opposite effect to the previously mentioned pairing; avoid a wide leg as it will make your feet seem small in comparison.

But this doesn’t mean going straight for skinny jeans, although this would look better than with big shoes.

We would suggest a pair of straight leg jeans or pants, the profile of the shoe is maintained without your feet looking small.

3. Boots


Of course if you are wearing boots, male or female, it seems like the most obvious option is to go for a boot cut. This is certainly true, and is ideal for something like a cowboy boot or another sort of high rise boot.

If your boots are only above your ankle, a mid rise you could say, this doesn’t necessarily need a boot cut.

One pro tip when wearing boots is to roll your pants cuffs up a little as you can do this with a boot without exposing your socks too much, as you might with a normal shoe.

For women if you are wearing boots that go over your jeans, consider that your jeans or pants may need to be fairly tight fitting so they don’t look weird, or even consider a skirt or pair of hosts on a hotter day.

4. Hi Tops

Hi Tops

Hi Tops are quite similar to boots, but describe sneaker type shoes that have a higher rise than most, usually above the ankle.

While this makes us think of Air Jordans, and certainly a style rooted in basketball culture, there are other shoes that have a similar style such as the hi rise Converse Chuck Taylors.

With these shoes, you can go for a few different looks. For Hi Top Sneakers they can look great with baggy pants or jeans, they can sit nicely on top of hi top and create that oversized fit look which is so popular recently.

A shoe such the hi rise Converse, which are a little slimmer in their profile to an Air Jordan, can benefit from a wider leg or a straight leg pant.

But may also benefit more from a slightly cropped pant or rolled up cuffs as they don’t create a shelf for a baggier material like Hi Top Sneakers would.

5. Dress Shoes

Dress Shoes

Of course, there are many requirements for different people to wear dress shoes at different times in their life.

Pairing dress shoes can be pretty simple, they should almost always be worn with dress pants as well. Suit trousers made with ‘smart fashion’ in mind.

You don’t want your suit pants to come down too low and be generally baggy, this means you will lose your feet in the baggy trousers and they will seem quite small.

In classic fashion ruling, the cuff of your suit pants should be just above your heel bone with only a small part of your sock exposed.

The things to avoid here are anything too casual, so jeans and dress shoes look a little wild and out of place as you can imagine.

6. Heels


Heels are often the ideal pairing for a dress or skirt, but with the right pair of pants you can look like a real girl boss, as well as a fashion queen if you can pair them properly – here’s how.

Your first thought might be wide leg pants being the best, but it isn’t necessarily this simple. If they are too long then you could end up in an accident by the material getting stuck under your heel, let alone ruining the pants.

If wide leg pants are your choice make sure they are a good few inches from the floor so you don’t make yourself fall over.

Straight pants and skinny pants are also viable options with their own obstacles. Straight pants which are too long can bunch up around your calves and ankles and just not look flattering with heels.

You could roll the pants up so they are tighter around your ankles. This looks great. Although skinny jeans can bunch up too and should also fit properly.

7. Sandals Or Sliders

Sandals Or Sliders

Sandals and wide leg trousers can look quite strange, if you are considering this style make sure your sandals are simple and don;t have any tie up bits around your legs.

Although men can go for this look if they want to embrace their inner hippie.

The opposite is true for jeans, if they are skinny the bits that can tie up around your ankle can add a lot to the look. In this situation skinny is better than straight legs.

What you do want to avoid is pants that are too long, it just looks weird seeing people’s toes poking out of long trousers.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are lots of creative ways to combine pants and shoes in different ways.

There can be a few rules with certain shoes, but in the long run it’s about making sure your feet don’t look small or large, and making sure that your figure isn’t exaggerated by an incorrect pairing.

You don’t want the wrong pairing to make your feet look huge or make yourself look unnecessarily tall or short.

Often the right shoe and pant combination is pivotal to getting your figure and profile just right, your general outline can be affected by your pants and hoes and create a sort of optical illusion that can put your features out of proportion, this is why pairing can be so important!

Jenna Reign
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