First off, you should always dress for yourself. Always.
And while we’re sure the people over at Observer Style feel the same way, it doesn’t hurt to get the opinions of a few others. Specifically, 434 single women they surveyed to get a sense of how women judge a guy’s shoes on a first date. You know… for science, or whatever.
When all was said and done, they came out of the process with seven pieces of advice for men when it comes to footwear. Most of it is pretty good advice, so we figured there’s no harm in giving you the Cliff’s Notes.
1. Wear shoes that cover your entire foot
Observer found that these single women equated “sandal” with “lazy.” If you want to wear a pair of sandals at The Hamptons, no one here is going to stop you. But if you want to look like you give a damn about the lady you’re spending the evening with, do yourself a favor and pick a pair of real shoes. The Stewart Penny Loafer is a great choice—just as easy and comfortable as a sandal, it just looks way better.
2. Leather rules
Most of the highest rated shoes were made of—you guessed it—leather. No surprise there… leather shoes just look nicer, in every iteration on the spectrum. You might as well take it up a notch and make sure you’re buying Italian leather shoes. Cheap, flaky, processed leather doesn’t have that rich texture that attracts the ladies, no matter what the label says. Also be sure to keep that leather looking its best with the right everyday shoe care routine.
3. Wear normal shoes
Normal in this instance basically translates to “classic.” Don’t go for shoes with trendy details that you’ll hate this time next year. Invest in a few good pairs of leather shoes like the Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford. Their classic shape and minimalist detail will stay attractive for years to come.
4. No athletic shoes
Well that’s not anything we haven’t said before. Gym shoes are for the gym, running shoes are for running, and on and on and on….
While the ladies surveyed hated athletics shoes, they weren’t adverse to the “stylish casual” sneaker. Luckily for you, we have the most stylish casual sneaker out there. Our High-Top Sneaker seriously deserves a spot in every gentleman’s closet.
5. Don’t spend too much
This is where we started questioning this so-called advice. What the guys at Observer were trying to say is that women don’t care if a pair of shoes costs less than $100, as long as they look nice. But as you know, spending your money on cheap shoes can end up costing more in the long run. So maybe instead of saying, “don’t spend too much” we should say “spend wisely.”
6. Stylish shoes make you look like a man
Another one we’d like to re-phrase. If you are a man, you look like a man. However, if you are a man wearing stylish shoes, you will additionally look like a gentleman, which is nice. Observer is quick to point out that when you wear a quality pair of shoes, you exude confidence. And confidence “is the manliest of masculine virtues.”
Okay, that’s cool and all… but even cooler is the Newman Chukka Boot! We’d rather look at them then have anyone try and define our masculinity.
7. Wear shoes that show you make an effort
This advice we get. All anyone wants in a potential mate is for he or she to show that they give a damn. This goes both ways—you wouldn’t be super thrilled if a date showed up in flip flops and yesterday’s makeup, right? Well she feels the same way about your appearance. Luckily for you, there’s no easier way to look like you made an effort than throwing on the right pair of Italian shoes. May we suggest the stylish yet versatile Martin Wholecut?