The shoes you wear on a daily basis can send silent, visual cues to the rest of the world about who you are. Upon initially meeting someone new, one of the first things they will do is glance into your eyes or capture a mental picture of your smile. Then, without conscious thought, that individual will look down at your feet to see what type of shoes you are wearing. In that moment, a man’s entire surface character can be defined.
WHO IS THIS GUY & WHAT DO HIS SHOES REVEAL ABOUT HIS AURA, PERSONALITY & STYLE?
While it’s universally known that many women are possessed by an uncontrollable urge to shop for new boots, sandals and heels, the modern man also suffers from this contemporary, shoe obsession. Now, more than ever, men are aware that what they wear on their feet will be noticed by women and other men the moment they walk into a room. As a result, guys everywhere are choosing shoes that can be worn on different occasions to compliment their mixed styles at work, on a date, while with friends on a Friday night or praising the lord at church on a Sunday morning. Not only are men purchasing shoes specifically to attend different events throughout each season, they are also selecting multiple colors of different styles to wear with each of their ensembles.
Men who grew up in conventional households usually experienced a childhood where their parent(s) purchased new shoes once each year – two weeks before the first day of school. Those shoes were usually a gleaming, white pair of low top sneakers with clean laces and a sturdy, outer sole. As young children, we were told to take our sneakers off upon arriving home in the afternoons, as to not dirty -up our “school shoes”. Still, during recess, we’d play kickball on the playground in our sneakers, not giving a second thought to all of the scrapes being carved into the leather, toe-cap. While sitting bored at our desks waiting for the other children to complete their classwork assignments, we’d rest the back of our feet on top of our sneaker heel tabs. Before the end of September, our new shoes looked completely worn out …but we didn’t care. Shoes merely served the purpose of covering our feet and keeping our socks dry during inclement weather.
As we grew older and matured into our pre-teen and early teenage years, we began to pay closer attention to the shoes we wore on our feet. We would get a new pair of sneakers two weeks before the first day of school and then a new pair of boots for Christmas. Four months later, we’d request a third pair of shoes for Easter to then last throughout the spring and summer seasons. The teenage boys who were a little less fortunate, whose families couldn’t afford multiple shoe purchases, still took great care of the one pair they owned. Using tooth brushes, old rags and Comet cleaner, or that special foam spray from ‘Foot Locker’, that one pair was kept in immaculate condition. Our shoes became a staple of not only our sense of fashion and expression of style, but also a representation of the man we were becoming.
As adults, men have begun to invest just as much money and time into purchasing footwear as the women and other ‘fashionistas’ who exist in their lives.
While the rest of the world is asleep at night, there’s a group of men feeding their shoe fetishes by placing new orders online via trendy, web shops like, CreativeBoysClub dot com, and searching the latest footwear releases on the HIGHSNOBIETY website. The shoe-obsessed, modern man isn’t walking into chain, retailers and standing in line with everyday shoppers to purchase the new, luxury flats. These guys have an unapologetic affinity for high-end, designer sneakers that aren’t readily sold at the local, athletic shoe stores. These are your premiere, sneaker obsessed men who go ga-ga over a one-of-a-kind design. Their fetishes include every brand from the Dior Homme high-tops, to the Balenciaga tone-on-tone sneakers, and the entire Giuseppe Zanotti 2014 collection. These guys place themselves on various mailing lists and online shopper newsletter threads. This private practice secures their leading position as one of the first to own this fall’s, Diet Butcher Slim Skin High-Tops – to be purchased in red patent, black, blue, olive green, cadet gray and white…of course.
Then, you have your guys who care about their kicks, but aren’t necessarily aroused by the luxury brands. The classic, Timberland boot, otherwise known in urban neighborhoods as butters, have become a symbol of power and aggressiveness. This particular brand has been made famous by male rap stars and athletes that exude dominant personality traits amongst their peers. As a result, the classic, Timberland boots have become a staple of hyper masculinity and surface confidence. Guys who tend to be a little rough around the edges will purchase multiple pairs of this rugged style of boot, as to always be wearing “fresh butters”.
In contrast, the guy-next-door who also likes to follow footwear trends will always purchase the latest release of high top Jordan’s, Jeremy Scott’s newest Adidas, anything on the Zumiez shelves from the SUPRA brand, or one of Nike’s recent line of sneakers. During his casual outings to summer concerts, cookouts, the local bars or even just to do a day at the mall, your guy-next-door craves to remain in the forefront of foot fashion. This particular guy who owns multiple pairs of the famous, Jordan sneaker or has a closet filled with black & white Adidas shoe boxes, is sending the visual cue that he values style, doesn’t mind investing money into his wardrobe and enjoys fitting into the fashionable crowd.
However, the cultural, Renaissance man who is about his business doesn’t care as much about fitting into the crowd as he is concerned with leading it. He compliments his knit sweaters, tailored suits or blazer and dress pant combos with a smart, cowhide, leather shoe. This man-in-charge selects a hard bottom as his footwear of choice. His obsession is with pointed toe, sleek oxfords. He owns wingtips in the conventional black, but also mixes in shades of light brown oxfords for business lunches, walnut colored Steve Madden boots on casual Friday and maybe a dark chocolate, suede desert shoe to wear with jeans or casual slacks on the weekends. Since he abandoned the minimalist square toe shoe ions ago, his new fetish has set a standard amongst his peers and other business partners.
Meanwhile, the laid back, artistic types or rather reserved, male students aren’t able to save a lot of money to strictly purchase new shoes. However, they have managed to save every flip-flop and casual sneaker they’ve owned in their adult lives. The male, artist type and struggling student are mostly obsessed with comfort. His closet is filled with Vans and Converse to match every color splashed across his canvas of creations. When he does have extra dollars to his name, the artist or student will fixate on the light, skinny sneaker that is sitting on the shelf or thrown in the sale bin at Urban Outfitters. If he has to dress up for a presentation or special affair, there’s an entire row of Sebago loafers and classic docksides lined on the bottom deck of his closet. Though his look may appear to be thrown together as he jumps from classroom to classroom on campus, the shoes he puts on his feet always punctuate his intentional effort to walk in style.
The modern man has easily moved away from owning only one pair of shoes, to now filling his closet with various styles and multiple brands. HOW MANY PAIRS OF SHOES DOES ONE MAN NEED? The answer to that question depends upon how obsessed he is with owning enough footwear to accommodate the many demands of his lifestyle.