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The Laws of The Game | Volume: 7 | It's Your Shoes, Stupid

Posted by Craig Schroeder on



President, Ladies Man, International hostage negotiator, and perhaps the first “First Gentleman”.   

He famously relied upon strategist James Carville’s phrase - it’s “the economy, stupid” - as his rallying cry when he crushed G.W. in the wake of early 1990s recession.  

So simple, so effective, so right.

Gents, in the same vein, it’s your shoes, stupid.

It’s this column’s charge to provide sartorial advice in a way that translates to real world success.

I’m not saying anything new, of course, as in man’s attempt to woo the fairer sex (or the same sex for that matter), nothing is more commonly known than “women [people] judge men on their shoes.

I do.

I’m sure you do too.

Everyone does.

Taking this as fact, as an inalienable truth, however, I propose an easy and quite economical way to make weight.

That is, you only need three categories of shoes, in good quality and style, to thrive in the shoe department:

I once attended an event where Ted Turner was the keynote speaker.
The only two things that stuck with me were: 1) he’s the largest owner of buffalo in the world; 2) he didn’t believe in laces and only wore loafers, due to the fact that he saved time by not having to tie up laces.  Practicality aside, loafers are part of a man’s shoe foundation.


I propose two loafers, one black and one brown.  

A good black loafer can be used with a tuxedo when occasion calls for it and with dark jeans at night for dates, going out, etc.


Brown loafers come in varying colors, I suggest a darker pair that can be patinaed over time to have character.  They are good for both business and casual wear.  Best in the summer.

Forego tassels and the horse-bit hardware, they are a bit pompous.  Less is more.  


Lace-ups come in varying styles, and which one(s) you own depends on your personal style.  

The plain oxford is sober and classic.  

The cap toe oxford has been co-opted by hipsters, but it nonetheless remains a classic.

The wing tip or brogue are more “English” and perhaps therefore more associated with businessmen.

Any of the variations works.  Again, black and/or brown will suffice.

Inclimate weather requires preparation.  Be it rain, snow or cold, a dress boot is for the man on the move.  

You can choose between a black chelsea boot - aka sans laces

or a brown lace-up boot that’s more commonly a high ankle oxford.  


In fact, today’s oxfords are simply a lower variation on it’s boot predecessor.

If you have these three categories covered, you are doing well.  
Well sartorially and probably socially and professionally.  The power of good shoes...
Remember these final tips though:

-always favor a leather-soled shoe because you can replace the bottom when it wears out and the upper simply improves in fit/feel over time, giving you years of wear;

-use wooden shoe trees after a day’s wear, as they suck out dampness, bacteria, etc. and will get your shoes back to wearability in a day or two.

-Have your shoes regularly shined, as they’ll make you feel better and look better.  Many airports have great shoe shine stations, which is a great way to spend your time while waiting for departure (especially in Charlotte).

This article excluded exotics like monk and double monk straps, dress slippers, and more casual shoes like Chukas and running shoes.  That’s beyond the scope here.  

Perhaps the topic of a future post...

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