Black Pants, Brown Shoes: A Good Combination?

Black Pants, Brown Shoes: A Good Combination?

Simple Answer: Yes, if you follow some simple guidelines and pay attention to contrast, you can definitely pair up your black pants with a pair of brown shoes. Black pants are a classic piece of menswear, simply because they go well with almost everything. Whether you are wearing a dress shirt or a sweater, the black pants will complement your outfit nicely. The main issue you may encounter is whether or not your black pants and brown shoes go well together. The following guide will give you some tips on how to effectively pair them up.

Formal or Casual?

The lighter shade of brown the shoe is, the more casual it will appear. Light brown colored shoes combined with black pants will create more contrast between your pants and shoes, which is usually associated with a more casual look. The more formal an event, the darker your want your shoes and pants combination to be.

Casual Look - Brown Shoes and Black Pants

The Finish

While it is important to properly match the shades of brown to your pants and the event you are attending, be sure to not over do it. For example, wearing a pair of dark brown snake skin shoes may not be the best fit for a wedding.


The shape of your shoes is very important. A formal shoe will be more pointed and tapered at the end. Additionally, it will possess less tread (the part of a shoe sole that touches the ground) than other shoes. More formal shoes should also have a lower cut. While the lower cut does not provide as much ankle support (which is not necessary at a formal occasion), it gives your outfit a more presentable appearance.

Formal Look - Brown Shoes and Black PantsSource: Trunk Club


A shoe with more shine is normally perceived as a more formal shoe. Generally matte shoes are more fitting for a casual setting. When purchasing accessories for your black pants, brown shoes combination, be sure to purchase accessories that provide a suitable polish and color that matches your outfit well.

Shiny Brown Shoes for Black PantsSource: The Shoe Snob Blog

Socks with Brown Shoes

While pairing up the right pair of shoes with your pants is important, all of your effort can be wasted if you do not wear the appropriate pair of socks. If you're interested in learning, more we've written a blog on wearing socks with brown shoes.



A post shared by Society Socks (@societysockss) on


A few more ideas

  • Loafers go great with Summer Shoes
  • Chelsea boots can look good in both formal and casual settings
  • Brown shoes with black stitching can provide a nice touch

Comment below with any questions or ideas!

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