Want The Best Shoes To Wear With Chinos?

Smart? Check.

Casual? Check.

Corporate? Check.

Crossed legs man with brown chino trousers

There’s no reason not to love a pair of chinos pants. In summer or winter, these pants will never stop making the right fashion statement. But it gets better when you know the best shoes to wear with chinos.

Chinos or Khakis?

Lots of people confuse chinos for khakis. Some people even think they mean the same thing but lots of people confuse chinos for khakis. Some people even think they mean the same thing, but that’s far from being the case.

Chinos are made of lightweight cotton fabrics with visible stitching. They are a fit for casual and formal dress. The cotton or cotton blend material is available in a few different colors, with khaki being the most common, which explains why many people refer to chinos as khaki. But there are also other options, like navy chino trousers, white chinos, and more.

On the other hand, khaki pants use heavier-weight cotton fabric, giving them a studier and more casual look than chino shorts or pants.

Chinos are special. Even diehard jeans lovers understand the advantages of these materials. Rugged, durable, and useful for work and play, chinos have been popular among fashionable men for over a century.

Although not as popular as jeans, men have found chinos a solid choice for making corporate fashion statements.

The greatest advantage of chinos is their flexibility. It is one pair of pants that you can wear both during weekdays and weekends. But this flexibility should not be taken for granted. Not all kinds of shoes can be worn on chinos pants, although it does have a wide range of fitting options.

With chinos, you can get creative with your shoes and easily switch appearances, moving easily from one end of the spectrum to another.

Types of Chinos

Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details of the best shoes to wear with chinos to make a positive fashion statement, let’s briefly discuss the different types of chinos pants.

There is no standard way of determining the main types of chino pants, but you can broadly categorize them into three:

1. Casual

Generally, most chinos appear in this variety. They are known for the stitches visible on the inseams and outseams. Casual chinos are also likely to have visible inner leg seam details and bar tack over stitching, just like what’s you commonly see on a pair of jeans. Casual chinos are best with t-shirts and trendy shoes.

2. Corporate

As you may have figured from the category name, these types of chino pants are most suitable for use in formal settings. The difference between corporate chinos and casual chinos is that it is made from tougher twill cotton and fits more smartly than casual chinos pants.

These types of chinos go perfectly with shirts and blazers.  Corporate chinos are likely to have welted or jetted pockets and center creases down the front while being less likely to have patch pockets.

3. Dress

Chino pants made from nicer materials are dress chinos. They have hidden stitches on the inseams and outseams.

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of these chinos is that they often come with open hems, so users will have to finish the pants to their individual taste. Dress chinos are between casual and corporate types, so they are best used in semi-formal settings and blend well with button-down shirts or sports blazers.

Chinos can also be classified based on the kind of fabric it uses. This grouping includes:

  • Cord chinos, made from corduroy fabric
  • Basic chinos, made from light cotton
  • Everyday chinos for casual occasions

Top 5 Best Shoes To Wear with Chinos

Although chinos can fit any occasion, it is best for casual and corporate events. Knowing how to match your shoes with your chinos is an essential skill to learn if you want to avoid making a fashion faux pas or sticking out embarrassingly.

As noted earlier, chinos can either be casual, formal, or somewhere in-between. Your choice of shoes should enhance your pants, so you should pay attention to how you match your outfit.

But before you pick out your shoes, it is usually a good idea to consider the type of shirt you plan to wear with your chinos. Your shoe choice has a lot to do with which shirt or blazer you want to wear on your pants.

Next, you want to think about the color of the chino pants. Brightly colored chino pants can be eye-catching, but they offer only a limited range of choices when it comes to finding matching shoes.

The most common color choices for chino pants are often khaki, tan, and navy. However, the choice is ultimately yours to make. How do you want to appear; formal, casual, or just simple? These are the factors that will determine the type of shoes to wear on your chinos.

Now, let’s delve a bit deeper and consider some of the best shoes to wear with chinos, whether you are on a casual outing with friends or heading into a formal meeting with your boss.

1. Boots

Source: Pexels

Wearing tactical boots on chinos is a fantastic choice and won’t get you on the wrong side of any fashion police. Chinos are pretty similar to the materials used to make military wear, and boots are the natural footwear for those in the military or paramilitary. Wearing boots with chinos is considered a good fashion statement, and the combo doesn’t go out of style.

When to Use Boots with Chinos

But under what category do we classify the combination of boots and chino pants? Where and when should you wear your chino pants over a pair of rugged-looking boots without sticking out like a sore thumb?

Since this fashion style is not strictly formal or completely casual, you can choose this outfit when heading out for events where formal or smart-casual looks are appropriate.

Tips for Combining Boots and Chinos

If you love wearing boots, it’s a no-brainer that you would want to wear them with your chino pants. Boots naturally offer plenty of flexibility in terms of styles, so combining them with chinos shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to make a bold, daring statement with your chinos, boots can work perfectly.

However, before jumping into your chino pants and lacing up those boots, you want to consider the type of event or occasion in question. Here are some suggestions to help you look good and blend in with different types of occasions:

  • Leather boots are an excellent choice for a quiet semi-formal event.
  • If you are heading to a cocktail, you may want to consider tying up the laces of your Dress boots.
  • A pair of Chelsea boots will blend perfectly in an outright casual setting.
  • Going for your next reunion event? Consider pairing your chino pants with a pair of Desert boots.

Keep in mind that you can also wear boots to strictly formal events. However, if you plan to wear them with chinos to such occasions, it is best to avoid choosing dress chinos. That’s because the boots tend to become too pronounced when combined with dress chinos. Usually, it is better to go for casual or corporate chinos if you want to wear them over boots.

Also, make sure the color of your boots blends nicely with your chinos. If the colors of your boots are in sharp contrast with your chinos, it will likely draw attention away from the pants instead of complementing them.

2. Sneakers

white sneakers
Source: Unsplash

If you think sneakers are one of the best shoes to wear with chinos, you’re right! These trendy shoes are not only fashionable; they are also great for mobility and the ideal shoes for the playground. The stylish footwear is comfortable and easy on the feet, and if you get a pair that offer adequate airflow, you can wear them all day.

When to Use Sneakers with Chinos

As you probably are aware, sneakers are mostly limited to informal and casual settings. Choose a pair of sneakers if you are casually meeting people during an informal event while feeling completely relaxed and comfortable about yourself and your outfit.

Tips for Combining Sneakers and Chinos

While you can wear your sneakers with virtually any chinos, the best fit would be casual chinos. Traditionally, sneakers come mostly in white or black colors and would go with almost any color of chino pants. 

You can hardly go wrong with T-shirts when wearing chinos over sneakers. But that’s not to say you can’t use the combo with button shirts if you know how to keep things trendy. You wouldn’t tuck in your shirts to a casual event, so be sure to select a body-fitting shirt – preferably, short sleeves – if you plan on wearing chinos with sneakers. You can stylishly roll up your sleeves if you prefer long sleeve shirts.

Blazers are not forbidden, either. However, it is usually best to choose casual or sporty blazers with colors that go well with your sneakers and chino pants.

Casual chinos are the best pants to wear over sneakers because they are for trendy outings. Wearing corporate or dress chinos on sneakers may not be a good idea as sneakers are for casual events.

3. Loafers

pairs of fine genuine leather loafers
Source: Shutterstock

Loafers are simple, comfortable, and come in many styles that blend well with different types of chinos pants. Chinos and loafers share a common advantage; you can use both for many occasions because they are multi-functional.

When to Use Loafers with Chinos

It is important to note that loafers are not the best shoe types for casual events. Instead, they are a more suitable choice of shoes for semi-formal and formal outings.

Loafers and chinos are a perfect combo if you remember these simple guidelines:

  • Leather loafers are better if the setting or event tends towards casual rather than formal.
  • A pair of suede is most appropriate if you feel like going with your loafers to a more formal event.

Tips for Combining Loafers and Chinos

The most important point to note when wearing loafers on chinos is that they are neither strictly formal nor strictly casual.

In other words, while your loafers complement your chinos, do not wear a tie because that will be too formal for the shoes.

Keep in mind that they are a wide range of loafers, just as there are many chino pants. If you choose formal chinos – the kind that has similar features to dress pants – you may want to also go for more formal loafers.

Conversely, if you prefer a pair of casual chino pants (the types that look more like jeans), the ideal loafers to go for would be casual options.

A smart way to wear your loafers would be to match them with a sporty suit or blazer. This combination is known as the ideal semi-casual option.

Consider the color of your loafers when wearing them with chinos. Most chinos come in simple colors, and brown loafers highlight the smart-casual tendency of this combo. A simple rule would be to let the shade of brown match the event. That’s to say, the more formal the event, the darker your brown loafers should be.

Black loafers may not be too common, but if you have these, they can easily work with any color of chino pants.

4. Oxford

brown oxford shoes
Source: Pexels

Should you wear chinos on oxford shoes? Why not?

As noted earlier, chinos come in a few different types, from formal or corporate to informal and casual options. Oxford shoes are ideal for formal settings, making them a good choice for corporate chino pants.

People hardly wear Oxfords with chinos because most chinos pants are seen as casual and trendy.  But that is not to say you cannot wear your Oxford shoes with your finest chino pants if that’s what you want.

When to Use Oxfords with Chinos

Wearing your Oxfords with casual pants would look out of place. It would show a contrast that would make your appearance a bit awkward.

Oxfords are a type of formal dress shoe. If they could talk, they would pick full suits and business attires. However, how do we make Oxfords fit with chinos? The answer is simple. Wear them with corporate chino pants.

These materials are more suited for formal events and go well with ties, suits, and of course, Oxfords. You can conveniently tuck in your shirts with these kinds of chinos pants. The advantage is that they are smart and straight and project a corporate feel.

Tips for Combining Oxford and Chinos

The major challenge with Oxfords is that you must polish them brightly while also being laced appropriately. Such formalities and detail may be incompatible with most chinos pants.

Consider the following suggestions when wearing chinos on Oxford shoes:

  • Use a belt that has the same color as the Oxford shoe when wearing them with corporate chinos.
  • Avoid sporty suits and blazers since these aren’t appropriate for formal settings where Oxfords are used.
  • Go with corporate suits and ties if you are combining chinos and Oxford shoes.
  • Don’t forget to wear your socks when dressing your Oxford as it complements your corporate look.

5. Moccasins

male fashion moccasin shoes lifestyle
Source: Shutterstock

Most of the rules that apply to loafers also apply to moccasins. Some people can hardly tell the difference between loafers and moccasins. One major difference is that, unlike loafers, moccasins are not designed to have heels.

However, recent modifications have added features, such as soles, tassels, beading, and embroidery. They also have different kinds of designs on the top and are made to look fashionable.

When to Use Moccasins with Chinos

Moccasins are mostly casual shoes that are ideal for informal settings. However, you’re not restricted to wearing them only to informal events; you can wear them to semi-formal outings, too.

Although moccasins are available in black, they are mostly in different shades of brown, making them perfect with casual chinos, as they complement the nature of the fabric.

Tips for Combining Moccasins and Chinos

The best way to combine moccasins and chinos is to wear them with t-shirts and simple shirts. Although you can wear them to semi-formal or semi-corporate events, their best fit is trendy outings.

The Best Times to Wear Chinos

If you have dress pants to the left and jeans to the right, chinos would conveniently fit in the middle. They are not strictly formal wear as you would describe dress pants, nor are they made for strictly casual events like jeans are. This is exactly why chinos are so popular; they can fit many kinds of smart-casual outings.

There is hardly an occasion where you can’t wear chino pants. Chino pants will continue to deliver, again and again, if you know how to creatively combine them with the right shoes and the appropriate choice of shirts or blazers.

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