The dos and donts of footwear.

You have probably heard it said several times that a person, either in a professional or social context, faced judgement based on the quality (or lack thereof) of their footwear. Not sure if having the wrong type of shoes may adversely impact your rishta prospects, but in the workplace, certainly, there is a definite upside to paying some attention to your footwear.

The reality is that Pakistani workplaces tend to err on the side of conservatism. As a result, one’s footwear should reflect the overall feel of the outfit and the working environment. That said, here is a short guide on do’s and don’ts that should translate well across most organisations.


Buy the best quality shoes you can afford. Like most things, you get what you pay for, and investing in a good quality pair of shoes can be a great decision in the long term as they tend to last a lot longer

Consider getting shoe trees. I don’t have them, and my shoes suffer as a result. Shoe trees (even the plastic ones) are a quick way of making sure your shoes retain their shape, and hence last much longer.

Learn to polish your own shoes. Your friendly neighbourhood cobbler is good for basic black, but anything other than that is beyond their skill set. You are much better off getting some decent products from the supermarket and getting stuck in. it can also be oddly therapeutic. Give it a shot.

Bring your sneaker game to casual Friday. Now this is a controversial (and tricky) one to pull off. But if you stick to the classics and keep it minimal, this can give just the right touch of playfulness to your image.

Match your shoes to your belt. This is more of a guide than a rule, but it does send a subliminal message of being well put together.


Wear driving loafers to work. They are essentially a casual / weekend item in your wardrobe and, unless paired with exactly the right outfit, will look out of place.

Wear tan shoes to work, unless you know exactly what you are doing. Now this is a bit of a personal pet peeve of mine, but tan shoes are probably the single most difficult article of clothing to pull off in the workplace. A nice chocolate brown would work much better.

Get a cheap knockoff of a designer brand. They can be spotted a mile off, and normally are made of really poor quality materials. The same also applies to belts.

Wear athletic shoes to work. Sports shoes are for playing sports in. their design sends of a vibe that may be too casual for most workplaces. The same is also true for statement sneakers. Save your Jordans and Yeezys for the weekend coffee run. Basically, when it comes to sneakers in the workplace, less is more.

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