The co-founder of one of the country's most forward-thinking menswear retailers takes you through his wardrobe fundamentals. This time: footwear.

The white sneaker
An absolute essential to any well-dressed man’s wardrobe is the white sneaker. They are clean, classic and will lift any outfit, looking great with both casual or dressier wear. Figure out what’s right for your feet – great options are available from Adidas Stan Smiths, or if you are willing to spend a little more, to Common Projects Achilles style.

Number one rule is to keep them clean. Jason Markk’s sneaker cleaner and brushes will help with this, particularly the travel kit.


The classic dress shoe
The rules are: black or chocolate brown lace up with a smooth finish and soft pointed toe.

Every man needs at least one pair of dress shoes in his wardrobe. They go just as well with a T-shirt and dark denim as they do at a wedding.

Once you have one timeless pair you can branch out into brogues or burnished toes, but these styles are more detailed and won’t pare back with as many outfits, so get these after you’ve invested in classic black or dark brown. Start with a basic, round or soft-pointed toe first.

The gym/running trainer
Most men will find it hard to be limited to one, but a sleek pair of athletic shoes is a must. You should have one pair that is dedicated solely to your exercise of choice. Look for more ankle support for running or cushioning for heavy weights. A nice grip always helps.

Go to town with colours. These days classic styles are re-released in limited colours with new design elements each season, as well as updates to materials and technology.

Slip-ons (or espadrilles)
Best for the beach or on a non-city-centric holiday. These are a summer staple, for ease and comfort. It’s a version of a casual business shoe, a step up from a sneaker, but not quite a brogue. Unless they are leather or leather lined, I recommend wearing them with invisible socks. 

For me, there's strictly no flip-flops on holidays – unless you’re sharing a shower stall with people you don’t know.

Vans OG Classic Slip On

Desert boots
For a raffish look, worn best with jeans or chinos. Wear with turn-ups, clean or short cuts, and avoid wearing them with a suit (that’s when you turn to your dress shoes). Desert boots are versatile and aren’t only for adventurers or colder weather, they're an all-year-round Saturday morning staple.

This article was updated on November 28, 2018.