What Brown Shoes Go Well With Jeans & Khakis?

by Jenny Keefe ; Updated September 28, 2017

Actor Ben Stiller pairs brown oxfords with his jeans.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Men often struggle over what shoes to pair with an outfit. A general rule is the nicer the pants, the more conservative the shoe. So if you’re dressed casually in jeans or khakis and wondering what shoes to slip on, try one of these brown options that vary from sporty to preppy to classic.

Boat Shoe

Boat shoes were once designed for water enthusiasts, but they have transitioned into mainstream wear. Also known as topsiders, boat shoes are typically canvas or leather and worn without socks, giving them a sporty flavor. They pair very well with jeans; however, if you're wearing khakis choose a boat shoe that's darker than the pants.


In the 1800s, oxford-covered feet roamed the streets, and this footwear is still in style today. The oxford is a classic shoe style that comes in a variety of constructions like brown suede or leather. Oxfords are good for dressing down khakis or jeans. Choose designs like closed-lace construction, slim leather soles, a chunkier toe or wing tips.


To dress up jeans, grab a sports coat and brown loafers. Loafers are a basic part of a man’s wardrobe and they pair with khakis as well. Loafers range from slightly dressy to casual, come with or without tassels and should be worn sockless since the low leather step-in exposes the ankle.


Sneakers are for the casual guy who likes to channel comfortable yet chic. Brown suede, twill or canvas sneakers are a modish option. Pick lace-ups in a darker color than your khakis, and look for a low-top silhouette, thick contrasting sole and tonal stitching for detail.

Photo Credits

  • Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Chicago, Jenny Keefe has more than 10 years of experience writing and editing for a variety of industries. She works in the corporate financial sector. Keefe holds a B.A. in English from the University of Northern Iowa.