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Casual Shoes for your 30s

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    Casual Shoes for your 30s

    As a younger guy, I tend to find sneakers work for most casual occasions, but as I get older, they seem to become less appropriate. What sorts of shoes should a man be wearing in his 30s? What pants do you wear them with?

    I'm usually wearing some sort of chino pant and occasionally jeans...

    I would appreciate any of your inputs

    Boots (chukka, casual chelseas, work boots), sneakers (leather or a solid color like white), a casual suede oxford or loafer. There are a ton of options and those are just some examples of what I have in my casual rotation.

    For pants I tend to stick with shorts, lightweight chinos and jeans in the summer, and move to heavier chinos, cords, and jeans in the winter. It's rare I wear any sort of "athleisure" outside of the house. I leave that to college students and pop stars.

    If you're fairly new to all of this check out the "Essentials Shop" link on the main page. I believe Joe has a number of casual shoe options in that article.


      In my later 30s and a dad I need shoes that go from just an errand to chasing after a little guy at any moment haha

      what I have is a couple sneaker type options:
      - walks around the block? I’m wear my ASICS running shoes. They aren’t a stylish. Here function wins.
      - trips to pickup the little guy or errands: I have very basic single color Nike Frees in white and blue. They are minimalistic looking. Can transition in seconds from looking good to functional.
      - I also have a pair of sperry Chuck Taylor ish shoes in leather.

      those suck for long distances but are fine.


        I'm in my early to mid 30s and mainly wear chinos or jeans, here are the shoes that I pair with them

        -Suede penny loafers (snuff)
        -Sneakers (KS2 and GAT, white/off-white)
        -Suede chukka boots (brown)
        -Chelsea boots (suede and calf pairs in brown)
        -Bluchers (smooth calf LWB and grained calf PTB)
        -Double monks (I wear them less now bc they seem a tad loud/peak 2015 these days)

        Personally I find brown suede chukkas to be the most versatile with jeans and chinos (weather permitting).


          I'm in my early 50's and still wear sneakers in plenty of casual situations. Also all-leather hiking boots when it turns to fall/winter. If you want something a little dressier a brogue (cap toe, wing tip, etc.) works great with jeans and chinos, or chukkas are great too if you don't like brogueing. For winter I'd go with something that has a rubber sole with some traction - that will be fine in casual situations. If you're going dressy a leather sole will look a lot sleeker but they don't offer much traction when its wet or icy.
          “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain


            I'm 40. My ultimate versatile casual shoes are desert boots, in black and brown and having a non-shiny look like suede or leather with matte finish. These go perfectly with either chinos or jeans.

            If I want to be dressier, I have tan chelseas and dark brown brogues, which can both work with dressier looking jeans.

            For colder months I have timberland boots to wear with jeans. For summer I have white stan smiths, grey canvas sneakers, and tan driving mocs to wear with chinos.


              I found myself settling primarily on a pair of suede bucks in tan for casual, non-athletic situations. The plain derby/blucher design and the more casual make of suede's matte texture means they work with jeans to chinos (except beige, I find the colours are too close) and could work with shorts though I rarely wear them. It's a nice step up from a sneaker, even a clean leather walking style, that I've occasionally paired with certain summer suits.

              Picked them up from Banana Republic on deep sale to try the style and never felt the need to replace them. With rain a winter constant and snow in my area being a matter of two or three days a year (and decreasing over the years) the grooved rubber sole provides sufficient traction year-round.

              I think my next pair is a chukka (structured, rather than a desert boot) in a pebbled leather. Still with a rubber sole to accommodate the temperate rainforest, in black or dark brown. A versatile touch of rugged that I can still polish up for suit duty in inclement weather.


                I'm old, but my son is in his early 30's. He's not very dappered, but when he decides to wear actual shoes as opposed to his flip-flops, he seems to like plain toe derbies and chukka boots with chinos and jeans (I got him a few nice pairs from AE).

                I have a very well-dressed younger friend in his late 30's. He wears lots of suits when we go out. He favors penny loafers with most of his clothes. Indeed, I've known him for about 8 years now and I think the only dress shoes I've seen him wear are penny loafers, including with jeans and chinos.

                There's a lot of good advice above on other shoes, including leather/suede sneakers. I'd stay away from oxfords in dark colors with jeans and chinos if you want to look contemporary--but please do wear them with suits on formal occasions. Although I will say that I have another younger friend (he might be early 40's) who I've seen wear an unstructured casual burgundy suit (no tie) to a party with suede sneakers in the same color and it was a pretty good look for a younger person.


                  With chinos or jeans, find you a good pair of chukkas and wear the sh!t out of them. Then, when they wear out, go buy another pair.

                  As others have mentioned you're still going to want some sneakers now and then, you might just go more subdued, think Steve McQueen white sneakers (if you don't know give it a google) rather than Air Jordans. I also love a good pair of loafers, but they have to hit the sweet spot somewhere between grandpa's tassle loafers and cheesy modern chisel toes with metal accents.

                  You're always going to need to keep some trainers around too though for gym days (if you're into that sort of thing).


                    Nike Killshots, J Crew Vans authentics, ultra boost creams, and gustin black leather low tops have been my go-to sneaker rotation for years now. They go with shorts, jeans, chinos and can be dressed up or down. As much as I love some louder shoes like Jordan 1s and Yeezys, I’ve sold off all of those to focus on sleeker/neutral shoes that are more versatile


                      Mid 30's, depends on season.

                      Boat Shoes
                      Plain white leather sneakers
                      Allbirds wool runners
                      Adidas Ultraboost (have the lace free version and don't really like the collar around the ankle)

                      Other seasons:
                      Chukka Boot
                      Nike Killshots
                      Red Winds (have Iron Ranger and Oxford, although different sole
                      Grant Stone Boots

                      I have received the most compliments with the Ottawa and Iron Rangers. Wear with jeans/cords/chino's.


                        Thanks for all of your posts! I'm usually caught in some plain white sneakers (I favor the Kurt New Republics), but I do have clark's bushacre 2 desert boots, which I realized that I don't love- they seem too clunky to be worn with chino pants and aren't very functional in cooler months. I also have some Red Wings Iron Rangers and some Beckmans..


                          Originally posted by rd27 View Post
                          Thanks for all of your posts! I'm usually caught in some plain white sneakers (I favor the Kurt New Republics), but I do have clark's bushacre 2 desert boots, which I realized that I don't love- they seem too clunky to be worn with chino pants and aren't very functional in cooler months. I also have some Red Wings Iron Rangers and some Beckmans..
                          wrong thread


                            I dont specifically worry about age restrictions. its appropriate or it isnt, typically. I like ball caps and sneakers and I'm over 40. Things like Vans, killshots, stan smiths, etc are generally accepted casual wear though.


                              Lots of good suggestions. I guess I just have a few general thoughts to add.

                              First, I truly believe that the most versatile casual shoe has got to be the suede chukka. Looks great with everything from jeans to chinos to suits, and you could even pull off shorts (maybe). 3-4 seasons, depending on how cold your winters or hot your summers are. I really can’t think of another boot or shoe that covers as much. So if you are looking for one shoe to kind of do it all, you could do worse.

                              Secondly, it would help to close your eyes and think about what you want to look like - the image you want to project to the world. Rugged? Heritage work boots. Outdoorsy? Moccasins and hikers. Sophisticated? Chelsea boots and bluchers. Athletic? Sneakers. Preppy? Boat shoes and loafers. Anyway, you get it.