Not All Shoes and Trousers Go Together, But These Combinations Sure Do

As someone who avoided wearing trousers for the best part of 20 years, I've always found it increasingly difficult to style them—particularly where shoes are concerned. Often I'll compile my looks from head to toe, starting with a statement top, the accompanying bottom half, and then the footwear. However, I tend to find myself slipping on every shoe style I own (trust me—there are a few), unconvinced that any of them suit my strides.

Some prove too chunky, while others make me feel frumpy; either way, it's not a very enjoyable experience. As such, I set about to find out which shoe styles should be worn with which styles of trousers once and for all. After lengthy try-on sessions and lots of IG scrolling, I think I've cracked the perfect footwear-and-trouser formulas. Below, you'll find four key trouser silhouettes, each boasting three shoe options that work specifically with them.

Keep scrolling to see my edit of stylish shoes to wear with trousers.


Culottes are one of the most versatile trouser shapes to style shoes with, as the higher hemline allows for a myriad of footwear options. This season's strappy sandals look their best worn with them as cropped length shows off intricate straps in their entirety, Case in point: Tamu McPherson. Minimal mules also work, too, particularly if you want to elongate your legs. As far as flat shoes go, look to loafers to add a polished spin. 

OPTION 1: Strappy Sandals

Yet another pair of Topshop shoes to covet. 

The Row's Bare sandals have just been released in a host of new colours. 

OPTION 2: Loafers

Gucci gives its classic horsebit loafers an update in chic buttermilk.

Easy on the eyes and friendly on the purse strings. 

OPTION 3: Mules

If you prefer your heels low, look no further than Dune's Minte mules. 

Those who aren't afraid of heights should turn their attention to Wandler's new mule offerings. 


Jeans make up the vast majority of our off-duty outfits, with straight-leg styles still proving to be increasingly popular in 2019. As far as shoes go, we're of the opinion denim looks best paired with sleek court shoes. For summer days, a pair of espadrilles will always serve you well, while the tapered leg will offset the chunky wedge. Using this same logic, thick-sole sneakers also look the part with straight-leg jeans.

OPTION #1: Courts

Patent finishes are going to be all the rage in autumn 2019. 

This is the perfect heel height for days you know you're going to be on your feet a lot, be it in the office or at a wedding. 


If you're petite, look for espadrilles close in colour to that of your skin tone so they blend with the rest of your leg, thus creating the illusion of longer pins.

These black-and-beige espadrilles will also look excellent with cropped khaki trousers.

OPTION 3: Chunky Trainers

The pastel hues on these trainers will look gorgeous with pale blue denim. 

Zara has one of the best chunky trainer collections we've seen on the high street. 


Shoes to Wear With Trousers: Bianca Valle in a pair of striped wide-leg trousers and white trainers



Wide-leg trousers are a summertime staple, but when it comes to footwear, they're notoriously tricky to style. Lately, we've spotted influencers giving them an off-duty overhaul with white trainers and a printed tee. That said, they also look good with open-toed shoes—often, closed-toed heels can look frumpy with billowing fabric around them. Then, of course, they also look the 2019 part worn with Velcro sandals.

OPTION 1: Tennis Shoes

Dresses, skirts, wide-leg trousers—these trainers will look sleek paired with them all. 

Keep design details subtle—a flash of Veja's logo will do. 

OPTION #2: Open-Toed Shoes

These shoes come in six colour ways—this powder-blue hue being our absolute favourite. 

Just the right amount of retro, wear these with striped trousers for a nod to the '70s trend. 

OPTION 3: Sporty Sandals

If you haven't already bought a pair of Tevas this summer, the time is now. 

These khaki colour offers a fresh take on the Velcro-strap sandal trend, which is largely dominated by black iterations. 


Shoes to Wear With Trousers: Emili Sindlev in a pair of ankle-length tailored trousers



Tailored trousers that sit just above the ankle always look sophisticated, as evidenced on Emili Sindlev. Make the most of the flesh on show by opting for sultry ankle-tie heels—or a pair of backless flats. If you're more of a boot person, stick to snug-fitting styles that'll further enhance the narrow silhouette the trouser creates.

OPTION 1: Ankle-Tie Sandals

Part of Zara's luxurious Blue Collection, we've lost sleep thinking of these heels. 

Make a mental note—sage is about to become a key autumn trend.

OPTION 2: Backless Flats

These shoes will look equally chic worn with dresses and trousers. 

We keep seeing mesh shoes all over Instagram right now.

OPTION 3: Formfitting Boots

It's never to early to invest in a new pair of boots. 

Office's sold-out Alto boots have just been restocked ahead of the new season. 

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