Neutral-colored shoes never go out of style. Neutral shoe colors like black, brown, grey, and beige are so versatile—it’s hard not to look good wearing them! That said, they say that your choice of footwear can make or break an ensemble, so some basic style tips can go a long way in elevating your outfit. At the same time, in the world of fashion, sometimes rules are meant to be broken.
We’ve put together a guide to get you on the right track, but don’t be afraid to put your own signature twist on a look if you’re feeling it.
1. Start With Color Temperature
While neutral-colored shoes are, by nature, subtle, there are certain neutrals that tend to work best with specific hues. For example, there are many different shades of beige. If the shoes are on the off-white/cream side of the spectrum, they would pair beautifully with cooler colors like blue, green, and purple. On the other hand (foot?), a darker, brownish beige would complement warmer hues like orange, red, and yellow.
Grey tends to lean to the cooler side, while black and white work with virtually anything. Brown is unique, because while one would typically opt for warmer and earthy colors, brown offsets cooler colors very well, too. When pairing your neutral-colored shoes, use color temperature as a rough guide, but if something works, don’t overthink it!
2. Balance or Contrast?
Neutral shoe colors, while muted, can still pop! It all depends on the rest of the outfit. For example, if you’re wearing bright colors like red or orange, your white shoes are still going to make a big impression. However, you could wear the same exact white shoes with an outfit consisting of other neutral tones for a very balanced, cohesive aesthetic. Black is a neutral tone, but white shoes would add a sharp contrast. When it comes to styling neutral-colored shoes, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
3. The Shoe Style Makes a Difference Too
As you can see, neutral doesn’t always mean subtle. For example, many styles of fur-lined UGG boots have neutral tones, but it’s still a big, bold look. On the other hand, a low-key pair of neutral Birkenstock sandals wouldn’t typically be the main focal point of an outfit.
Of course, neutral shoe colors, by nature, are going to be less eye-grabbing than the same design in a bright color, but don’t underestimate the power of a bold design to deliver a bold look, regardless of how muted the color may be.
4. Capsule Wardrobes Make Everything Easier
When styling neutral-colored shoes, look to your wardrobe for guidance. While there are exceptions, as a general rule of thumb, pairing neutral tones with other neutral tones is usually going to work in your favor.
These days, many people are realizing the power of a minimalist approach. Creating a capsule wardrobe with a selection of interchangeable pieces is a great way to keep your look on-brand, and it makes getting dressed in the morning a quicker and easier affair.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate color from your closet entirely! Just having a few neutral, staple pieces in your collection can really help you get the most from your neutral-colored shoes.
5. Variety Is the Spice of Life
They’re undeniably the most versatile option, but neutral shoe colors aren’t always the best choice—sometimes you just want to rock those neon pink heels! Knowing when to change the shoes (or the clothes) is so important as you develop your fashion sense.
To put it simply: Don’t force it! If you feel like your neutral shoes just aren’t cutting it, even though they should technically work on paper, that’s okay. Neutral shoes, clothing, and accessories should be used effectively, and sometimes the best move is not to play at all. Don’t be fooled by the subtlety of the shade—neutral-colored shoes can still make a big statement.
Build Your Shoe Collection for Less
A well-rounded shoe collection allows you to select the best possible pair—not just for your outfit and the specific occasion, but for your mood! Of course, shoe-shopping can get expensive if you’re not careful, especially if you prefer well-known brands. That’s where we come in.
Here at What’s Hot Clothing, we carry a huge variety of end-of-season footwear at discounted prices so you can shop quality footwear for less. All of our products are 100% authentic, brand new, and packaged in the original box.
We’re delighted to carry a vast selection of neutral-colored shoes for men, women, and children, so have a look around, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Orders $50+ include free shipping, so go ahead and fill your closet with your favorites! We hope this guide on neutral shoe colors has been helpful. Save on the brands you know and love now.