What to Wear with Red Shoes

by Jamie

So you’ve just been out and bought yourself a brand spanking new pair of red shoes- the only problem you have now, as we all tend to when we impulse buy, is you have no idea what to wear them with. Well, have no fear, we’re here to help.

Red shoes are in many ways a statement piece, and this can make them an ideal piece to incorporate into your wardrobe when you’re looking for something to spruce up your outfit. The only down side is that it’s not always easy to pair such a bold colour with the rest of your clothes. Pick something too bland and your shoes will look out of place, yet match it with colours that are too similar and there’s the chance you’ll end up clashing. 

Despite the fact that red shoes are a little tricky to pair, it doesn’t mean they can’t be a versatile part of your wardrobe, and you can go for both a formal and casual look with this bold colour. 

What Matches with Red

Wearing monochromatic colours is a good place to start when thinking of outfits with red shoes. Black and white are a safe option for red shoes as they will more or less go with any colour. However, what if you’re wondering how to be more daring? Check out the colour wheel below to help decide what colours best go with red.

Here you can see that, whereas blue is a contrasting colour, yellow and purple are tertiary colours to red. When choosing colours to go with red, you want to find ones that contrast well with them. If you wear colours that are similar to red like yellow or violet your outfit will be too loud and unreserved.It’s therefore better to wear colours that contrast with red, such as navy or blue. Wearing clothes in a dark navy can add some stylish detail to an outfit that has red shoes in it, without overdoing it.

Red Shoes for Men

Red shoes are available in a variety of styles, from a dark burgundy brogue, to a bright red trainer. Depending on what style you’re going for depends on what red you choose. A darker toned red will merge into a more formal look and will give a touch of interest without being too overpowering.

A pair of burgundy leather brogues is a good way to keep the look anchored in formality, and will keep things clean and smart. A brighter, bolder red will keep the look more casual, and allow you to add some vibrancy to an ordinary look. A red pair of Vans is a good choice for a casual look, and the white rubber base and laces will keep things from looking too concentrated.

Men’s Red Sneakers

Wearing red sneakers has been a bold fashion statement ever since Kanye West released the Nike Air Yeezy 2 in bright red. However, you can still wear red trainers in a stylish way, even without being one of the worlds most famous music artists.

Red can be a tricky colour to match clothes with well. Due to its bright and bold nature it’s going to stand out a lot more in your outfit. In many ways, red trainers will become the focal point of your entire outfit. It’s therefore important to wear clothes that will revolve around and compliment your sneakers. Stick to simple monochrome colours like black or white. These will give a nice base layer to your outfit and allow your shoes to do the talking. If you begin wearing other bright colours your outfit will become too complicated. You don’t want to look like a multicoloured ice lolly.

How about wearing a pair of slim black jogger bottoms with a plain black T-shirt and some red sneakers. If you wanted to add another layer, think about wearing a black or dark coloured bomber jacket on top.

What to Wear with Red Shoes


It’s not difficult to get a neat, stylish look while adding red shoes into the mix. For a formal look keep the outfit colours in a darker tone to achieve a more subtle, classic vibe. This doesn’t mean you’re limited to black and white though, and colours like navy and grey can help bring out the vibrancy of your red shoes without making the look too bold.


Nothing quite finishes off a smart, or smart casual, outfit quite like a classic, well fitted blazer. With a red shoe it’s best to keep your top half in a colour that’s complimentary and subtle. Black, navy and a dark grey are good options, and will give your look a touch of formality without taking too much attention away from your footwear. Make sure your blazer is the right size and shape for your body by following a few simple guidelines.

  • The sleeves should fall just above the wrist
  • Your blazer should taper into the waist, but not so tightly that you end up with an X mark across your chest.
  • Make sure your blazer isn’t any longer than a couple of inches below the hip bone.


A classic white shirt is of course going to go with a range of formal outfits, and will give a neutral base for your red shoes to work against. It’s best to dress up your shirt with a jacket or jumper to tone down the brightness of the white, but if that’s not your style then just make sure that your leg wear is dark enough to keep your outfit balanced.

If a white shirt is a little too ordinary for you, you can go for a little bit of pattern to bring out some interest in your outfit. Make sure the colour is a dark tone though and that the pattern isn’t too loud. A subtle print will work well with the formal look, but anything too busy will spoil the clean vibe you’re going for.

Navy is also a good choice, especially if you’re pairing it with a black or dark grey blazer, and will give a clean, complimentary look that will bring out the colour of your red shoes.


It’s best to keep your trousers, like your blazers, as simple as possible, focusing on fit and shape rather than print and colour. Black, navy and dark grey are all good colour options, and will give a clean subtle look that will match well with your red shoes. If you’re going for a darker burgundy shoe then you can go for lighter colours, like a grey or navy, but a brighter red would match well with a black pair of trousers to keep everything complimentary and balanced.


For a casual look you can afford to go bolder with your colour choices and patterns, and as you’ll probably be dealing with shoes other than brogues you can go for different shapes and looks. A pair of red trainers can be mixed and matched with a range of outfits, so that’s a good base to start with to achieve a variation of styles.


Depending on what look you’re trying to go for, you can go for various tones and looks with your jacket. You can go for a clean look by picking a neutral colour in a classic shape, like a black or navy bomber jacket, or choose something with a little more pattern, like a black and white varsity jacket. A staple denim jacket is something that will never let you down, and the light blue of it will match perfectly with the red of your shoes, giving you a light and summery look.


If you’re going for a more neutral jacket and trousers, then you can afford to go a little bolder with your shirt, as there are many ways you can match your red shoes with some pattern and colour. A striking print in a smarter shape will give an interesting mix of classic and contemporary style, and a simple colour in a more casual shape will keep things simple and allow your shoes to take centre stage.


Jeans – the classic casual leg wear. It’s hard to fault them as they come in a range of colours and shapes, meaning you’ll be able to find a pair to suit you no matter what your size, height and preference. You can go for an intense all black look with a pair of black skinnies, a black T-shirt and a leather biker jacket, making your red shoes the main focus, or try out a softer look with some light blue jeans.

Joggers are a good alternative if jeans aren’t your thing, and a slim fit pair will keep things sleek and stylish without compromising on comfort.

Red Shoes Outfit

If you’re still looking for some inspiration on how to wear red shoes, then check out some of the outfits below and see if there’s anything that you like. It’s not as hard as you might think to wear red shoes.

Wearing a pair of light blue jeans with a plain white T-shirt is a great way to create a summery outfit that remains simple and stylish. Add a red and blue checkered flannel shirt for a bit of extra detail. Wearing this around your waist or over your T-shirt is both acceptable. Keeping the colours bright and simple means that your red shoes won’t clash with your outfit, as well as giving you a relaxed and summery atmosphere.

If you’re going for a more formal look, why not try wearing some men’s burgundy leather shoes? A pair of brogues in a gorgeous dark red can be a great way to create a stylish look that isn’t too loud. Combine this with a black or dark navy suit with a white or light blue shirt. Although you would typically expect to wear this with some black shoes, wearing a pair in red can add that extra detail to your professional outfit.

What to Wear With Red Shoes

  • Pick your shoes – Decide before buying red shoes what you want them for. Red shoes are a tricky item of clothing to dress for and require some planning. So make sure you know what you want them for.
  • Get your colours right – The rest of your outfit should compliment your red shoes. Stick to monochromatic colours for the most refined and stylish look.
  • Keep things simple – Don’t go overboard with the colours or patterns. Anything too complicated is going to confuse your outfit and make you stick out in all the wrong ways.
  • Experiment – Although it’s scary, try out different outfit combinations. Red shoes can be extremely versatile if you want them to be.

On That Note

Red shoes are a colour most people wouldn’t look for. Its assumed that they’re difficult to style and are too bold to be versatile, but get it right and you can create unique and creative outfits that can cover a range of styles. For a smart look go for a burgundy brogue, and slip on a red trainer for something more laid back. Keep the colours you match with your shoes neutral, and make sure you’re experimenting with patterns in a way that compliments the overall outfit.

Feature image from Pinterest

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