Reader Question: What Color Shoes To Wear To A Nightclub?

Reader Question: What Color Shoes To Wear To A Nightclub?

what color shoes to wear to a nightclub

Admittedly, I do not talk enough about what to wear to a given type of event or a given place.  Perhaps I will start doing more of it.  But for now, I recently received an inquiry from a reader which in short asked what color shoes to wear to a nightclub.  Below you will find the question and my full answer.  If you have questions you would like answered feel free to email me at or post a query on my Tumblr.




Dear Justin,

I discovered your blog today, and I am truly enjoying the read. Some quick questions regarding shoe color:

I agree with your 15:1 shoe ratio, but I’m finding it hard to stay away from black. Mainly because I feel I need them for going out at night. Do you believe brown (suede?) is appropriate for going to an upscale nightclub? Or what color would you favor for nightlife?

When only having one pair of blacks, would a pair of loafers (say, Tod’s) with leather soles be ok?

Thanks and looking forward to read more,





Thank you for the kind words, I am glad the blog has been able to help and provide some enjoyment.

Now, onto your query.  In short, I cannot think of a nightclub that I have ever been to where I think that brown suede shoes would have been inappropriate.  Admittedly, I have not been to many, as I prefer social and sporting clubs to nightclubs, but nonetheless.  That said, I will usually wear brown or burgundy shoes when I go out; whether it be to a nightclub, bar or a nice restaurant.  And that is largely because of my minor aversion to black shoes and favoritism to shoes of color.  This extends to night as well, where black shoes are arguably most at home after more formal business settings.  I assume you are asking because many people say that black is the only/most appropriate color to wear at night, which as traditional as I can be, I do not totally agree with.  I think the primary decider is the formality of the event; and frankly, I can’t think of any night club that I’ve been to that is so formal is to necessitate black shoes.  But that said, you would certainly not be wrong by wearing black shoes and if you would feel uncomfortable in brown (or another color) shoes then you should wear black; as it is important to wear what you feel comfortable in.

Here’s one more thing to think about; black shoes are more formal than brown and burgundy.  But does it really matter what color your shoes are when most gentlemen in the club are wearing jeans, t-shirts and dress shirts without jackets (at least that has been my observation on the average dress) which puts them in a more casual realm.  Black shoes will do little to make an ensemble more formal when a guy is wearing something like that.  And if you are one of the gentlemen wearing a jacket or suit, then you are already more formally dressed than a majority of the men there and I think that shoe color will matter little.  Just don’t wear white shoes.

Regarding your last point, I would think about what you will need the shoes most for.  If you will need them most for suited business occasions then a pair of lace-ups may be better than loafers.  But if the shoes are more for casual business settings and social events then loafers should suit you well.  But whatever you do, do not buy Tod’s dress shoes.  They are pieces of shit.  I would sooner tell you to take a few hundred $1 bills, light them on fire and throw them up in the air.  At least you could get a pretty cool video from the burning dollar bills.  If you are looking to drop that type of coin on the shoes looks to Crockett & Jones, J Fitzpatrick, Meermin, Scarpe Di Bianco, Herring and Septieme Largeur.  Between those makers you will have a wide variety of styles and prices.  If you can’t find something from one of them then let me know.  Hope this helps, do let me know if you have any other questions.


Justin L Jeffers



  1. With regards to the colour of shoe,it matters little as long as you aren’t wearing training shoes. Tods quality has fallen latterly so stick to what they do well. gummino or your proper shoes from Northampton and you will be well shod for years.

  2. The only black shoes I wear out to the nightclub is a pair of Allen Edmonds “Mctavish” Wingtips. The black waxy leather, broguing, contrast stitching, and double oak sole serve to make this black shoe more interesting and casual than a pair of plain black cap toe.

  3. Justin, great post to my question. Gentlemen, thanks for the advice.

    @Joseph: I wouldn’t consider anything less than “classic” leather shoes for those occasions, but that’s just a personal choice.

    @Brad: Broguing indeed makes shoes more versatile. A leather/suede combination – like 7ème Largeur’s Achille – also looks great.

  4. I work in a nightclub and go to them a lot. To me the type of shoe you wear is very important. It need to be elegant with a little bit of flash. I tend to see a lot of loafers without socks being worn by a lot of Europeans. My favorite look is the suede loafer, no socks with a suit.

  5. I miss the aspect of practicality in your advisory: First of all, no matter what kind of nightclub you visit, sooner or later drinks will be spilt on to your shoes and you’ll have to walk through small puddles of whatever liquids are served. I therefore conclude: do not wear any suede shoes unless you have enough time at hand to spend on cleaning. Secondly, the more often you wear a pair for going out, the more speckled they become. This results in my rule nr. 2: the darker the better.

  6. I can’t complain about the fashion advice, but please learn how to use a semicolon; it is supposed to separate two independent clauses.

  7. Now that I am nearly forty I rarely visit nightclubs anymore, but I frequented them in my twenties.

    I can think of one nightclub I’ve been to where anything but black shoes would be out of place. It was a goth dance club hidden in an alley a couple blocks from a friend’s apartment. Neither of us were part of that crowd, but we somehow ended up there at 2am fairly often. Most of the patrons wore all black, head to toe. The catch is they really had no dress code at all, and it was probably the most friendly nightclub I’ve visited.

    As for the rest, I cannot think of any clubs that would require a black shoe. Most of the men wore black shoes, but it were by no means required or necessary.

    If I only had one pair of black shoes they would be leather soled cap toe oxfords. Why? Funerals happen, and if you do manage to find a club where you need black shoes it’s probably black tie.