August 5

Shoe Up: Tips from a Groomsman

We’ve decided it’s time to show a little love for the guys. Each month, we’ll share tips and stories from real-life groomsmen about what it’s like to be part of a friend’s wedding. So listen up groomsmen-to-be, this is for you!

There was a very brief period in time when wearing sneakers with a suit was moderately cool (thank you very much, mid-1980s). The resurgence of the Converse Chuck Taylor certainly didn’t help, and while I have no factual evidence of how Chucks infiltrated wedding culture, I’m guessing it went something like this—someone, somewhere couldn’t stand wearing his bland dress shoes, so in a last-ditch effort to add a flare of “punk” to his wedding, this particular groom decided to outfit himself and his groomsmen with Chucks.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Chucks. In fact, I wear them almost every day of my life (with jeans) and I’m willing to put up with their complete lack of comfort and arch support to suit my style. And when I started seeing them pop up in wedding photos several years ago, I was actually on board with the idea. One of my closest friends even gifted us a pair to wear on his wedding day.

But much like the most recent season of How I Met Your Mother, Chucks at weddings have jumped the shark. It’s been done [and overdone]. What goes up, must come down. Are you getting these terrible idioms? Unless you’re Kanye West or Justin Timberlake, it’s time to ditch the Chucks (Sorry, Ben Stein).

My wedding’s coming up in October, and even I will admit the thought of going anti-dress shoe had crossed my mind. But here’s the main problem. Most guys spend a decent amount of money on a nice wedding suit. Mine cost more than I’ve ever spent on two combined pieces of clothing…by far.

So why muck up a killer suit with a $35 pair of sneakers? A proper suit requires proper footwear. And the best part? A pair of slick dress shoes can last the rest of your life with proper care.

Understandably, really great shoes like a pair of John Varvatos leather loafers can be pricey. But you can find great deals. My advice—hit up your local Nordstrom and find a couple pairs in your size that you really like. Then hunt for deals online and in out-of-season designer stores like Nordstrom Rack. With a little work, a $350 pair can be found for almost 1/3 of the price.

So if you’re going to suit up like Barney Stinson, make sure you shoe up! In the end, you’ll be happy you did.


One thought on “Shoe Up: Tips from a Groomsman

  1. Jeremy

    I have to both agree and disagree with you. On one hand, yes. A suit will look a bit more sharp with a great pair of dress shoes. On the other hand, it hasn’t necessarily completely jumped the shark. People like myself, who wear chucks and are known for them, still find it a nice departure and a great way to put my own twist on my attire for my and my brides’ big day. We aren’t formal people by nature and even though it will be a semi-formal event…my bride and I are more about comfort. Sue me but, I could care less about the fashion aspect of it and she agrees.

    I’d rather be myself and be comfortable than squeeze myself into what would be a great pair of dress shoes that I wouldn’t wear again for quiet some time.


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