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What color shoes should a man wear with a charcoal grey suit?


Choosing the right shoes to match a charcoal grey suit can seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. With charcoal being a neutral shade, you’ve got plenty of options for shoes that will complement the suit well. The most important factors to consider are the formality of the occasion, the desired aesthetic, and what colors pair best with charcoal grey. Read on for tips, recommendations, and visual examples of shoe colors that work with a charcoal suit.

Quick Answers

– Black shoes are always a safe, classic choice with a charcoal suit in any situation from formal business to evening events. Black offers an elegant, polished look.

– For a smart casual vibe, brown shoes in shades like oxblood or chestnut add warmth and visual interest. Stay away from light tans.

– Texture mixes like suede, nubuck, and brogueing help downplay formality with charcoal, so they work for business casual offices.

– Neutral earth tones like beige, gray, and olive nicely echo a charcoal suit for events like weddings or date night.

– Pops of color like burgundy, navy, tan, or chocolate brown shoes lend a stylish accent to charcoal for modern, contemporary flair.

Factors to Consider

1. Formality of the Occasion

The formality of the event you’ll be wearing the charcoal grey suit to determines which shoe colors are appropriate or inappropriate.

For **formal business** occasions like important meetings, presentations, or interviews, traditionally **polished black leather shoes** are always timelessly proper with a charcoal suit. Black shoes project authority and professionalism.

At the opposite end of the formality spectrum, an evening **wedding**, theater performance, awards dinner, or other **dressy social event** opens up many more stylish shoe pairings. From **rich oxblood browns** to **sleek grays** to even **vibrant navy blues**, your footwear can make more of a fashion statement here.

In between, for **business casual** office environments or weekend daytime events like luncheons or christenings, stick with smart options like **earthy browns**, textured suedes, or suede lace-up oxfords. Avoid super casual choices like sneakers or sandals.

2. Desired Visual Aesthetic

Beyond formality, think about the overall visual vibe you want to achieve with the charcoal suit and shoes pairing.

Do you want an outfit that’s:

– **Polished and elegant?** Traditional black leather oxfords are a must.

– **Warm and approachable?** Try chestnut, cordovan, or brown suede.

– **Edgy and contemporary?** Mix in texture with nubuck or wingtips.

– **Muted and sophisticated?** Echo the charcoal with gray, olive, or navy shoes.

– **Bold and stylish?** Go for oxblood or burgundy loafers.

The overall aesthetic you’re aiming for should guide which direction you go for choosing shoe color.

3. Colors That Pair Well with Charcoal

On their own, these colors complement and enhance a charcoal grey suit beautifully:

– **Black** – Always classic and formal

– **Dark brown** – Sophisticated and timeless

– **Oxblood** – Rich and stylish

– **Gray** – Mirrors the suit for monochrome

– **Olive** – Earthy with a modern edge

– **Burgundy** – Bold, vibrant, and elegant

– **Navy** – Crisp, understated, and versatile

Now let’s explore more specifically how these colors interact with charcoal grey to create stellar suit and shoes pairings.

Shoe Colors for a Charcoal Suit

Black Shoes

Man in black shoes with charcoal suit

In the shoe color world, you can never go wrong matching black shoes with a charcoal grey suit. Black is classic, formal, and polished, making it an ideal pairing for:

– **Professional business settings** – Whether an important board meeting or job interview, black oxfords project authority.

– **Evening occasions** – Black leather or patent leather dress shoes maintain formality for black tie or evening weddings.

– **Formal events** – With a tuxedo, charcoal suit pants can substitute for black, paired with black patent shoes.

Stick with traditional black leather lace-up oxfords for the most formal look. Loafers or Chelsea boots in black leather also work for dressy business or social events. The charcoal suit keeps black shoes from appearing too somber.

Dark Brown Shoes

Man in dark brown shoes with charcoal suit

For a smart, polished look, dark brown leather shoes are a versatile match for a charcoal suit. Shades like chocolate, chestnut, or oxblood brown work well, adding warmth and subtle contrast. Dark browns pair perfectly for:

– **Business casual offices** – Oxfords or loafers in rich brown leather strike the right balance.

– **Daytime events** – From luncheons to christenings, darker browns look sharp, not too casual.

– **Cocktail parties** – An oxblood monk strap shoe or Chelsea boot makes a stylish statement.

Dark brown shoes skew dressier and more formal than light tans or mid-browns. Keep them polished with minimal detailing or ornamentation for the most refined impression.

Gray Shoes

Man in gray shoes with charcoal suit

If you want to create visual impact with a monochrome ensemble, pair gray shoes with your charcoal grey suit. Shades like light gray, slate, or stone echo the suit color for a seamless look. Gray shoes work best for:

– **Business professional settings** – Gray oxfords or loafers have polish without severity.

– **Evening events** – From gallery openings to awards dinners, gray keeps things sophisticated.

– **Smart casual occasions** – Luncheons, birthday parties, and the like.

Opt for smooth leather gray shoes in a tone slightly lighter or darker than the charcoal suit. Suede gray shoes can work too, lending subtle texture for events on the dressier side of business casual.

Olive Shoes

Man in olive shoes with charcoal suit

An on-trend neutral color, olive shoes pair gorgeously with charcoal for a contemporary style statement. Olive works especially well for:

– **Business casual office wear** – As an edgier alternative to brown, olive suede oxfords or loafers.

– **Hip events** – Art gallery openings, indie film screenings, modern weddings.

– **Date nights** – Olive shoes add subtle flair for dinner or drinks.

Aim for greenish-hued olives rather than brownish for maximum visual impact. Or go bold with olive suede wingtips or brogues. Just avoid wearing olive shoes with a charcoal suit in very formal business settings.

Burgundy Shoes

Man in burgundy shoes with charcoal suit

Looking for shoes with flair? Burgundy shoes lend a striking, elegant pop of color against a charcoal suit. Stylish burgundy pairs well for:

– **Evening events** – Black tie, galas, awards ceremonies, and weddings.

– **Smart casual occasions** – Luncheons, speaking engagements, or fundraisers.

– **Business creative events** – Advertising, tech or media events where flair is embraced.

Deeper oxblood burgundies come off more polished and formal against charcoal than lighter cherry reds. Shiny patent leather burgundy shoes make even more of a statement for dressy events. Limit burgundy shoes in traditional conservative business settings though.

Navy Blue Shoes

Man in navy shoes with charcoal suit

Navy blue shoes offer another dash of color that pairs beautifully with charcoal grey. Navy works well for:

– **Business casual settings** – Loafers, lace-ups, and boots in navy blue suede or leather.

– **Dressy daytime events** – Weddings, christenings, luncheons, and speaking events.

– **Cocktail attire occasions** – Navy shoes look dressier and more stylish than black for evenings out.

Aim for dark, muted navy hues rather than bright blues, which risk clashing with the charcoal. Navy shoes offer versatility for wear year-round. A great shade to add interest without being overly bold.

Choosing the Right Shoe Style

Beyond just color, the cut and style of shoe you choose also impacts its pairing with a charcoal suit. Here are some of the most popular shoe style options to consider:

Oxford Shoes

Black oxford shoes

The classic lace-up oxford shoe always maintains a polished, formal aesthetic. Simple black or dark brown leather oxfords are your best bet for traditional business settings and formal events when wearing a charcoal suit.

Brogued or suede oxfords in gray, olive, or navy lend versatility for business casual while keeping a refined look.

Loafer Shoes

Brown loafer shoes

Loafers work well for capturing a smart casual vibe with your charcoal suit. Brown is a nice choice, but don’t be afraid to get creative with metallic, patterned, or even animal print loafers.

Loafers in leather, suede, or nubuck pair nicely with charcoal. Tassels, decorative motifs, or woven leather adds stylish flair.

Monk Strap Shoes

Burgundy monk strap shoes

The monk strap shoe style features a buckled strap instead of laces. The sleeker, more minimalist look makes them perfect for cocktail events and evenings out when you want statement shoes.

Aim for bold colors in patent leather, like oxblood, bordeaux, or navy. Or go high-contrast with light tan or ivory monk straps and charcoal suit.

Chelsea Boots

Brown chelsea boots

For casual cool flair, Chelsea boots in leather or suede are a smart call with a charcoal suit. They work great for date nights, cocktail events, or creative business settings.

Black Chelsea boots maintain a more refined edge, while shades like brown, gray, or tan feel more relaxed. Consider adding textural interest with nubuck, distressed, or two-tone pairs.

Top Charcoal Suit & Shoe Color Combinations

Here’s a quick visual overview of some of the most stylish, recommended shoe colors to pair with a charcoal grey suit:

Suit Color Shoe Color Formality Level Image
Charcoal Grey Black Formal Man in black shoes with charcoal suit
Charcoal Grey Dark Brown Business Casual Man in dark brown shoes with charcoal suit
Charcoal Grey Gray Smart Casual Man in gray shoes with charcoal suit
Charcoal Grey Olive Smart Casual Man in olive shoes with charcoal suit
Charcoal Grey Burgundy Formal Man in burgundy shoes with charcoal suit
Charcoal Grey Navy Business Casual Man in navy shoes with charcoal suit

Tips for Wearing Shoes with a Charcoal Suit

– Match your shoes and belt in color for a coherent, streamlined look.

– Go darker and more muted for more formal events; lighter and brighter pops of color are better for going out.

– Shiny patent leather shoes elevate formality for evening affairs.

– Rough, distressed leathers and suedes have more casual, smart casual appeal.

– Contrasting laces offer a way to mix colors, like navy shoes with brown laces.

– Get shoes shined before wearing them with a formal charcoal suit to look polished.

– Socks should be dark colored and rise high enough so no skin shows when sitting down.


A charcoal grey suit is one of the most versatile foundations of a man’s wardrobe. By pairing it thoughtfully with shoes in colors like classic black and brown, bold oxblood and navy, or contemporary olive and gray, you can strike the perfect balance between timeless style and modern flair.

The occasion, overall formality, and your desired aesthetic should all guide your shoe choice. But with so many options for stylish shoes to complement the charcoal suit, you’re sure to look effortlessly put-together wherever you go.

So step out confidently in your charcoal suit – the right shoes will pull your whole look together seamlessly! What color shoes will you try next?