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What colors go best with brown shoes?

Brown shoes are a wardrobe staple that can be paired with many colors and styles. When selecting colors to wear with brown shoes, it’s important to consider the shade of brown and the formality of the shoe. Lighter shades like tan or beige can be worn more casually, while darker browns like chocolate or espresso call for more formal attire. With some strategic pairings, brown shoes can be quite versatile. Here’s an in-depth look at the best color combinations.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors are safe options that will always complement brown shoes. Black, white, gray, beige and navy are easy pairings that will never clash or overwhelm the brown. These versatile core colors can be mixed and matched for both casual and formal brown shoe outfits.

Black pants or jeans are foolproof with brown shoes in any setting. A black turtleneck, button-down or polo will also elegantly match brown footwear for the office or evening events. Light gray suits and slacks are dapper accompaniments for brown dress shoes. Charcoal gray has an edgy, urban vibe that works well for casual looks.

White and beige hues connect brown shoes to lighter neutrals. A crisp white button-down shirt and khaki pants or chinos creates a smart casual aesthetic. Light tan, stone and ecru tops bring out the warmth of brown leather or suede. Off-white and ivory also pair beautifully for dressier occasions.

Navy is another versatile neutral with brown. Dark navy suits and blazers have an inherently sophisticated style. Lighter shades like cadet or nautical blue work for relaxed attire. Denim is a closet staple that looks great with brown shoes from day to night.

Earth Tones

Earth tones are natural partners for brown shoes, as they share an organic, grounded color palette. Rich browns, taupes, tans and lighter neutrals effortlessly complement brown footwear for timeless, harmonious style.

Different shades of brown are easy to mix and match. Medium brown pants and a dark chocolate blazer make a polished professional pairing. For weekend wear, try a cream cable-knit sweater with espresso-colored suede boots. Move into greige, tan and beige territory for more casual looks. A simple white tee and taupe canvas sneakers creates a laidback vibe.

Mocha, sand and stone shades connect brown shoes to softer earth tones. An olive green utility jacket looks rugged yet refined with brown leather boots. Mustard, cinnamon and clay-colored tops pick up brown undertones in a subtle way. Even pastels like blush, sky blue and mint green can work with brown shoes when styled creatively.

Autumnal Hues

Rich autumnal colors like orange, red and yellow beautifully complement brown shoes when paired creatively. These shades add bold, inviting warmth and connect to nature’s fall palette.

Browns have an inherent relationship to orange. A vibrant orange cardigan over a neutral tee and jeans makes brown loafers pop. Deeper oranges like rust, pumpkin and copper also make handsome partners for brown. These colors are perfect for fall layering when the leaves start changing.

Red is bold with brown shoes, so beware of clashing shades. Stick to warmer earthy reds like burgundy, oxblood, brick and clay for a more harmonious match. These elegant wines and deep reds support brown shoes without competing. Yellow has similar power, so aim for softer shades like mustard, chamomile and ochre. Commit to the color combination with confidence.

Metallic Accents

Metallic shoes, jewelry and accessories serve as shiny complements to earthy brown leather. Gold, silver, bronze and pewter add shimmer and light to a brown shoe outfit. This enables you to create dressy evening looks perfect for parties, weddings and events.

A sequined gold top or silky silver blouse paired with a neutral base makes brown shoes shine. Metallic handbags, jewelry and hair accessories further elevate the glam factor. For casual daytime wear, metallics can add subtle luster. A bronze timepiece and silver sunglasses still catch the light beautifully.


Brown shoes pair well with neutrals, earth tones, autumnal colors and metallics. Stick to complementary shades that won’t fight for attention. Play with darker versus lighter shades and textures like smooth leather or nubby suede. Confidently combine colors with these fashion tips in mind. Brown shoes are endlessly versatile wardrobe staples with the right color coordinating strategy.

Color Casual Pairings Formal Pairings
Black Black jeans, Black t-shirt Black suit, Black cocktail dress
White White button-down, White sneakers White blouse, White dress pants
Gray Charcoal sweater, Light gray jeans Gray blazer, Medium gray slacks
Beige Tan fisherman sweater, Khaki chinos Beige dress, Light beige blazer
Navy Navy polo, Dark wash jeans Navy suit, Navy cocktail dress
Brown Cream sweater, Espresso boots Chocolate blazer, Medium brown slacks
Olive Olive utility jacket, White tee Olive drab blazer, Light brown pants
Orange Pumpkin cardigan, Rust jeans Burnt orange blouse, Khaki dress pants
Red Oxblood sweater, Brick jeans Clay red blouse, Chocolate slacks
Yellow Mustard tee, Washed jeans Chamomile blouse, Tan trousers
Metallic Bronze watch, Silver sunglasses Gold blouse, Pewter heels

This table summarizes top color pairings with brown shoes for both casual and formal contexts. Keep these stylish combinations in mind when selecting an outfit. Experiment with different hues and shades to find your signature look. Most importantly, have fun with fashion and express your personal style!