What shoes to wear with chinos?

July 11, 2023

What shoes to wear with chinos?

Have you ever stood in front of your wardrobe, staring at a pair of chinos, and wondered, "What shoes do I wear with these?" You're not alone, that's why we're here. Chinos are versatile enough to wear for a casual night out, a business meeting, or a special date if you know what shoes to pair them with. 

In this article, we're going to crack the code on which shoes go best with your beloved chinos. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into the fascinating world of chinos and shoes!

What are chinos?

Before we dive into the deep end of the style pool, let's get to know chinos a bit better. "Chino," a word of Spanish origin, refers to the fabric these pants are made from. 

Historically, chinos were the go-to outfit for military uniforms due to the cotton twill’s durability and comfort. Countries like Great Britain, France, and the United States recommended these pants. In 1970, the US Army noted that the “traditional feel of a well-worn chino is the ideal of comfort.” Today, chinos have marched into our wardrobes, turning heads in both casual and semi-formal settings.

Chinos are like the chameleons of the clothing world: They blend seamlessly with a wide array of looks, thanks to their slim fit, sleek appearance, and the range of colors they come in. Whether you're going for a laid-back vibe or something a tad more polished, chinos have you covered.

What shoe styles go well with chinos?

Chinos are great, but what shoes do you wear with them? Here's where it gets fun! Numerous shoe styles pair well with chinos, and each can bring a different flavor to your outfit.

Loafers, for example, can give you that timeless, classic look that's perfect for a weekend brunch or a casual office setting. Looking to step up your style game? Brogues could be your new best friend. 

Want to keep things easygoing? Kiziks are the way to go. Need to attend a formal event? Dress shoes make chinos look buttoned up. And if you're feeling adventurous, even boots can work wonders with your chinos.

Deciding on a shoe style to wear with chinos totally depends on the occasion, the weather, and most importantly, your personal style and comfort needs. There's a lot to consider, which is why we're here to guide you. In the upcoming sections, we'll explore each shoe style in depth and give you some top-notch outfit suggestions. 

Ready to put your best foot forward?

Chinos with loafers

If comfort and style had a baby, it would be called a loafer. Loafers bring a dash of elegance without trying too hard. With their easy slip-on design, loafers are your go-to choice for that laid-back yet sophisticated look.

Imagine wearing beige chinos with a simple white tee or a light blue button-down matched with brown suede loafers — effortlessly classy. This look can easily take you from a relaxed office environment to a late lunch with friends. Roll up your chinos to show a bit of ankle if you’re sockless, or wear a wild-print sock that adds a touch of personal flair to your get-up.

Chinos with brogues

Brogues are an iconic shoe with intricate perforations that have won hearts worldwide. If you're looking to add a dash of formality to your semi-formal look, brogues with chinos are a match made in heaven.

Dark chinos, like navy or charcoal, paired with a crisp white shirt and leather brogues can create a refined and polished outfit. It’s fantastic for days when you need to impress without going overboard. 

Remember to choose brogues that complement the color of your chinos. For example, brown brogues can work exceptionally well with lighter-colored chinos. The color of the shoe leather should also match the leather of the belt. 

Chinos with Kiziks

For those days when you want to keep things casual and comfortable, Kiziks with chinos are your fashion cheat code. With the array of designs available, the sky's the limit when it comes to styling.

Think of pairing your favorite white Kiziks with olive green chinos, a printed tee, and a denim jacket. You're instantly ready for a day out with friends, a casual date, or a relaxed weekend getaway. For a more minimalistic approach, try black chinos with black Kiziks —chic, sleek, and oh-so-stylish.

Shoe material can make a big difference here. For instance, a premium, full-grade leather shoe like the Men’s Vegas has more of a fashion-forward formal air than canvas footwear like the Men’s Irvine

Chinos with dress shoes

When sophistication is the name of the game, dress shoes, and chinos come to the rescue. This combination is ideal for formal events or important business meetings.

Picture this: A pair of well-tailored navy chinos, a crisp white button-down, a dark blazer, and a pair of shiny black dress shoes. You're not only dressed to impress, but you're exuding confidence and elegance. 

Keep your dress shoes clean and well-polished, and make sure your chinos fall right at the top of your shoes for that sharp look.

Chinos with boots

Adding an edge to your chino look can be as simple as slipping into a pair of boots. Be it Chelsea boots, chukka boots, or even desert boots, they all add a dash of ruggedness and charm to your outfit that's hard to ignore.

Imagine this — a pair of tan chinos, a dark denim shirt, and your favorite leather Chelsea boots. Sounds like an outfit ready to rock a weekend brunch, a casual day at work, or even a night out. The key is to choose boots that complement your chino color for that seamless blend.

Chinos with espadrilles

If you're looking for an ideal summer shoe to pair with your chinos, espadrilles are your pick. They are relaxed, breathable, and have a unique beachy charm that's hard to resist.

How about pairing navy chinos with striped espadrilles for a seaside lunch? Maybe even your favorite khaki chinos with cream espadrilles for a relaxed backyard BBQ? The possibilities are endless.

Chinos with sandals

Chinos and sandals can work exceptionally well, especially in the hot summer months when comfort is paramount. Opt for leather sandals for a more refined look or a pair of open-toe sandals for an uber-cool, laid-back vibe.

For instance, a pair of light-colored chinos rolled up at the ankles, a linen shirt, and a pair of leather slide sandals can make for a stylish beach vacation outfit. When it comes to pairing chinos with sandals, balance is critical. Keep your outfit simple; let your sandals make a statement.

Chinos with boat shoes

Last but definitely not least, boat shoes offer a great way to pair chinos for a nautical-inspired look. Boat shoes are both stylish and functional, offering a unique blend of comfort and appeal that's perfect for a day out at sea or a weekend yacht party.

Consider pairing navy chinos with brown boat shoes and a striped tee for that sailor-inspired look. Or, for a more earthy vibe, match beige chinos with dark-colored boat shoes. The key is to keep the rest of your outfit simple, letting your boat shoes take the spotlight.

How to style chinos and shoes: A quick guide

Now that we've talked about the “what,” let's shift gears to the “how.” Styling chinos with different types of shoes requires some thought to make sure your whole outfit sings in harmony.

First, color coordination is crucial. Try to stick with complementary colors — like tan chinos with blue sneakers or navy chinos with brown boots.

Next, keep the occasion in mind. Loafers or dress shoes for more formal settings, walking shoes or boat shoes for a casual day out, and boots for a dash of ruggedness — you get the drift.

Lastly, remember that chinos are typically slim fit. Go for shoes that align with this silhouette. Bulky shoes can throw off the balance of your look. Stick with sleek, streamlined shoe styles for the best results.

Tips for wearing chinos

Just before we wrap up, here are a few quick tips when it comes to wearing chinos to help you step out in style:

  • The right fit is essential. Chinos should be slim fit but not too tight. Aim for a little room around the thighs and a slight taper towards the ankles.
  • Chinos come in various colors. Don't be afraid to experiment and step away from the traditional khaki. Navy, olive, or even red can make a statement.
  • Consider the occasion. Chinos can be dressed up or down, depending on what you pair them with. Always keep in mind where you're headed.
  • Experiment with subtle patterns on chinos and pair them with solid-colored shoes for a stylish twist.
  • Roll up the hem of your chinos to add a casual touch and showcase your footwear choice.
  • Combine different textures by pairing smooth leather shoes with slightly textured chinos for added visual interest.
  • Strike a balance between casual and formal by pairing chinos with a button-down shirt and relaxed blazer.
  • Choose the right socks — no-show or ankle socks for loafers and playful patterned socks for sneakers or boots.

Wear what feels good

Choosing what shoes to wear with chinos doesn't have to be complicated. It's all about picking the right shoe for the right occasion and, of course, what feels good for you. Your style is an expression of you. Whether you're a loafer lover, a boot enthusiast, or a sandal aficionado, there's a chino-shoe combo that will let your personality shine.

Put on your favorite pair of chinos, step into your favorite shoes, and strut your style confidently. Awesome style is all about self-expression. At Kizik, we want to help you show off your personal style and make it look easy.


chino | Etymology, origin and meaning of chino | Etymonline 

Complementary colours | Glossary | National Gallery, London

Development of a Durable Summer Press Uniform | DEFENSE TECHNICAL INFORMATION CENTER 

How to Cuff Your Jeans | Gear Patrol

Written By: Chris Fry

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