What Shoes Should You Wear With Shorts?

January 17, 2024

What Shoes Should You Wear With Shorts?

Summer’s here and it’s finally time to wear your favorite pair of shorts. Question: What shoes are you going to wear with them?

Shorts come in all shapes and sizes—from your classic denim cutoffs to tailored linen for more formal occasions. The right pair of shoes will make any pair of shorts pop. 

At Kizik, we believe in the power of versatile footwear that adapts to your lifestyle and wardrobe. Whether you’re strolling through the city or headed to a BBQ, here are some tips to help you find the right pair.

Decoding the right pairing

When it comes to picking the perfect shoe to match your favorite pair of shorts, there's more than just personal style to consider. It's an art of blending comfort and fashion in a seamless way. 

Here's what you should keep in mind:

  • Occasion: Begin by considering the vibe of the place you're headed. Are you going to the beach? Going to the city? Or, maybe you're going to a chic rooftop bar and want to look as dashing as you can. Your shorts and shoes should work in sync for the occasion and environment. 
  • Type of shorts: Every pair of shorts has its own unique flair. From the laid-back denim cutoffs to tailored linens, each pair of shorts calls for a different style of shoes to match. Length and style also come into play when picking the ultimate shoe mate for your shorts.
  • Weather: It's not just about the heat—even on those warm days, fluctuating weather conditions can affect your choice of shoes. If it's going to be hot, breathable materials are ideal. If there's a chance of rain, lean toward water-resistant shoes. 

Remember, comfort should always come first. Nothing beats the feeling of slipping into a pair of shoes that elevates your style and hugs your feet with a snug fit. Our innovative hands-free Kiziks ensure exactly that, making them a sound choice for almost any shorts-shoe pairing!

Shoes to wear with shorts: A Kizik guide

Picking the right shoes to go with your shorts isn't just about style. It's about finding the balance between comfort, functionality, and looks. 

Here's a guide to help you match your shorts with different Kizik styles for a variety of settings: 

Athletic shorts with the Mars Roamer

Going for a jog or a brisk morning walk? Opt for our limited-edition Mars Roamer

With the award-winning Kizik shoe-entry technology and a Quilted Jet-Puffed upper, your feet won't just look good; they'll feel fantastic, too. The Mars Roamer is not just another active shoe—it's a stylish statement that’s ready to roam.

Tomboy chic with the Athens

Hanging out downtown or going for a casual day out? Denim shorts paired with the forever favorite Athens is the way to go. Our signature spring-back heel Cage and extra Rabbit Foam® outsole deliver all-day comfort and style.

Sophisticated with the Madrid

For those dressy occasions where you're rocking tailored shorts, the Madrid Eco Knit is your best bet. Its breathable, eco-friendly upper is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. This ensures that you not only look good but also do good for the environment.

Beach day with the Venice

Wearing your favorite pair of shorts to the boardwalk or a beach picnic? Go with the Venice

It has a snug-fitting, stretch canvas up top, dual underfoot cushioning on the inside, and a heel that never crushes out. Plus, their style embodies that carefree beach day vibe that beachgoers love.

Casual day out with the Lima

Paired with your comfy cargo shorts, the Lima offers generous rebound from Rabbit Foam® outsoles, a breathable knit upper, and extra ankle padding. Run your errands in them, explore a new city, or just get your day started with great style and all-day comfort.

Afternoon lunch meet-ups with the Vegas

Got summery floral shorts for an afternoon lunch with friends? Pair them with the classic simplicity of the Vegas

The full-grain premium leather upper, coupled with the cushioning of Rabbit Foam® outsole, provides unmatched comfort. Oh, and there’s no break-in period needed; just unbox and step into style!

Go swanky with the Milan

And we mean swanky! For upscale events where you’d still wear shorts, beach-party linen shorts paired with the Milan is the way to go. Its sleek, on-trend appearance gives you a refined look, and the structure ensures all-day comfort—making it an apt choice for just about anywhere.

Streetwear with the Prague

Headed to a skate park? Or aiming for a streetwear look? Pair your freestyle shorts with the Prague. The shoe’s deluxe canvas, genuine suede touches, and Rabbit Foam® outsoles grant both style versatility and durability—making it the perfect companion for your adventurous side.

Brunch dates with the Irvine

Got a casual brunch lined up that calls for khaki shorts? Pair them with the Irvine

It combines impeccable style with unmatched comfort. Inside you’re met with extra padding, dual underfoot cushioning, and a spring-back heel. It's the perfect choice for adding a relaxed yet refined touch to your brunch date outfit.

Up for an adventure with the Wasatch

Hiking or planning an adventure? Cargo shorts teamed up with the Wasatch create a winning combo. Its edgy look makes you trail-ready, while its comfort offers a relaxed feel for lounging post-adventure.

Crisp autumn days with the Toronto

When those cuffed-up woolen shorts make an appearance in cooler weather, opt for the Toronto. It’s the first-ever hands-free Chelsea boot. It’s rugged and stylish—perfect for stepping into the chilly weather. 

What to avoid when wearing shorts?

The right pair of shoes can boost the style of your shorts. But there are a few faux pas that can quickly turn your look from sophisticated to shabby. 

Before you head into the sun, here are some things to watch out for when sporting your favorite pair of shorts:

  • Oversized shoes: While it might be tempting to slip into oversized sneakers or clunky boots, they can throw off your entire look if paired with shorts. The key here is balance. You want your shoes to complement your outfit, not dominate it.
  • Ignoring the occasion: While it's fun to experiment, always consider where you're headed. A beach party might call for casual flip-flops or slip-ons, while a more formal event could require something dressier like loafers or brogues.
  • Neglecting comfort: Never compromise comfort for style. No matter how trendy those shoes look, if they hurt your feet or don't fit properly, your discomfort will show. Opt for shoes that look great and provide the comfort you need for day-long wear.
  • Color chaos: Barring a few exceptions where contrast works, try to maintain a color scheme that allows each element of your outfit to harmonize. For instance, pairing neon green shoes with red shorts might not be the most appealing combo.
  • Forgetting the socks rule: Socks can make or break how your shorts look. As a general rule, when shorts are on the cards, no-show socks or skipping socks are often the safest bet. 
  • Keeping length out of the loop: The length of your shorts matters when pairing with shoes. Typically, shorter shorts work well with casual and athletic shoes, whereas longer, tailored shorts can pair nicely with slightly dress shoes.
  • Ill-maintained shoes: No matter how expensive your shoes are, they won’t be doing you any favors if they aren't in good condition. Regular maintenance speaks volumes about your attention to detail and appreciation for quality.
  • Be wary of trends: It's great to keep up with the latest trends but remember, not every trend works for everyone all the time. Opt for styles that enhance your personal aesthetic and make you feel confident for the occasion.

What are some key styling tips beyond shorts?

When it comes to fashion, shorts are just the beginning. A well-rounded wardrobe has various styles of shoes for your many style combinations. 

Whether it's a casual day out or a formal evening, the shoes you choose can significantly impact your overall look. Let's explore some essential styling tips to ensure your footwear always compliments your outfit—no matter the occasion.

  • Spicing up your denim: Jeans are a staple in nearly everyone's wardrobe, but picking the right shoes to go with them can be a challenge. For skinny jeans, consider slim sneakers or chic ankle boots. If you're rocking a pair of bootcut or wide-leg jeans, don't be shy about opting for chunky boots or platform shoes to match the retro silhouette.
  • Tailoring your trousers: Trousers tend to give a classy look, so teaming them up with an equally refined shoe is key. Oxfords, brogues, and loafers all work nicely with tailored trousers. If you're aiming for a more laid-back look, minimalist sneakers also do the trick.
  • Making jumpsuits jump: Jumpsuits offer a chic, one-and-done outfit for those days you're unsure what to wear. If your jumpsuit is tailored, pair it with heeled sandals or mules for a sleek and sophisticated look. Fun options like canvas shoes or comfortable flats work great for a more casual jumpsuit style.
  • Breezing through in maxi dresses: Maxi dresses call for shoes that are just as easy and breezy as they are. Strappy sandals, flip-flops, or espadrilles are all excellent choices that line up effortlessly with the relaxed vibe of a flowing maxi.
  • Not forgetting skirts: Whether you’re wearing a fun mini skirt, a classy pencil skirt, or any skirt for that matter, make sure you pair them with the right shoes.

    Pair ankle boots or ballet flats with mini and skater skirts. Rock your high heels with your knee-length and midi skirts for a business-chic look.


As we've journeyed through the world of shorts and shoes, we hope you've picked up some valuable insights on how to pair them perfectly for every occasion. At Kizik, we're all about combining style, comfort, and convenience to make footwear that fits seamlessly into your life. 

Whether you're dressing up for a special event, heading out for a casual day, or even transitioning into cooler weather, the right pair of shoes can elevate your look and boost your confidence.

Remember, fashion is an expression of your unique style and personality. While it's great to follow trends and guidelines, always listen to your own fashion instincts. 

And when in doubt, a pair of Kiziks can be your go-to choice, offering both comfort and style. 

So go ahead, step in and step out and make the most of every sunny day and every outfit!


How to Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics | REI Expert Advice 

10 Points of Proper Shoe Fit | FootCareMD 

10 Reasons Clean, Dry Socks Are Important | Blanketing Tampa Bay 

Choosing the Right Shoes for Comfort | Saint Luke's Health System 

Written By: Chris Fry

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