Back in June, I landed my first job interview since graduating from college. I obsessed about everything from what to wear to the best ways to research the company. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about my shoes.
I was wearing a pant suit, so I didn’t think my 13-year-old closed-toe black pumps would be a problem. The heels were scruffy and lopsided, but I figured my long pants would hide their flaws. But according to one recent study, I was wrong.
A U.S. shoe company called Allen Edmunds polled 1000 job interviewers and found that 80 percent think shoes were “extremely important” in a job interview – and not just for women. Those hiring folks said 49 percent of the men they interviewed didn’t wear “appropriate shoes.”
Why are shoes so important? Even for men?
Because, the survey said, “A man’s footwear is indicative of his attention to detail, confidence, and cultural fit.” In other words, it’s quite likely job interviewers are looking at shoes as a sign of deeper things.
While women can easily fix this problem, it might be harder for guys, many who think more about their sneakers than their dress shoes. So what’s a gentleman to do?
Shoe advice for the male sex
The best advice for wearing the right shoes – and at the right price – is to keep it simple..
- Stick to black and brown. Go for a classic look. You don’t want to draw attention to your shoes for good or ill.
- If you’re more of a clothes horse, check out the two high-end men’s magazines, which offer very similar advice. GQ even offers advice for how to best lace up your dress shoes, while Esquire will explain the difference between wingtips and Oxfords in just a couple sentences.
- If you don’t want to think about your shoes and don’t want others to do so, either, take a tip from the editor of Debt.com. “I buy my shoes at Target,” says Michael Koretzky. “the first time, I go to the store and find a plain style I like, then I go online and order a bunch more. Right now, I have six pairs in my garage. So I literally don’t have to think about shoes for a couple of years.” And each pair costs less than $30.