I was recently hanging out with a dear friend of mine when it dawned on him: I’m turning 30 next year, can I still walk around wearing Vans?
Obviously, this opened up a huge debate in the group. Was it acceptable to still be wearing a pair of old tennis shoes? Were there certain situations where a 30-year-old man could wear trainers? What was the point in this debate as you should just wear what you want?
Whilst that’s definitely true; a discussion about what shoes are appropriate for men isn’t all that easy.
What shoes should a 30-year-old man own?
If you take a look at menswear fashion for 2020 trainers will always dominate the trends. And this year, it’s even cool to have ugly ‘dad sneakers’ or running trainers so if you’re in your 30s and managed to go full fashion-cycle with your 90’s trainers, you’re a winner!
FOOTWEAR - Low-tops & sneakers7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12More details
FOOTWEAR - Low-tops & sneakers6.5 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5More details
- MR PORTER£90.00Nike
Daybreak Suede And Textured-leather SneakersUS 5 US 6 US 6.5 US 7 US 7.5 US 8 US 8.5 US 9 US 9.5 US 10 US 10.5 US 11 US 11.5 US 12 US 12.5 US 13 US 14More details
- MR PORTER£140.00Nike
React Infinity Run Flyknit Running SneakersUS 7 US 7.5 US 8 US 8.5 US 9 US 9.5 US 10 US 10.5 US 11 US 11.5 US 12 US 13More details
- MR PORTER£400.00COMMON PROJECTS
Track Classic Nubuck, Suede And Mesh SneakersEU 38 EU 39 EU 40 EU 41 EU 42 EU 43 EU 44 EU 45 EU 46More details
Timael Sneakers40 41 42 43 44More details
- TOWER London£64.00Vans
Old Skool Primary Check Mens / White TrainersUK 6 UK 7 UK 8 UK 9 UK 10 UK 11More details
- Jack & Jones£50.00Jack & Jones
Multi-coloured Sneakers40 41 42 43 44 45 46More details
Bold Ni LX Sneakers38 38.5 39 39.5 40 40.5 41 41.5 42 42.5 43 43.5 44 44.5 45 46More details
US Made 990v5 Sneakers40 40.5 41 41.5 42 42.5 43 43.5 44 44.5 45 46More details
Beige XA-Comp LTR ADV Sneakers39 40 40.5 41 41.5 42 42.5 43 43.5 44 45 46More details
Of course, whatever your age it’s acceptable to wear your trainers. With the rise of uber-casual tech companies and dress-down-days all week, wearing trainers to work is perfectly acceptable for most of us. I think it’s just about being sensible about your outfit decisions; wear bold trainers with a pair of dark denim jeans to the office and loose-fitting 501’s with a vintage shirt on the weekend. It’s as simple as that. However, I would suggest you let go of the logocentric t-shirts and zip-up hoodies in combination with a pair of trainers.
If you’re searching for casual shoes for men in their 30s, trainers aren’t your only option. At first thought, brogues or loafers might seem a bit formal to hang out with your friends, but it’s all about how you wear them. A pair of slim-fit jeans (distressed for an extra casual feel) look good with brogues. Depending on your style, you could roll up the hems, put on a funky pair of socks or just wear the look with a t-shirt and bomber. Simple, casual. Brogues or loafers often have a colourful detailing, such as a red sole or laces. They're fun and definitely a pair of shoes for a man in their 30s.
- Ted Baker£119.00Ted Baker
Classic Leather BroguesEU 41 EU 42 EU 43 EU 44 EU 45More details
- TOWER London£135.00G.H.BASS&CO
G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns Heritage Larson Mens Penny LoafersUK 7 UK 8 UK 8.5 UK 9 UK 9.5 UK 10 UK 10.5 UK 11More details
- TOWER London£135.00G.H.BASS&CO
G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns Heritage Larson Mens Wine Penny LoafersUK 7 UK 8 UK 8.5 UK 9 UK 9.5 UK 10 UK 10.5 UK 11More details
Spey - Leather Penny Loafers in , Mens7 8 9 10 11More details
- MR PORTER£350.00R.M.Williams
Craftsman Leather Chelsea BootsUK 6 UK 7 UK 7.5 UK 8 UK 8.5 UK 9 UK 9.5 UK 10 UK 10.5 UK 11 UK 12More details
Chelsea boots6.5 7.5 8 9 9.5 10.5 11More details
- TOWER London£130.00Dr. Martens
Dr. Martens 2976 Mens Leather Chelsea BootsUK 9 UK 10 UK 11 UK 12More details
- SSENSE£305.00Tiger of Sweden
Balans Chelsea Boots140 41 42 43 44More details
Brad Brogue Chelsea Boot7 8 9 10 11 12More details
You don't have to wear a pair of ankle boots with skinny jeans
- chinos and a casual ribbed sweater
- black denim shorts and a loose-fitting tropical shirt
- jumpsuit for men - uber-trendy
- Tailored trousers and a turtleneck
Check out our blog Men's Chelsea Boots Outfits for more outfit inspiration!
Dr. Martens. My all-time favourite style of shoe. They might seem a little clunky and heavy for the summer, but the Derby shoes go with every outfit. It doesn't matter your age, I would say a pair of DM's is a must-have shoe for your wardrobe.
- MR PORTER£220.00Dr. Martens
1490 Rp Leather BootsUK 5 UK 6 UK 7 UK 8 UK 9 UK 10 UK 11 UK 12More details
- MR PORTER£125.00Dr. Martens
Adrian Polished-leather Tasselled LoafersUK 5 UK 6 UK 7 UK 8 UK 9 UK 10 UK 11 UK 12More details
- END£189.00Dr. Martens
Dr. Martens 1460 Pascal Boot - Made in EnglandMore details
- SALETOWER London£128.00
Dr. Martens 1460 Vegan Felix Rub Off Mens BootsUK 7 UK 8 UK 9 UK 10 UK 11More details
- Urban Outfitters£140.00Dr. Martens
1460 Cherry 8-Eye Boots - UK 8 at Urban OutfittersUK 7 UK 8 UK 9 UK 10 UK 11More details
If you are hoping for more of a summer shoe to swap with your trainers: espadrilles are your answer. These shoes are having a comeback moment. The lightweight, comfortable and practical shoe will definitely get you through your summer holiday. For a more business casual look pair your espadrilles with some chinos and a simple tee.
- MR PORTER£70.00Castaner
Pablo Canvas EspadrillesEU 39 EU 40 EU 41 EU 42 EU 43 EU 44 EU 45More details
- MR PORTER£450.00Loro Piana
Seaside Walk Collapsible-heel Suede EspadrillesEU 40 EU 41 EU 42 EU 43 EU 44 EU 45More details
- John Lewis & Partners£44.00TOMS
Classic Linen Espadrilles, Navy7 8 9 10 11 12More details
Espadrilles6.5 7.5 8 9 9.5 10.5 11More details
- SALETOWER London£22.00
Mens Natural Heritage Canvas Classic EspadrillesUK 7 UK 8More details
I must admit, espadrilles are not my favourite. Personally, if you're looking for a lightweight summer shoe I'd go full circle and just suggest you buy a new pair of... trainers. I know that we were exploring other options but there is definitely a mature way to wear a pair of trainers. It's time to put the #logomania to one side and find yourself a dark pair of tennis shoes. Or even a pair of trainers in disguise: pick yourself a leather pair of tennis shoes or something similar which is still as comfortable. Here are my favourite suggestions.
- Wolf and Badger£165.00Perks
Old-England Sneakers7 UK 8 UK 9 UK 10 UK 11 UKMore details
- The Clutcher£242.00Hogan
H365 Sneakers InUK 5 UK 5 ½ UK 6 UK 6 ½ UK 7 UK 7 ½ UK 8 UK 8 ½ UK 9 UK 9 ½ UK 10 UK 10 ½ UK 11More details
Finley - Leather Trainers in , Mens7 9 10 11More details
Brackley - Knitted Trainers in , Mens7 8 9 10 11More details
- French Connection£85.00French Connection
Lars Logo Trainers41 42 43 44 45More details
What do you think? Are you a 30 year old man, would you agree? Have I missed a pair of shoes off? Let me know in the comments!