Ballers on Budgets: Do Good Men’s Shoes Equal Higher Social Status?


Purchasing a pair of shoes is a thought provoking endeavor that many men find a chore, not worthy of the energy expended. The wearer must choose which fashion compliments his personal style of dress and unsatisfactory shoes cannot be altered after a couple of wears. Furthermore, great shoes have long been synonymous with expensive and most men would rather spend their money on something else. However, a good pair of shoes can actually save you money over time. You will certainly have to replace the soles one day, but with the proper upkeep quality footwear can last years or even decades.

George Frazier, fashion columnist for Esquire Magazine, once said, “Wanna know if a guy is well dressed? Look down.” Those words sum up the fact that shoes are the single most important fashion item you will ever purchase. Not only are a mans shoes important to the fashion statement he is trying to make, but they also speak volumes as to the mans social status and attitude.

To further understand the connection between a mans shoes and his social status, a panel of experts were asked the following questions: What do you think of a man wearing flip-flops at a social night gathering?

“It sends the message that he’s easy going and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He may also be the [type of] guy who always lets women plan the dates. ‘I don’t care. I’ll do whatever. Any restaurant is fine with me.'” – Noelle Cellini, Personal Stylist

“Men wearing flip-flops at social gatherings is not acceptable in most circumstances. If it’s a BBQ at his own house-or a beach event-fine, but to a bar or on a date is totally unacceptable. My sister recently decided not to continue dating a guy when he showed up for the second date wearing flip-flops.” – Catherine Hohenzy, Shoe Fashion Specialist

“A man wearing flip-flops to an evening social gathering shouldn’t expect to make a good impression. Shoes are one of the first things women pay attention to on a man. Even if a woman is wearing them, she sure hopes to meet a more successful and attractive guy. Flip-flops won’t communicate that.” – Joseph Rosenfeld, Certified Image Professional

Do round tip shoes send a different message than pointed-toe shoes?

“Men with rounded-toe shoes are not the most fashion savvy, but they are easy going and relaxed. Men with pointed-toe shoes are usually a bit trendy. Their pants might be a bit narrower and they may even wear skinny jeans. A rounded-toe shoe is very golf shirt and khakis, while pointy toe is very jeans and blazer.” – Noelle Cellini

“Round toe shoes don’t generally send a different message than pointed-toe shoes. It simply creates a different look and a different line. Which one works with any particular outfit is dependent on a variety of factors. There’s also the square-toe shoe as an option and the more adventurous tapered square-toe.” – Catherine Hohenzy

“Round-toed shoes are more classic and white-collar business. Pointed shoes, or shoes that angle and become narrow at the toe, are seen as more edgy and typically European.” – Joseph Rosenfeld

Do boots send a different message than loafers?

“Yes. Loafers send a casual elegance or preppy vibe. Boots, depending on the style, usually means that the guy is more of a guy’s guy, manly and rugged.” – Noelle Cellini

“Men who wear loafers are generally a bit more laid back, as opposed to their more aggressive boot-wearing counterparts. A man wearing boots tends to come off as a little more confident, perhaps even cocky.” – Catherine Hohenzy

“Loafers are more relaxed and romantic than boots. When it comes to boots, the attitude depends on the boots. Boots that come ankle high have the attitude of dress shoes and are very different from more American macho cowboy boots.” – Joseph Rosenfeld

What message does men in suits wearing sneakers send?

“It seems that men wearing sneakers with suits is becoming much more popular. It sends a Justin Timberlake kind of vibe, cool and confident. This look is not as formal as a suit and dress shoes and usually works on the under 40 crowd.” – Noelle Cellini

“A man wearing a suit with sneakers means he’s either walking to or from the train, or is a complete disaster. There’s no middle ground on this one. It’s not okay to ever do this professionally or socially.” – Catherine Hohenzy

“Men in suits should not wear sneakers any more than women in suits should wear sneakers. Women, at least, tend to do this on the way to or from work and have a pair of appropriate heels to change into. Men, on the other hand, you just know are not carrying another pair of appropriate shoes, and they look like clowns not to be taken seriously.” – Joseph Rosenfeld

In The Style Bible, published by, they list the five shoe styles that every man should have in his closet:

  1. sneaker,
  2. casual [lace up] shoe
  3. black dress shoe
  4. brown dress shoe
  5. ankle boot.

Notice that flip-flops are not on the list.

When you’re ready to up your game, and consequently your social status, you can find stylish inexpensive shoes at the Designer Shoe Warehouse and

What is your footwear saying about you?

Ballers On Budgets was founded in 2009 as a project dedicated to educating people on how to live within their financial means while increasing their social status within their community with the aim to provide resources, information, and alternatives to spending a lot of money while engaging in a socially active lifestyle.

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  1. SionPerez

    4 years ago

    I must say that I absolutely agree with your opinion about flip flops especially at any types of social gathering. They are made for wearing to the beach and I personally would never go out with a guy wearing flip flops in a restaurant or a bar.


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