Shoes for Networking: Comfort, Smart or Both?
Apr 06 , 2022
Tags - Shoes for Networking
When selecting what to wear to a networking event, it's vital to consider how you want people to perceive you and how you want to be represented.
To put it simply, if you're going to be networking with industry professionals to find new opportunities, you'll want to come across as a polished individual - not someone who's just rolled out of bed.
So, there's no question that when you go to a networking event, looking your best is important.
But what about your shoes?
Many people agonise over what to wear to these events, but often forget about their shoes. Shoes can make or break an outfit, and can also affect your comfort level during the event.
In this blog, we'll discuss the best types of shoes for men and women to wear at your next networking event, so you can put your best foot forward, make a positive first impression and best of all - be pain free!
Why Shoes Are Important When Networking
Because networking events require a lot of standing, your shoes need to be comfortable.
However, shoes do make a difference in an outfit, so make sure that they look nice too.
For more casual events, this could mean a pair of nice pumps or sandals for women.
And for men, think about trying a pair of shoes such as loafers or simple leather boots.
All in all, the goal is to wear shoes that appear polished and put together, but can be worn in many situations while always remaining comfortable.
That said, let's take a look at the types of shoes that would be appropriate at a networking event for men and women.
Luckily, there is a huge variety of different styles of shoes available for women, which means you're not restricted to a traditional stiletto which can often be quite painful.
Plus, different shoe styles means they can be worn with multiple outfits - be it a trouser suit or a pencil skirt.
Ballet flats are a fantastic choice for networking since they're extremely versatile, look feminine, and provide the most comfort.
Today, ballet flats come in a variety of designs, including vivid colours for added decorations.
So, depending on the "vibe" you want to set, you may change your flats up to guarantee that you're putting your best foot forward at all times.
For instance at a corporate event, a patent black leather pair with a trouser suit will look fantastic, while in a dining environment, you may wear a fitted black dress and red embellished ballet flats.
A pair of loafers is a timeless choice that will carry you through any networking event if you don't like ballet flats, but especially do not want to wear heels.
Loafers are a wonderful choice for women who want a pair of shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. They come in a variety of colours, designs, heel heights, and materials, making them ideal for everyone.
Let's assume you'd want to wear cropped pants with a button down shirt, add penny loafers for an classic yet stylish look.
You can, however, wear loafers with dresses as well - especially with a block heel - gives off an effortless look while still polished.
As we mentioned earlier, networking events require a lot of standing around, so high heels won't be the most practical option.
Even though wearing kitten heels has a vintage connotation, they will, in fact, complete your style without causing discomfort to your feet.
Nude kitten heels, for example, will make your legs appear longer and would look great with any colour or design you want to wear.
A "business casual" dress code is typically the norm when it comes to networking events. However that does not mean that trainers will be acceptable.
Fortunately, there are several types of smart casual shoes available to you that will guarantee that you're never over or under-dressed.
Oxfords are a must in every man's wardrobe and are the most formal type of shoe.
Oxford shoes have stitching on the bottom and a concealed lacing system. They also have a short back with a low heel, giving them a neat, clean, and polished appearance.
Pair them with a suit, and you'll appear refined and professional.
With many suits, loafers can be worn, however they aren't formal enough in certain situations. The colour, design, and material of the loafers will need to be considered.
Generally, a dark pair of leather horse-bit loafers is considered the loafer style that's formal enough to wear with a business suit.
However on the other hand, a suede pair of penny or tassel loafers can be appropriate to wear with casual suits, so always check what kind of event you're attending to get a feel for what's expected of your appearance.
Chelsea boots are the most formal boot, so you can easily pair them with a suit of any colour. The fit of your pair of Chelsea boots is critical when you wear them with a business suit. Your pants should be slim since they'll look best with the boot's style.
In addition to slim trousers, the length of them is also important - your trousers should have little or no break to show off the unique elastic side panel and top of the boot
The Bottom Line
Choosing the proper pair of shoes isn't merely about personal taste.
When it comes to networking, you want to wear the correct pair that sends the correct impression: you're professional, self-assured, and eager to begin your day.
Luckily with relaxed dress codes today there is more flexibility as to which style you can wear in a professional setting, so always go for the style that feels most comfortable for you.
If you’d like more information, please get in touch today.
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