Not too long ago, wearing trainers on a night out would result in being refused entry to clubs and a short taxi ride hope to swap to smarter shoes.

Nowadays, trainers are far more accepted as higher-end footwear. Conversely, smarter shoes have made their way into the mainstream and you’re likely to spot fashionable boat shoes or boots on a day out to the high-street.

Here are some styles that excel in all situations – from a dress-down day in the office to a cinema date or a night out with your mates.

New Balance Trainers

New Balance have been enjoying a real surge in popularity for the past few years. It isn’t hard to see why – the brand has always been associated with fantastic running shoes but their flatter soled trainers have become a staple for casual wear for men. Best worn alongside shorts when it’s sunny or with slim or skinny jeans with a bit of ankle showing. A pair such as the New Balance 574 can be picked up with a massive discount from Sole Trader.

Desert boots

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The desert boots are inspired by army boots but are crafted for a smart and casual audience, with the upper crafted from suede or leather. These are best worn with jeans that offset the colour of the boots. Be careful though, lighter suede boots are prone to stains so wipe away any splashes as soon as you can.

Boat shoes

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The nautical trend is a current summer fashion must-have and boat shoes are a big part of it. The shoes are typified by a rubber sole and lace fastening details around the side and boat of the ‘boat.’ The shoes are best worn with shorts or shorter leg chinos with your ankles showing.

Wear with a polo shirt for a casual Friday office outfit that’ll turn heads whilst keeping you cool and comfortable. Jones Bootmaker have their own brand of boat shoes that look striking when paired with rolled up chinos.

Converse trainers

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Converse shoes are arguably the most comfortable of any smart casual look. A pair of pure white converse are a classic choice for all manner of outfits, ranging from trousers and blazer combos to a simple jeans and polo shirt get-up. In the summer it’s best to avoid the high top converse options, but when the colder weather draws in these work well with a sweatshirt and slim denim jeans. Check out cheap converse at Sole trader.


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Simple to wear, available In a range of styles and perfect for the rolled-up, ankles showing trend that’s taking 2015 by storm, loafers are a true smart casual staple. They look great in a creative office without a strict dress-code and look just as great walking around the high-street on a shopping trip. Let’s not forget the most important factor – loafers are very comfortable and work with a range of shorter leg styles, so you can combine them with a range of outfits to suit the seasons.

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