What Color Pants Go With (Light and Dark) Brown Shoes

Brown is a neutral color, which makes nearly every color complementary to it. There are some subtle nuances to remember when choosing the color of pants that go with brown shoes.

Navy blue, light gray, beige, and white pants go well with light brown shoes. On the other hand, dark brown shoes match dark gray, navy blue, olive green, and tan pants.

In this post, we will show you what color pants go with brown shoes, including light brown shoes (camel and chestnut) and dark brown shoes (burgundy and dark brown). Let’s get started.

What Color Pants Go With Light Brown Shoes?

Light brown shoes usually come in camel brown or chestnut. While both colors do not represent the lightest end of the spectrum, camel brown and chestnut are considered light brown.

Camel brown provides the most versatile shade of brown on the list. If you are a fashion novice, choosing a pair of shoes in a camel-brown color is a wise investment.

Chestnut shoes commonly appear in formal men’s shoe silhouettes, like oxfords, wingtips, and Chelsea boots. While rarer, chestnut shoes also appear in casual sneakers, loafers, and boots.

That said, here are 4 colors of pants that pair well with light brown shoes:

1. Navy blue denim or trousers

Light brown shoes and navy blue jeans are a natural pairing, given their neutral colors. In fact, you shouldn’t think twice about combining the two because you’ll look great.

Try combining light brown Oxfords with navy blue denim. Add a dress shirt and sports coat, or go for more casual shoes with a sweater. Either way, the combination is very smart.

2. Light to medium gray pants

Light to medium gray trousers is gorgeous with light brown shoes. In fact, try British tan, an orangey-tan that pairs beautifully with gray as the colors are somewhat complementary.

Throw these on with a soft-colored shirt, like white or soft pink, in the springtime and you’ll be showered in compliments. Alternatively, light brown shoes also go well with a gray suit.

3. Beige pants

While the color beige is technically a very light brown (sometimes with a yellowish tinge, similar to the color of undyed wool), it pairs very well with light brown shoes.

However, for this look to work, it’s extremely important to pay attention to the shade of light brown. If the shoe color and trouser color are too similar, your feet will get washed out.

Go for light brown shoes with a slightly darker shade, like chestnut brown. The color incorporates a red tint to add depth and dimension (like mahogany wood or a majestic brown horse).

4. White pants

White pants and light brown shoes provide just enough contrast between the two colors. This combo is perfect for warm weather dressing, or when traveling to a more tropical locale.

Practically any shirt will look great with these white pants and a light brown shoe combo.

While a navy blue or olive green line shirt looks great, you can also experiment with brighter, more vibrant colors up top (like a red polo or your favorite floral print short sleeve shirt).

What Color Pants Go With Dark Brown Shoes?

Dark brown, also known as chocolate, represents the darkest end of the spectrum for brown. One of the more challenging hues to pair, some shades of dark brown appear almost black.

That said, here are 4 colors of pants that pair well with dark brown shoes:

1. Dark gray pants

The common wisdom is to pair black shoes with dark gray pants. However, a smarter option (that most people don’t realize) is pairing dark brown shoes with dark gray trousers.

Not only will you stand out in a positive way, but your charcoal trousers will come to life in an unexpected way. The touch of dark brown provides just enough contrast with the charcoal.

However, make sure your gray pants are on the darker side of the spectrum. While it’s acceptable to pair light gray pants with dark brown shoes, they look better with light brown shoes.

2. Navy blue denim or trousers

You can never go wrong with navy blue denim jeans or trousers. In fact, pairing dark brown shoes with navy blue trousers is possibly the best combination any man could wear.

A solid choice to pair with navy blue pants is a pair of dark brown leather shoes. As the leather of the shoes begins to shine, the dark and mysterious dark blue creeps in and takes center stage.

The combination of navy blue pants with dark brown shoes can be worn in any setting, casual or formal. For a casual look, wear neutral-colored polos, but for a formal look, a navy suit goes well.

3. Olive green pants

Just like the colors of the earth, olive green pants and dark brown shoes complement each other. It is perfect for a business casual setting, as you can pair the two with any colored top.

In addition to dark brown, you can also pair burgundy shoes with olive green chinos. If you have an olive suit, try this combo because the dark red color of burgundy adds a touch of class.

4. Tan pants

Instead of brown trousers, go with pants with a lighter color shade like tan. Tan pants provide enough color contrast with dark brown shoes to make your outfit interesting. 

With tan pants, you can dress them up with dark brown dress shoes or dress them down with casual dark brown shoes. Both are totally safe options for most business and social occasions.

Never Pair Black Pants With Brown Shoes

Everyone knows the old fashion rule: never pair black pants with brown shoes.

While there’s a lot of debate, wearing black pants with light brown or dark brown shoes does not provide enough contrast to your outfit. plus, these two colors don’t match.

The best way to approach brown shoes is to consider a high-contrast combination. The risk comes when combining dark brown and black, since it may suggest you got dressed in the dark.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. However, we believe that brown shoes should not be paired with black trousers or a black suit. Go for navy, gray, beige, or olive green instead.


Now you know what color pants go with brown shoes. Brown may be a neutral color, but it contains a dizzying spectrum of options ranging from light brown to dark brown.

Keep in mind that high-contrast color combinations make your outfits look intentional instead of accidental, but always remember to experiment with what makes you happy.

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