From darty to day job, the possibilities for men’s footwear are endless. There are so many different directions you can go with and so many stylish brands to choose from.

As a college student, not everyone has the extra time on their hands to peruse department stores for hours just to find the perfect pair. Here are a few trusty staples to help you navigate a multitude of social or professional situations.

Beater darty pair

As the saying goes, “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.” When the weather gets warm again, every day has the potential to be a day drinking day, since as college students we’re programmed to drink anytime the weather hits 50 degrees. When it comes to your choice of footwear for the days battle, they should be comfortable enough to stand for a handful of hours in and be capable of withstanding a beating and beer puddles. If you’re unsure about what type of shoes will hold up, a classic pair of Chucks or Vans are a great place to start.

Jake Zinda/The Badger Herald

Classing it up shoes

With warmer weather coming, it is inevitable that one finds themselves in a situation where classing up for a casual outfit is necessary. One of my favorite ways of doing this is with a pair of clean, white, preferably leather, kicks. It can be a challenge to keep them clean, but when they’re gleaming in the sunlight, you’ll be glad to have kept them clean. Another classic option is picking up a pair of boat shoes or casual loafers.  

Jake Zinda/The Badger Herald

Lightweight runners

Versatility is key in spring, especially as a student at Madison. In twenty-four hours the weather could go from 60 and sunny, to wind-whipping snow or rain that persists until it feels like hail drilling your skin. With this in mind, a pair of lightweight runners are a top choice for walking to and from class as they provide quality support and make those long walks feel more manageable.

In addition, when the thermostat gets cranked up and you’re running through two shirts a day just walking up and down Bascom, you won’t want a heavy, thick upper-material that’s gonna turn your shoes into hot-boxes. Look for shoes with mesh/breathable uppers. Many of them are usually within the “lifestyle” category rather than sport and generally have tons of options in multitudes of colors.

Jake Zinda/The Badger Herald

Boots (rainproof)

 No one wants to be sitting in lecture with sopping wet shoes and with it being spring, rain is coming. As tempting as skipping class seems when it’s raining out, there’re times where that just isn’t an option. When the weather outside just won’t let up, throw on your pair of trusty dustys and head out.

Jake Zinda/The Badger Herald


Easy, plain, goes with just about anything, especially shorts. For quick walks to go grab coffee, or if you’re waking up late and throwing on before heading to class, slides or Birkenstocks are perfect. Adidas or Nike slides are a classic that can usually be snagged cheap and while it can be harder to find cheap Birkenstocks, places like Rogan’s have some pretty good discounts.