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Situational Awareness: How to Choose the Perfect Shoes for Any Occasion

* Make sure your shoe choice matches the occasion
* Some events still require more than sneakers
* What to wear for a formal dinner, hike, casual date and the office

As arguably the most important part of an outfit, your shoes should reflect what you’re doing — and do so with style. Even as casual sneakers become acceptable in a variety of situations, there are still plenty of occasions that call for a specific type of shoe – dressy and otherwise.

As a guide, here are a few occasions when the right shoes can make a huge difference: a formal dinner, on a hike, during a casual date, and at the office. We’ve selected shoes for each occasion (men’s and women’s) that will elevate the rest of the outfit, and stylistically match the mood.

1. Hiking

A real wilderness hike calls for something more rugged than running shoes. These hiking shoes by Greats and Palladium Boots ensure that your feet will be comfortable and protected while you enjoy the great outdoors.

Men: Greats Midwood Trail

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Women: Palladium Pallabrouse Hiker

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2. Office

Although office dress codes are becoming more relaxed, there are still many offices that maintain a professional appearance. These pairs by Cole Haan and Mansur Gavriel celebrate classic office attire, and bring a few modern touches that make for stylish, professional shoes.

Men: Cole Haan Harrison Monk Straps

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Women: Mansur Gavriel Suede Loafers

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3. Casual Date

Casual dates call for shoes that can be worn with jeans and a tee, or a summer dress. These trendy brown suede Chelsea boots and pink suede ballerina flats provide that casual, versatile style, but maintain a sense of occasion for a night out.

Men: Paul Smith Suede Chelsea Boots

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Women: Mansur Gavriel Suede Ballerina Flats

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4. Formal Dinner

Even if they don’t get used that often, it’s always worth it to be prepared with formal shoes. Classic, high-end dress shoes like these will last a long time (fashionably and literally), and will make those special occasions even better.

Men: To Boot New York Salinger Oxfords

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Women: Jimmy Choo Black Heels

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