Don’t be the guy in the clunky, square-toed slip-on this spring. The shoes of today are brown not black, round not pointy, and more versatile than ever—so bring your footwear up to date with a proper fit and a touch of flash. Here are five ways to refresh your look:

Colored Soles

You don’t want your dress shoes to be mistaken for sprinter spikes, but the right pop of color can keep your look smart without appearing uptight. The yellow soles and laces on this black-wash suede Algonquin split toe by Donald J Pliner (pictured, above) is bold and tasteful.

Find It: $318; Scarpaletto Shoes, 1436 Larimer St., 303-321-5771,

Multiple Textures

Why showcase just one material when you can have two? A pair of Ellington oxfords by Johnston & Murphy are mostly monochromatic, but the subtle contrast between the smooth leather facing and the perforated suede toe makes for a refreshing take on a classic design.

Find It: $135; Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3000 E. First Ave., 303-322-0168, and

Colored Stitching

There are a lot of cool things about the Tich blue buck by Ted Baker London—the sporty canvas, the off-tone laces, the gray-brown welting—but the contrasting stitching is what pulls the shoe together with a preppy-hip design.

Find It: $240; Nordstrom, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 720-746-2424,


In the days of yore, brogues (the dots that can be found decorating the cap and face of many of this season’s lace-ups) were a practical way to allow water to drain from your shoes when crossing Scottish bogs. Today they break up the monotony of otherwise plain leather. This wingtip lace-up Dalton boot by Allen Edmonds (pictured, left) handles the brogues without looking too cluttered for a handsome finish.

Find It: $395; Scarpaletto Shoes

Colored Laces

Not experimental enough for all that color and texture? Get extra mileage out of a pair you already own—and love—by simply swapping out the laces. The combinations are infinite. I’m a fan of the light blue on blue and brown on blue that both come with Westmore wingtips from Johnston & Murphy.

Find It: $175; Cherry Creek Shopping Center