Once you get into your 50’s, it used to be that you’d have to embrace middle age, at least as far as your wardrobe was concerned. However this is not the case any more. Women such as Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore, and men like Colin Firth, George Clooney and Barack Obama have shown that turning 50 is no barrier to style.
There is no reason for men and ladies over 50 not to follow the trends and stay stylish, and that goes for your shoes too. Here are our top tips for choosing those perfect shoes if you’re a fifty-something.
Cute shoes for ladies over 50
As a lady “of a certain age” you may feel once you hit 50 that your shoe wardrobe could do with a bit of a reshuffle, or that you have to cast aside the stilettos and embrace the “comfy” shoe. While it’s true that comfort is key – you have to take better care of your feet as you age, so probably best to pass on those super-high strappy sandals if you haven’t already – that doesn’t mean you have to forsake style. There are plenty of cute shoes out there for women in their 50’s. You just need to know what you’re looking for.
For work, court shoes are always a classic. Black, navy and tan go with pretty much anything. Keep heels fairly low – there are plenty of stylish mid-heel and kitten-heel shoes about. Simple shift dresses, trouser and skirt suits, and pretty tops can be easily mixed and matched to create a capsule work wardrobe that will work perfectly with this style of shoe.
For play, again the court shoe is ideal, but try adding some funky colours or embellishments. The party season is perfect for stocking up on stylish shoes featuring velvet, glitter, pearls, you name it. Again, a low, chunky heel is best. Or why not try some ritzy glitzy flats? Well-cut trousers and a sparkly top or cute jacket will complete your party look.
What shoes to wear with skinny jeans or leggings over 50
Skinny jeans and leggings are wardrobe staples for women of all ages. They go with everything and can be dressed up for work or social events, or down for lazy weekends or shopping trips. When you were in your 20’s or 30’s, you may have teamed them with high heeled boots or shoes, but in your 50’s, you want something more comfortable.
For casual looks, in the winter, team leggings or skinny jeans with a chunky knitted jumper or cardigan (always go for a longer length), a snuggly scarf, and flat or low-heeled boots. The good news is that skinny jeans and leggings work with ankle, calf-length and knee-high boots, so you can pick the height that works best for you. The important thing is to be comfy. For more info, read our guide about what to wear with boots over 50.
For smarter looks, as you’ve gone skinny on your bottom half, you can play with proportion on your top half. Cover up arms with funky sleeves, or try a floaty blouse and accessorise with bracelets or necklaces. Shoes-wise, try a shoe-boot for winter or a pretty flat or low-wedge sandal for summer.
If skinny jeans or leggings send you running for the hills, try slim-fit trousers instead. An-ankle-grazing length will look lovely with a simple jumper, and ballet pumps or low wedge heels.
Men’s shoes for over 50s
As in your 40’s, timeless, classic style is key. However in your 50’s you’ll probably want to prioritise comfort as well. Classic needn’t mean boring, but if in doubt, go with leather and keep trainers for running or the gym.
For clothes, it’s all about fit and staple pieces. Your body shape will change slightly as you get older, so this needs to be reflected in the clothes you wear. Invest in good quality, tailored pieces and stick to block colours and you’ll have a wardrobe that works for any occasion.
Dress shoes for over 50s
In your 50’s you’ll more than likely have acquired a couple of good suits. If you haven’t, this is something you should definitely invest in. These don’t need to be expensive, as long as they’re well-fitted and good-quality. Avoid anything too skinny or too baggy. Keep shirts plain (or very subtly patterned) and long-sleeved. Accessorise with a co-ordinating tie if required (though avoid skinny ties) and some stylish cufflinks.
Not every smart occasion needs a suit: for less formal occasions try some tailored trousers and a blazer or sports jacket, teamed with a collared shirt (and tie if occasion calls for it).
For dress shoes, as mentioned above, keep it simple and stick to leather. Tan, black or brown shoes will work with most suits, colours and occasions – whether lace-ups or slip-ons. Oxblood is also a good colour if you’re feeling a bit more daring.
Casual shoes for men in their 50s
Whilst your 40’s are all about working toward a more mature, classic style, your 50’s are about developing and cementing this. Your casual wardrobe should consist of dark-coloured jeans, tailored trousers and chinos, teamed with block coloured shirts and jumpers that you can mix and match. Again, fit is key. Nothing should be too tight or too baggy.
For casual shoes, try chunky lace-up boots or Chelsea boots if the weather’s cold, or for warmer days try driving shoes or deck shoes. As before, keep colours and styles simple.
Running shoes for men and women over 50
Running is an easy (and cheap) way to keep fit, and keeping fit in your 50’s is key. It keeps you healthy and can help to slow down ageing. And you don’t need specialist equipment, or even a high level of speed or skill! What you do need, however is good running shoes. Bone density and the fat pads in your feet both reduce as you age, so it’s important to protect your feet. Make sure that your running shoes are right for the type of running and distance you’re doing – support levels will vary.
Whilst your 50’s may be a time when you want to start slowing down a bit and embracing comfort, this doesn’t mean you need to lose your personal style. Investing in classic styles of shoes and clothing will mean you’ve got a great base for your wardrobe that you can update with different pieces as trends come and go.