Cargo pants are not just stylish (maybe not everyone thinks so), but they are practical and versatile. Plus, they look equally good on both men and women. With their loose cut and multiple pockets to carry everything, cargo pants are the go-to pants for any casual event or outdoor activity. What’s great about them is that they go with every type of shoe — and when we say every type, we mean every type, from flip flops to stilettos. Don’t worry, we don’t list out every shoe option below. We carefully put together a list of the shoes and boots we believe go best with cargo pants.
Here’s our list…
Sneakers that go with Cargo Pants
One of the most commonly paired footwear with cargo pants is sneakers, both high top and low top. Sneakers themselves are extremely versatile shoes and they can be used to turn any outfit into casual, street, sporty, or dressy smart. Paired with cargo pants, they can create an unlimited number of outfits for every style and almost every occasion.
Khaki cargo pants with white or black-and-white sneakers offer a very laid-back street look and is a great choice for daytime activities, including playing outdoor sports or just taking a scroll across the mall. This is a super-casual outfit perfect for the summer because of the roomy cut of the pants.
White Sneakers with Dark Cargo Pants
If you want to go for a smarter look, choose dark-colored cargo pants that are not too baggy and have fewer pockets. Pair with preferably white sneakers for a neater look, though black sneakers work as well. To complete the outfit, pair it with a dark V-neck t-shirt or a Henley shirt and don on a leather jacket.
High-tops with Tactical Cargo Pants
Want to go for a more adventurous look? Choose high-top sneakers — white, black, tan, or in varying colorways — with tactical pants with lots of pants. The outfit is on-trend and super comfortable and is actively worn for hikes in the woods and mountains and other outdoor activities.
Pair this with a warm woolen sweater and a sleeveless hiking vest and you are ready for an adventure.
Low-Top Sneakers with Black Cargo Pants
If you want to show a sporty look, you can either go for very loose or not-so-baggy black cargo pants — your choice! Pair them with a low-top white sneakers or sneakers in different colors and top them with a simple T-shirt or a tank top.
White sneakers with black cargo pants are one of the best choices since the white color serves as an accent and can help make your dark pants the focus of attention.
A thing to keep in mind is that you can add splashes of colors to your outfit to make it more interesting and unique. Since cargo pants and sneakers come in unlimited designs, you can color coordinate them with every outfit.
Canvas Shoes with Straight-Legged Cargo Pants
One of the best kinds of footwear to choose with cargo pants are the traditional converse shoes, specifically the Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes. These soft canvas shoes are very comfortable and are great for a cool urban look.
You can pair straight-legged cargo pants with black and white canvas shoes. Since these shoes are quite low profile, they look great with loose pants. You can also wear your Chuck Taylors with cargo pants of different colors. Keep in mind that neutral colors like white, black, and tan/ beige can be worn with all sorts of colors.
Boots with Cargo Pants
Boots and cargo pants make a hot combination. This not just gives you a very outdoorsy look but depending on the type you are wearing, also gives you a very cool, edgy vibe.
Combat Boots with Camouflage Pants
One of the coolest outfits can be achieved by a pair of combat boots with camouflage pants that give you a very military feel — which is what cargo pants were originally known for. A pair of well-polished Doc Martens can successfully give you a very grungy look and allow you to show off your own authentic style.
This looks just as great on men as well as women. Women can complete the outfit by wearing a white or black tank top with a pair of slims-styled ankle boots and cargo pants. Men, on the other hand, can use boots with zippers on the side.
No matter the color of your cargo pants, the military boots will enhance their look and make a statement.
Hiking boots like Timberland boots also pair very well with cargo pants. Whatever color you choose for your cargo pants, the hiking boots will complement them because of their naturalist color. Hiking boots and cargo pants offer a lot of practicality for people who love to participate in outdoor activities. The cargo pants provide a lot of coverage and the boots are made of sturdy materials so they protect you from insect bites and injuries.
Snow Boots and Dark Cargo Pants
Because of their thick material, cargo pants are uniquely suited for cold climates. Coupled with snow boots, this combination makes a very warm and very stylish winter outfit. One of my favorite outfits is to pair black, dark grey, and olive cargo pants with black snow boots, just like model Ashley Graham here.
Dress Shoes with Cargo Pants (Men)
Even with their relaxed fit and utility, cargo pants can just as easily be dressed up and they can be dressed down. Adding a pair of dress shoes with these pants can up the ante from the casual and veer off in the direction of business smart. This combination can offer you a more mature and sophisticated look.
It is a smart idea to choose pants with few pockets and pair them with a pair of leather lace-up dress shoes. Add a pinstripe button-up shirt on the top with a tan or navy blazer and you will end up with an outfit that is more business casual.
Oxford Shoes with Cargo Pants
Although most people only ever wear Oxford shoes with their business and formal suits, these shoes can also be worn with cargo pants. Choose straight-legged pants with fewer number of pockets and pair them with your Oxford for a practical but sharp look. We particularly love this look on GQ that features floral pants combined with black lace-up Oxford shoes that allow a few inches of the ankle to peek through — perfect for the spring season.
Derby shoes and cargo pants are a great outfit choice for when it is time to clock off. Pair the combination with an olive trench coat or raincoat to elevate the wow factor of the outfit. This outfit may sound a bit eclectic, but when you put it on, every element goes with each other surprisingly well and keeps you looking sharp and feeling comfy.
Loafers are one of the most preferred no-heel shoes that look great on men and women. They are one of those slip-on shoes that are between the casual and formal spectrum and hence are very versatile. Wearing your favorite pair of loafers with straight cargo pants can add the classy factor to your outfit and give you an effortless sophisticated look.
In addition, this outfit offers a very relaxed yet elegant style and is very breathable. Moreover, since loafers do not have laces, they are very easy to slip on and off.
Flat Soles with Cargo Pants (Women)
If you want to take the comfort of your outfit to the next level, pair flat soles with cargo pants. Flexible soles are one of the most preferred shoes for the summer. In addition, they can make a style statement since they come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and print and can make a showstopper outfit with your cargo pants.
Espadrilles are soft and flexible rope-sole shoes that often have flat soles but they may also be available in platform styles as well. Originated from Spain, this footwear makes a fashion-forward statement when worn with cargo pants.
To complete the outfit, wear a simple polo shirt with espadrilles and cargo pants to make the perfect ensemble for a summer day. For a more feminine and flirty look, pair brightly-colored espadrilles with cargo pants and top them off with a summery blouse.
Although cargo pants offer a utilitarian and military-style look, coupled with ballet flats, they can add the cute factor to any outfit. Choose slim cargo pants with fewer pockets so that they don’t steal all the attention from your ballet shoes.
If you want to add the extra cool and classy element to your outfit, add a navy coat or blazer on top of your cargo pants and slip on a pair of neutral-toned ballet flats. Finish the look with a simple rectangular flat clutch.
Wearing gladiator sandals with cargo pants adds a uniquely feminine but also a slightly edgy look to your everyday outfit. One of my favorite looks is a pair of grey or olive skinny cargo pants with tan or brown gladiator sandals to set off the entire outfit. I love these grey cargo pants with black gladiator sandals with stud detailing.
Flip Flops with Cargo Pants
If you want to go super casual and easy, just wear your cargo pants with flip flops. If you want to transform this outfit into something pretty, add a strappy top or a breezy blouse to complete the look. Depending on how you style it, you can transform the outfit into a cool, breezy, and urban look, just like Lindsay Lohan here.
Heels with Cargo Pants
Add heels to your cargo pants to turn your outfit instantly into a feminine style. There are dozens of different heel styles you can choose from to go with your outfit. Depending on the kind of heel you choose, you can change the look of your outfit dramatically.
Platform Heel with Cargo Pants
One of the coolest and effortless looks we see is cargo pants with platforms. The great thing about platforms is that they can go well with skinny, straight-legged, and baggy cargo pants. Don’t go too over the top and keep the bottom of the pants slightly loose. If you want, you can also roll up the pants to reveal your ankles. Coupled with platforms, this can make your legs look longer and give a flirtier look.
Kitten Heels with Cargo Pants
There is something to be said for oversized cargo pants paired with pretty lady-like kitten heels. Just changing a shoe style can turn your entire outfit into something entirely different. Pair wide-leg, high-waisted cargo pants with a pair of pretty patterned kitty heels in white, grey, or black. Add a bright red crew neck sweater on top and you are ready to go out to party with your friends.
Stiletto Heels with Cargo Pants
The combination of cargo pants and heels first originated in the 1990s. Swapping your sneakers for stiletto heels can transform your outfit from street casual to party glam. Stiletto heels are excellent options if you are wearing skinny cargo pants or wide-legged cargo pants that show the ankle. The great thing about this dramatic combination is that you can’t go wrong with anything and there is a lot of looks to try once you find the right proportions for the pants and the heels.
Since there is a huge array of stilettos in a wide variety of styles, you can have a lot of fun experimenting them with cargo pants and discovering great new looks every day.
With changing fashion trends, cargo pants have become a lot more versatile and fashion forward than they once were. With the right styling, you can pull off any type of shoes with these pants. Although cargo pants are most suited for sporty, street, and urban looks, they can certainly be dressed up to give you a glam or business smart look.
Have fun experimenting with your own styles!
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