Best Plaid Shoes Reviewed So You Can Look Lumberjack Chic
There is hardly a color pattern which is as widespread or as well-known as plaid. More commonly known as tartan outside of North America, this is a crisscross design of vertical and horizontal lines in different colors. Together, they make blocks of colors which distinctively repeat throughout the fabric.
This rustic, nostalgic pattern is often linked with autumn. We see tartan and we think of orange and red leaves crunching under our feet, thick wool coats and steaming spiced lattes. In the fashion world, there is no item of clothing which doesn’t come in this pattern, and that includes footwear as well.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Textile and Leather Upper
Classy Yet Laid-Back
1. Cole Haan Pinch Weekender
Textile and Leather Upper
Classy Yet Laid-Back
Snug over the Instep
Narrow Toe Box
Cole Haan is a brand which has exactly 90 years of experience in producing only the finest, most carefully crafted footwear for the elegant individual. The Pinch Weekender is a loafer “which your weekend deserves,” as the company proudly declares. This design has an upper made from a combination of textile and leather, with penny keeping detailing. It is fully lined and sports the well-known Cole Haan Grand.OS comfort technology. The outsole of the Pinch Weekender is full rubber, providing you with good balance and slip and skid resistance. Fashionable and effortless!Read more
The Pinch Weekender comes with patented comfort technology which makes it astonishingly lightweight, elegant and agile, moving along with the foot, as well as outfitted with responsive cushioning. This loafer provides energy-return on each step and reduces foot fatigue.
This loafer represents an amazing combination of refined resort wear, but at the same time, it is refreshingly relaxed in design. With the Pinch Weekender, you can be stylish and fashion forward without wasting too much time or effort.
The Pinch Weekender is a loafer made from exceptional materials, crafted to perfection, and with special attention given to its incredible comfort levels. If you are willing to part with a considerable amount of cash, this design will definitely be worth it.
2. Naturalizer Samantha
Lightweight and Flexible
Not for Wide Feet
Naturalizer is a footwear brand which guarantees shoes that look good and feel good - always. The Naturalizer Samantha is a wonderfully elegant and yet unassuming ballet flat, half-d’Orsay in style. It has a detailed grey plaid pattern, a pointy toe silhouette, and is outfitted with the Naturalizer patented N5 Comfort technology. The sole of this lovely flat is flexible, the linings are breathable, and there is extra padding in the footbed. Now you can too enjoy a day of sophistication and unparalleled comfort in the Naturalizer Samantha!Read more
The N5 Comfort system offers several different benefits for a comfortable ride: it provides exceptional shock absorption, keeps feet dry and cool, relieves pressure, promotes a stable heel strike and ensures that Naturalizer Samantha is amazingly lightweight.
The lining of the Samantha flat is made from a porous synthetic material which allows proper airflow. This helps heat and moisture to dissipate, meaning that your feet are cool and sweat-free throughout the day.
The comfort levels that you get with the Naturalizer Samantha are out of this world, and you are not only going to look stylish and refined, but you are also going to enjoy every second spent in these wonderful flats!
3. Steve Madden Belle
Comfy Round Toe
Size Runs Small
A fashion sneaker if we’ve ever seen one, the Steve Madden Belle puts all other sneaker styles to shame. This is an option that is made to be cool, with the tartan upper, the stud details and the sporty stripes. It is effortless in its casualness, and it bears that flatform silhouette that has been all the rage lately and that we can never get enough of. In this amazing design, you will feel like you can do absolutely anything!Read more
The Steve Madden Belle has an upper which can be either man-made or made from genuine pony hair, depending on your preferences. It sports a tartan print, two dual colored sporty stripes, and studs all over for a touch of an edge. Comfort comes in the form of a round-toe silhouette which leaves more than enough room for your toes.
The flatform - flat platform - of the Belle is about 1.5 inches high. This means that the sneaker provides you with a considerable boost in height, but without taking away the usual comfort that this footwear style has. If you’re not a fan of heels but do wish to be taller - here’s the perfect solution!
The Belle is what you wear to a lunch date with your friends, to a cool trip abroad, and maybe even to a party, if you pair it with a sharp suit for a good play on dress and sporty. It will keep you comfy and make you look great, and that’s all we really need from a good sneaker, anyway.
4. Sorel Newbie
Waterproof Suede Upper
Tartan Blanket Back
Removable EVA Footbed
Rubber Traction Pods
Difficult to Put On
Strap Not Adjustable
The Newbie from Sorel, a Canadian brand that is all about comfort and warmth while exploring the great outdoors, is what the brand calls a blanket boot. This says a lot about the designs comfort levels, as well as its heat retaining properties. This genuine suede design is made to be worn anywhere from coffee shops and shopping trips all the way to mountain slopes before slipping into your skiing gear. It is waterproof, with a tartan blanket back, and it will be your go-to bootie this season.Read more
The Newbie is made from water-resistant suede, a material that is luxuriously soft to the touch and which will provide you with a tailored sort of comfort. There is an EVA footbed inside the design, with a heel cup and excellent arch support, as well as a fleece lining for warmth-preserving. This footbed can be removed easily should you require more space inside the design.
The Sorel Newbie has an EVA midsole as well, and even an EVA outsole, which comes with rubber traction pods to help you keep your balance. This design is made for casual wear, as well as for walking around in light rain or light snow.
This option is definitely something you’ll love to wear day in and day out, not least because of its urban, street appeal. The Sorel Newbie follows all the latest fashion trends while being amazingly comfortable at the same time. Just like wrapping your feet up in a blanket!
5. Soft Style Mabry
Memory Foam Footbed
Molded Rubber Outsole
Flexible and Comfortable
Business Smart Design
Tight Toe Box
Not for Wide Feet
Soft Style is a collection by the brand Hush Puppies, comprised of fashion-forward styles with extra cushioning in the sole. Their aim is to provide designs which don’t make you compromise between trendiness and comfort. The Mabry pump is a professional option, plaid in print and with a synthetic polished leather overlay on the front. It has a Soft Comfort Beauty Sock, as well as a microfiber pad in the footbed. The heel of the Mabry pump is chunky in shape and about two and a half inches in height. With this smart business heel, a whole day at the office won’t be a problem anymore!Read more
The footbed of the Mabry is built to ensure that you can stay on your feet for as long as you need to, without a twinge of discomfort. It has microfiber pads in the forepart, together with foam cushioning for superior support and flexibility.
The outsole of the Soft Style Mabry is designed to fit the contours of your foot. Not only that, it is made out of rubber materials, meaning that no matter what surface you walk on - be it sleek or hard or carpeted - you won’t run the risk of slipping and injuring yourself.
If you’re looking for that perfect work pump to compliment your business outfits, then in the Soft Style Mabry you have found one that is not only stylish but also unbelievably comfortable as well!
6. Toms Classic
Breathable Canvas Upper
Molded Removable Insole
EVA Rubber Outsole
Casual and Lightweight
Not for Wide Feet
The truth is that Toms designs are addictingly comfortable. They are our first option when it comes to closed-toe summer footwear, not least because of their lightweight construction. The upper of this Toms Classic is made from textile, and it has an elastic insert at the front for a stretchy fit. The insole is removable, molded for maximum comfort, and there is a cotton twill antimicrobial liner. The outsole of the Toms Classic is made from EVA rubber. When shopping for Toms shoes there is also a charitable factor, where this brand will donate a pair of new shoes to a child in need for every pair of Toms you purchase.Read more
You need to try Toms out for yourself to believe it - the contoured removable insole of this design is amazingly comfortable. It keeps your arches supported as you walk, and it feels as though you are stepping on clouds - you will have a hard time parting from your Toms Classic at the end of the day!
Bacteria and fungi love to grow in hot, damp areas. Closed-toe summer footwear represents the perfect breeding ground for infections, and this is why the Toms Classic goes above and beyond to ensure a healthy foot climate. The lining of this design is treated with an antimicrobial agent which keeps you safe and healthy no matter where you go.
The Toms Classic is breathable, lightweight and comfortable and will quickly become your favorite slip-on sneaker for the summer. For its price, it is a downright steal!
7. Muck Boot Arctic Adventure Tall
Stretchy Neoprene Upper
Plush Fleece Lining
Not Warm Enough for Some
Pinching Heel Area
Who says that you can’t be colorful and fashionable even when you’re wearing tough winter boots? The Muck Boot Arctic Adventure Tall wows us all with its innovative use of the color pink in combination with the tartan pattern and makes any work and any cold day simply a breeze to get through. This is a waterproof design made to be worn in extreme conditions, to protect your feet from the cold and from moisture, while also helping you look effortlessly stylish at the same time!Read more
The Arctic Adventure is made from a combination of rubber and neoprene for a completely waterproof design. The neoprene is 5 mm thick, meaning that it provides flexibility, impact-absorption, and even heat retention! It also stretches out to fit the shape of your leg, so you won’t have to worry about chafing any time soon.
The lining of this boot is made from fleece, which is durable and delivers that plush comfort. Thanks to it, you can wear the Arctic Adventure in temperatures ranging from -20 F to 50 F and feel equally good throughout! Moreover, there is a lightweight EVA midsole for extra cushioning, and an outsole with self-cleaning properties, as well as amazing traction on slick surfaces.
There is hardly anything that the Muck Boot Arctic Adventure Tall can’t do. If you are someone who loves the outdoors and who doesn’t let even snow stop them from working and exploring outside, then definitely opt for this design and be both well-protected and stylish at the same time!
8. Converse Chuck Taylor
Non-slip Rubber Outsole
Adjustable Lace-up System
Breathable Canvas Upper
Not for Wide Feet
We are over the moon that a plaid pattern now comes with the most iconic sneaker of all time - the Converse Chuck Taylor. We have yet to see a design more timeless or more widely accepted as a symbol of coolness in all ranks or life. This simple sneaker has an outsole made from rubber, a canvas upper with a burgundy print, and a lace-up closure with metallic eyelets for durability. The Converse Chuck Taylor doesn’t only look effortlessly relaxed, it also provides maximum comfort with its OrthoLite insole. Embrace your inner rebel, switch up your style and be a fashion icon in these legendary sneakers.Read more
OrthoLite insoles have a threefold benefit: they keep every part of your foot cozy and cushioned, they provide high-level breathability and keep your feet cool, and they have exceptional moisture management properties, reducing the risk of sweaty feet and bad odors that come with that.
We love a good lacing system at the front of the shoe because it allows for maximum adjustability. No matter the build of your foot, you can always make the fit just the right amount of tight or loose so that you don’t lose your sneaker, but that you also don’t accidentally cut off your blood flow.
The Converse Chuck Taylor - at least the regular, standard kind - has always been an affordable design. That is one of the many reasons why we keep coming back to it. It is a comfortable, amazingly laid-back sneaker which will fulfill all of your casual outfit needs, and which will become a staple design in your wardrobe.
9. Demonia Rival 106
Fierce Punk Design
Good for Thick Calves
No Breaking In Needed
Size Runs Small
Demonia footwear is for those who are tired of the conventional, the ordinary and the mundane. This is a line of alternative products which are designed to grab attention and rebel against society. And the punk theme is definitely obvious in the Demonia Rival 106. This wonderfully edgy boot is made from shiny synthetic leather, with a lace-up closure at the front and a strap across the ankle decorated with metallic studs and spikes. With the Demonia Rival 106, you are making a statement, that you are a bold individual who is not afraid to show off their non-conformist style and who stands up for what they believe in.Read more
In this list of professional, put-together and refined designs, it is refreshing to see something as raw and as powerful as the Demonia Rival 106. This ankle boot is definitely not fit for every occasion, but if it speaks to you, don’t be afraid to embrace its rebellious aesthetic!
Demonia is a brand which is famous for its environmentally-friendly footwear. The same goes for the Rival 106, which is made entirely out of synthetic materials. This boot may look menacing, but no animals were harmed in the process of its construction.
The Demonia Rival 106 is a decent product, one which looks the part, and which is comfortable and easy to wear at the same time. You will have no problems wearing the Rival 106 all day, every day!
10. Circus Sam Edelman Tabitha
Adjustable Buckle Closure
Narrow Toe Area
When done right - minimalistic and in neutral colors - plaid is the go-to pattern for the office. The Circus by Sam Edelman Tabitha is a pointed toe pump which has that elegant and yet not too formal silhouette that is perfect for the workplace. It comes with a three and a half inch stiletto heel and an ankle strap with a large adjustable buckle. Everything on this heel is made from synthetic materials, from the upper to the footbed, to the lining. Aside from being comfortable enough to wear all day, the Circus Sam Edelman Tabitha is just the right choice to advance your career!Read more
It is not easy to navigate the workplace in high heels. You need to be comfortable while sitting at a desk, but then also walking around from office to office, to the cafeteria, coffee machine, you name it. This is why the Tabitha is a great option for everyday business wear, as its mid-high heel provides all the necessary wearability.
The ankle strap of the Circus Sam Edelman Tabitha has a large buckle closure at the side. It serves as a decoration piece, but also to adjust the width of the strap to however tight or loose you’d like it to be. When it comes to the Tabitha, it is not important whether your ankles are thick or thin!
With the Tabitha, you get a comfortable, workplace-appropriate pump which you can wear all day long, and which will be an excellent addition to all of your business outfits!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In this guide we tried to diversify; we understand that not every design is appropriate for every event, and depending on where you’re going, you might want a tartan option for each happening that’s in your schedule. Our goal was to include both formal and casual designs so that you can find one which fits your personal aesthetic.
Here, we will take a closer look at all of those, and see when it is best to wear each one.
The loafer is a ridiculously easy style to put on. It comes with that well-known slip-on design which is a breeze to get into, and you don’t have to worry about any complicated fastenings.
This style can be casual if dressed down with a pair of jeans and a loose fitting blouse, but it can also be more elegant – loafer silhouettes are considered one of the few footwear options suitable for pairing with a tuxedo, for example. They can be worn both with socks or without, for showing off your fine ankles.
The footwear type which originated in the gym, today sneakers are absolutely everywhere, permeating every aspect of our daily lives. We bet that you know many people who have a casual sneaker, a dress sneaker, one for running or weightlifting or tennis or any other type of exercise, and maybe an old, worn sneaker which is still around for doing work around the house.
In this guide, we have described two types of sneakers:
- Slip-On: Similarly to the loafer, this type of sneaker is very easy to put on and take off. In hot summer months, this is your go-to design because you can wear it with no show socks, or even on bare feet, and still look cool and fashionable at the same time. Choose models which are made of canvas or similar lightweight materials for extra breathability.
- Classic Sneaker: The Converse Chuck Taylor and the Steve Madden Belle are classic, lace-up sneaker styles. These are fully adjustable thanks to the lacing systems, and you can’t go wrong with a legendary silhouette such as this one!
We have focused mainly on one important type of heel, and that is the office pump. Tartan patterns are sophisticated and professional in design, and it shouldn’t be too surprising that they are one of the most common pattern options for workplace footwear. Office heels should be low, not over three inches in height, and they should definitely have a closed-toe silhouette.
Choose neutral colors, such as black, white, grey, nude, or perhaps dark blue. Depending on the place you work at, some other colors, such as dark red or green or even a muted pink could be suitable. Metallics and shiny colors like silver and gold are definitely out of the question. Additionally, try to stay away from any embellishments – leave the glitter, sparkle, bows, charms and other bling for your downtime, and bring only your best, classiest foot forward at the office.
Tartan patterned flats are great for that period in the year when the seasons change; when it is too warm for boots and yet not warm enough for open-toe footwear. They are classy and elegant, and similarly to plaid heels, they are a great option for the workplace.
Boots are definitely a winter favorite. They keep your feet and legs warm, they protect you from the elements, and they can look pretty damn stylish at the same time. Tartan patterns on boots are a common theme, especially if you combine it with some of the more edgy elements, such as polished leather, spikes, and studs, as in our example from the list. However, even plain rubber boots often come with a plaid print, even though they have no actual fabrics in their construction.
If you are the type of person who has thicker ankles and calves and who finds it hard to fit into any boot that is above the ankle height – we feel your pain. In that case, look for designs which have elastic inserts in them, which will stretch out to accommodate your leg, and maybe those which have special straps that can be adjusted with buckles.
Arguably one of the key aspects when shopping for any kind of footwear - comfort should not be overlooked. After all, when we find a design that we love, we want to wear it as much as we can so that we can show off our style to everyone! It would be pretty difficult to do that if we are experiencing any sort of discomfort while wearing our new shoes.
When it comes to comfort, there are some things you can keep in mind, which will greatly improve your chances of getting a design which feels just right for you. Let’s see what those are.
- Footbed: Ideally, the footbed of a design should be cushioned or contoured, or perhaps even both at the same time. Look at the Toms Classic, for example, or the Sorel Newbie. These come with more than enough padding in the footbed, and even deliver additional comfort in the form of arch support and contours. Long-term, a lack of support can cause medical problems, such as fallen arches or even plantar fasciitis, and this is why it is crucial that your footwear provides just the right amount of cushioning and support so that you can wear it for as long as you like.
- Materials: In order to enjoy the most comfortable design you can, look for one made out of natural materials. Genuine leather and suede change shape over time, and mold to the form of your foot. This makes them addictively comfortable. Additionally, you can opt for a canvas design, or one made out of a different soft fabric. Synthetic leather options can be somewhat stiff and hard to break in, and thus should be our last choice in terms of comfort. We talk more about material quality and properties in the section labeled Materials.
- Heel: Of course that not all options on our list have high heels, but just in case you are looking for one that you can wear comfortably, here’s what you should know: low heels (up to three inches high), and thick heels (chunky heels or wedge heels) are far more wearable than high stiletto heels. They provide you with a good base to walk on and don’t put unnecessary strain on the front of your foot. If you wish to be able to wear your heels throughout the day, then a low, chunky option is the way to go.
In the comfort section we briefly touched upon how materials affect the comfort of a design. Indeed, the materials are those which come in direct contact with your skin - or sock, if you’re wearing one - and which can very easily lead to unpleasantries, if they happen to rub you the wrong way or cause any blisters.
Not only that, but materials also determine other features of a design, such as its breathability, flexibility, durability, heat preserving, scuff resistance, and so on and so forth. A lot about a shoe rides on the quality of its materials, and thus here we will expand a bit on each material type and what you can expect from it.
Natural materials - genuine leather and suede - are definitely at the top of the list when it comes to quality. They are breathable, promoting a healthy climate inside a design, durable, and can actually last up to a decade if treated properly, and they are amazingly comfortable, as we have already established.
The downsides to natural materials are that they are expensive, and they are also, obviously, not animal-friendly. But if these factors are not a problem for you, you should always go for genuine leather rather than the faux version.
In our list there are plenty of canvas and other fabric options. These are lightweight and breathable, and a delight to wear in warm weather, but they are also not the most durable. However, these designs are not expensive, and they are also gentle on the skin, and there is no reason why you should shy away from them.
Lastly, while synthetic leather is inexpensive and vegan, it is also poorer in quality compared to its natural counterpart. If you don’t mind replacing your design every one or two seasons, go for it! Otherwise, you may be better off bringing home something pricier but also far better in terms of pretty much every aspect.
It is a completely natural desire that we want our footwear - or anything that we own, basically - to last as long as possible. We buy things so we could have them and use them, and we always like to get our money’s worth, especially when it comes to footwear. So let’s answer the burning question: how long are these going to last? How long can you wear them before they fall apart?
Let’s analyze our rankings and which designs came out at the top, and which didn’t fare so well and why.
Definitely the most durable option is the Muck Boot Arctic Adventure Tall, because the rubber and the neoprene it is made of are virtually indestructible. This is a hard-wearing winter/work boot that is meant for the harshest of conditions, and we’re honestly not surprised at its durability.
Following it is the Sorel Newbie which is made from genuine suede that is also water resistant, and we already mentioned a few times how suede and leather in general are amazingly durable materials.
At the bottom of the list, when it comes to durability, we have the Circus Sam Edelman Tabitha, a synthetic leather option that creases easily and unfortunately doesn’t promise much in terms of longevity. The Toms Classic takes the second to last spot, because even though we love almost everything about this iconic design, it is still made of canvas that is prone to stains, scuffs and fraying.
No matter what the rankings are according to this criterion, we will say that most of these options are reasonable in terms of pricing. However much you pay for them, that much you can expect them to last, and we feel that this is a fair deal, overall.
While this factor is not of utmost importance to everyone, we do feel that it is nice and useful, to have that one staple pair of shoes that you can wear to pretty much any event and always look good in it. We love a design that we can take from the office to a shopping trip to a date night with our significant other, without worrying if we are overdressed or underdressed, and without worrying whether or not the footwear will match our clothes.
In this fast-paced world, versatility saves time, money and effort, and that’s why we ranked our options according to their ability to handle both casual and more formal situations.
The Naturalizer Samantha and the Cole Haan Pinch Weekender are at the top here, because you can definitely wear with anything you’d like. You can dress them up with a pencil skirt and a crisp white button-up, or you can dress them down with skinny jeans and a flowy top. They are comfortable enough that you can wear them any place you want, and everyone will always comment on how good you look.
The options that are not so versatile are the obvious ones - the Muck Boot Arctic Adventure Tall, the Sorel Newbie, and the Demonia Rival 106. The first two are obviously only meant for winter and for working or trekking in the snow or rain, and are not very good for classier settings. The Demonia Rival 106, while absolutely stunning in design, is also a punk option that is not meant to be worn at a fancy dinner party or even a business meeting.
At the end of the day, versatility is not something that you should lose sleep over. Take a brief moment to consider where you will be wearing these designs and what you need them for, and make a decision based on that. You can’t go wrong, trust us!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Plaid shoes are simple to pair! As each plaid pattern has several color hues in it, you can pick pants, dresses, or skirt that have one of those similar colors, and wear with a complementary top. If you have a black and white plaid, the sky's the limit since those colors can pair great with any other hue like yellow, orange, reds or blues.
The term 'plaid' is actually not quite the proper name for the pattern. Historically, it was called 'tartan', which was worn by Scottish clans.
Other Factors to Consider
Even though we have mentioned before that tartan is most often associated with autumn and colder months, you can see that this pattern is not limited to only fall footwear. Rather, we have all sorts of styles on our list, each more chic than the last, and each with its own sets of pros and cons.
Because when you’re choosing a new pair of shoes to buy, you should definitely consider their pros and cons. Are they comfortable? Made of high-quality materials? Are they durable? Difficult to clean and maintain? Are they too pricey? These are all important factors when it comes to purchasing new footwear. After all, what is the point of a stylish pair of tartan loafers if they won’t even last one season?
Tartan, in general, is considered a classy, versatile pattern, and so you are surely going to find a design that you love, without any problems. We hope that you absorbed all the new information about your footwear options and that you feel ready to go out there and get a great pair of brand new plaid shoes today!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What can I wear with my tartan footwear designs?
This depends entirely on your personal aesthetic! However, be mindful of the colors that take up the majority of the pattern, and try to pair them with your outfit in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Also, plaid is a pattern or a print, so be careful when combining it with other prints – make sure that they don’t clash.
q: Are plaid shoes in style?
Plaid is always in style! This pattern has literally been in fashion for centuries, and there are no signs that it’s fading away any time soon.
q: Doesn’t this pattern have something to do with Scotland?
Tartan is indeed associated with Scotland, as it first originated there. In the mid-nineteenth century, this pattern was connected with Scottish clans and families, as well as institutions which had a Scottish heritage. It was woven into wool materials and created using natural dyes. One of the most famous Scottish fashion staples – the kilt – almost always comes with a tartan pattern.
q: Is tartan appropriate for both men and women?
Of course it is! People of all ages, gender identities and backgrounds can rock this pattern, no matter the occasion!
q: I’m worried that tartan is too serious for me.
Nonsense! If there’s anything that the Converse and the Steve Madden (and the Demonia) options from this guide showed us, it’s that tartan can be effortlessly cool and worn even by the trendiest, most badass of fashionistas.