Have you noticed the growing number of options in men’s shoes? It used to be dress shoes or athletic shoes, with few categories in between, but now men’s casual shoes have taken on a life of their own. There are full-page ads in many magazines that highlight the multitude of colors and patterns in the new styles.

The introduction of variety in male shoe styles has opened up a new market, not just for shoes, but it has expanded the casual fashion category. Relaxed dress codes can now be expressed with relaxed shoe options to make a suit seem less formal or jeans to become more so.

Women have always known that the right shoe can make or break an outfit, thus the accumulation of “so many” pairs. I predict that men will soon be needing more space in their closets if the adaptation of colors catches on.

Think of whether the implications of this should cause you to change your steps. Do you need to be more clear on attire expectations at work or events? Can you capitalize on the trend and provide storage options or spirit-themed shoes in team colors? Will we see a resurgence in the shoe shine stations beyond airports?

Colorful, patterned, casual shoes are one more way people can express their personality. Look for men’s shoes to start to do more talking, not just walking.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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