What Footwear Do You Wear With a Kilt? (Are Brogues Okay?)


Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Traditional Scottish footwear like ghillie brogues is the most suitable choice when wearing a kilt. These lace-up shoes have distinct decorative perforations and long laces that wrap around the ankle. Alternatively, dress loafers or oxford shoes can also be paired with a kilt for formal occasions.

What Footwear Do You Wear With a Kilt?

There are many things to consider when determining what footwear you wear with a kilt. For example. the first thing you will have to decide is whether or not you want boots or shoes and socks. If you choose to wear socks with your kilt. it is important that they match your sporran.

There are a variety of choices. including everything from sneakers to dress or casual shoes to boots. And then. of course. there are always bare feet!

Once you determine what type of footwear you want to wear. there are many different styles to choose from. You can choose between leather and rubber-soled shoes. both of which come in a variety of styles.

There are also boots if you prefer ankle-high boots with your kilt. No matter what style you choose for your kilt footwear. one thing is certain; you will have no problem finding a pair that fits perfectly with your kilt!

Tartan kilts can be worn with ordinary shoes. but proper shoes are expected at a formal gathering. If you plan on dancing in your kilt. then it would be best to wear kilt-friendly footwear.

Different footwear options to wear with a kilt:

FootwearHow It Pairs with a Kilt
Ghillie BroguesGhillie brogues are traditional Scottish shoes that are designed to be worn with a kilt. They are made from leather and have laces that wrap around the ankles.
Sporran ShoesSporran shoes are similar to ghillie brogues but have a lower ankle and do not have laces. They are also designed to be worn with a kilt.
Dress ShoesDress shoes, such as oxfords or loafers, are a more formal option to wear with a kilt. They should be in a similar color to the kilt and should be polished and well-maintained.
BootsBoots can be a more rugged option to wear with a kilt, and can add an edgier or more casual element to the outfit.
SandalsSandals can be a comfortable and breathable option to wear with a kilt, especially during warm weather. They should be in a similar color to the kilt and should be in good condition.

Video – What shoes or boots go with a kilt?

The footwear that pairs well with a kilt depends on the occasion and personal style. Ghillie brogues or sporran shoes are traditional Scottish footwear that are designed to be worn with a kilt. Dress shoes, such as oxfords or loafers, are a more formal option and should be in a similar color to the kilt and well-maintained.

Boots can add an edgier or more casual element to the outfit. Sandals can be a comfortable and breathable option, especially during warm weather, and should be in good condition and a similar color to the kilt. Ultimately, the footwear chosen to wear with a kilt should complement the outfit and the occasion.

What Traditional Footwear Do You Wear With a Kilt?

Ghillie brogues are the most traditional footwear to wear with a kilt. These shoes originated in the 16th century. lack a tongue. and have very long laces. The laces of the ghillie brogue should be wrapped around your ankles just below your calf before being tied off to avoid getting them muddy.

Kilts were originally designed for wearing in Scotland’s cold climate. As such. they are typically worn with heavy wool socks or tights. as well as leather or rubber-soled shoes that provide traction in muddy conditions. Kilts are not meant to be worn barefoot or with lightweight dress socks.

Tartan formal shoes are typically worn with a kilt for semi-formal occasions. such as weddings or funerals. They can be worn with either hose and garters or socks. Sporrans can be worn with a sporran belt that goes around the waist. or by pinning it to your kilt.

Walking shoes and boots are worn for more casual events. such as walking on the grass at a park. or at an outdoor wedding. The traditional black leather moccasin is also a very popular choice among Scots worldwide. It is worn without socks. but they do not have laces (since they will be tied to the kilt).

If you wear your kilt in colder weather. then you will want to invest in some wool socks (wool is warm even if it may get wet). As with all things tartan. you can find a variety of styles of socks to match any tartan.

What Are Kilt Shoes?

Kilt shoes also called known as Ghillie Brogues. is traditional Scottish shoe worn with kilts. They resemble wingtip shoes but have no tongue and extremely long laces that wrap around the ankle before tying behind the calf.

The multiple holes in the shoe’s design. and the lack of tongue. were so water could easily drain from the shoe when Scotsmen would wade through the bogs.

Tying the laces around the ankle helped prevent the shoe from being sucked off into the mud when walking in these bogs as well. Kilt shoes are usually leather with a rubber sole. and some feature tassels.

Standard Piper Ghillie Brogues UK 6.5 Black

Kilt shoes are casual shoes. usually made of leather. They are similar to Oxfords. but with a strap over the instep. Tartan Kilt shoes. which will match any color kilt and are preferred by many. are available in many shoe stores.

They can be worn with socks or without socks. They are made with a leather sole and a leather upper part. They have laces that tie in front and buckles that hold the laces.

The top of the kilt shoe is usually flat across the top of the foot so they don’t get caught in the kilt pleats. Kilt shoes are available in different styles and colors. There is also a choice between black or brown lace straps on some models.

Kilt shoes can be either slip-on or laced. Kilt shoes are typically low-heeled. to better accommodate the long stride required of kilted men.

What makes a shoe suitable for wearing with a kilt?

It must be durable and comfortable for long strolls through rough terrain. It should also be lightweight so that it doesn’t add any unnecessary weight to your outfit.

Kilt shoes should also complement the rest of your outfit and match your chosen design theme. Many people wear all black with their kilt shoes. while others prefer a more colorful look.

Can You Wear Normal Brogues with a Kilt?

Brogues are traditional Irish dress shoes. and they’re still worn today. While many people like to wear this style of shoe with their kilt. others prefer something more comfortable. Can you wear normal brogues with a kilt?

To be fair. some brogues don’t even look good with kilts. But if you have a nice pair that you love to wear. wearing them with your kilt can be an excellent choice.

Just make sure that they’re clean and polished before you put them with your kilt. If they’re scuffed up or dirty. it’s going to look really bad and no one will want to see you in it again!

However. there are a few things you need to consider before deciding whether or not you can wear normal brogues with a kilt:

The occasion: if you’re going to an official event like the opening of the Scottish Parliament then maybe you shouldn’t wear normal brogues with your kilt. However. if it is just an ordinary day then who cares?

Another more casual option is the hybrid brogue which sports holes in the toe cap. shorter laces than the ghillie brogue. and a tongue. Day brogues are a better option for those who struggle with the longer laces of the ghillie brogue.

ECCO men's St.1 Hybrid Lite Brogue Oxford Flat.  Amber.  10-10.5 US

Brogues are probably the most classic shoe style you can pair with a kilt. Brogues have the same basic shape and look as they did even 200 years ago when they were first worn in Ireland. They’re comfortable and casual enough to wear with a kilt during casual occasions or at formal events.

Brogues are available in both low and high tops. which means that you’ll want to decide if you would prefer to wear them without socks or tuck in your pants/kilt into them.

Can You Wear Sneakers with a Kilt?

Can you wear sneakers with a kilt? It’s a hot debate. especially in America. Some say it’s off-limits. others say it’s just fine. Tartan on the streets of Scotland is quite different from that worn in America. In the former. the kilt is an everyday garment for men and women. whereas in the latter it’s reserved for special occasions and celebrations.

And while some people have a strong opinion on sneakers with kilts. there are many who don’t see anything wrong with it. Their rationale is that if you’re comfortable. who cares what other people think?

Tartan kilts are quite versatile and can be worn in a variety of settings. from school classrooms to the whiskey distillery. Depending on the occasion. it may be appropriate to wear your kilt with sneakers. or it may simply be your preferred footwear.

While more traditional kilt-wearers often look down upon the more casual style. the truth is that some styles can be worn just about anywhere. whereas others should only be worn in certain situations.

So.. You can wear sneakers with a kilt if you’re trying to present a casual look for the summer. You can dress a kilt down just the same as you can dress it up. Pair your kilt with a t-shirt. tank top. or polo shirt. Then add sneakers to complete the look.

Why Wear Sneakers?

Sneakers are comfortable and allow for better airflow than many other types of shoes worn with kilts. When you’re trying to set a more casual tone in your kilt. sneakers are a great alternative to the dressier shoe options. Not all occasions call for nice Oxfords.

Can You Wear Sandals with a Kilt?

You can wear sandals with a kilt if you do it properly. Add them to a kilt ensemble during the summer months when you don’t want to wear over-the-knee socks and brogues. Choose sandals that are more rugged and casual or dressy in nature. depending on your occasion.

How Do You Wear Sandals with a Kilt?

The biggest factor to stress here is you should not wear socks with sandals. Sandals are best for when it’s hot outside. They allow your feet to breathe better. Sandals come in different looks and styles. so you can choose the ones that match the shirt you pair with your kilt to complete any outfit.

What Footwear Do You Wear With a Kilt? FAQs

Have you been wondering what shoes to wear with your kilt? You’re not alone! Here are some frequently asked questions and comprehensive answers for a complete guide on footwear to match the Scottish garment.

Can I wear any shoes with a kilt?


You can wear any shoes with your kilt, but some shoes pair better than others. A pair of formal shoes will always work, but you can also wear ankle boots or even sneakers for a more casual look.

Can I wear flip flops with my kilt?


While technically you can wear flip flops with your kilt, it’s not recommended. Kilt is a formal garment and requires formal footwear, and flip flops are too casual for the occasion.

Can I wear sandals with my kilt?


Yes, you can! But it depends on the type of sandals. Strappy or gladiator sandals might not work well with a kilt, but a pair of leather sandals will give you a sophisticated look.

Are dress shoes mandatory with a kilt?


Dress shoes are not mandatory but highly recommended as they complement the formal nature of the kilt. They don’t have to be black, though. You can go for other colours like dark brown or burgundy to add some character to your outfit.

Can I wear trainers with my kilt?


Trainers or sneakers can be worn with a kilt if the event is casual. White trainers may not look great with the kilt, so we recommend a pair of black or coloured trainers for a better look.

Can I wear cowboy boots with my kilt?


Do you want to add some western flair to your kilt outfit? Cowboy boots could be a great option. However, make sure that the boots are clean, polished and in excellent condition.

Should I wear socks with my kilt shoes?


It’s traditional to wear kilt hose (knee-length socks) with your kilt, but you can wear ankle socks or no socks at all for a more modern look.

Can I wear loafers with my kilt?


Yes, loafers can be worn with a kilt, and they are a great summer option. We recommend suede or leather loafers with tassels or detailing as it creates a unique look for your outdoor activities.


In summary. wearing a kilt in the 21st century is not an everyday occurrence. so you’ll want to wear your best. most comfortable shoes when you do. The traditional Scottish brogues are great for a formal setting. but wearing them all day at a Renaissance fair or on a long hike can be uncomfortable and downright painful.

This is why it’s important to wear the right shoes with your kilt such as the Brogue. A classic style with leather uppers. these shoes have an open lacing system that allows air to circulate around your ankles and feet. These shoes are great for walking long distances and going from place to place without sitting down.

If you’re planning on being on your feet all day. look for a pair of black ones because they’re more versatile than brown ones.

You may also be interested in.  Are Ecco Shoes Waterproof? (Will They Keep Your Feet Dry?) and Do Tap Shoes Ruin Hardwood Floors?