Fashion Glee

Dark Academia Shoes and Stylish Ways to Wear

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Dark Academia Shoes: I wear comfortable shoes, mostly trainers/casual shoes in neutral tones. The ones I have are from Merrell and are dusty olive in colour; I can’t find them online, but they look like a dark olive green cross between sneakers and oxfords. They have the shape of oxfords, but the material is that of a sneak.

And I would recommend buying shoes available for both sexes in the men’s sections rather than the women’s, as they usually look cleaner, simpler and darker like the ones in the academy, and there is no real difference. For example, the shoes I wear, the sneakers/oxfords, are men’s shoes, and I didn’t even realize that until I went to see if I could find them online.

What is Dark Academia Shoes Style?Dark Academia Shoes Style

The dark academia shoes aesthetic is a traditional European boarding school. The style incorporates many prep school staples: sweaters, tailored pants, collared shirts, Oxford loafers, long trench coats, small leather backpacks, and leather and plaid skirts with stockings.

That said, some shoes give off unmistakable dark academic vibes.

As the last generation before the internet, I understand why dreaming of living at Hogwarts appeals to Gen Z and Millennials. The dark academy aesthetic is synaesthetic, Classical music, the smell of coffee combined with the pages of old books, and the quiet and sad corner of the library. It transports us to a past before the digital age. If you’ve incorporated the old bookworm outfits into your life or are building them, ensure you have nice moccasins, big mary janes and Converse. For this reason, in this article, I have made a meticulous selection of stores and brands where you can find the best dark academy shoes to create your aesthetic.

Dark Academia Shoes TypesDark Academia Shoes Types

  1. Charles & Keith has so many Mary Jane and loafer options that it’s almost impossible not to find one you love. They’re modern and cute, and there’s one for each instance, from flats to platforms and heels. And also, if you want Mary Jane for kids, you’re in luck! It is the store if you wish for high-quality, stylish and comfortable leather shoes for all occasions. From wedding and wedding guests to work, they have the sweetest and most romantic flats, oxfords, heels, mules, sneakers and boots. It’s a wonderful way to maintain the rural way of life after the summer is over.
  2. Quiero June is a small business owned by women in Argentina. She designs beautiful, timeless shoes handmade by experienced craftsmen. People will ask where you got your shoes.
  3. Dr Martens is a classic and a go-to brand for Dark Academia enthusiasts. They have premium boots, oxfords and loafers perfect for the bookworm look. There are several models of Converse, and they are all cool. However, opt for vintage Chuck Taylors in neutral colours to define a strong Dark Academy aesthetic. It can’t go wrong.
  4. Julia Bo Shoes is a second-generation family business run by bold women. They took over their grandfather’s small workshop, which specialized in high-quality handcrafted oxford shoes, and brought it up to date. Today, they design timeless oxfords, oxfords and derbies for women, honouring 60 years of footwear heritage.

Stylish Ways to Wear the Dark Academia Shoes

That’s how we rock American prep, aesthetics inspired by 19th-century Europe.

Dark academia was one of the many trends taking over Instagram and TikTok this year, along with aesthetics like dream core. In our most recent style guide, we focus on “dark academia,” a style described as inspired by American grooming and 19th-century Europe.

For those unfamiliar with the dark academia, consider boarding schools, oxford shirts, trench coats, and plaid designs. The trend revolves around a neutral palette of black, brown, dark green and more, while must-have shoes include loafers and platform boots.

Below, we’ve rounded up five stylish ways to wear the trend this season. Whether running errands or on a weekend date, check out our latest dark academia-inspired style guide. While you’re here, see how we use Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year, “Very Peri.”

Ready for School

Scottish plaid patterns are key when it comes to the dark college aesthetic. Here we combine Nanushka’s houndstooth wool pants with Paloma Wool’s navy blue sweater contrasting with red stripes. And also pair the top with a matching navy beanie and scarf from Acne Studios to keep you warm, Chunky black boots by Eytys complete this look.

Weekend Date

One of the easiest ways to put together winter outfits is to start with your coat or jacket. Taking Balenciaga’s hourglass coat as the main piece, we added garments like the Gucci wool polo shirt for an even more preppy look and Ganni’s straight pants and Gucci’s denim headband. The fit is complete with TOGA’s tassel brogues and Loewe’s Puzzle bag.


The dark academy is not just for school; you can also incorporate the aesthetic into your party look. We wear Wales Bonner’s tailored jacket with Miaou’s leather pants. Burberry’s mohair beanie is added for that preppy touch, while Yuul Yie’s Dollie boots and Paco Rabanne’s 1969 bag balance the fit.

Sunday Brunch

This versatile style is shabby any day of the week, whether you’re out for lunch with friends or just running errands. Peter Do’s trench coat is over Helmut Lang’s ribbed crew neck blouse and We11 Done’s bootcut trousers. The look is kept casual and simple with the Museum of Peace and Tranquility tote bag and boots from both.


Kijun’s plaid skirt and Burberry’s Horseferry Print Title bag are the heart of this preppy look. MSGM’s psychedelic t-shirt, combined with Loewe’s Wedge Slipon shoe, makes the outfit ideal for the party.

The Oxford

Choose a dark, dark brown or maybe a black. Avoid fancy patterns or prints. Find something clean and simple but of a good quality that you can use for a long time without breaking. Make sure they broke without breaking. Worn Oxfords are a bit darker than new ones. And stay away from oxfords that are supposed to be dress shoes. It is much better to find ones that are useful every day.

Besides, there are tons of sneakers designed to look like Oxfords. You don’t even have to opt for oxfords. Look for a durable and comfortable pair.

The Black Dancer

These are a bit more girly than most dark academic style basics, but they can still be very dark. They’re not perfect for everyday wear, but they can look great for special occasions with more androgynous clothing styles—for example, a dark black pantsuit with mid-calf length pants and a slim, flowy blazer.

Opt for a basic black with a black sole, and avoid knots or puckering. Alternatively, dark olive or dark brown versions work too.

The Moccasin

A classic. It goes with almost everything. Choose dark brown over black with a simple design. Avoid loops.

The Dark Canvas Shoe

There is something inherently dark academic about the structure and design of the shoe. On the casual side of the dark varsity shoe spectrum, go for a brown, but with this shoe, you can work with a wider range of brown and black tones. Light brown, dark brown, grey, black; there are tons of variety and they all look good.

The Gladiator Sandal

These are on the verge of dark academia; for summer, in terms of sandals, this is probably your best option. Closed toes are best, dark brown, not black.

Ankle Boots

These are a bit iffy but worth mentioning. It is more difficult to operate, can work in DA clothes, and is not very dark academics. Think of them as complementary colours. It’s the kind of thing you’d wear for DA if you already had it or didn’t have access to other DA shoes. Both low and high heels work, although higher heels are closer to the preppy aesthetic.

The Calf Boot

Opt for black/brown leather shoes, preferably with laces. These are perfect with a simple pleated skirt in a dusty shade of brown/dark plaid and a cool, loose, maybe half-tucked white button and sleeves rolled up to mid-elbow.


The dark university aesthetic idealizes studies and “the intellectual”, often to the point of self-destruction. The dark college aesthetic also leans toward dark and dark tones, sounds, and entertainment, meaning it can be as promoting or romanticizing depression.

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