If you are going to buy only one pair of brown shoes, then it should probably be a pair of dark brown shoes. Why you ask? Well, in an ideal world, everyone would have both light and dark brown shoes, but in reality, most men have one pair of brown shoes and if you were to own one pair, dark brown would be the best since it will match almost any pair of pants Now, lets switch the view for a second and pretend that you are a SuitUpp model – i.e. you have access to a wide variety of shoe colors for a photoshoot and you happen to choose light brown shoes… what kind of pants would go best?
The lighter the shoe color, the lighter you pant color should be. Take for example, the model who is wearing this Ralph Lauren Brown Sharkskin Suit:
As you can see, he has light brown shoes that go with his sharkskin brown pants. If you were to wear light-brown or off-white pants, then light brown pants would go very well. The same concept applies to jeans as well. If you are wearing darker color jeans, go with dark brown shoes. If you’re wearing light colored jeans, then go with light brown shoes. While doing this, don’t forget the golden rule with shoes… your belt has to match
So to conclude:
1) If you’re going to buy only one pair of brown shoes, go with dark brown (matches more pant colors)
2) Lighter colored pants go with lighter colored shoes
3) Your belt must match your shoes