Professor Monkey is right that the default is still black shoes with a navy suit. I recall a great deal of news print when the England squad for the World Cup wore tan shoes with navy suits in an Italian-inspired ensemble...David Beckham henceforth led a GQ revolution. But that's still rather what it is: something of a fashion statement.
Not that I see anything wrong with it, and I'm wearing darker tan shoes with a navy suit today. I think as Dr Holdfast said, it draws attention away from the face, which might be an advantage Stitchy and I have already considered! Anyway, it's definitely not wrong in my book. Just a lot more casual: contrasting shoes is more or less the same as going with an odd jacket, I think.
no. the default with a navy suit is not black shoes. at least not universally. and anyone who says that there is anything wrong with brown shoes and a navy suit is a moron. its classic italian look. its just (apparently) not very british.
as i understand it, HF was more remarking on the particularly light shade of brown, or rather chestnut, that i was wearing with a navy suit. im pretty certain that that is also a rather acceptable italian combo, and some love it and some hate it, as its jarring nature is not really deniable.