ith footwear being one of the first things most people will notice in a man, can you really afford not to have an insanely good pair of dress shoes for men? In fact, science has discovered that your choice of shoes causes people to make extensive assumptions and judgments.
Your choice of footwear can tell your interviewer, your buddies, and the woman across the bar a lot about you.
Men are no longer leaving their expensive dress shoes in the back of cupboards ready for weddings they don’t really want to attend. The dress shoe has ventured beyond the boundaries of our previous formal expectations. Now, men are getting their money’s worth at every outing.
This gives you all the more motivation to find some quality dress shoes.
To help you out and give Google a day off, we’ve rallied the Men’s Gear troops to research and discuss the best dress shoes for men out there today. Admittedly, there’s a lot of good stuff, but we whittled it down to our favorite 20 that will have you nodding to your phone, tablet, or laptop over the next ten minutes.
When you see what we’ve got lined up, you’ll wish you had more feet.
What Clothes Are Dress Shoes Usually Worn With?
There was a time when dress shoes for men were exclusively part of business attire or for the fancier occasions such as weddings and formal dinners. Those times have gone. Nowadays, you’ll frequently see a pair of Oxfords dangling from park benches.
You might even see a shiny pair of brogues peeking out from under a café table.
The dress shoe has cemented its place in our everyday clothing and because of this, they’re being paired with even more of our clothes.
It goes without saying that dress shoes for men at least are usually worn with suits. However, it’s important to pay attention to colors – we’ll come back to this shortly. You can also match your dress shoes with a pair of jeans to achieve that smart casual look. You can even finish the outfit with a casual shirt or plain white tee.
They are extremely versatile. Stay clear of hoodies, string vests, and sporty shorts though. All sportswear, really.
Adding some colorful socks which will play down your serious and smart appearance if needed for a casual event. A grinning cartoon character between the hem of some tailored navy trousers can send a light-hearted message to your co-workers.
There’s one dress shoe rule that every guy should know of. It should be handed down on Men’s Gear headed parchment from your forefathers. The rule is to always match the color of your shoes, your belt, and your watch if possible. Make sure the shades of your belt and shoes are matching is the most important.
However, if you can include your watch’s strap as well you’re absolutely nailing it.
Timeless Black Or Risk It With Brown?
Probably one of the biggest head-scratchers isn’t the type of dress shoes for men out there for you. The color can truly be the kicker. Black shoes or brown shoes have plagued our male minds for years. So, how do we decide?
Starting with brown shoes, we mean everything brown here. That means in today’s product descriptions look for almond and dark chocolate to hazelnut and all else that fits. They can be kings of versatility, which is ultimately why some men swear by them.
There are exceptions, however.
This is not written in any cobbler’s stone walls or anything. However, unless you’re absolutely sure the shades work together, black trousers and brown shoes should be avoided. Apart from this little rule, brown shoes can be paired with any other colors and work very well with navy and grey trousers.
When it comes to black shoes, things are a little different. While they do look extra formal and professional, they lose some versatility of the brown dress shoe. This also means the smart casual look is easier to accomplish with brown shades.
By no means it impossible with a pair of nice black dress shoes, however.
Before you decide which shoes you prefer, think about why you want the shoes. If it’s for formal occasions or office attire, then think about your current suits and their colors. Brown or black, the occasion matters yet doesn’t. Once you know what you’ll wear, the dress shoes you use will be far easier to pick.
Be warned, black vs brown is a massive debate. Other men will judge you for the wrong color shoe as much as women, so get it right, slugger!
Can Dress Shoes For Men Be Comfortable?
While dress shoes will be comfortable, you shouldn’t expect them to be as comfortable as your running sneakers. Nevertheless, the best dress shoes for men can be very comfortable. Not all dress shoes are equal, so some are more comfortable than others.
Some styles may be more comfortable for you, while they aren’t for the next guy. If you have wider feet, then you may want to opt for the Derby shoes over Oxfords for instance.
You should also consider the insoles of your shoes. Some dress shoes – which are included in our rundown – have insoles to maximize your comfort. Many have insoles that can help your feet breath and avoid a build-up of sweat and foot odor.
Other insoles such as memory foam insoles even give your feet a personalized fitting.
There’s always a way you can make them more comfortable yourself. Choosing some more comfortable socks rather than the cheap ones your grandma gave you for Christmas can make your feet a lot happier. A secret little tip is to apply leather conditioner to your dress shoes.
It can soften the leather and make them less harsh on your feet.
Whatever you do, don’t forsake on comfort for a few extra bucks. The extra bit of money is worth it to care for your feet. After your date invites you inside, you don’t want to be the guy that ends up getting turned away because your damaged feet even had her pet puppy running away.
What Are The Different Types Of Dress Shoes?
Picking the right shoes doesn’t just come down to colors, comfort, and our current clothes. We also need to find the dress shoe style we like. There are a lot of types at our disposal and some of the most popular is the Oxford shoes, the Derby shoes, the Monk strap shoes, and the Loafer.
There is also brogueing to consider. You may hear these terms a lot, but do you know what they mean or the difference between them? A bit like the difference between beer and lager, we should know but we often don’t. To help you out we’re going to give you a crash course in them all…
The Oxford shoe was popular at Oxford University, UK, at the beginning of the nineteenth century and the name stuck. They have under vamp stitching known as closed lacing and the shape sits close to the foot. Oxfords are the classic choice.
Simply, they are a timeless and minimalist addition to any formal and casual outfits.
Originally a sportsman’s shoe, the Derby shoe became more accepted as a dress shoe at the start of the twentieth century. They’re often confused with Oxford shoes due to a similar foot-hugging shape. The difference is that these have been stitched on top of the vamp i.e. they have open lacing.
They are also a little wider which many guys find more comfortable than a pair of Oxfords.
Another shoe similar in shape to the Oxford shoe is Monk Strap shoes. Although, you would never confuse these two like you may the previous two. These have a leather strap across the front of them with one or two buckles to fasten them up. Oh, and by the way, they’re called as such because they were originally sported by monks.
Despite Loafers being born as a present for English royalty, it was the United States that made them popular. Loafers are probably ones you do recognize quite easily. They are much different from other shoes as they are slip-on shoes without any laces.
They usually have a decorative element such as a tassel and have a raised seam which makes them easy to spot.
Brogueing is a style that can be added to shoes during manufacturing. Originally, brogueing was small holes to let out water when traveling over wet terrains. Now they’re mainly decorative. Depending on the amount of decoration, the brogueing can be referred to as quarter brogues, longwing brogues, semi-brogues or full brogues.
Just be aware that brogues are a style of shoe as well. We wouldn’t want you making a fool of yourself in the clubhouse.
While there are a number of others we recommend you look into, the ones above are obviously the most popular. If you’re still a little confused, maybe looking at some actual shoes would help? We think so. That said, check out our 20 dress shoes for men and find a pair that suits you well.
We have a feeling it’ll be pretty easy, due to the several amazing choices we have.
1) CLARKS Tilden Cap Oxford Shoes
Such an amazing look these Oxford dress shoes for men. They’re brought to you by Clarks, who knows a thing or two about making quality footwear. They’ve been operating in this industry for over a century. If you do choose these dress shoes, we’re sure it won’t be your only pair of Clarks you’ll buy.
They come available in a dark tan, black, and a wine color to suit the subtler and out-there styles equally. They’re predominantly made from quality leather but have a rubber sole. The best thing about these dress shoes their built-in OrthoLite insole.
It is a key reason they made our list.
This insole is phenomenal at reducing moisture, therefore unwanted odors. It also provides an extra layer of cushioning to improve comfort from the 8:00 a.m. pre-work coffee run. All the way to the moment you effortlessly take them off as you walk through the front door.
For these reasons, we suggest that these dress shoes for men are most suitable for guys who suffer from foot pain but don’t want to compromise on looking extra sharp.
2) Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap-Toe Lace-up Oxford Shoes
Another brand that has been killing the footwear scene for over a century are Stacy Adams. This Massachusetts-born company has become an ornament of American culture. These Oxford dress shoes for men are available in black for the conventional shoe lover.
They also come in a cognac color for the more experimental closets.
They’re manufactured with leather complemented by brogueing to aid their breathability and keep foot odor away. One of the best things about these shoes is the insole. They have a memory foam insole which will match your foot contours and give you all the support and cushioning in all the right areas.
If talk of the extended toe on the Clarks shoes put you off, these comfortable cap-toe dress shoes may be the better option.
3) Dream Pairs Bruno Marc Moda Italy Prince Oxford Shoes
Another shoe with a touch of brogueing is this Oxford shoe by Dream Pairs. They are manufactured with faux leather uppers and non-slip outsoles. The toe section is rounded and will please a fair few of our readers. It’ll keep the elf jokes as another guy’s problem.
When you pick your preferred color, you will notice that the level of brogueing may also change, so keep that in mind. They have up to ten colors to choose from so there shouldn’t be any complaints there. These dress shoes for men keep things simple.
For the price, they make a great pair for a casual city stroll as well as the Italian restaurant.
4) Bruno Marc Downing Leather Lined Oxfords Shoes
Perhaps, you’re trying to get an exceptional pair of Oxford dress shoes for men. However, you don’t want to pay too much. We hear you because as guys we’ve all been there. This is why the shoes above by Bruno Marc New York are tremendous.
They’re made of top-drawer leather with a one-inch wooden heel.
This is accompanied by a soft rounded toe design and a latex footbed. The latter is present to give you even more comfort.
If you bought a pair of their shoes before but were put off by a pungent chemical-like smell, then don’t worry anymore. Past customers have been put at ease by their latest shoes and claim those offensive odors are a thing of the past.
They’re offered in an extensive range of colors to suit both under-the-radar chic and head-turning style.
5) Stacy Adams Dunbar Wingtip Oxford Dress Shoes
Another Stacy Adams pair of dress shoes for men are walking back onto our catwalk in these Oxford shoes. They’re a little pricier than the previous two. However, when you take a good look at them you can see you’re paying for a little more quality.
Coming in four fantastic colors, these shoes have a classical wingtip aesthetic with brogueing to allow more breathability.
They don’t just look good, they’re practical too. They are lightweight and durable, but this is just the tip of the memory-foam-insole iceberg. Yes, these shoes also have a comforting memory foam insole to give you customized comfort.
They wouldn’t look out of place in the office or in a jazz bar. We’d get the cognac colored ones. Which would you get?
6) La Milano Double Monk Strap Dress Shoes
Finally, something different from the Oxford shoe. These Monk Strap dress shoes for men are the perfect way to capture what we were saying earlier. Their silhouette looks like an Oxford shoe but the leather strap covering the upper is a big giveaway that they’re something else.
In this case, La Milano has opted for two buckles. They’re not hiding any laces though, these are slip-on shoes available in three classic colors.
Other things you should know is that they’re predominantly made from Argentinian leather with synthetic linings. They have a cap-toe design, a comforting insole, and a stacked heel. We feel the more casual dress-shoe-look is not as easy with these types of shoes.
If you’re looking for a more formal pair these could be for you.
7) ECCO Helsinki Santiag Toe Shoes
There’s a lot to get through with these dress shoes for men by ECCO. So, we’ll get right to it. As you might have guessed by their appearance, they’re one of the few shoes who has grasped their multifunctionality with both hands. In fact, they’re supposed to be as good on the dancefloor as they are on the mountain trek.
They really are office shoes on a Monday, party shoes on a Friday and hiking shoes on a Sunday.
So what else have they got going on? They provide more room at the toe box, so you can enjoy a more natural walking movement. ECCO also have their own tannery which means they can control the quality of leather used on their shoes. Big thumbs up from Men’s Gear.
This is as well as liquid polyurethane being injected into the shoe to give it an anatomically accurate shape. Not to mention the air circulating insole which allows you to expel moisture and odors through the foam and out of tiny air holes.
Need any more reasons to buy these jack-of-all-trade shoes?
8) Mage Male Business Wingtip Oxford Shoes
Back to our modern Oxfords with these leather dress shoes for men from Mage Male. You can get these shoes in three colors, all of which have a fashionable wingtip design and a tapered toe. They might not be suitable for the mountains like the previous shoes on our list of the best dress shoes for men.
However, they’re certainly perfect for formal and casual occasions. There’s not much to dislike about them; their minimalist sleek but modern charm will win many men over. We’re sure of that!
9) Dockers Albury Leather Dress Oxford Shoes
We’ve had the pleasure of showing off the eyebrow-lifting work of Dockers before and now we have it again. These dress shoes for men have full grain leather uppers with rubber outsoles. They are perfect to help prevent slipping on difficult terrains or polished dancefloors.
No matter how many beers you’ve had.
Despite their nice touches such as partial broguing, they’ve really accentuated the comfort factor. We say this because they’ve made sure they’re comfortable in three key areas. In the heel of the shoe, they’ve added a sponge EVA pad while the footbed makes the most of an extra layer of cushioning and a latex footbed to add to the experience.
You can pick these up in one of three B’s – black, brown or burgundy. Which do you think you’ll get?
10) NXT NEW YORK Oxford Dress Shoes
If you have your heart set on a pair of black dress shoes for men. Then those outlandish burgundy and hipster coquelicot colors aren’t of interest, you might like these Oxford shoes. They’re entirely black and made of full grain leather and are durable and sleek to the touch.
The rubber outsole is reliable but not a non-slip design. We feel these would be ideal for a guy needing a pair of shoes to get them through their first office job. Just don’t spill the tea or you might slip.
11) La Milano Lace Up Oxford Classic Shoes
Next under our beady eye are these Oxford Shoes by La Milano. They’re made of genuine leather which allows your feet to breathe without compromising on durability. Many dress shoes for men use a synthetic material rather than authentic leather. That sort of cost-cutting doesn’t fly with these shoes.
On top of this, the heel is stacked and the insole has been designed to provide outstanding comfort.
When the Men’s Gear researching team began to, well, research, they encountered many satisfied customers testifying to their comfort. We don’t normally use too much second-hand info but the vast amount of rave reviews was worth a line or two.
We would be happy to recommend these to the guys who want a versatile dress shoe for the office, the party, and the lazy city day.
12) Marino Oxford Dress Shoes
If you’re looking for some dress shoes for men that can be worn from 8:00 a.m. Monday morning until 2:00 a.m. Saturday night, we might have found it for you. Don’t sleep in them of course, but these are super-versatile shoes that won’t look out of place in a boardroom or when taking the dog out.
These shoes come in many colors and even some style difference to ensure there’s something for all. You can even get yourself a pair in half sizes so you never compromise on a truly perfect fit.
They also use real leather and an extremely durable rubber outsole all expertly manufactured together. Put it this way, you’ll never be the guy whose Scooby Doo socks are peeking out of some poor stitching job. If you’re reading this as a member of the fairer sex, welcome.
This article found its way to you “accidentally” possibly, or maybe you’re significant other was hinting at these. They make for a perfect gift as they come with a shoe bag that isn’t just stylish, it’s waterproof too!
13) Jousen Oxford Dress Shoes
Maybe you’re a bit of a cheapskate, and you want to understandably hide this. There’s likely nothing that will hide it quite as well as these classy Oxford dress shoes for men from Jousen.
For an exceptional price, you can pick up a pair of these dress shoes in one of three traditional shoe colors.
During manufacturing, the shoe is put through a polishing process that adds a nice gleam. Elsewhere, there is a 1.1-inch stacked heel to improve posture and comfort and a rubber sole. It’s even durable and slip-resistant.
If your wife has been complaining about your foot odor, don’t worry.
These shoes won’t be joining your sneakers and the spiders on the porch. They have an odor-reducing insole and a soft leather lining. Overall, they are a solid choice to meet your jeans and suit pants.
14) La Milano Slip-On Loafers
La Milano has popped up again but it’s not another pair of Oxfords to tell you about this time. These loafers have something of a monk strap shoe look. Instead of the customary tassel or another decorative piece to finish off the loafers, these shoes have decided to add a strap and buckle.
The upper part is made from Argentinian leather and has a brushstroke finish that many guys will appreciate. The toe section has been tapered in to give the shoes a less chunky and more streamlined appearance. As we steer away from the classic Oxford style and colors, we undoubtedly become a little more niche.
Nevertheless, we feel many business and office occupiers will love a pair of these.
15) Formal Monk Strap Oxford Shoes
We’re not sure who Golaiman are trying to convince by telling us these are Oxford dress shoes for men, but we assure you they aren’t. They’re more like a pair of monk strap shoes with a singular buckle. One thing they did get right is the description of the toe section.
They have a plain toe which doesn’t overcomplicate things or reduce any communal appreciation for their handiwork – or should we say footwork?
You can grab a pair of these in two different shades of black or a lighter brown for a competitive price. The footbed is slightly cushioned to give an extra spring to your step. It also comes with a leather lining that actually makes everything the shoe more breathable.
One thing they don’t have is the versatility of the Oxford shoes, which will not be ideal for some men.
16) La Milano Classic Oxford Shoes
Back kicking it with La Milano we found these superb Oxfords. The uppers are made from real cow leather with synthetic lining. What will be slightly more appealing to a few guys might be the stacked heel of 1.2 inches. This is a slightly loftier design than the mainstream.
If you’re looking for comfort and that got your attention, they may have your money when you hear about their cushioned footbed. It is designed to give you support at all the right points.
You can get these shoes in brown and burgundy or four different shades of black. So subtler styled guys and grim reapers will be happy. One thing to be aware of with these shoes is that they’re a large fitting and it’s advised to choose a size below your current needs.
17) Cole Haan Pinch Tassel Loafer Shoes
These Cole Haan dress shoes for men offer something a bit different. They’re the typical loafer design that the modern hipster and the traditional penny-loafer-loving guy will enjoy. You can pick one of three colors and take them with you on your next summer vacation.
After all, these are the answer to your smart summer outfit needs.
They’ve been made with leather, including the sole in part and have a stacked heel. In fact, they include a sock lining made of leather as well to add softness. The finishing touch is a bit more in keeping with the loafer design rather than becoming a hybrid loafer-come-monk-strap shoe.
They added a simple tassel to achieve this. These won’t be for every man. Perhaps, it’ll just be for those men who aren’t afraid to pull off such finesse.
18) ELANROMAN Luxury Prince Wingtip Oxford Shoes
Another pair of dress shoes for men that are a bit out there, but very stylish, are these wingtip Oxford shoes. They’re priced at a reasonable level for their quality and come available in two colors. One being the not-so-common navy option. They’re probably not for the vegetarians and vegans among us.
They’re made with full grain cow leather which has been designed to imitate crocodile skin on the upper, a pigskin lining, and a rubber sole.
Their insole has been patented because they claim it’s unique in reducing odor and adding softness. This is matched with their outsole, which has passed rigorous USA testing to prove its durability.
We don’t doubt these are some quality shoes. However, we’re not sure their outlandish crocodile-like appearance is going to make them easy to pair with casual clothing
19) Blivener Oxford Dress Shoes
If breathability is the most important feature of your next pair of shoes, we might have already discovered them. These supposedly Oxford dress shoes for men may not have closed lacing. However, the shoe’s shape is very Oxford-like.
Instead of laces, there is a singular strap and buckle to keep your foot secured in place.
Below this is a number of holes to enable exceptional breathability.
The uppers are made from faux leather and have a rubber sole. They come available in the classic colors but also in white. If you’re a white-shoe-wearing guy we finally got you covered too. They would be perfect for formal occasions, but they would look out of place with your denim.
20) Faranzi Oxford Shoes
Another more unorthodox design can be seen in these slip-on dress shoes for men from Faranzi. They’ve been manufactured with vegan materials. Yet, we wouldn’t recommend taking a bite. You can only get them in a gleaming black but that’s because they’re aimed at being a tuxedo shoe.
One small thing you may not have noticed at first glance is the strap has been added with a diamond design. This is something that makes them extra fancy and perfect for the most important events. Thumbs up or thumbs down, guys?
To Tie Things Up…
It has been tough to compile, but sadly that’s the end of our list of the 20 best dress shoes for men. We’ve aimed to present something for every footwear-focused gent out there. With top brands like Clarks and La Milano featured, we know you’ll spot something that floats your boat.
No matter whatever look you’re searching for, it’s likely something above will have caught your eye.
Get your next or even your first pair of quality men’s dress shoes. Start making unbeatable first impressions every time!