Men need a good pair of shoes for any formal events, such as weddings. I remember going to a ceremony of a relative’s, and seeing the groom and all the groomsmen wearing exquisite Oxford shoes, and can’t help but think that I want them, too.
While women tend to have more variety when it comes to pairs of footwear for formal events, men can also choose from various options. In fact, here are 17 types of formal dress shoes for men:
Men’s Formal Shoes: A Quick Overview
Men’s formal shoes are divided into five types. It’s as follows:
- Monk Style
Oxford and Derby Shoes
An Oxford shoe is a kind of shoe that is made with a leather upper and a rubber sole.
Because it was popular at Oxford University in the 1800s, the men’s footwear style known as the Oxford gained its name. Men’s heeled boots were fashionable at the time, and almost everyone wore them. The simple Oxford shoe was a nice change of pace.
According to another tale, the shoe was created about the same period in Scotland, which is why this type is often known as a Balmoral, after the Scottish Balmoral Castle.
The process utilized to build an Oxford, regardless of where it originated, is what distinguishes it from other shoes. Oxfords are constructed with closed lacing, which means the eyelets are sewn into the vamp rather than on top of it.
The vamp is the section of the shoe that runs over the top of the foot in the front and middle. It’s really visible on an Oxford, and you’ll notice it immediately if you look at one attentively. The panels of the Oxford seem to be one piece of leather once tied, giving it a sleek, formal appearance.
Men’s oxford shoes have a low heel and are laced up. The Oxford shoes have closed lacing, which sets them apart from comparable derby shoes. Below is a comparison between Oxford and Derby shoes.
Broguing is something else to be aware of in Oxford. A brogue is a perforated design, not a shoe. Brogues were originally designed to enable water to drain from the shoes; nevertheless, they do allow for improved ventilation around the foot in certain circumstances.
Oxfords with brogues are often seen to be less formal, however, this depends on the shoe’s shape and style. Some men’s Oxford shoes, as you can see, have brogues and nevertheless appear quite elegant.
Oxford vs. Derby Shoes: What’s the Difference?
While oxfords and derby shoes seem to be the same, they are not. It’s as follows:
When the Oxford is laced, the lacing loops are closed, however, when the Derby is laced, the lacing loops are left open.
The vamp is stitched to the quarters in Oxfords. The quarters are stitched to the vamp of Derby shoes.
The heel on Oxfords is closed, whereas the heel on Derby shoes is extended.
The Oxford’s closed lacing is regarded more official than the derby’s open lacing, which is considered more informal (and blucher shoe for that matter).
A typical rounded shoe toe without a leather cap or broguing is known as a simple toe. As the name implies, it’s simple.
Wing tips are leather shoes made up of many sections. Along the exposed margins of the numerous leather pieces, the iconic ornamental perforations flow (i.e. at the seams).
A beautiful M-shaped toe cap runs the length of the shoe. These are normally more casual and feature a lot of broguing, but they give a lot of visual appeal to an outfit.
Wingtips also come in a variety of styles. Broguing is common on full wingtips, and spectator wingtips feature a two-tone color combination with a lot of broguing. A quarter brogue is a formal brogue shoe with perforations only along the edge of the toe cap and is considered a formal brogue shoe because it is a little more understated. American wingtips have wings that extend to the back of the shoe and meet at the heel, and a quarter brogue has perforations only along the edge of the toe cap and is considered a formal brogue shoe because it is a little more understated.
The additional strip of leather over the toe is known as a cap-toe Oxford. These are one of the most popular varieties of Oxfords, and they’re the only ones you’ll see at work. They have a much different look than a plain-toe Oxford and a more professional, polished look than wingtips because of the decorative toe.
Cap-toe Oxfords are usually reserved for the workplace, but this pair from Mexlan is so stylish that you may be able to wear them to a black-tie affair. They’re made of comfy, long-lasting calfskin leather in Spain.
A single piece of leather is used to make whole-cut shoes. It’s not made up of individual leather parts. It is made from a single piece of material (pretty cool). They might be simple or have small holes in them.
Oxfords with a whole-cut cut are the most adaptable. They’re crafted of one piece of leather with just one seam near the heel. These shoes are excellent for formal situations since they are sleek and lack a great deal of the design. They are, nevertheless, inconspicuous enough to be worn for semi-formal events provided they are not made of patent leather.
The appropriate amount of broguing around the eyelets and around the mouth of the shoe is what we adore about these whole-cut Oxfords by Paul Parkman. This provides a nice little element that only a few people will notice. The
Blucher shoes are similar to derby shoes in that they have a low heel and are open-laced.
Derby Shoes vs Blucher Shoes
The lacing system of blucher shoes is made out of leather parts sewed to the shoe. The quarters sewed into the vamp of the derby shoe from the lacing mechanism. Again, little variations, but it is these minor variations that distinguish the various styles.
Blucher shoes are available in a number of different styles, including:
When there is a vertical stitch at the tip of the toe, it is called a split toe.
When the perforations slope downward rather than covering the whole length of the shoe, this is known as the shortwing (unlike longwing brogues).
When the wingtip holes run the length of the shoe, it is called a longwing brogue.
A shoe with no stitching or holes is referred to as a plain toe shoe.
Loafers are men’s dress shoes with low heels and no laces. They are available in the following three styles:
A metal band crosses the vamp of a bit loafer.
The tassels connected to the leather band that spans the vamp distinguish the tassel loafer from others.
The penny loafer features a laceless closed front and a leather band across the vamp.
Monk Style Shoes
A buckle or buckles are used to fasten the monk-type shoe, which is a low-heeled leather shoe. There are two types of buckles: single buckle and double buckle.
How to Lace Oxford Shoes
Although most Oxfords have five eyelets, this isn’t always the case. Oxfords with four or six eyelets are rather common. However, how you utilize the eyelets is more important than the number of eyelets.
Lacing Oxfords, especially those used for formal events, requires a specific technique. Laces should be horizontal and parallel and should match the shoe as nearly as feasible. Feed the ends of the laces through the bottom eyelets from the front until the lace is tight.
Pull the lace on the outside of the shoe out a bit further if you have an odd number of eyelets. Pull them all to the same length if you have an even number. Then, from the inside of the shoe, remove the lace from the outside and feed it through the next eyelet. Pull the laces parallel by inserting it into the opposite eyelet from the top of the shoe.
Then feed the other lace through the third eyelet from the inside of the shoe, then the opposite eyelet from the top, until the laces are parallel.
Keep going till you reach the summit. The laces will end up on the same side if there are an odd number of eyelets. They will be on opposing sides if you have an even number. Tighten your laces. The leather on future Oxfords will be firm, and the tongue will have a V-shape. You’ll have to tighten them up a bit more as they break-in, and the V will close, bringing the shoe’s sides together.
Although oxfords stretch, the optimal fit is to try them on with approximately an inch between the top eyelets. You don’t want them to be too little since they will be uncomfortable. They won’t stretch correctly if they’re too large.
Men’s Dress Shoes: 8 of the Most Comfortable
Over the years, the conventional men’s dress shoe hasn’t altered much. You’re in luck if you’ve been putting off purchasing an excellent pair due to concerns regarding comfort. While dress shoes used to be only constructed of stiff, inflexible leather, there are now a plethora of trendy and comfy dress shoes for men on the market.
Features to Consider When Shopping
When it comes to men’s dress shoes, there are several options, some of which prioritize appearance above comfort. That’s why it’s crucial to understand what characteristics make men’s dress shoes comfy. Here are a few key things to keep an eye out for:
Leather soles are common in men’s dress shoes, however, they provide little cushioning or stress absorption. While you don’t want your dress shoes’ soles to resemble those of your gym shoes, there is a good medium between firm leather and soft leather. Dress shoes with a rubber or polyurethane sole are a good choice. Both support and comfort are provided by these light fabrics.
The majority of shoes made for comfort are less expensive than those designed for style. This is due to the fact that they aren’t constructed of high-end leather and aren’t often from premium labels such as Hermes or Ferragamo. There are several good manufacturers that offer comfortable men’s shoes, but they won’t set you back $400 or $500.
The insole of your shoe lays on the bottom of your foot, and a proper insole may help you avoid foot discomfort. Look for a soft, contoured shoe. If you wish, you may replace the insoles with a custom insole or orthotic.
Leather uppers aren’t required, but they help to ensure that your comfy dress shoes seem like dress shoes rather than dressed-up sneakers. Non-leather shoes have a more casual appearance. If at all feasible, choose a pair with a leather-lined footbed to further improve the style.
When it comes to formal shoes, black and brown are your best choices. They’re classic for a reason, and they go with almost anything. Bright colors will make you appear like you’re wearing shoes, which you want to avoid.
Men’s dress shoes haven’t altered all that much through the years, so there’s a particular expectation of how they should appear. Stick to anything that seems to be as conventional as possible, or you’ll come off as too casual.
Most Comfortable Dress Shoes
Here are eight of the most comfortable dress shoes on the market, along with some information on why they’re so good.
CLARKS Un Tailor Ties
CLARKS Un Tailor Tie is a great option because of its basic, classic shape. It’s straightforward, classic, and, yes, cozy. Large, crisp full-grain leather panels give the design a seamless appearance. Leather is also used to line the tongue and collar, making them feel good on your foot.
The insole has a molded Ortholite insole atop EVA foam, which offers grip and shock absorption. When you add in the rubber midsole, you’ve got yourself a shoe that’s both comfy and supportive.
La Milano Men’s Double Monk Strap Slip-on Loafer
Many of the characteristics you should seek in a comfortable men’s dress shoe may be found in these La Milano shoes. To keep a classic style, they include a robust synthetic sole and a real leather top. The simple toe and double monk strap are fashionable, but the straps may be adjusted to offer your feet extra wiggle space if desired.
La Milano sets out to manufacture men’s dress shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. The simple toe isn’t too small, and the memory foam insole conforms to your foot for all-day comfort. These shoes are very inexpensive and available in a variety of colors, with some including a perforated design over the top of the foot to improve ventilation.
Florsheim Midtown Plain Toe Oxford
The Florsheim Midtown Plain Toe Oxford is another great-looking pair of comfy dress shoes for men. The Oxford design is a timeless classic, and the full-grain leather top adds a refined touch.
The flexible and supportive rubber sole, as well as the breathable lining, are further highlights of this shoe. Suedetec is used for the lining, which is a moisture-wicking material that mimics velvety suede and helps keep your feet cool.
This shoe’s footbed may be its most appealing feature. It’s completely cushioned, with a stable heel and shock-absorbing foam, but you can take it out and replace it with a custom orthotic if you like.
A lace-up fastening and a simple toe characterize this shoe. It comes in two colors: black and cognac, and it’s ideal for any formal event.
Rockport Margin Men’s Oxford
Rockport is one of the most popular brands of comfortable dress shoes for men, and this traditional Oxford style is a great illustration of why. They have a 100% leather top with a shock-absorbing and traction-enhancing synthetic sole. Pinched toes are avoided thanks to the plain-toe design, and the cushioned collar and tongue provide extra comfort.
The EVA footbed ensures a custom fit, while the PU outsole absorbs shock and reduces strain. This shoe flexes to provide your foot with the support and comfort it needs. The microbial lining is also a big plus. You won’t have to worry about foot odor if you wear this shoe all day long.
Johnston & Murphy Branning Cap Toe Shoe
Johnston & Murphy’s attractive cap toe shoe has a full-grain calfskin top with a molded footbed and midsole for excellent support. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, including brown and black.
The fact that these shoes seem like a typical pair of dress shoes is what makes them stand out the most. A slimmer, more dressy profile contributes to a more refined appearance while also decreasing weight and enhancing flexibility. Not only that, but these sneakers are also entirely waterproof thanks to their seam-sealed design.
Mephisto Men’s Marlon Lace-up Oxford
The Mephisto Marlon Lace-Up Oxford is a simple shoe at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see how much it has to offer. The straightforward silhouette isn’t extremely formal, yet it’s suitable for most formal or semi-formal settings. It’s not the nicest shoe for a groom at a wedding, but it’s ideal for wedding guests.
The price of this shoe is greater than other comfortable dress shoes, but that is due to the exceptional quality of the materials used. It has a leather-lined footbed, milled leather, and a Goodyear welting natural latex rubber sole for long-term use.
The air-injected midsole, which offers excellent shock absorption and all-day comfort, is the most prominent feature in terms of comfort. In chestnut brown and black, the pebble-grain finish is offered.
Rockport Men’s Total Motion Sports Dress Shoe
The Rockport Total Motion Sports Dress shoe is another excellent alternative. This is one of the most laid-back alternatives we went with, and it’s the ideal mix of a fancy leather shoe and a relaxed sneaker.
This shoe includes a cushioned footbed with a supporting TPU plate that gives both comfort and support, plus it won’t set off any airport metal detectors. The basic round toe won’t irritate your toes, and the side goring and lace-up fastening let you customize the fit for maximum comfort.
The soft foam footbed cushions your foot, but you may remove it if necessary and replace it with a custom orthotic for ultimate comfort. There are a variety of color choices, including neutrals like black and brown. The blue nubuck design is a good choice if you want to add a burst of color.
ECCO Men’s Seattle Tie Oxford
This ECCO design has a more casual appearance, yet it’s still a wonderful choice for a dress shoe for most formal events and a terrific business shoe. It has a 100 percent leather top and a cushioned and shock-absorbing synthetic sole.
A textile inside allows your foot to breathe and absorbs perspiration throughout the day, keeping you cool and comfortable. It comes with a leather insole with a leather-covered inlay and ECCO’s comfort fiber technology, but you may remove it if you wish and replace it with your orthotic.
What to Consider When Buying Black Dress Shoes
It’s easy to grab the first pair that fits or has the style you want while searching for black dress shoes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re searching for a nice pair that looks great, is comfortable, and is built to endure. This tutorial will show you how to choose a wonderful pair of black shoes that are both comfortable and cost-effective.
Dress shoes have a bad record for being uncomfortable, but if you know what to look for, you can avoid that. When it comes to long-term comfort, the sole is the most crucial aspect. If you’ve ever slipped on a pair of dress shoes that felt OK at first but left you unable to walk by the end of the night, the soles were probably not supportive enough. While this may be tolerable for a limited period of time, you don’t want a pair of black fancy shoes for work that you wear a few times a week to cause foot pain.
There are several different types of soles. The soles of costly shoes frequently have crepe soles. They’re often constructed of rough rubber and don’t last long. Rubber soles are normally very durable and provide excellent traction, although they’re more suited to casual shoes and sneakers than to fancy events.
Leather soles are seen in high-end dress shoes. When you wear them, they typically feel great and endure for a long time. However, they don’t have a lot of grip, so even if they’re appropriate for formal events, you should be cautious in areas where the floor is slick.
When it comes to buying women’s shoes, there are a few more factors to consider. A sturdy inner sole is essential since most women’s dress shoes feature a high heel. Shoes with strong arch support are ideal, however, they might be hard to come by.
To support the arch organically, look for cushioning with broader borders. It’s also crucial to have good padding beneath your heel and ball of your foot, particularly if you’re going to be wearing your shoes a lot.
High heels put a lot of strain on the feet and may harm the knees, hips, and back if they don’t fit correctly, therefore women should make sure their shoes fit properly as well. Between your toes and the tip of the shoe, leave approximately a thumb’s breadth of room.
Pay attention to how the shoes are directed to ensure that the high-quality bottoms of your black dress shoes last as long as possible.
Goodyear welting is used on high-end dress shoes because it is exceptionally robust and allows the shoes to be resoled easily. A Goodyear welt is a strip of plastic, rubber, or leather that runs around the edge of the shoe’s outsole to keep the upper from slipping off.
Cementing, which is a strong adhesive that holds the top and bottom of the shoe together, is another way used to do this. Cementing does not last as long as Goodyear welting and cannot be resoled, so avoid cementing if you want a pair of black dress shoes that will last a long time.
You want your ideal pair of black dress shoes to endure as long as possible. Finding a pair that is composed of high-quality materials is the greatest method to ensure that this occurs.
Leather is the greatest option in this regard. However, you may find that there are many sorts of leather to pick from while shopping for shoes. Because no two types of leathers are the same, it’s crucial to know the distinctions.
The best option is full-grain leather. It’s water-resistant, tough, and long-lasting. Top-grain leather is a lower-cost alternative to full-grain leather, but it’s still of decent quality.
Imperfections in corrected leather are sanded away. It has a brighter appearance than full-grain leather, but it isn’t as tough.
Patent leather and pebble-grain leather are two more kinds of leather you may encounter. Patent leather has a high sheen and should be reserved for formal occasions. The rough surface of pebble-grain leather resembles tiny pebbles. Because the pebbles cover scuffs and wrinkles better than other varieties of leather, it’s a fantastic option for casual use.
When selecting a pair of black dress shoes, price should not be the only factor to consider. Consider what the shoes will be used for when determining how much you are willing to pay. If you’re shopping for a pair of shoes for a single occasion, purchasing a high-quality pair may not be as important, allowing you to save a little money. Expect them to last a few months at most.
However, if you want a solid pair of black dress shoes that will endure for years, you need to spend a little more. An investment like this might actually save you money in the long term since you may not need to purchase shoes for a long time.
Here are some nice selections to pick from at various pricing ranges to give you a sense of what you might expect:
Swan High Heel Platform Shoes for Women from DREAM PAIRS
There are several styles to choose from when it comes to women’s dress shoes. Dream Pairs’ high-heel platform shoes are one of the most popular and reasonably priced types. They’re composed of synthetic material and have a rubber sole, two telltale signals that they’re not as good as the more costly choices. The insole is made of imitation leather and is softly cushioned for comfort.
If these high platforms aren’t to your taste, there are many quality shoes in this price range to choose from, so you should be able to find something that works for you. For the following several price ranges, we picked styles that are a bit more timeless.
VOSTEY Men’s Dress Shoes Classic Wingtip Brogue Oxford
With broguing and a traditional Oxford wingtip style, these black dress shoes are a great value. They’re composed of synthetic material and feature a black rubber sole that provides a bit more traction than a dress shoe would. However, keep in mind that low-cost rubber soles may wear out quickly. With a soft inner and footbed to keep your feet cool and dry, and a fully cushioned memory foam insole to keep you comfy for hours, this is a really comfortable shoe.
Stuart Weitzman Women’s Leigh 95
This is a fantastic women’s dress shoe that exemplifies what you can get for the money. The pointed toe and stiletto heel provide a traditional, sensual aspect to the smooth, elegant design, which is perfect for any formal event. The leather top and outsole are a step up from the $100 price tag, and the cushioned footbed offers some comfort.
HUGO by Hugo Boss Men’s Appeal Derby Dress Shoes
In this price range, you may get some nice shoes, such as these Hugo Boss black Derby dress shoes. They’re constructed entirely of leather and feature a leather sole, which is a significant improvement over the previous model. They’re also quite comfy, thanks to a rubber injection in the sole and a flex-foam insole.
L.K. Bennett Women’s Floret-nap Pumps
Another timeless style for a pair of black dress shoes for ladies. This elegant pump has a leather sole and is crafted entirely of leather. They’re stylish and feminine, with high-quality materials that will last. Thanks to the memory foam footbed, these shoes are also rather comfy.
Allen Edmonds McAllister Wing Tip for Men
We’ve progressed to the point where we can wear high-end, stylish black dress shoes. Allen Edmonds’ wingtips are crafted entirely of fine calfskin leather, with a leather sole. The wingtip design, ornate piping, pinking, and broguing distinguish them from other Oxford shoes. They feature Goodyear welting, a symbol of quality and a guarantee that these shoes will endure a long time.
SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Nirvana Pointed Toe Mary Jane Pumps
Here’s what you get when you’re prepared to spend a little more money on a decent pair of black sneakers. A third-generation shoemaker in Italy creates these SKP by Sarah Jessica Parker pumps. Each shoe is lined with Italian Nappa Leather, and the fabric and materials were all hand-picked for design and quality.
Mezlan Argento Men’s Luxury Lace-up Dress Shoes
The leather sole and hand-burnished calfskin upper with diamond pattern stitching on these Mezlan Argento shoes are stunning. Because they feature an injected memory foam insole, they’re really comfy. The fact that they’re created in Spain by professional shoemakers is the most striking aspect of them. Yes, these shoes will set you back a little extra, but you can be certain that they are of superior quality.
What to Avoid When Buying Black Dress Shoes
Here are some of the top things to avoid when buying black dress shoes to ensure that they suit your feet and your budget.
- Failure to recognize the shoe’s genuine worth.
Depending on how frequently you wear them, a nice pair of black dress shoes purchased for $300 might last a decade or more. However, if you purchase a poor pair of shoes every year or so for $50, you’ll wind up spending a lot more money in the long term than if you had chosen the high-quality choice in the first place.
- Associating excellent quality with an expensive price.
Yes, shoes made of higher-quality materials will cost more than those made of lower-quality materials. However, just because a shoe is costly does not guarantee that it is composed of high-quality materials. Take the time to check that any shoe has the traits we specified before purchasing it. Is it a leather product? Is it welting made by Goodyear? What kind of material are the soles? There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of money on something that is of high quality. However, you must ensure that you get value for your money.
- Selecting an overly-decorated pair.
Although black dress shoes are classic, some versions are rather flamboyant. When you spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes, you want to get the most out of them. To get as much wear out of them as possible, avoid eye-catching features like weaving or jewels and go for something plain. Keep in mind that an excellent pair of black dress shoes can work with everything. The more straightforward the design, the better.
- When you’re done with them, throw them at the back of your closet.
It’s important to keep leather shoes in good condition. They shouldn’t be left at the entrance, and they shouldn’t be placed near a radiator. When you’re not wearing your leather shoes, keep them in a shoe bag. Keep them in the bag, put the bag in the shoebox, and hang them in your closet after you’re done with them for the season.
- Failure to protect your financial investment.
If you want your shoes to last, you need to take care of them. A leather conditioner and an occasional polish are necessary if you have a decent pair of leather shoes that you anticipate lasting a long time. A small coating of wax, which acts as the first line of protection against abrasions and dampness, is also a good idea.
- Prioritizing style above anything else.
Continue searching if you fall in love with a pair of shoes that seem to be everything you’ve ever desired, only to discover that they don’t fit or are hard to walk in. When it comes to black dress shoes, style is vital, but you also need to be able to perform while wearing them. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes that you can only wear for an hour or two before having to remove them. Comfort is vital, so keep that in mind while you’re out shopping.
- Purchasing shoes that do not fit correctly.
When it comes to leather shoes, a proper fit is crucial, particularly when you’re spending a lot of money on a pair that you want to wear for years. Because leather expands, make sure you obtain the appropriate fit immediately away because the longer you wear them, the more probable they will stretch too much to be comfortable.
This is particularly significant for women. As previously stated, wearing the incorrect size of high heels may cause significant leg and back discomfort. This discomfort will only become worse if you continue to wear shoes that don’t fit correctly, particularly if you wear them every day.