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Top 10 Best Dress Shoes for Men in 2021

OwlRatings' experts have picked the ten best dress shoes for men from various brands based on design, comfort, durability, value for money, and the overall look and features they provide.

Reasons to look for good dress shoes

One of the most important requirements in today’s professional environment is how you dress and present yourself. Undoubtedly, good footwear along with an appropriate outfit is indispensable.

The dress shoes you wear can either boost up your overall look or pull it all the way down. Hence, it is essential to go for a good pair of dress shoes, which provides you comfort, relaxation, and reliability. To perform your best in a working atmosphere, you must feel comfortable and confident. A good-looking, breathable, and lightweight pair of dress shoes ensure that you remain active, tension-free, and productive while enhancing your self-esteem too.

A lot of brands have a wide range of dress shoes available. Some of them are the best in terms of comfort, some offer good comfort and durability, and so on. Therefore, in this article, we have chosen the top 10 dress shoes that cater to your needs in the best way possible, offering good comfort, reliability, and appearance.

Best overall

Clarks Tilden Cap Oxford dress shoes

Clarks Tilden Cap Oxford dress shoes

Best dress shoes overall

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These training shoes from Clarks offer the best overall value for money. The design fits perfectly according to the needs of today, the material used is high quality and will last a long time without any fading of colors or loss of adjustability.

The laces ensure a snug fit and still won’t feel painful at all. The price is also reasonable considering all the features given with such a graceful shape, design, and colors available.

The ankles and forefoot area lack enough support, which can turn out hurtful for longer use, and the toe box is a bit constricted for wide-footed people. If you have small feet and the period of use is moderate, these problems won’t bother you and the overall package will turn out greatly benefitting.

Best comfortable

Dream Pairs Prince Classic Oxford dress shoes

Dream Pairs Prince Classic Oxford dress shoes

Best comfortable dress shoes

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If you want a variety of color options and a trendy, durable design with keen detailing, these Bruno Marc dress shoes are the one for you. Unlike most dress shoes, these come in a range of colors that lift your wardrobe and add a playful touch to your official looks.

The weight is light and easy to carry, the detailing also has breathable linings that keep your feet dry and aerated. Its footbeds are also comfortable due to latex cushioning. PU leather exterior will last a long time without any complaints of marks and stains.

The fit is great, arches are medium to high to fit most users perfectly. The ankle shafts, however, are high and lack elasticity or padding that can be painful with ankle socks. Other than that, it’s an all-rounder that too at a reasonable rate.

Best for wide feet

Dockers Gordon Oxford dress shoes

Dockers Gordon Oxford dress shoes

Best dress shoes for wide feet

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The design of these dress shoes is a bit different than the usual shape in trend these days. However, that can be of a huge benefit to people who are tired of narrow toe-boxes and excessively long shapes. The shoe is spacious and comfortable throughout the length, its collars are padded and soles are cushioned for easy and comfy use.

The price again is easily affordable, shafts are elastic but don’t compromise on the fitting. The laces ensure an easy and stable fit. If you face issues like back pain or heel pain, this is a great option that won’t compromise on comfort and reliability. You can wear this pair for long hours without worrying about bruises or shoe bites.

However, if you have curved feet or you like a more compact shape, the product is lacking in both these aspects. The arches are almost flat with zero lift. Rest is a good and safe package at a suitable price, best fitting for wide-footed and flat-footed people.

Best for walking

Clarks Tilden Walk Oxford dress shoes

Clarks Tilden Walk Oxford dress shoes

Best dress shoes for longer walks

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These dress shoes from Clarks have the most beautiful and appealing appearance. Everything from heel to toe is designed carefully, ensuring a lean look but comfortable inners.

The footbeds are padded with OrthoLite cushioning that keeps the soles of the feet soft and relaxed. The exterior is very sturdy and has a matte finish that is easily cleanable. Rubber soles are perfectly flexible and don’t feel hard on the feet regardless of the surfaces.

The price is a bit high than most options, but the look and comfort do 100% justice to it. A compact shape is often too narrow and suffocating at the forefoot region but this one has ample space inside without making the exterior look too bulky.

Best for plantar fasciitis

Clarks Escalade Step dress shoes

Clarks Escalade Step dress shoes

Best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis relief

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The product has a slip-on design that is very convenient to use, it takes seconds to put these on or take them off, and the upper patch doesn’t have a lace-up design so it feels soft and spacious on the feet too.

The price is very reasonable and provides great comfort. The soles are soft and flexible, with a breathable leather exterior. Elasticity goes up to the shafts so shoe bites and blemishes remain at bay.

However, the fit isn’t very reliable as there are no laces for adjustability. After heavy, everyday use, the shoe tends to lose the snug fit but remains 100% usable and practical. If you are looking for an extra comfortable pair to use on some days, this is a safe bet. But for everyday use, a lace-up design offers better adjustability.

Everything aside, the comfort and ease of use this pair serves is matchless and rarely given in dress shoes.

Best affordable

Bruno Marc Leather Lined Oxfords dress shoes

Bruno Marc Leather Lined Oxfords dress shoes

Best affordable dress shoes

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This is the most affordable pair out of the whole list but still doesn’t compromise on comfort or quality at all. The material used is high-quality and durable with lightly padded footbeds and an elevated heel for a good grip and stable walk.

The design is very attractive and the color variation available is a cherry on the top. As far as design and detailing are concerned, this pair is highly recommended. The colors are different and unique that are sure to turn a few heads towards them.

For everyday use, it’s a great option with a good appearance and comfortable wear at a surprisingly budget-friendly price. At this rate, you won’t regret the purchase at all. This is a perfect pair for high-arched feet but might be a bit discomforting for wide-footed people as the toe box is too lean like most dress shoes have. Other than that, the whole package is great in regards to durability, design, and stability.

Best business casual shoes

Deer Stags Greenpoint Slip-On Loafer dress shoes

Deer Stags Greenpoint Slip-On Loafer dress shoes

Best casual dress shoes for business purposes

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Again, this is another slip-on design that is easy and practical to use. Top-quality material has been used in the making of this pair, the leather exterior is durable and doesn’t leave marks. The soles are thick and synthetic that has a solid grip even on slippery surfaces.

The pair is lightweight, though it looks a bit bulky and heavy. The design isn’t very compact but provides great comfort especially if you have wide feet. The arches are very well-balanced and accommodate all kinds of users, from flat-footed to high-arched. It’s also a very affordable pair.

If you like a lift on the heel region for an extra inch of height, this one is a great choice but we suggest looking for a more comfortable heel if you face problems like arthritis or foot-aches as the added lift can be a bit painful for longer use.

Best for standing all day

Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap-Toe Oxford dress shoes

Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap-Toe Oxford dress shoes

Best dress shoes if you are standing all day

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These dress shoes are made of the best durable material. The exterior is 100% leather but the breathable linings on the toe and forefoot region keep the feet dry and ventilated. The soles are synthetic and durable with comfortable arches and flexibility.

The two issues would be the heavyweight construction and the elongated toe box. However, once worn, the weight isn’t much of an issue for short-term use. The inners are lined with memory foam and ensure softness on the skin.  The product is priced a bit on the high end, but the brand is widely known for its durability so it is a one-time input with a great appearance and a good, elastic fit.

Moreover, the soles have a stitch detailing along the whole length and the leather has breathable patterns on the heel area, both of these extra features give the shoes a very sophisticated look.

Best premium

Cole Haan Original Grand Oxford dress shoes

Cole Haan Original Grand Oxford dress shoes

Best premium dress shoes if price doesn’t matter

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The best thing about these shoes is their casual to semi-formal look. It doesn’t restrict the use just to office hours, but can be worn with casual day-to-day looks and put to good use in a single purchase.

Although the price is high,  the features offered are totally commendable and very practical. The soles are thick and flexible with contrasting colors for a more playful look. Footbeds are cushioned with EVA foam which is known for its comfort and durability. Even the outer leather has a shiny look with breathable detailing.

It’s a unique pair with a very sensible color variation and comfort. Cushioning extends to shafts so you don’t have to worry even if you wear these for the whole day. They are neither suffocating nor lack support. Especially if you have flat feet, this is the best option out there for you.

Best stylish

Stacy Adams Tinsley Wingtip Oxford dress shoes

Stacy Adams Tinsley Wingtip Oxford dress shoes

Best design dress shoes for a great style

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These Stacy Adams dress shoes come in a classic, elongated design with two-toned exteriors. The color variation in these shoes is also remarkable and adds grace to the plain, boring dress shoes. The tones used aren’t too out there so the formal decorum is well-maintained.

The material is also very reliable and long-lasting, the leather doesn’t lose color or shape at all and one purchase lasts you years. The product offers great value for money given the breathable design, lightweight construction, and inner cushioning.

The whole interior is cushioned with moderately thick memory foam which doesn’t cause suffocation but ensures comfortable steps at the same time. The toe box is a bit too narrow and long, plus the stacked heel can turn out painful after longer use.

If you have longer feet and you enjoy an extra bit of height, this is the best option for you. The contrast of dual shades, breathable linings, and the lean look makes it a head-turner for sure.

What to look for in good dress shoes

While looking for a good pair of dress shoes, the two things that should be common in every pair are the comfort they offer and the reliability given. A shoe is only in good use as long as it remains comfortable and stable on the feet. A pair with high-quality material is very important to save you energy and time by not surfing for another pair right after a few uses.

Being light-weight, well-gripped and snug-fitting dress shoes are the best in terms of everyday use. A pair that covers all these areas at a good price is a safe option to go for.

Design

Most of the dress shoe designers these days opt for a more compact and elongated look which is most suited for your official needs, provided the wear is comfortable and not painful on the feet or ankles. Going for a classy and lean shape, as long as the toe box is comfortably roomy, can work with most of your outfits perfectly well.

Comfort

In footwear, comfort is the most essential prerequisite. If your feet are not aerated, comfortable and dry in a shoe, there’s no point in the purchase. You must look for a pair that has foamed midsoles and well-cushioned inners for easy use. Medium to high arches can fit well with most foot shapes. Weight is another important factor contributing to comfort, a lightweight, well-gripped pair can make an all-day-long use easy and pain-free.

Durability

The material used in the construction of the shoes must be reliable and long-lasting. Usually, leather exteriors and rubber soles last a long time if the leather is sturdy and flexible but still holds shape. The breathable lining tends to tear off after a while so the product must be well-stitched and put together for durability and withstanding a rough, everyday use as well.

FAQ

Can you wear dress shoes every day?

Yes, just like most other shoes, dress shoes are a daily need and can be worn daily. It is, however, important that the pair is breathable, keeps your feet dry and sweat-free. Cushioned footbeds and heel support ensure that everyday use is easy on the feet.

How do you style dress shoes?

Going for neutral colors and classy designs can fulfill most of your needs as they go with almost every outfit and work look. Mostly, a good color contrast between the outfit and dress shoes looks the best, keeping the choice of colors minimalistic and safe.

How to care for dress shoes?

As dress shoes are generally leather-based, they are easy to care for. You just need leather polish and soft brushes to keep them clean and durable. The shape of the shoe should remain as it is and not be bent over the ankles or shafts, as it can reduce the life of the leather. Other than that, dress shoes are low maintenance and do not require any extra care.

Final verdict

Summing it up, you’d want to look for a pair that is an all-rounder. Soft footbeds, firm soles, lightweight shoes offer a high value for money. Some shoes also have breathable linings in the detailing which is a great additive feature. Whether to go for a lace-up design or slip-on, totally depends on your preference. Slip-on is easier to use and breathable while lace-ups give a more put together and classy look with a good fit. Arches and shafts vary from person to person. Hence, go for the product according to your foot shape for more relaxed and prolonged use.

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