You can’t make a first impression twice. Shoes are usually the first part of an outfit to catch other people’s eyes. Thus, it’s imperative to have a solid reputation. With a nice pair of dress shoes, you can greatly elevate your style. While your clothes are also crucial when it comes to presenting yourself, your shoes are just as important.
Recent research shows that a stranger can easily predict a person’s salary and age, based on the style of their shoes. Plus, it is no secret that shoes are what most women notice on a potential suitor. Thus, nailing your footwear choice is vital to projecting the right image. In this article, we have compiled the best men dress shoes you should own. But before that, let’s discuss some crucial factors you should consider when choosing your dress shoes.
1. The Oxford
The Oxford is the most elegant and formal dress shoe it is also the holy grail of dress shoes. It is made of full-grain calfskin leather that will not only break-in comfortably, but also absorb polish for a great shine. The Oxfords are easily distinguished by their closed lacing system featuring stitching across the bottom. They also feature a short back and low heel for a neat and polished appearance. Oxfords are considered perfect shoes for formal occasions, such as work, job interviews and weddings. While you can play around with leathers and textures, it’s recommendable to go for Oxfords in in traditional hues, such as black and brown as sophisticatedly stylish.
2. The Derby
is an ultimate all-rounder dress shoe shown known for its casual, comfortable style. Their open lacing design and clean look make them perfect for any dressy or semi casual event. Derby shoes come in a wide range of colors, which make them pair well with suits or other outfits regardless of occasion. Toe decoration is another common feature for these dress shoes. If you want a classic look, go for a plain toe or toe cap. However, if you want to stand out, choose split toe or apron toe styles.
3. The Brogue
After the derby, this is probably the easiest to recognize of the five best dress shoes discussed in this article. Brogues are simply Oxford with an embellishment at various stages. There are four types of brogues: Longwing Brogues: They have toecap with decorations that extend and wrap all the way around the heel of the shoe. Additionally, there upper is also decorated along the rim. Wingtips or Full Brogues: These have also have decorated toecap that extend along the sides to the middle of the shoe. Full brogues also have decorations along the sides of the upper and heel piece. Half Brogues: They have a decorated toecap and decorations along the heel piece and the rim of the upper. Quarter Brogues: They have decorations along the heel piece, upper and the rim of the toecap only. If you are used to wearing casual shoes, brogues offer a softer transition when switching to dress shoes. These shoes look great with jeans.
4. The Loafer
From tassel to penny loafer, the lace-less leather dress shoe is a more relaxed, versatile option for most men. The comfortable slip-on shoe is ideal for adding a stylish relaxed touch to formal outfits. While loafers can work with many different looks, they are pair well with suits, especially those worn with flare. For a unique and dapper look, go for tassel loafers or penny loafers. However, if you just want to impress, consider a decadent pair of velvet loafers.
5. The Monk-Strap Shoe
Featuring a buckle and a strap across the top, the Monk-Strap is a unique and stylish dress shoe. It’s partner the Double Monk-Strap is the same build except it has a double strap and buckle over the top. Its elegant, sleek design makes it pair well with a number of formal looks from a business meeting, an interview to a night out. This fashionable dress shoe is also ideal for men seeking a polished style with more interest than the Derby or Oxford. For a more refined and suitably sharp look, consider choosing a leather style with a bit of shine.
5 Valuable Tips for Choosing the Best Men Dress Shoes
Tip 1: Construction Matters Most modern shoes are made by gluing the sole onto the foot box. This construction does not last and cannot be fixed. Thus, it is recommendable you choose a dress shoe with a Blake Construction, where the sole is directly stitched to the upper or a Goodyear Welt Construction, where the sole is first stitched to a leather welt and then to the upper. These construction techniques allow the shoe to be not only breathable and flexible, but also easy to resole.
Tip 2: Go for a Dress Shoe Made of Full Grain Leather The best men dress shoe should be made of full-grain leather rather than the corrected or top-grain leather. Full-grain leather consists of the whole grain of the cowhide. It absorbs polish properly, ages wonderfully and lasts longer. Avoid shoes made from all cheap low quality leather.
Tip 3: Choose the Right Style Dress shoes come in a wide range of styles ranging. The rule of the thumb here is to keep simple, slim and conservative. When choosing your first pair, go for the classic Oxford. A proper dress shoes has a relatively narrow last (referring to the molds used to shape the shoe) and follows your foot’s lines without being too squared, boxy or bulky.
Tip 4: Select the Right Color The common rule for leather color is that lighter is more casual and darker is dressier. This may make want to choose black shoes. However, black shoes are the least versatile. For your first pair, consider choosing dark brown shoes. Brown color pairs with any suit color, is ideal for nearly any occasion and can be dressed up or down easily.
Tip 5: Go for a Comfortable Pair of Shoes If the dress shoes are part of your work attire, it is imperative that they not only look nice and professional, but also need to be comfortable. If you suffer from suppuration or have flat feet, choose a shoe with enough arch support. Unfortunately, most dress shoes do not have adequate support, but you can always purchase insoles to help with that.