We’re big believers that men should have as many great options for footwear as women do, despite the fact that, generally speaking, their shoe closets tend to be a bit more rudimentary. If you’re looking to step up your style game below the ankles, the most essential staple that every man should own is a pair of formal shoes.
Dress shoes are crucial not just for weddings, christenings and similarly special occasions, but because they are possibly the most versatile shoes a man can wear. Switching from your favourite pair of sneakers or boots to a well-made pair of formal shoes can smarten up any look, make you look more mature and certainly keep your boss happy.
While most men’s formal shoe styles are perfectly appropriate to be worn day-to-day, they’re absolutely indispensable for the office and for formal events. Ideally, you would own different set for social and work occasions, but luckily, many styles of men’s dress shoes are suitable for both.
Chances are that there are more men’s formal shoe styles than you’re aware of, and versatility can be somewhat of a secret weapon when it comes to taking your look to the next level and appearing more dressed up.We’ve put together a handy guide of the best formal shoes for men, whether you’re headed to your 9-5 or a stylish summer party.
Depending on who your employer is, formal shoes may be less of an option, more of a necessity. If you’re in a customer-facing environment, or are required to dress presentably for interactions with clients, you may be faced with the prospect of investing in the perfect pair of mens dress shoes to make you look top notch every single day.
Footwear may seem like a small element of looking the part, however no matter what your workplace etiquette is, never underestimate the power of a good polish and well looked after shoes.
Which men’s formal shoe styles you opt for, is largely down to your personal preference, here’s a run down of the key styles you should know about.
- Oxford Shoes
This shoe holds a virtually unparalleled claim to fame: it has never gone out of style, and never will. Smart, reliable and sophisticated with a slim footing fit and clean closed laces. These classic shoes have been revamped in more casual suede and finishes for less formal occasions.
- Derby shoes
Derby shoes are another timeless classic, the more comfortable and marginally more casual relative of the Oxford. Although they lack the sleek finish of the Oxford, they’re a great choice for men with wider feet thanks to their open lacing. Chunky sole Derbies are a trendy version and can be worn with slim fitting suits or even denim.
For something less obvious, infinitely more convenient and arguably more fashion-forward, loafer shoes offer a take on office wear that is simultaneously fresh and retro. They’re not only the most comfortable men’s dress shoes, they’re also extremely versatile, so you can easily keep them on for post-work drinks down the pub.
When it comes to formal wear, events like birthdays, weddings and parties are much more fun to dress for. That includes choosing the right pair of shoes. Opting for dress shoes doesn’t just elevate your look to meet the standards of whatever occasion you’re at, it also gives you a rare opportunity to show off your suave style.
Experiment with different fabrics and jazz up the same formal trousers and shirt you’ve worn for every party in the last ten years with a more interesting pair of men’s dress shoes.
Okay, admittedly, this isn’t a style of shoe per se. However, many men's formal shoe styles - including Oxfords, Derbys and loafers - work both inside and outside of the office. Opting for suede instead of leather adds a european flair, casual edge without losing any of the style.
Often confused with Oxford or Derby shoe styles, brogue shoes actually get their name from the decorative heavy perforations made in the leather which define them. Brogues have a touch more character and are perfect for showing off your style at a formal event.
- Chelsea boots
If boots have long been your footwear go-to, you might not be ready to switch to a more traditional shoe for an upcoming special occasion. Chelsea boots are a great, simple formal option, perfect for winter months and can easily be worn over or under the hem of your trousers.
Kick things up a notch
Kick Footwear have a fantastic, diverse range of men’s formal shoes ready for the autumn. Shop from all the styles we’ve mentioned in a wide variety of colours and textiles! All of our products are made from high quality materials.