Casual Shoes,Dress Shoes,Shoes

Best Shoes for Men: Your 11 Best Shoe Options


Finding the best shoes for men has little to do with price.

I’m not saying that paying a premium for a high-quality pair of shoes is bad …

… but I do want to convey that you don’t have to ravage your chequebook in order to look stylish.

Get this:

The amount of money you spend on a specific pair of shoes should be proportionate to how often you’ll be wearing them.

If you’ll be wearing your footwear every day, give yourself permission to splurge and buy a pair of the best shoes for men from the top shelf. 🙂

However, if you’ll only be wearing them once or twice a year, it’s okay to spend as little as possible.

The key to applying this low-price shoe-buying strategy is knowing what specs the best shoes for men must have and looking for those specs when you’re shopping. That way, you’re guaranteed to get the best looking shoes — always.

To make it easier for you to hit the bullseye when buying shoes …

… I’ve created a list of what I regard as the best shoes for men. I’ve included info on specs and colours too, which is something my subscribers often ask me about.

The Best Shoes for Men: Casual Styles

Canvas Loafers

Slip-ons or loafers — regardless of what you call them, they’re the same thing. Canvas footwear is as casual as it gets, making them the best shoes for men to wear in the summer.

white loafers with jeans

Their slip-on design makes them easy to kick off when you find yourself eager to cool down in the pool …

… or you need to head indoors for a sec to grab a couple of beers for you and your guests.

Canvas loafers also feel cooler than other shoes, leaving you with less risk of getting sweaty feet.

Unlike leather loafers, these usually come with a cemented sole in a regular or plimsoll style.

Boat Shoes

The only variety you’ll find in these classic shoes is the colour.

Originally designed for boating, the deck shoe, as it is also known, has become a very popular summer shoe.

The recipe for boats shoes is simple:

  • two lacing eyelets
  • laces that wrap around the heel
  • oiled or suede leather uppers
  • a non-slip, non-marking white sole
  • an apron toe.

sprerry boat shoes breakdown

These features make for a lightweight, quick-drying, and cool shoe, perfect for a day outside paired with shorts, chinos, or jeans.


Sneakers got their name from their rubber sole, which doesn’t make a sound and lets you sneak up on people … unless you’re on the basketball court!

best sneakers for men

As with many canvas loafers, the best sneakers for men usually come with the distinct glued plimsoll sole, which reaches up along the sides of the shoe.

The reason why sneakers are one of the best shoes for men and the second most important shoe in your wardrobe after Derbies …

… is simply because they can tackle any casual summer occasion.

Here’s what I mean:

  • Hanging out in the park? Wear sneakers.
  • Watching the game at your local bar? Wear sneakers.
  • On a city holiday with your GF? Wear sneakers.
  • Running errands? Wear sneakers.
  • On a date? Wear sneakers.
  • Eating out? Wear sneakers

And the list goes on and on and on …

The only things you need to remember are:

  1. Don’t ever pair sneakers with pressed pants or suit trousers (choose chinos instead).
  2. Don’t wear sneakers in the winter. If it’s snowing or cold outside, always wear lace-up leather shoes or any type of boot.
  3. Never wear light-coloured sneakers after 6 p.m., when dark shoes are more acceptable.

[box type=”info” ]

Did you know?
In Quebec, Canada, sneakers aren’t called ‘sneakers’, but ‘espadrilles’. In the U.S. and most other parts of the world, an espadrille is a canvas slip-on with a sole made of jute rope.[/box]

[baslider name=”EspadrilleSneakers”]


Technically, moccasins are a kind of loafer; the only thing that separates them from their slip-on relatives is their construction.

Moccasins have an innersole and sides made of the same piece of material. This piece is then stitched to the upper, creating the trademark apron toe.

moccasins best shoes for men

[box type=”note” ]NOTE:
Distinguishing between an apron-toe loafer and a moccasin is usually quite difficult today, as most loafers aren’t constructed the way true moccasins are.[/box]

The majority of moccasins today are driving moccasins, which feature a flexible sole that extends up onto the heel. These shoes usually come in suede or waxed leather. Moccasins look best with penny or horsebit style decoration.

driving moccasins breake down

Leather Loafers

Like canvas loafers, the leather variety feels cooler than lace-ups and should therefore be reserved for warmer occasions.

Other than that, leather loafers can range from being very casual to quite dressy, which makes it easy to wear loafers with jeans.

However, the loafers with suit look is best accomplished with penny or tassel loafers. If you aren’t 100% style fluent, stick to wearing loafers with plain shorts, jeans, or chinos).

penny tassel and horsebit loafer types

Leather loafers usually feature a Blake-stitched sole, which can be made of rubber, leather, or a combination of both.

loafers with suit

Rubber and combo soles are the cheapest, most durable, and easiest to care for (because you don’t have to condition the sole regularly).

Compared to moccasins, loafers are usually regarded as superior, even though the Gucci horsebit moccasin holds it grounds as a dressy classic.

Casual Shoe Colours

You might have heard that the safest shoe colour is black, or …

… ‘Black shoes are like a navy blue blazer; they go with everything.’

Let me tell you now that when it comes to casual and dressy shoes …

… that’s a big, fat, ugly lie!

(The part about the blazer is true, though.) 😉

Here’s the colour your casual shoes should actually have:

[box type=”success” ]FREE TOOL:
Use the 60-Second Colour Analysis Tool to find out which season you are and get your personal shoe colour list NOW. Click here to open the 60-Second Colour Analysis Tool.[/box]

Your shoe colour should depend on which season you are: winter, summer, spring, or autumn.

I cover this topic extensively in my e-book; therefore, I’m not going to go too deep into it here. If you want to know more about why colours are the most important aspect of clothing …

… and which colours you should wear, I suggest that you look at my free e-book,‘The Confident Style Secret’, which explains it all.


[box type=”info” ]Winter men need cool, clear, and true colours.

The best casual shoe colours for winters are black (the only exception to the black colour rule, I promise) and navy. But winters could also add grey and pure white shoes for daytime wear.

Summer men need muted colours that are soft, light, and cool.

The casual shoe colours that look best on any summer are navy and grey. If the shoes are for daytime use only, rose-beige and soft white are the best shoes for men in the summer palette.

Spring men need clear, light, and warm colours.

When buying casual shoes, the best shoes for men of the spring palette are brown or tan, while light-coloured shoes should be either beige or ivory.

Autumn men also need warm colours, but unlike spring men, autumns can wear both muted and clear colours, as long as they have an earthy feel.

The best shoes for men in the autumn palette are definitely brown and cordovan for casual all-day wear. An autumn’s lighter shoes should be either beige or oyster.[/box]

The Best Shoes for Men: Dress Options


Like so many things, brogues have evolved to the point where they look nothing like their original incarnation.


Brogues were once considered work shoes. The ‘decorative’ perforations actually served to let water drain out. Today, these male dress shoes are too fine to be worn for any type of manual labour.

longwing derbies for menBrogues (or Budapesters, as they’re sometimes called) are a closed-lacing Oxford. The shoes are embellished with perforated leather of varying degrees, ranging from quarter and half brogues up to full brogues and wingtips.

[baslider name=”OxfordsBrogues”]

Even though brogues are Oxford-style shoes, their embellishment makes them too casual for formal wear.

If you want something with character, brogues are excellent for everyday and business-dressy shoes.


Although a bit uncommon, these shoes (which bear resemblance to monks’ sandals) are surprisingly popular.

Monkstraps are Derbies with the laces switched out for a leather flap and one or two buckles.

[baslider name=”DerbiesMonkstraps”]

Most modern monkstraps include strategically placed elastic, so you don’t have to buckle and unbuckle the shoes every time you put them on or take them off.

This feature gives them the practicality of slip-on shoes, while at the same time allowing the shoes to be worn as lace-ups.

As with brogues, don’t wear monkstraps on ceremonial occasions; for any other dressy or everyday event, they’re fine.


There’s no coincidence that these made it onto my list of the best shoes for men.

Derbies are the MacGyver of shoes as they can be worn with anything); the only thing they’re missing is the mullet! 🙂

Consequently, these shoes should be the first and best leather shoes you get.

Another thing that makes these some of the best shoes for men is their simple and elegant design. This makes Derbies really easy to buy, care for, and combine with your outfit.

The design of a classic Derby shoe is as follows:

  • open lacing with four to five eyelets
  • a plain, cap, split, or apron toe
  • a welt- or blake-stitched rubber, leather, or combination sole
  • a heel three to five lifts high.

best shoes for men derby breake down

Dress Shoe Colours

[box type=”success” ]FREE TOOL:
Use the 60-Second Colour Analysis Tool to find out which season you are and get your personal shoe colour list NOW. Click here to open the 60-Second Colour Analysis Tool.[/box]

For dressy shoes, you can dismiss light colours right away, as you should only wear those with light-coloured outfits in daytime.

(If you’re aspiring to look like Colonel Sanders, send me an email, and I’ll personally help you find a pair of light-coloured dress shoes to match your white suit.)

Now, where was I? … Oh, yes: only wear dark dress shoes.

Again, the colours you should wear depend on your season. This makes it easy to coordinate your footwear with your clothing.

[box type=”info” ]Here’s the breakdown on the leather dress shoes you should choose:

  • Winter men:
    black, navy, cordovan, or grey
  • Summer men:
    rose-brown, cordovan, or black
  • Spring men:
    brown, dark cordovan, or black
  • Autumn men:
    brown, dark cordovan, or black.

NOTE: Summer, spring, and autumn men should only wear black shoes with a navy suit on ceremonial occasions. If you’re not wearing navy, choose shoes in a colour other than black.[/box]

The Best Dress Shoes for Men: Formal Styles

By ‘formal shoes’, I mean shoes you can wear on any type of ceremonial occasion …

… whether you’re getting married, meeting the president, or attending a gala in a smoking.

The most common formal shoes are Oxfords and patent leather shoes.


These shoes aren’t that different from Derbies; however, it would be a major faux pas to confuse these two shoe types with each other.

Oxfords are called ‘closed-lacing’ shoes, meaning that the upper is sewn on top of the two parts that are drawn together with the laces.

This gives a more formal and elegant look, which is why Oxfords should only be worn with a suit, tuxedo, or morning dress.

[baslider name=”OxordsDerbies”]

As previously mentioned, brogues are based on the closed-lacing Oxford style, only they’re more elaborate.

Plain Oxfords look very similar to Derbies — apart from the different lacing, of course. However, Oxfords usually come with a cap toe instead of the plain, split, and apron toe varieties of Derbies.

Patent Leather Shoes

These shiny shoes don’t need much explanation.

Basically, they’re plain-toe Oxford shoes with a high-gloss look and are even more formal.

[baslider name=”PatentLeatherShoesOxfords”]

Unless you’re James Bond, you’ll probably wear these only to your prom and wedding. That’s because you should only wear patent leather footwear with a tuxedo or morning or evening dress.

One variation is the patent leather pump with silk bow — one of the oldest types of men’s shoes.

They’ve remained true to their original 16th-century design.

patent leather pumps for men

Pumps went out of fashion in the early years of the Great Depression and have since been sidestepped by patent leather Oxfords.

When selecting patent leather shoes, always make sure they have closed lacing, as that’s the only acceptable style. Open-lacing patent leather shoes don’t look formal enough. If you can’t find closed-lacing patent leather shoes, choose freshly polished black Oxfords with a captoe instead.

Formal Shoe Colours

Unlike your casual and dressy shoe colours, formal shoe colours are very easy to pick.

In a word: black.

So whether you’re a winter, summer, spring, or autumn, your patent leather and Oxford shoes should always be black. That’s easy to remember.

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