All hail the return of the dress shoe. As we ease back to normality, we're kicking off our slippers and embracing formal footwear again. Oxfords, Derby shoes, monk straps, loafers and brogues are begging to be brought back into rotation. Yes, your trusty trainers will always have their place, but some occasions — whether it's a wedding, important business meeting or job interview — simply call for smarter footwear, and that's where men's dress shoes come in.
There are a variety of dress shoe styles to choose from, and your choice will depend on your own personal style as well as the occasion in question. Keep things classic in a pair of traditional leather Oxford shoes or opt for the slightly more casual end of the spectrum with a pair of Derbies, which have more of a relaxed air about them thanks to their open eyelets tab. Ever-versatile penny loafers will serve you just as well for formal events as smart-casual looks; decorative brogues will inject your outfit with a subtle dose of flair and sleek monk straps are your go-to for a look that screams 'power player'.
A good pair of men's dress shoes should stand the test of time, so invest wisely and don't be afraid to spend that little bit extra for a well-made pair that you'll rely on for years to come. To help you on your quest to finding the perfect dress shoes, we've rounded up a few of our favourites below. Put your best foot forward in one of these top-notch styles...
With their plain cap toe and sleek silhouette, Swedish footwear label Myrqvist's Äppelviken Oxford shoes are as classic as they come. In keeping with Myrqvist's commitment to premium craftsmanship, they're handcrafted in Portugal using full-grain calf leather from Du Puy, a renowned French tannery. Reinforced with Goodyear welted construction and leather board heel caps and cork filling, they're made to last. If you only ever buy one pair of Oxfords, make it this pair.
Italian shoemaking masters Velasca describe its single strap leather Garzòn monk straps as intended for "the high-end executive who works on the top floor of an international company". Sleek and sophisticated with a clean silhouette, they'll show you mean business. Team them with a grey flannel suit for instant elegance.
French footwear label KLEMAN's best-loved Padror derby has remained unchanged since the '90s. Taking inspiration from traditional Tyrolean shoes, it combines a boxy moc toe and chunky sole for a distinctive yet timeless style. It's certainly not the most formal of men's dress shoes, but it's a versatile style that can easily be dressed up with a suit or taken down a notch as part of a workwear-style look with a chore jacket and selvedge denim jeans.
Inspired by classic Teddy Boy style, Royal RepubliQ's Collision Penny Loafers will inject your outfit with the perfect dose of attitude. Crafted in Italy from premium leather, these loafers boasts a unique two-tone effect called 'abrasivato', with a lighter shade showing through the dark burgundy finish. A memory foam insole with calf lining offers ultimate comfort for effortless all-day wear.
These Oxford brogues from Church's are a modern day classic. The rich detailing, rounded toe and sleek silhouette lends them a distinctive character and makes them a sophisticated choice to team with sharp tailoring. Crafted in Northampton, England from calf leather and boasting sturdy Goodyear-welted construction, they're guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Now discover five pairs of casual shoes that every man should own.
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