By Rehan Iqbal
Never wearing another pair of uncomfortable dress shoes AGAIN.
It’s possible. You can wear a suit, dress up to go clubbing, or go to any 5-star restaurant, wedding, or work function, AND STILL wear a pair of comfortable dress shoes that don’t totally mangle your toes or crush your arches.
Best Mens Dress Shoes for Work
We researched the top 30 men’s dress shoes for comfort, style, arch support, and durability. These 12 stood head and shoulders above the rest.
But first, let’s talk about the difference between leather vs non-leather uppers…
Leather vs. Synthetic Uppers: What You Need to Know
We could talk forever about the advantages and disadvantages of leather vs synthetic shoes, but let’s just jump straight to the good stuff.
Long story short: leather shoes are usually more durable, more stylish, and more comfortable. But synthetic shoes are often much more affordable and easier to care for than shoes with leather uppers. And with new technology like gel inserts and removable insoles, synthetic shoes could feel just as comfortable as some leather ones.
Leather is typically softer and more breathable. That means your feet will feel more comfortable and sweat less when wearing leather shoes. It also means you’ll have to pay more and do more work to maintain your leather shoes (e.g., waterproofing or cleaning them).
Synthetic shoes, however, have come a long way. So, if you’re on a budget, feel leather is against your values, or just need a shoe for occasional use, synthetic is a great option that will still keep your feet comfortable all day.
Choose leather if…
Choose synthetic if…
Note On Style With Casual Business Shoes And Formal Shoes
The good thing for you about the men’s shoes you’re about to see is that they go well with just about any type of casual or formal pants.
While traditional dress shoes normally require trousers or true “dress pants”, most of these shoes go perfectly well with jeans, chinos, khakis, or even shorts if the occasion allows it.
Here are a few rules of thumb:
In simpler terms, go with the common sense of the office or social setting. When in doubt, if the shoe looks very “fancy”, then use trousers. If the shoe doesn’t have laces, feel free to wear nice shorts, jeans, chinos, or khakis if your office allows so.
1. Allen Edmonds Strand - Made in USA - Leather
We instantly fell in love with the Allen Edmonds Strand dress shoes.
They look like a $1,000 pair of shoes but feel like tennis shoes, and you can wear them in any board room and truly make a statement without feeling like you need a foot transplant when you get home.
The key here is the ultra-breathable mesh and super comfortable leather upper. That gives you two distinct advantages you don’t get anywhere else:
If you want to make a statement and need something a little more stylish for work, the Allen Edmonds are the best shoes money can buy.
2. Clarks Men's Tilden Cap Oxford - Leather
The Tilden Cap Oxford’s look like high-end dress shoes but cost up to 10x less. And, they make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
OK, that was a bit dramatic, but they were ultra comfortable (due to orthotics…we’ll explain why in a second) and we really couldn’t tell the difference between them and many of the $200 dress shoes we’ve got lying around.
These are perfect for interns, new joiners, or anyone else on a budget that needs to look professional but still save money for a special “ramen noodle” night every Friday.
The best part is the Ortholite footbed, an ultra-comfortable, durable, and moisture-wicking material that keeps your feet pain-free and dry. You won’t have to buy another pair of shoes any time soon.
Comfort, breathability, affordability, and class all in one—if you need something decent to look professional and don’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars, just grab these. Nobody will know the difference.
3. Dockers Men’s Trustee Leather Oxford Dress Shoe - Leather
Do you walk thousands of steps a day at work? These shoes were made for you.
They’re among the only men’s dress shoes approved by the American Podiatric Association for promoting good foot health. They’re designed specifically for anyone who walks a lot in an office setting.
Busy managers, airport support staff, hotel staff, 5-star restaurant employees—or anyone who has to look great while still breaking a sweat—will LOVE these shoes.
The comfort gel insert and EVA foam sock lining are literally life-changing. If you’re suffering from sore feet, blisters, or other nasty issues from being on your feet all day, you’ve found the answer. You could walk a full day at work and still feel great WITHOUT icing down your feet at night.
4. Clarks Men's Tilden Free Slip-On Loafer
Since they’re slip-ons, they require almost zero break-in time. Most other shoes require some time to feel like they fit right (think of it like breaking in a baseball glove). Not these. You can slip them on right away and not feel any chaffing or rigidity.
If you want something you can slip on and off easily and works perfectly at the office, any restaurant, or a pub on weekends, this is the perfect fit.
5. Stacy Adams Men's Tinsley Wingtip Lace-Up Oxford - Leather
The Tinsley Wingtips look more at home in a Tombstone reenactment than they do in the office, but this level of old-school fashion, comfort, and durability had to be on this list.
The memory foam insoles conform perfectly to the bottom of your foot and provide extra shock absorption, so you’ll get all-day comfort if you’re on your feet often. However, the thin sole and heavier construction mean it’s not ideal for everyday use. If you see yourself moving around a lot, consider a lightweight shoe instead.
We recommend it for weddings, funerals, official functions, or anything else requiring a “dress shoe” rather than a comfortable business shoe.
It checks all the boxes you’d want in a classic dress shoe:
Going to a wedding and need an affordable shoe with a classic look? This has you written all over it.
6. Florsheim Men's Medfield Plain Toe Oxford Dress Shoe - Leather
If we had to sum up these shoes, it would be with the word “MAX”:
When you combine all of that with the added style and high-class look, you’ve got the perfect dress shoe for busy-but-professional settings.
7. Rockport Men's Style Leader 2 Bike Slip-On
We just wanted to mention these Rockport slip-ons to give you an alternative to the Clarks slip-ons.
Rockports’ slip-ons are another super comfortable, durable, and moisture-wicking shoe with pretty much the same features as Clarks. The only difference here is that Rockport’s are more expensive. We couldn’t rank them higher on the list, since there’s really no difference besides the price.
If we had to give it one advantage, it would be style. Rockport shoes look great, but it doesn’t justify the higher price.
Have a look for yourself. If you like the style, it isn’t that much more expensive. Be our guest!
8. ECCO Men's New Jersey Lace Oxfords
ECCO is a relative newcomer to the footwear industry, but that does not mean they don’t offer comfortable and high-quality men’s dress shoes. One splendid example is their New Jersey lace Oxfords. The New Jersey lace Oxfords are made of full-grain leather, have a stacked heel, detailed stitching throughout the shoe, and boast a bicycle toe.
The bicycle toe style allows the shoe to have a look that makes it great for business suits, formal attire, or casual clothes. Leather makes the shoes durable, the stitching and bicycle toe make the shoes fashionable, and the lining and insole make the shoes a dream to wear.
The outsole will give you two benefits. It will give you great traction so you can feel confident that you will not lose your footing on wet surfaces, and it also acts to absorb shock. Both of these benefits are necessary if you will wear these comfortable shoes to work and have to be on the go all day. The New Jersey lace Oxfords are available in black and mink.
9. Stacy Adams Men’s Dunbar-Wingtip Oxford
Another dress shoe that flawlessly compliments professional men is the Stacy Adams Dunbar-Wingtip Oxford. This shoe is made from antiqued leather, so you can rest assured that it will serve you for years. The sole is made from synthetic to offer you superior stability and support while preventing you from skidding on slippery floors.
This dress shoe has an excellently cushioned footbed which provides you unsurpassed levels of comfort all day long. It also has a breathable interior which effectively absorbs moisture, sweat and perspiration inside the shoe keeping your feet fresh and cool. The rounded toe design at the front of the shoe allows your toes to move around freely inside the shoe.
You’ll definitely appreciate the fact that the shoe is available in a variety of colors including cognac, black, indigo and brown. It is also non-slip to protect you from accidents when walking on oily and wet floors. Everything said, this shoe is definitely one of the best men’s dress shoes for work.
10. DREAM PAIRS Men's Prince Formal Oxford Wingtip Lace Up Dress Shoes
Up first is the best, most comfortable synthetic upper shoe available. If you need a beautiful, classic style for strict office use or special events, Dream Pairs is exactly what you’re after. And they’re half the price or less than traditional leather shoes.
These shoes are ideal for weddings, banquets, graduations, and even everyday use at an office with a stricter dress code than “business casual”. They’re a bit too “dressy” for a casual environment though.
The synthetic insole provides extra ankle support, greater breathability than many dress shoes, and soft comfort without the high price tag of traditional leather.
The only complaints online were that users claimed the bottom of the shoe wore down quickly, but that’s common with most non-leather shoes. For this price, you can’t be too picky.
11. Deer Stags Men's Greenpoint
If you want something that’s really “dressy” for a formal occasion, get the Dream Pairs dress shoes. But if you need something casual for work or heading out with friends, Deer Stags Greenpoint shoes are perfect. They’re comfortable, durable, and super easy to clean, and you wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb if you wore them out to a restaurant. The plain design means they fit with just about any outfit, even a nice t-shirt and dress pants.
12. Bruno Marc Men's Leather Lined Dress Loafer
Dress Shoes From Top Brands
Some of the most comfortable footwear suitable for business, formal wear, and just to wear as work shoes can be found in this list. Dress shoes from well established brand names like Clarks, Rockport, Ecco, Stacy Adams, Florsheim, Dockers, Cole Haan, Bostonian and Hush Puppies will give you peace of mind that these shoes are built to last. You will also know that you will be walking around in style.