By Rehan Iqbal
Shoe choices are extremely important. Choose the wrong pair for work, and you could be on your back or out of a job before you know what hit you. Choose the wrong pair for social needs, and embarrassing moments can make you wish you could hide in your basement for the rest of your life.
When it comes to men’s dress shoes, form is important, but fit and function can be even more so. And if you can combine the three at a reasonable price, you better grab those quick. The following are some of the best dress shoes with a slip resistant outsole or a rubber outsole that would provide adequate traction on slippery floors.
Slip Resistant Shoes To Wear On The Job
1. Dockers Men’s Agent SlipOn Loafer
For a classy, understated look, slip-ons like these Loafers by Dockers are excellent. The totally lace free appearance, with a rigid tongue and padded, thick collar that sits at an unusually high position as well as the dark, hand stitched leather adorning most of the exterior all contribute to a professional, serious style.
You could easily wear these to a business meeting, but don‘t worry about the weather going a little awry on the way back, as the thick rubber sole shows that the Loafers don‘t shy away from getting a little dirty, too.
On the inside, your feet will be treated by tan leather and a cushioned latex footbed, as well as excellent arch support, courtesy of the shape of that well pronounced outsole. For making a statement without sacrificing practicality, these shoes are a must have in anyone‘s collection. Available mainly in dark colors, such as black, dark tan and dark shades of beige, Loafers of this kind suit any professional style and outfit and excel at concealing their true strength to those who aren't looking.
2. Nunn Bush Men’s Bleeker St Slip-On
A different style for a different kind of wearer, these Slip-ons by Nunn Bush are much more focused and overtly professional than their counterpart above. With a longer, slimmer profile thanks to a straight collar positioned noticeably below the tongue and a more pronounced toe tip that gives the shoe as a whole a stretched, pointy appearance, these Slip-ons are nothing if not elegant and formal.
The hand burnished, dark leather has a glossy finish, which only further accentuates just what kind of wearer these shoes are designed for. This pattern continues below the great EVA midsole, with a high, one inch heel that gives these Nunn Bushs the distinctive dress shoe look.
Turn them upside down, and a thick, padded, slip resistant outsole reveals itself. The texture and materials are optimized for a comfortable fit and rugged dependability. To further make the spread between practicality and comfort obvious, the outsole is manufactured using a dual layer process; the layer that touches the floor absorbs most of the impact, whilst the upper layer acts akin to a cushion.
The result is a smooth walking experience that is not only dampened considerably compared to more basic designs, but also adapts to the shape of your feet and the nature of the surface you’re walking on thanks to the dual layers’ high degree of flexibility.
3. Dockers Men’s Trustee Oxford
The Trustee Oxford by Dockers arguably maintain that strange balancing act between uptight professionalism and dependable workmanship better than most, if not all other comparable shoe designs.
There‘s a hand burnished, glossy dark leather finish, for sure, but then, there are also rather utilitarian looking cloth laces and a thick, rubberized outsole with a one and a quarter inch heel at the rear.
This fortunately doesn‘t contrast with the remaining proportions of the shoe too much thanks to the EVA midsole, which manages to connect the rear and frontal parts of the outsole in a visual sense quite effectively.
Unlike slip-ons, this pair not only features the aforementioned laces, but also an adjustable tongue at the front, overshadowed by the overly thick, high and of course padded leather collar at the rear.
Whether in black or dark tan, these shoes will look the part in a conference room as well as on a construction site. Still, even a more casual dress can be well complemented by the Oxfords, provided the colors match, of course. The rubber outsole may be a little soft and pedestrian for some, but for dress shoe standards, it excels in the areas that count most: Comfort, wearability and longevity.
4. Clarks Unstructured Men’s Un.Kenneth Lace-Up
Trying to impress someone? Go with these Clarks. Full-grain leather? Check. Luxurious lambskin covering? Check. A deluxe, removable leather insole for optimum comfort? Check. Not only do the Clarks tick all the right boxes for luxury dress shoe aficionados, but they‘re also very intelligently designed.
From the high vamp to the pointy, narrow toe tip at the front and the thick, prominent synthetic anti-slip outsole, to the discreet laces covering the adjustable tongue, to the strong, tough EVA midsole and the cushioned, tan interior, everything about these Clarks was made to look good at any formal occasion without succumbing to wear and tear nearly as easily as some more fragile dress shoes would.
With a high price tag to match—getting a pair like this for such a low price is a bargain — Clarks makes sure that no wannabes will wear the Oxfords, either; those who buy them own them and the look that goes along with that. Think fancy suits, exceptional manners, delicate grooming and a posh accent. Without, you‘ll just make yourself look like a poser.
5. SR MAX Men's Arlington Slip Resistant
‘Subdued’ is a term that very effectively describes this style of dress shoe by SR Max. Clean lines, an outsole that looks like it was laser carved with nano meter precision and a mostly straight profile with no protrusions or accentuated features all contribute to this. The insole, black just like the rest of the shoe, is comfortable enough, but don’t expect literal foot heaven.
This shoe was not made to wow people, whether you or anyone else. Turn it upside down, though, and you’ll see that one good reason for buying a pair: The slip resistant, geometrically textured, fine rubber outsole.
True, slip resistance and rubber don’t really tend to appear in the same sentence, especially when talking about quality footwear such as this, but SR Max are specialists in this field—after all, even their initials stand for ‘Slip Resistance’—and they really managed to pull off a low maintenance, subtle looking and, good for them, cheap to manufacture outsole that’s just as good at being a slip prevention device as any other ‘true’ non rubberized sole of the same kind.
Besides, the ‘Arlingtons’ are really well made, too, with great finishes and craftsmanship that unfortunately gets all too lost in that low key design that no one is really ever going to pay too much attention to. Which is to say, the shoes do exactly what their designers intended them to do.
6. Nunn Bush Men’s Sherman Oxford
Now, how about something more budget friendly? Sure, dress shoes generally radiate style, attitude, flair and most important of all, a high social status, but that doesn’t mean they have to be exclusive to the ultra-rich. For many, paying three figures for a pair of shoes they’re invariably going to have to replace within a year at best seems ludicrous, and for them, there are brilliant options like the ‘Shermans’ by Nunn Bush.
They’re not slip-ons, not hybrids, not some fancy, new fangled style that is going to become outdated by next month, no, these are thoroughbred dress shoes, just like the ones you’d expect a well off lawyer or CEO to wear to work.
Well, judging from the looks, that is. Sure, when you really analyze the Shermans closely and with great patience, you will notice some minor quirks to criticize if you’re a connoisseur.
For example, everything from the vamp to the toe tip seems to be awfully disconnected from the back portions of the shoe. This is not just some appearance oddity; pretty much all of the throat, including the laces, collar et al., are ‘tacked on’, added onto a layer of fake leather below them. Speaking of which, the shoe is full of it.
Heck, the aforementioned front end doesn’t even believe its own lies and completely abandons the rear’s stitching, just to make it clear that what you’re looking at is actually a synthetic, manmade compound. The rest goes for the in, mid and outsoles, of course. At least the latter is pretty grippy, with loads of traction in spite of not being explicitly labeled as slip resistant.
7. Clarks Men’s Touareg Vibe Oxford
For those who like to impress with an unusual, if attractive sense of style—and no, we‘re not referring to Hipster culture—there are dress shoes like the ‘Touareg Vibe Oxfords’ by Clarks. All your high-end stuff is there to tick the right boxes and make you fit among the hopefully high class you’re trying to fit into with this pair.
Hand stitched, hand burnished leather, a flexible, high grade midsole, metal eyelets, classic tan and black color schemes and an ultra comfortable insole are all there, as is a gracefully proportioned padded collar and a rigid, albeit adjustable tongue.
A central ‘spine’, a sort of leather bridge consisting mainly of the stitching that holds the two separate pieces of toe tip together, runs from the very front all the way to the end of the tongue, giving the Oxfords a very unique appearance from head on, with the conservative glossy finish being interrupted literally halfway by this slightly more matte in appearance character line.
Even along the sides, the signature stitching pattern continues, with three gill-like ‘spines’ that seem to emit from somewhere near each row of eyelets save for the topmost and bottom-most ones. Rounding all of this off is a textured, synthetic outsole that provides just about the levels of grip you’ll need, whether on the dance floor, in a conference hall or in the restaurant.