Are Slip On Dress Shoes Professional?

It seems that many men worry about their footwear, especially if they are going to work or have an interview. Appearances are important, though most employers do consider your personality and skills more than what you wear. However, the goal is to fit in well with the rest of the employees, and you can’t do that if you look out of place.

Are Slip On Dress Shoes Professional?

It’s best to be as comfortable as possible, but you also have to make sure that your attire is suitable for the occasion. If you’re going on an interview soon or you’ve got your first day at a new, business-casual or professional job, you may be wondering, “Are slip-on dress shoes professional?

The question comes up frequently for men and women, and the answer isn’t quite as concise as you’d probably like.

When it comes to footwear, most women feel that more is always better while men tend to think that less is more, meaning it’s best not to have too many pairs. Nonetheless, we believe that you can never have enough shoes.

You’ll find endless style options, as well as designs, materials, colors, and finishes. While we think you should have many shoes for a variety of outfits, finding the right pair can be tough.

Learning about the differences between slip-on and lace-up shoes is the first step, but then you have to determine which option is most suitable for your needs.

Lace-Ups vs. Slip-Ons

A lace-up shoe is one with material all around the foot and toe, usually to the ankle. It’s commonly made of high-quality material such as leather, and it can have a design or stitching in a contrasting color.

The shoe is usually made to be wider on the top part of the foot and has holes with a lace that runs through it. You tighten the lace ends to ensure that the shoe stays on. You can then tie the laces together.

Slip-ons are also made of high-quality material, usually leather. These shoes can also have designs and contrast stitching on them, but the shoe itself is one piece (some shoes are pieced together).

Instead of laces, it usually has an elastic piece on either side of the ankle or top part of the foot, which allows you to put the shoe on or take it off easily.

Understanding the different types is the first step to answering the question, “Are slip-on dress shoes professional?” Of course, it also depends on the style of the shoe. Some lace-up shoes (think sneakers) are not professional at all while some slip-on shoes (think penny-loafers) can look highly professional.

Lace Up Shoes: The Fight for Professionalism

We’re constantly asked if lace-up shoes look more formal than slip-ons and the answer is usually yes. Of course, lace-up shoes can be worn to informal affairs, as well.

Styling rules aren’t that strict, but there is something that screams formal when you have a stylish pair of laced shoes, making them suitable for weddings, business events, and everyday work wear.

Of course, there is a proper way to lace the shoes so that the laces don’t crisscross on the outside of the shoe. While that is appropriate for sneakers, it isn’t suitable for dress shoes, and you’ll seem out of place with crisscrossed laces.

Popular laced shoe options include the Oxford, and you can find a variety of styles, such as glossy leather for formal looks and muted suede for casual events. If you don’t prefer Oxfords, you can always try the Derby style. You can choose between many colors to help you find the right option for your preferences and attire.

It should also be mentioned that women’s shoes are a little different. While men’s shoes tend to be laced for more formality, women’s shoes are the opposite. Laced shoes for women tend to include sneakers, which aren’t usually considered an appropriate choice for weddings and business wear.

Slip-On Shoes: Fight for It

Slip-on shoes tend to have a more casual feel, though it depends on the styling as to whether or not they can be worn to formal events. Many times, they can look great with a pair of trousers or a pair of jeans.

With that being said, if you’re going to an extremely formal event, you may wear slacks instead of trousers. Regardless, they do have their place in a modern man’s shoe wardrobe, and they tend to be the go-to option because they’re highly versatile.

You don’t have to learn about any tricky techniques to wear them because you slip your feet in them and slip them right back out at the end of the day. Along with such, many men choose to take off their shoes when behind their desk, which is easier to do with a slip-on. Favorite slip-ons for men include loafers, moccasins, and boat shoes.

Slip-ons are a suitable option for summer months, as well. They tend to make it a little easier for your feet to breathe and may be made of more breathable materials. You’ll also find that many shoemakers focus on stylish, formal slip-ons because they are quite popular with everyone.

Again, slip-on shoes for women are the preferable formal pair of shoes. You can find pumps, stilettos, and many other styles that are, in a sense, slip-on. Even sandals with backs can be considered a slip-on, and can look very formal (think weddings).

The Verdict

Again, the question remains, “Are slip-on dress shoes professional?”, and the answer is both a yes and a no. They can be just as professional looking as laced shoes, and the opposite is true. Laced shoes, such as boots, are never going to look formal with a tuxedo, slacks, or trousers.

Choosing the right footwear is a challenge because you need to have some knowledge of the trends, what’s appropriate for your work, and how your professional designation is expected to dress.

If you tend to feel more comfortable in a slip-on or frequently stand or walk about at work, it is more important to choose a shoe that fits comfortably instead of one that looks shiny or incredibly dressy.


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