Types of Men’s Dress Shoes | What Are The Features?

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How many different types of dress shoes do you own? Do you have several types of men's shoes for different outfits? When some people think of a “dress shoe,” they think of the common black dress shoe that goes with pretty much everything.

But these days, you need more than one pair in order to move forward in your professional career and stand out from the rest. What you wear on your feet is very important and you need to take some time to educate yourself on the types of dress shoes you should be wearing, and what options are available to you.

Common Types of Men's Dress Shoes

Did you know that there are multiple men's dress shoe types? If you understand the different types and what they have to offer, you can then move forward and find a pair that are going to work the best for you. Let’s get started with the first type of shoe.

The Oxford dress shoe

This is probably the dress shoe style you're most familiar with as it's such a classic. If you want a typical dress shoe, without any more fanciness to it, this might be the type of dress shoe you want.

They're very versatile shoes, able to be matched up with a variety of different formal wear, but they can also be worn for casual outings as well.

These shoes are, in fact, named after the historic Oxford University, and they became very popular around 1800 throughout the school’s hallowed grounds.

What distinguishes this shoe is that they have been stitched under the vamp; this means that they have closed lacing. This allows the shoe to feel quite slim, making it a very minimalistic type of shoe. They come in a variety of colors, and you can buy an Oxford shoe in both leather and suede.

If you'll be wearing them at work, we recommend either getting them in black, dark brown, or an English tan color.

The Derby shoe

This type of dress shoe is also commonly known as the Gibson shoe. They originated in the 1850s and were developed more as a sporting shoe.

While their shape and size are very similar to an Oxford shoe, they do have some differences. These shoes come with stitching on top of the vamp (as opposed to the Oxford where they're under).

This creates the construction known as open lacing. This allows a much wider foot to fit, making it an excellent shoe choice for people with wide feet, as the Oxford can be too narrow.

The Monk Strap shoe

This type of shoe has a very similar look and feel to the Oxford, but this has a wide piece of leather fastened across the front of the shoe, sort of like a strap. This leather usually has a buckle closure that creates a very authentic and classy look that we think you might appreciate.

Men's Loafer shoes

Loafers are known to have been inspired by moccasins. Usually, they have a slip-on style, making it really easy to put on and take off. These are a lot more casual than some of the other dress shoes on the list.

One thing that sets loafers apart is that they have an elevated seam that goes along the shoe’s toe. Loafers are usually made of softer leather materials.

What to look for

Now that you know some of the main types of dress shoes, you should know what to look for among these categories to help you make a final purchase.

With any shoe purchase, you should be looking for the level of comfort. You need a shoe that is comfortable to wear. This is crucial especially if you'll be wearing them for hours at a time as work attire.

Make sure they're easy to lace up and fit snugly.

You want breathable shoes as well, to reduce smell and to keep your feet feeling aired out during the day. Durability is also a significant feature in dress shoes, as they're a financial investment, so you don't want them wearing out too quickly. 

A fashionable look is also very critical, and you should have various colors and styles depending on your outfit of choice.

Last Updated on May 27, 2020 by

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