The 9 Best Men’s Dress Shoes of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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Finding the right pair of men’s dress shoes is quite a conundrum. You want something high-quality, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing, but oftentimes, you’ll have to sacrifice comfort and fit for these features. We set out to defy the odds and search for the best comfortable men’s dress shoes that truly have it all. Whether you’re a fan of an ankle boot style of dress shoe or prefer an Oxford shoe — we’ve got you covered.

To save you the legwork, PEOPLE Tested tried out 17 pairs of men’s dress shoes, ultimately narrowing it down to a few notable options that all scored high on fit, comfort, quality, and value. “Whether your foot is wide or narrow, the shoe should be comfortable, and there should be room to wiggle your toes a bit,” says William D. Spielfogel, New York-based podiatrist and medical advisor to The Good Feet Store. We also found excellent options for those looking for men’s dress shoes for wide feet or anyone who stands all day at work or events.

Here are the best men’s dress shoes PEOPLE Tested.

Cole Haan Original Grand Wingtip Derby
PHOTO:

Nordstrom


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    4.6/5

  • Value

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • These shoes did not require any break-in period.

  • They provide ample cushioning for optimum comfort.

  • The Cole Han Grand.OS technology offers exceptional flexibility and comfort for those who stand all day.

  • They come in a wide range of colors and sizes to suit any style.

One wear of the Cole Haan Original Grand Wingtip Derby, and it’s easy to see why it won our Best Overall. With several colors and a wide range of sizes, this shoe features broguing that makes them the ideal everyday shoe. And the comfort level on this shoe lends itself to being a solid go-to no matter what your day calls for. While testing these shoes, we felt like we were walking on clouds — they required no break-in period, offered a supportive arch, and withstood walking and standing for a long period of time. We have the brand’s proprietary Grand.OS technology to thank for that. This technology means that the insoles, outsoles, liners, and uppers remain flexible as you walk, dance, or stand, making the shoes incredibly versatile for different activities and occasions.

Made with a leather upper, rubber soles, and a removable cushioned insole, these high-quality shoes feel durable and long-lasting. They come in a wide range of sizes in all the color shades you need, including black, brown, blue, dark tan, and dark chocolate. One thing to watch out for: The leather material may scuff if it comes into contact with rough surfaces.

These Cole Haan men’s dress shoes have a round toe and classic lace-up style. They run true to size and are a great value for the price. Overall, the Cole Haan Original Grand Wingtip Derby dress shoe stood out as our Best Overall for its comfort, styling versatility, and durability.

Sizes: 6.5-16 | Colors: 6 | Material: Leather upper/leather and synthetic lining/rubber sole

Clarks Tilden Cap Oxford Shoe
PHOTO:

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • The OrthoLite footbed provides great cushioning and minimizes shock when walking.

  • They have a versatile style that works with a variety of clothes.

  • This is a sturdy, solidly built shoe that’s made to last.

Many dress shoes with a budget-friendly price tag skimp on comfort and durability, but not this pair from Clarks. These dress shoes scored high across all attributes — especially comfort. They feature an OrthoLite footbed, which provides ample cushioning to minimize shock during walking. They were also significantly more lightweight (and not as stiff) as other dress shoes we tested. We also found these shoes to be solidly built and made to last.

In addition to comfort, we found that this pair of dress shoes were easy to style. They complimented a variety of dress pants, including chinos and blue jeans, but are equally suitable for city commuters and those seeking formal event shoes. Overall, these dress shoes maintain exceptional quality given the price: The stitching is tight, the colors are versatile, and the construction is sturdy without being uncomfortable. The one downfall? They run small, so you’ll need to order at least a half size larger than your typical size when purchasing these shoes.

Sizes: 7-15 | Colors: 7 | Material: Leather upper

People / Daniela Galvez


Magnanni Corey Oxford Shoe
PHOTO:

Magnanni


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4/5

  • Comfort

    4/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • These high-quality shoes are expertly made for long-lasting wear.

  • They are extremely flexible from toe to heel.

  • They have an elongated toe box, which adds even more comfort.

If you’re looking to invest in a comfortable dress shoe that’s equal parts modern and sleek, look no further than the Corey Oxford Shoe by Magnanni. Each shoe from the line is made to last in family-owned and operated facilities in Spain and Portugal by a team of artisanal experts. The high quality of these shoes is undeniable — the leather, soles, and bottom heel look and feel as if a fine craftsman took care to make them. They also have an elongated toe box for added comfort. Not only are they well-made, but they look good, too, boasting a polished, refined aesthetic along with a hand-painted finish that’ll look the part no matter how you style it.

Aside from the classic cap toe (which is a wardrobe staple), this pair relies on Bologna construction to ensure it is lightweight, flexible, and won’t lead to blisters or discomfort. While these needed to be broken in during testing (much like most oxfords on the market), they were fully comfortable by the second full-day wear.

Sizes: 7-15 | Colors: 3 | Material: Leather

Thursday Boot Co. Cavalier Chelsea Boot
PHOTO:

Thursday Boot Co


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • These boots are easy to slip on and off.

  • They’re made of water-resistant leather and suede and can be re-soled.

  • They have an anti-slip outsole, which means you can safely walk on slippery surfaces.

Whether it is a casual boot (like our favorite Dr. Martens) or a dressy fall boot, you can’t beat the style and function of boots. The best thing about a Chelsea boot like this pair from Thursday Boots is its sheer versatility: It can be dressed up for a more formal event, dressed down for more casual outings, or worn day-to-day if you work in an office setting. During testing, these boots definitely made an impression. Right out of the box, we noticed the elastic sides, which made it seamless to slip on and off during testing (especially great for those with large, wide feet). In terms of comfort, the boots molded onto our feet nicely and didn’t feel too loose or too restricting. A bit more cushioning would have made these more comfortable, especially if you will be standing for long periods of time.

We also appreciated the anti-slip soles, which made it easy to walk on tile floors, as well as the non-lug style sole, which makes them feel a bit more dressy. If you love these boots so much that you wear them often and the soles wear out, you can have them re-soled instead of replacing them. They come in two different water-resistant materials (leather and suede), both of which develop a beautiful patina over time. All in all, we found that the boots’ well-made construction, comfort, and fit are enough to justify their price. 

Sizes: 6-16 | Colors: 6 | Material: Full-grain leather or suede depending on color

People / Daniela Galvez


Dr. Scholl's Sync Oxford
PHOTO:

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    3/5

Pros

  • These shoes were comfortable and an excellent option for long periods of wear.

  • They easily mold to your feet, so there’s no break-in period.

  • They are a budget-friendly version of the classic style.

You can’t go wrong with having a classic lace-up Oxford in your arsenal, and if you’re on a budget, this pair from Dr. Scholl’s is a great option. Dr. Scholl’s sneakers are known for their comfort, and their dress shoes also check all the boxes. Available in several different colors at a great price, these feature all-around comfort underneath the toes, at the ball of the foot, and at the heel.

In our testing, we found these shoes to be very breathable and supportive, with no blistering even after wearing them for a whole day. In fact, because of the sole (which molded to our feet immediately upon wearing them), we didn’t find that we needed to take any breaks from wearing them, even for longer periods of time. One thing to note is that while classic Oxford dress shoes are typically more formal, aesthetic-wise, these specific shoes are better suited for more casual events and may not hold up to standard wear and tear.

Sizes: 8-15 | Colors: 9 | Material: Faux leather upper

Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap-Toe Lace-up Oxford
PHOTO:

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    4/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    4/5

Pros

  • These shoes have a very comfortable toe box.

  • The have extra sole and heel padding for added support.

  • They have the appearance of more expensive shoes.

Long-wear dress shoes don’t have to be uncomfortable, as evidenced by the Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap Toe Oxford. These dress shoes were comfortable right out of the box, exemplifying phenomenal flexibility to the point where we could put them on without a shoehorn. The sole is plusher than other dress shoes, and we found that we could wear these very easily all day long or out to an event. We didn’t experience any soreness while wearing these dress shoes, though there was some slight chafing in the back of the heel at the top seam (slightly thicker socks, as opposed to a thinner dress sock, quickly fixed this). 

These dress shoes run true to size. Where one would feel a slight tightness in the toe box with most other dress shoes, this pair features a little more room in the toe box (without causing sliding or movement while walking). Also, the extra sole and heel padding made the foot and heel feel very supported.

Aside from how these fit, these shoes scored high marks regarding quality. The leather and stitching make them look more expensive than they are and add to the exterior value of the shoe. We loved that this pair features blind eyelet lacing that adds to their formality and a decorative brogue perforated trim. All in all, these shoes are the best of both worlds: The padded sole makes them more comfortable than a standard dress shoe, but the leather sole makes them suitable for special occasions.

Sizes: 7-16 | Colors: 5 | Material: 100 percent leather

Magnanni Ramiro II Penny Loafer
PHOTO:

Magnanni


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • They’re made with soft calfskin leather.

  • They are high quality and expensive-looking.

  • They are a great choice for those who stand all day.

More casual than an oxford yet fancier than a slip-on, penny loafers like this pair from Magnanni are the ideal middle ground for everyday wear during warmer weather months. During testing, we appreciated the fact that there was no break-in period needed with these, and we were able to wear them for a full day of events while standing on our feet with no issue. Throughout the day, our feet didn’t feel constricted or sweaty, which is key when wearing men’s dress shoes all day.

Quality-wise, you certainly get what you pay for with these — and then some. Straight out of the box, these shoes looked attractive and expensive. It was easy to see that these loafers were made of soft, pliable calfskin leather. The apron toe is also a nice modern touch. While the sole is on the thinner side, it still held up well on unpaved New York City streets during testing. You can try out an insole for added comfort and support. Though these fit true to size, one thing we noticed is that they run a bit narrow, so keep this in mind if you have wide feet.

Sizes: 7-15 | Colors: 7 | Material: Calfskin leather

Mephisto Edlef Slip On
PHOTO:

Nordstrom


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • Thanks to the Cool-Air footbed, these were one of the most comfortable pairs we tested,

  • They have a durable rubber sole for flexibility and traction.

  • The include elastic gore inserts for stretch for those with wider feet.

  • They conformed to our feet immediately, so there was no break-in period.

If you’re looking for ultimate comfort straight out of the box, you’ve found it in Mephisto’s Edlef Slip On. These feel plush like a slipper, yet are made slightly more formal with the addition of supple leather, making them great for casual events or an office environment where you need to prioritize comfort. During testing, we enjoyed the slip-on style (no shoehorn needed) and the shape of the upper toe, which didn’t feel restrictive. The soles are made of durable rubber for flexibility and added traction. They also include a Cool-Air footbed for enhanced comfort. One thing that stood out during testing was how well they took to the shape of our feet. This foot-conforming design makes it feel like a second layer of skin — though bear in mind these are best paired with ankle socks to reduce the risk of chafing and blisters. Also, the elastic gore inserts are great for those with wider feet as they add stretch. 

All things considered, these shoes are ideal for those who don’t have the time to break in a new pair of men’s dress shoes (or those with sensitive skin that can easily be damaged during the break-in period generally expected for this type of shoe).

Sizes: 7-13 | Colors: 3 | Material: Leather upper and lining/rubber sole

Ace Marks Cap Toe Griffin Oxford
PHOTO:

Ace Marks


Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    4/5

  • Value

    4/5

  • Quality

    5/5

Pros

  • They run true to size.

  • They’re an excellent choice for those standing for long periods at formal events, as they are very comfortable.

  • The included waxed shoelaces hold their form well.

A classic pair of Oxfords is suitable for a variety of formal styles, from tuxedos to full suits, as seen on the red carpet. Handmade in Italy, these oxfords from Ace Marks feature a handsome cap toe, ultra-soft calfskin leather, and blake-flex construction to ensure flexibility. We appreciate that this pair features waxed shoelaces, which means they hold their form well and will stay tied longer (perfect for formal events that you anticipate will run long). The leather soles also provided good traction. 

In our evaluation, we found it took about four to five normal wears to break these in, which is normal for this type of shoe and material. Still, the heels, toes, tops, and bottoms of our feet felt comfortable after several hours of wear, and the dress shoes exuded stellar breathability and comfort, even for extended periods of time. In terms of sizing, these were one of the few dress shoes that were true to size. We experienced no pinching anywhere on the foot, and the shoes had a good height that gave them a nice, snug fit that only felt more comfortable with time. The stacked flat heel is also noteworthy — not only does it look polished, but it didn’t contribute to any pain on the heel while walking. Overall, these Oxford dress shoes held up great during testing and exemplified top-notch stitching, construction, comfort, and fit.

Sizes: 5-15 | Colors: 5 | Material: Calfskin leather

People / Art Silverio


Things to Consider Before Buying Men’s Dress Shoes

Comfort

Comfort is important for all types of shoes, but particularly for dress shoes that you’ll be wearing to a special event or work. According to William D. Spielfogel, New York-based podiatrist and medical advisor to The Good Feet Store, arch support is critical. “Many people have foot conditions such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoes, so it’s very important to make sure there is appropriate arch support when wearing shoes so that you don’t aggravate these conditions,” he says.

Patrick Kenger, the personal stylist of Pivot Image Consultancy, says that the best time to try on new potential dress shoes is at the end of the day. “As you walk and go about your day, your feet will swell and expand a bit, so you want to make sure your [new] shoe accommodates your foot at all times.” Ultimately, you’ll know you have an ill-fitting shoe if your heel slips out the back, there’s pinching at the toe box when walking, or it causes blisters, says Kenger. We felt like the Cole Haan Original Grand Wingtip Derby provided comfort, support, and style, making it our top overall choice.

Price

Dress shoes can be pricey, but they’re a wardrobe staple that may be worth splurging on — especially for men who are just building their wardrobe with a clothing subscription box. “Leather isn’t cheap, to begin with — couple that with the fact that you’re on your feet all day and your shoes can impact your posture and comfort level, this is not an area you cheap out,” says Kenger. At a minimum, you can expect good dress shoes to cost $100, however, the Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Oxford is a great option if you want a comfortable shoe on a budget.

“There’s a lot that goes into making a dress shoe, and there are many different material types and pieces to the puzzle,” he adds. If you’re ready to invest in a dress shoe, Kenger recommends seeking out brands that specialize in only making shoes to ensure quality and longevity. And, to prolong the life of your dress shoes, don’t underestimate the power of a shoe tree.

Style

Dress shoes tend to tip on the fancier end of the scale, but there are still more casual options out there. While oxfords are typically reserved for more formal occasions (especially if you wear them in black), a loafer, like the Clarks Men’s Tilden Cap Oxford Shoe, is on the more casual side and is best paired with a suit that has a bit more flair (such as one with a pattern), says Kenger. Loafers can also provide more comfort and are ideal for men who favor slip-on shoes in general. “Derby shoes are also a bit more casual than the Oxford and a good go-to for business casual looks,” notes Kenger. Finally, if you’re looking for a dress shoe with a similar formality level and function as a loafer but adds an extra touch to your look, go for double monk strap dress shoes.

People / Danielle Yersin


How We Tested Men’s Dress Shoes

Our PEOPLE Tested team tried out 17 pairs of dress shoes. For each pair of shoes, we looked at comfort, fit, quality, and value. Eventually, we narrowed it down to nine of the best dress shoes. We conducted three different wear tests: right-out-of-the-box impression and wear, two-hour wear, and full-day wear.

  • Initial Impression: To get an initial impression, we wore the dress shoes right out of the box for 30 minutes and walked on a hard, flat surface. We looked at how flexible the shoe was and if it molded to the foot well. We also considered whether it caused rubbing or chafing anywhere on the foot and sizing accuracy. 
  • Two-Hour Wear: For the two-hour wear, we wore the shoes consistently for a longer period of two to three hours of intermittent walking, movement, and standing (for instance, working, running errands, sightseeing, or dancing). We noted how comfortable the shoes were, their traction on various surfaces, their breathability, fit, and how well they would last during a longer event.
  • Full-Day Wear: Finally, for the third wear test, we wore the dress shoes for a full day (at least eight hours). We inferred whether or not they were broken in, how well the tread held up, how comfortable and supported the soles felt and the level of quality of the construction and design.
  • Evaluation: During all three test phases, we considered whether the shoes were immediately comfortable or had a minimal break-in period, whether they had supportive soles, and how comfortable they were during short-term and long-term wear. We also took into account fit, including whether the shoes fit as expected, given shoe size and shape, and whether our feet felt restricted or prone to slipping around. In terms of quality, we analyzed the shoes for any design flaws that affected the comfort or wearability of the shoe, if the shoes showed signs of wear after use, and if there were any stand-out features of the shoe that added to its design. When looking at the price of each dress shoe, we noted if we could defend the pricing for higher-end or lower-priced items and if we felt that the quality was higher than expected, given the cost. In the end, nine dress shoes passed each test, with different ones having notable features as they related to comfort, durability, and material.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which men’s dress shoes are good for walking?

    If you know you’ll be walking in your dress shoes, proper sizing is key to avoid compression and friction, says Spielfogel. “Choose a soft material to accommodate your foot and look for a sole that offers good cushioning to reduce impact and provide good shock absorption,” he adds. This is important whether it’s a pair of men’s dress shoes and walking shoes. Our best casual pick, Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Oxford, would make a great dress shoe for walking.

  • Is it better for men’s dress shoes to be tight or loose?

    Men’s dress shoes should fit snugly, but comfortably and not like you’re sliding around, advises Kenger. There also shouldn’t be pinching or pressure anywhere. “A shoe that’s too tight can cause blistering caused by the friction of the shoe rubbing against your foot,” says Spielfogel. “If you have bunions or hammertoes, a shoe that’s too tight can also cause pain and inflammation.” On the flip side, a shoe that’s too loose can cause your foot to slip out. The one exception is slip-on shoes, like loafers, which Kenger says should fit a bit tighter.

    “There should also be enough room to accommodate an arch support,” says Spielfogel. One thing to keep in mind: leather stretches over time, and men’s dress shoes will never be as tight as the moment you put them on, says Kenger. “I see guys typically buy shoes too loose, and then they’re sliding out of them just a month later.”

  • How long does it take to break in men’s dress shoes?

    Breaking in your dress shoes gives the shoes the opportunity to “mold” to the shape of your fit, adding to their overall comfort. “Most dress shoes have leather soles, meaning they’ll be a bit slippery when you first wear them (20 minutes of walking on the sidewalk will help with this),” says Kenger. “New leather is going to be stiffer, so you need to wear the shoe in order to soften it — this will usually be noticeably apparent around the ankle.”

    Break-in time for a men’s dress shoe depends on the type of dress shoe, but as a general rule of thumb, Kenger says you should expect about one to two weeks of shorter-duration wear. Some men’s dress shoes, like our pick for the best loafers, the Magnanni Ramiro II Penny Loafer, are made with soft calfskin leather and require no break-in period at all.

Why Trust PEOPLE?

Michelle Rostamian is a freelance beauty, wellness, and lifestyle writer with nearly 10 years of experience in the beauty industry and bylines at PEOPLE, Byrdie, Real Simple, InStyle, and more. She began her career in the beauty industry as a publicist and content writer representing makeup and skincare brands as well as industry professionals. She formerly was a social media marketer. Michelle graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Communications.

For this story, she evaluated the insights from our testers, who tried out 17 of the best pairs of men’s dress shoes on the market. She compared their feedback on the fit, comfort, quality, and value of each pair of shoes, and ultimately narrowed the list down to those with the highest scores. She also sought expertise from William D. Spielfogel, a New York-based podiatrist, and Patrick Kenger, a professional personal stylist at Pivot Image Consultancy.

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

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