Men’s Dress Shoe Guide
Whether you work in an office with a business professional or formal dress code, have a job interview coming up, or are looking to spruce up for a wedding, knowing how to present a dapper look is a valuable skill. Tailored suits and separates are essential for formal and semi-formal menswear, but your ensemble won’t be complete without the right footwear. There are several types of comfortable dress shoes for men, but if you’re not totally sure which is which, you’ve come to the right place.
At Vionic, we’re pros when it comes to footwear, and you can bet we’re seasoned in all formal shoe styles for men. Are you ready to brush up on your gent’s footwear knowledge? Consider this your guide to men’s dress shoes.
Types of Men’s Dress Shoes
What you wear is a major component of how you express your personality and project your image — and footwear is a crucial part of the equation. The different types of dress shoes for men include loafers, oxfords, monk strap shoes, derby shoes, driving moccasins, and dress boots. Keep reading for a breakdown of each type.
Loafers (or penny loafers) are one of the most versatile types of men’s dress shoes. Dating back to the 1800s, this timeless style is now a popular choice among both men and women. The slip-on design makes loafers easy to take on and off while lending to an effortless yet sophisticated vibe.
When you browse men’s loafers from Vionic, you’ll find tailored styles with:
- Full-grain leather uppers
- Fine stitching details
- Removable leather footbeds
- Superior orthotic support
- Durable leather outsoles
We definitely recommend having multiple pairs of dress shoes on hand. However, if you were to pick only one style, loafers might be your best bet. This is the go-to shoe for busy guys who want to look put-together. Vionic carries neutral loafers in black, brown, and tan leather. They can be worn to work, a networking event, on a date, and to most formal functions—as long as it’s not a black-tie event, in which case you’ll want to get formal oxfords.
The oxford shoe is another classic footwear style for men. This brogue style is characterized by “closed lacing,” meaning the shoelace eyelets attach underneath the vamp. Many oxfords also feature a traditional wingtip or cap toe. You can dress oxfords up or down and wear them to the office, to happy hour, out to a nice dinner, or to a wedding (your own or someone else’s).
The men’s oxfords from Vionic have:
- Leather or weather-resistant suede uppers
- Contrast stitching details
- Perforated (pin-prick) details
- Optional contrast laces
- A timeless silhouette
- Orthotic soles that support your natural alignment
- Sturdy rubber outsoles
Another benefit of oxfords is that since they’re so timeless and versatile, you don’t have to worry about them going out of style. Getting a comfortable leather pair is a solid investment for your wardrobe. Choose from black, brown, tan, or gray oxfords from Vionic.
Monk Strap Shoes
If you really want to dress to impress, consider a pair of monk strap shoes, a laceless style characterized by a buckle closure. As the name implies, they were originally worn by monks throughout Europe. Now, the monk shoe is considered to be a standard leather dress shoe for men.
When you shop for formal footwear from Vionic, you’ll find monk strap shoes with:
- Tan or black leather uppers
- Adjustable straps
- Metal buckles
- Kiltie fringe on the vamp
- Perforated detailing
- Podiatrist-designed orthotic support
- Removable leather-wrapped EVA footbeds
- Reliable rubber outsoles
Similar to Oxfords, semi-formal monks are suitable for a broad range of occasions. Since a monk strap shoe doesn’t have laces, it’s a convenient style for on-the-go guys or frequent business travelers. Ultimately, these leather shoes are a wardrobe staple you’ll be glad to have in your arsenal.
Derby shoes are undeniably dapper, but they’re also one of the more casual dress shoe styles for men. Unlike Oxfords, the derby shoe style features “open lacing,” which means the quarters are stitched over the vamp. Also, derby shoes don’t have a seam between the tongue and the toe.
Men’s derby shoes from Vionic have:
- Soft yet sturdy leather or suede uppers
- Exposed stitching
- Removable leather-wrapped EVA footbeds
- Unmatched orthotic support and stability
- Partial wooden outsoles
Our derby shoes are available in wear-anywhere neutrals, including black, light tan, dark tan, and gray. If you’re looking for comfortable dress shoes that can be worn with formal suits, separates, or business casual attire, you should definitely consider a pair of derbies. Believe it or not, you can even wear them with jeans. No matter where you’re headed, you’ll look polished and prepared in this truly handsome shoe.
Driving moccasins are a passable dress shoe, but they’re considerably more casual than other styles. Inspired by the authentic moccasins worn by Native Americans, the shoe evolved into a practical and contemporary style. As the name suggests, driving mocs were often worn by 20th-century men while driving because the soles offered a better grip than formal footwear.
The driving mocs from Vionic feature:
- Supple suede or leather uppers
- Weather-resistant protective coating
- Metal horse-bit detailing across the vamp
- Genuine leather-skinned insoles
- Rubber outsoles with superior traction
- An orthotic design to support your natural alignment
Today, driving moccasins are an excellent warm-weather dress shoe for men. Vionic’s driving mocs come in black, dark gray, and chocolate brown. Depending on the occasion, you can wear them with a linen suit, suit separates, khakis, slacks, chinos, jeans, and even shorts.
How can you dress for success, even in rainy, snowy, or icy-cold weather? The answer is with a dress boot. While there are many styles of men’s dress boots, we’re partial to the Chelsea boot, which is slightly more dressy than the Chukka boot. Sometimes referred to as “dealer boots,” Chelsea boots are laceless, strapless, ankle-high boots with elastic side panels and a pull tab on the back.
Men’s Chelsea boots from Vionic have:
- Buttery soft black, taupe, or chestnut leather uppers
- Sophisticated stitch detailing
- Weather-resistant protective coating
- Flexible twin gore panels
- Removable leather-wrapped footbeds
- Extra-sturdy rubber outsoles
Chelsea boots are notably easy to take on and off. Plus, the sleek, minimalist design makes them one of the most versatile types of dress shoes for men. In less-than-ideal weather, you can wear this dress boot with a casual suit, business casual workwear, chinos, khakis, and slim-cut jeans.
Men’s Dress Shoe Styles from Vionic
After reviewing our men’s dress shoe guide, you should be able to make an informed decision on which style (or styles) suits you best. Are you a loafer guy, or do oxfords and monks speak to you more? Can you see yourself wearing derby shoes and driving mocs in the summer and Chelsea or Chukka boots in the winter? Will you get the most use out of black, tan, or brown shoes? We encourage you to try out the styles that speak to you. If you need some style advice to go with your dress shoes, check out our guide on how to wear brown dress shoes.
At Vionic, we believe shoes say a lot about a person. Not only do they round off an outfit, but they also affect the confidence of your stride. That’s why the best dress shoe styles for men are both fashionable and supportive. The men’s shoes from Vionic include both timeless and trendy designs that never sacrifice comfort.
Find Comfort in Every Vionic Dress Shoe
Our collection of sturdy and stylish men’s dress shoes merges top-notch leather and suede footwear with classic construction and Vionic’s exclusive Vio-Motion Support technology. This means that with every pair, you’ll get three-zone orthopedic comfort, including optimum arch support, unbeatable stability, and contoured cushioning.
Vionic dress shoes are made for all-day wear. Whether you’re spending most of the day at your desk, leading back-to-back meetings, going on a fancy date, walking down the aisle, or dancing the night away, you can count on the comfort of our orthotic footwear. Aside from dress shoes, we carry casual sneakers, sandals, supportive slippers, and comfortable boots for men for all occasions.