In my short life on this beautiful planet, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most incredible men you’ll ever meet.
These men are passionate as they are hardworking and humble.
But, watching from the sidelines or interacting with them directly, and aside from their wisdom and creative flair, something else standouts out from them – these guys know their shoes.
Their shoe-game is impressive, and most days, I wish we all wore the right shoes.
Here’s the kicker though: while I could tell how good the shoes they wore were, I was quite a hot mess, and my shoes were nothing but boring and wrong!
I had no sense of style when it comes to shoes, and I could tell that most of my friends struggled to find the shoes with a commanding presence; shoes that don’t break apart when worn once, good shoes worth the money!
I always told myself that as long as it fits, I was good to go.
But, seeing how the men with the top men’s shoe varieties carried themselves taught me something – to be taken seriously, I needed good quality, classy, comfortable, and season or activity appropriate shoes.
Having more than a dozen pairs of shoes means nothing if they’re the wrong shoes.
The idea of shoes being a power tool made me explore and learn about different types of shoes for men.
Besides variety and styles, I learned something else – Your shoes will define you as the suave, hot dude or the literal hot mess. So, which category do you fall into?
Since you are reading this article, you definitely wish to buy and wear the right shoes. So which are the top varieties of men’s dress shoes, running shoes, designer shoes, or even casual shoes?
To guide you on the top men’s shoes, we’ll look at the best of the different categories of men’s shoes.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top men’s running shoes
- 2 Top Men’s Dress Shoes
- 3 Top Designer Shoes for Men
- 4 Taking care of your designer shoes
- 5 Top Men’s Casual Shoes
- 5.1 Nike Zoom Fly SP
- 5.2 Vans Slip-On Lite
- 5.3 Asics Gel Quantum 360
- 5.4 Adidas FW16 Gazelle
- 5.5 Gregory SP White Leather Trainers
- 5.6 Ted Baker Carlsun Suede Loafers
- 5.7 Tu Navy Canvas High Top Trainers
- 5.8 Topman Navy Leather Boat Shoes
- 5.9 Converse One Star Pro
- 5.10 Marino Suede Oxford Business Casual Shoes
- 6 Bottom Line
Top men’s running shoes
The search for the best running shoes is a baffling process for us – in most cases, reading the descriptions of the shoes feels like opening up a Pandora box of unknown and indecipherable shoe jargon.
It’s worse than the major brands have proprietary technologies which describe similar features.
Note, however, that despite the differences in names and design feature, you can always find the right shoe when you consider the fit in terms of the size, width, length and the shape of your foot.
You also need to consider how your feet roll in the shoe when running (pronation). Basically, you can check this feature by looking at your old running shoes.
If the inner edges are worn down, your feet are probably over-pronate, and if they’re more worn out on the outside, your feet are under-pronate.
For the right fitting shoes, consider running shoes with a neutral fit if your feet don’t roll when running or buy the shoes from a specialist shop offering gait analysis.
In addition to the fit, you should also consider the terrain you’ll run on and the appropriate shock absorption properties.
Brooks ‘Men’s Ghost 11
Brooks is a big name in the world of running shoes, and this Brooks Ghost 11 doesn’t disappoint. It’s the ideal running shoe for new runners, as well as individuals who are into long runs.
New runners prefer this shoe because of its perfect cushioning, marathoners choose it for its stability and durability, while road races like its smooth and lightweight design.
So, if you’re looking for running shoes with the right cushioning for the long races or a responsive and light shoe that will make it easy for you to pick up the pace in an instant, Brooks Ghost 11 could be exactly what you need.
This shoe is also regarded as a neutral running shoe because of its mesh upper, which enhances the breathability of the shoe, as well as the stretch.
Its tongue and collar are plush, and the soft fabric lining adds to comfort. It comes with the traditional lace-up closure.
Grip comes from the soft-blown rubber forefoot material, and its Omega Flex Grooves makes for fluidity and natural movement of your forefoot.
Its only downside is the reported narrowness at the toes.
Adidas Solar Boost shoes
Like the Brooks Ghost 11, this pair of Adidas Solar Boost running shoes is ideally designed for long-distance, road running.
The combination of the comfortable upper with the newly remodeled heel reduces pressure on your Achilles.
However, the most interesting feature of this shoe is its special boost foam which provides extra cushioning.
The boost foam remains one of the biggest game changers in the running world with more brands trying to mimic it thanks to its shock absorbing ability.
Unfortunately, the Adidas Solar Boost shoes lean on the heavy side, and it might not be your ideal pick if you run best with lightweight shoes.
Asics Gel Kayono 25
Several design improvements later (25 versions to be exact), the Asics Gel Kayono 25 running shoes are the ideal running shoes for individuals with a neutral gait, as well as runners with over-pronation – runners whose feet roll inwards.
Its insole’s been remodeled such that it offers a lot more support under the arches. So, in combination with Asics’ Flytefoam mid-sole, this is one of the best running shoes to deal with over-pronation.
Hoka One One Bondi 5
This Hoka One One Bondi 5 is a favorite among runners and for good reasons. This running shoe boasts a large, full-length EVA midsole, carefully crafted to provide the highest level of support and comfort.
It’s cushioned well, has a great fit, and it’s made with breathable materials. And the best part is that you can find it in a wide width too!
Top Men’s Dress Shoes
From the classic wingtips to velvet slippers, Chelsea, Oxfords, and Chukka, the list of top men’s dress shoes is endless. And you must have dress shoes.
While having a good assortment of sneakers and casual shoes is a good thing, you cannot underestimate the value of dressier shoe options.
Whether you spend most of your days and evenings in events and dinners or work in an office environment, you must invest in good quality dress shoes.
And you don’t have to break the bank for good dress shoes thanks to the budget-friendly options from brands like Stacy Adams and Aldo. These two and several other brands offer the best dress shoes for different lifestyles.
On the other hand, if you’re not worried about your bank balance, you could invest in the long-lasting and finely-crafted designer or even Italian dress shoes.
Your preferences notwithstanding, here are some of the best dress shoes for men:
The Oxford Shoe
Known to most of us as Oxfords, the Oxford shoe is regarded as a staple, and it must be present in every man’s wardrobe.
The lace-up shoe is the foundation of dress shoes thanks to its everyday wearability and the timeless appeal it carries, not to mention its simplicity.
The best bit about the oxford dress shoe is that it’s available in numerous options and you can choose the patent leather option or the cap-toe, depending on the occasion.
Allen Edmonds and Aldo are the leading brands of Oxfords.
The Wingtip Shoe/Brogue
The brogue has been around for decades and it’s known for being a deceptive type of shoe.
Its name comes from the process of broguing, which is the process that involves adorning a show with quite heavy perforations or large pinpricks.
It’s a favorite among men thanks to its ability to match any occasion even with its touch of formality. You can wear brogues with anything from a suit to jeans.
Why Wingtip? Well, this shoe bears signature extensions or wings running along the shoe’s side coupled with decorative perforations at the center of the toe cap.
Most brogues are hand-crafted, hand dyed, and hand-burnished in a color-block style.
You can find excellent brogues from Allen Edmonds or Ace Marks.
Keep in mind that there also are classy and timeless dress shoes that bear the features of the best dress shoe varieties.
For example, the Tu Boot New York Anton Brogue Cap Toe Oxfords – it’s the ideal shoe for every occasion from the office to a wedding.
Its almond cap toe, brogue details, and its lace-up style make this the most functional dress shoes out there.
The other timelessly classic dress shoe style you should consider is the derby – it’s as common as the Oxfords.
Derbys do, however, differ from Oxfords with the open lacing style rather than the sewn patterns at the bottom of the lacing system.
Derby dress shoes make the perfect office wear. It is as stylish as it’s comfortable.
An example of derby shoes you might want to try is Cole Haan’s derby shoes. Cole Haan’s employs the proprietary Grand OS technology to create a highly stylish and comfortable shoe.
Its open lace-up style, cap toe, and the cushioned rubber sole complete its appearance.
Besides Cole Haan’s, you also have the Magnanni ‘Dante’ Plain Toe Derby or the Cole Haan ‘Warren’ Cap Toe Derby.
If you’re looking for something that’s non-traditional for office wear or something you can wear on the weekends with your casual pants, you might want to try the Chukka boot.
It’s the ideal shoe to get you through the cooler spring temperature. The Ted Baker London Daiinos Chukka Boot is an example of the Chukka Boot.
The Monk-Strap shoe is the other unique and stylish dress shoe. It gets its name for the strap across the top and the single (or double) buckle at the top.
Thanks to its sleek design, you can wear this shoe with everything and for every occasion from a business meeting or to a night out. It has a great polished style.
My top picks for the Monk-Strap shoe include the double monk strap, and the Wolf & Shepherd Gambit Double-Monk shoes.
The loafer is a laceless shoe that often features a Moccasin-style construction. It’s one of the most comfortable slip-on shoes with a stylish, yet relaxed look. Loafers work best with suits.
The two main varieties of loafers include the tassel and the classic penny loafers. The Magnanni Marco Monk Strap Loafer and the Gucci Donnie Bit Loafer are excellent examples.
The Chelsea Boot
You hardly ever think of boots as dress shoes, but you should. The Chelsea boot is super stylish, and you can pair it with anything from casual to formal wear.
It’s an ankle boot with elasticated sides and a rounded toe which means that ‘it’s quite easy to slip on with or without buckles or laces.
The Driving Shoe
This is the other variety of dress shoes. The driving shoe favors comfort over style.
It’s a loafer-style shoe with a gripped sole extending all the way to the back of the heel. It’s lightweight, breathable and ideal for summer.
You can also wear it to outdoor events, pairing it with a light shirt and chinos.
The other varieties of top men’s dress shoes are the lace-up boots, sneakers, and sandals.
Top Designer Shoes for Men
You might not be at a position to buy the best of designer shoes yet, but I’d like for you to be ready when that time comes.
It’s important to remember that some (if not most) of the designer shoes you come across fall into the different categories of men’s shoes we talked about above.
For example, most of the dress shoes above are also top designer shoes. Considering the number of shoe brands making strides in the men’s shoe world, we’ll only outline a few of the top brands.
Here are some of the bespoke designer shoes and top ‘men’s shoe brands you should know about:
- Salvatore Ferragamo Italia
- Allen Edmonds
- John Lobb Bootmaker
- Bruno Magli
- Cole Haan
- Johnston & Murphy
- Calvin Klein
- Louis Vuitton
- Giorgio Armani
- Tom Ford
- Comme Des Garçons
- Crockett & Jones
Taking care of your designer shoes
Now, considering the price tag on these designer brands, there are things you should be careful not to do when and after buying the shoes.
For example, shiny is not necessarily expensive. You must check the shoe’s construction for details on its quality.
You don’t want to buy shoes that have been glued together because many times, such shoes cannot be resoled.
Remember that if the shoes’ construction is cheap enough to warrant the gluing together of the upper and the sole, those shoes are cheap and made of poor quality components.
When buying or shopping for designer shoes, opt for the shoes boasting a Goodyear welt construction or the Blake Stitch.
Often, shoes with either construction come with a leather sole; few have rubber soles. Also, a look inside the shoe will reveal an inner lining that’s stitched on.
Find good quality dress shoe alternatives if you can only afford one pair of dress shoes. Every man requires a dozen dress shoes in their wardrobe. It’s a necessity because you cannot wear one high-end dress shoe daily for the rest of its life.
Like you, your shoe needs time to breathe. So, buy a few pairs of high-end dress shoes or look for good-quality and affordable alternatives. If you like one style of dress shoes, grab the same shoe in a different style or fabric.
Take care of your investment. You have to see your designer shoes as an investment, and like all other investments, you must take care of things.
For example, should you buy high-quality designer shoes, make sure you have a good cedar-shoe tree to put in your shoes as soon as you take them out.
The cedar shoe tree pulls out the moisture, and by acting as an antibacterial agent, it helps in keeping your shoe in excellent shape.
Also, you really must polish your shoes. It is not an option. You need the right shoe polish, perhaps a leather conditioner, and wax.
Wax is extremely important when it comes to taking care of shoes, designer or otherwise because it creates this thin layer that protects the shoes from abrasion, salt, and water.
Should you knock up against something, the wax layer might be the only thing that’s knocked off.
The other designer shoes care tips include:
- Store your shoes properly and protect them from dust and damage with a shoe bag
- Pay attention to details; for example, keep your brogue perforations clean, and the heels must be made of leather layers that are secured with small nails/ tacks.
- Always start your shoe collection with the classics
- Don’t spend too much – no one can tell the brand of the shoes you are wearing
- Finally, match your belt to your shoes, regardless of the shoe type or design.
Top Men’s Casual Shoes
Yes, dress shoes and Chelsea boots are cool, but these are not the only shoe varieties you need in your closet. We all need the best of casual shoes.
The big question, however, remains which is the best casual shoes for you? Whether you like it or not, there is a very wide variety of casual shoes ranging for boat shoes to sneakers and saddle shoes.
You could simplify your search by considering the material of the shoe (leather, suede, canvas, patent leather, or calfskin leather), comfort, season breathability, foot support, stability, grip, fit, and durability.
Some of the casual shoes you might consider include:
Nike Zoom Fly SP
Although Nike typically touts its Nike Zoom Fly SP shoe as an ideal running shoe, it’s one of the best casual shoes you could try.
Its expert lightweight design and the responsive construction mean you can walk in these all day.
Vans Slip-On Lite
These Vans are easily the most comfortable casual shoes you could have. They are extra comfortable, lightweight, and they boast a superior level of flexibility.
Its additional cushioning at the heel, the sturdy canvas upper and the sockliners make this an ideal every day (weekend) wear.
Asics Gel Quantum 360
Asics is a big name in the world of shoes, and this Asics Gel Quantum 360 pair has everything you need for high-quality and comfortable sneakers.
It boasts the perfect blend of comfort and stability, it’s lightweight, and it boasts an all-around cushioning. Add these to its seamlessly knit upper and yours is the best of sneakers.
Adidas FW16 Gazelle
Besides Adidas’ Stan Smiths and their hybrid Ultra Boost Uncaged, the Gazelle is the next best thing that Adidas has come up with.
It’s not only stylish but also lightweight, breathable and comfortable, especially if worn in summer.
Thanks to the natural suede texture, you can wear them in winter too with your winter wool suit, a winter flannel or denim pants.
Gregory SP White Leather Trainers
Every man needs a pair (or three) of white trainers, and these Gregory SP White Leather Trainers look like what you might need.
They are quite light, surprisingly and they will last long thanks to the supper supple and durable leather construction.
This is the shoe that gives you an unobtrusive yet simple and clean style. You could wear these trainers with your jogging bottoms, shorts or chinos.
Ted Baker Carlsun Suede Loafers
You need a good pair of loafers, and these Carlsun Suede loafers by Ted Baker could be exactly what you need. These rice-cream pink shoes are the go-to summer shoes.
The loafers boast a grippy sole and a durable suede upper. You could wear them to an afternoon cocktail with shorts and a tailored shirt.
If you’re looking for high-quality trainers on a budget, try these Tu Navy Canvas High Top Trainers.
They are lightweight, affordable, and they carry a decent amount of cushioning around the ankle.
Boat shoes are excellent casual shoes, and these boat shoes by Topman make a perfect fit for your closet.
It’s a top-quality shoe made of 100% leather and a white rubber sole. It’s comfortable and sturdy.
Converse One Star Pro
For decades, the Converse One Star shoe design was known as the go-to shoe for skaters, but it’s been reimagined and remastered with the latest technologies and materials.
Today, the Converse One Star Pro is as sturdy as it’s soft thanks to its durable suede upper, the lightweight traction rubber, and the extra cushioning.
Marino Suede Oxford Business Casual Shoes
This Marino suede shoe lies in that fuzzy line between a dress shoe and a casual shoe. However, I think of this shoe as the best of casual shoes thanks to its high-quality and comfortable design.
Bruno Marc New York Men’s Suede Leather Lace-Up Oxfords, Saucony GRID 9000, Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe, Adidas Ultra Boost, Converse Low-top Jack Purcells, KOIO Capri Bianco, ARKK Copenhagen Velcalite Sneaker, Clarks Trigenic Flex, and Skechers Flex Advantage 2.0 are only some of the other comfortable casual shoes you might like.
There are many other varieties of casual shoes for you to pick, and these are only some of the top casual ‘men’s shoes you might want to buy.
When it comes to top men’s shoes, you have first to determine the type of shoe you wish to buy and whether or not it will fit the intended purpose.
All the shoes above fit different needs, and they carry different price tags, but any shoe mentioned above is the best investment you could make.
So, pick carefully and always look out for the little things – stitching, lace, upper material, sole, and the lacing.