A sharp and practical work wardrobe starts from the ground up. For those heading back into the field after many months of working from home, socks and slippers just aren’t going to cut it.
Whether you’re up and about all day or flashing your corporate kicks around the conference room table, the best work shoes will carry you through your shift with comfort and style. We assembled the best men’s shoes for a range of gigs, including picks from style experts and top-rated consumer favorites from leading trusted brands.
Work sneakers for men
For in-person work that keeps you on your toes, smart sneakers can be your best friend.
New Balance Slip Resistant 626v2 ($84.99; newbalance.com)
New Balance channels its athletic expertise into footwear made for getting the job done. Extra cushioning, slip resistance and crash-pad technology make this pair a customer favorite.
Adidas Stan Smith Low-Top Sneaker ($85; nordstrom.com)
An affordable men’s staple, Adidas Stan Smiths are a shoo-in anywhere you choose to wear them.
Cole Haan GrandPro Rally Court Sneaker ($150; nordstrom.com and colehaan.com)
Cole Haan is beloved for its unmatched combination of comfort, durability and style. These sneakers have the look of a startup with the dependability of a legacy brand.
The Mr P. Eco Edition Larry Sneaker ($335; mrporter.com)
“I am a big believer in wearing sneakers to the office,” says Olie Arnold, style director of men’s fashion and style destination Mr Porter. “I always recommend a classic white lace-up, like our Mr P. Larry Sneakers. With their minimalist design and superior construction, they look just as good with a suit as they do with jeans or just about anything.”
Cole Haan OriginalGrand Ultra Wingtip ($180; nordstrom.com and colehaan.com)
“When Cole Haan merged classic wingtips with lightweight foam sole technology, a whole legion of office workers and men’s style enthusiasts rejoiced,” says Jian DeLeon, Nordstrom men’s fashion and editorial director. “Combining a timeless leather upper with a super-comfortable sole, the OriginalGrand Wingtip Derby is ideal for commuters, people with standing desks and anyone that wants to sneak a little bit of comfort in their workday.”
Classic men’s work shoes
A more buttoned-up work environment calls for polished classics.
Cole Haan Original Grand Wingtip Derby ($150; nordstrom.com)
A subtle hybrid style, Cole Haan’s Original Grand Wingtip Derby sports a grooved rubber sole for ease of mobility.
Clarks Atticus Plain Toe Derby ($125; nordstrom.com)
Another long-trusted brand in men’s footwear, Clarks delivers a solid take on the derby, with a streamlined silhouette in hearty black leather.
Dockers Men’s Gordon Leather Oxford Dress Shoe (starting at $49.94; amazon.com)
Dockers proves that reliable men’s staples don’t have to break the bank. This classic pair of oxfords has garnered thousands of top ratings.
Johnston & Murphy Men’s Dobson Cap Oxford (starting at $104; amazon.com)
Johnston & Murphy has been shodding men’s feet since 1850, including those of every president since No. 13, Millard Fillmore. These cap oxfords are a versatile addition to any shoe closet.
Work loafers for men
Loafers are the laceless option it’s OK to wear to work.
Ecco Men’s Helsinki Bike Toe Slip-On Loafer (starting at $96.99; amazon.com)
Ecco has long been a favorite of businessmen (and smart dads) everywhere, for good reason. These loafers are comfortable for everyday wear in a business casual setting.
Ecco Citytray Loafer ($149.95; nordstrom.com)
“The Ecco Citytray loafer is like a grown-up version of a slip-on sneaker,” DeLeon says. “The almond toe and soft suede upper means you can get away with wearing these sockless, making every day feel a little bit more like a Summer Friday.”
Lacoste Men’s Concours Driving Style Loafer (starting at $74.99; amazon.com)
French favorite Lacoste combines comfort and classic style with this pair of loafers, constructed like moccasins with soft leather and a cushioned sole.
Rockport Classic Venetian Loafer ($69.95; nordstrom.com)
Rockport makes a point of combining the comfort of casual shoes with the polish of professional footwear, and these sleek loafers are no exception.
Men’s chukka boots
With fall around the corner, chukka boots are a versatile seasonal option.
Clarks Desert Chukka Boot ($150; nordstrom.com)
“A tried-and-true shoe that perfectly walks the line between casual and dressed up, Clarks Desert Boots are almost like the pizza of wear-to-work footwear: It’s really, really hard to mess up and everyone could always go for it in a pinch,” DeLeon says.
Clarks Men’s Bushacre 2 Chukka Boot (starting at $46.49; amazon.com)
If durable leather is more your speed, Clarks makes chukka boots in a range of styles.
Allen Edmonds Williamsburg Chukka Boot ($267, originally $445; nordstrom.com)
Allen Edmonds’ slick take on the chukka boot combines Brooklyn cool with Manhattan polish.
Designer work shoes for men
Some footwear is worth the pretty penny that fits in its namesake loafer. Consider these an investment in your future.
Paraboot Chambord Derby (starting at $512; nordstrom.com)
“If you’re going to get something pricey, it shouldn’t just be high quality, but something you don’t necessarily have to only wear to the office,” DeLeon says. “French manufacturer Paraboot makes a highly versatile apron toe derby called the Chambord. It looks equally good at home with jeans and a fleece, but also smartens up any suited look with ease.”
JM Weston 180 Penny Loafer ($980; nordstrom.com)
“Speaking of investment pieces, now that loafers are considered dressed up enough in most office situations, why not upgrade to first class?” DeLeon asks. “JM Weston’s timeless 180 loafer is named after the 180-step process it takes to make each pair. The price of admission is high, but if you take good care of them, they’ll be the last pair of loafers you’ll ever buy.”
Tom Ford Sean Tasselled Suede Loafers ($1,290; mrporter.com)
“For those not ready to abandon the ease of wearing slippers to your Zoom meeting but still need to up their shoe game, these suede Tom Ford Loafers are the perfect alternative,” Arnold of Mr Porter says.
John Lobb City II Leather Oxford Shoes ($1,535; mrporter.com)
“With leather soles and a sleek double-stitched cap toe, the elegant profile of these John Lobb oxford shoes will make the perfect foundation for any business look,” Arnold says.