These Are the Best Dress Sneakers for Men for Every Occasion (2024)

These Are the Best Dress Sneakers for Men for Every Occasion (1)

Dressing up can be tricky business. Shoes that you’ve been working out in can look sloppy, and a pair of stiff, leather loafers can come off as too serious. In this day and age, men need a shoe that balances fashion and relief and can be worn in a variety of situations, from the office to dinner and beyond. Enter: dress sneakers.

With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to picking out your ideal pair of dress sneakers. Luckily, we’ve sifted through the noise to bring you the crème de la crème in men’s footwear. Whether you’re looking for an all-purpose tennis shoe or a fancier oxford, keep reading for our top picks for every setting and style.

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Best Overall

Cole Haan ØriginalGrand Wingtip Oxfords

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Why We Love It

  • They look ultra-classy, while still feeling extremely comfortable.

What to Consider

  • Any size bigger than 11.5 only comes in whole sizes.

Cole Haan’s original performance dress shoe has a lot to offer in terms of stylish footwear for men. Developed by a company sneakerhead and a product designer at the brand, these sneakers combine the iconic wing oxford design with proprietary Cole Haan cushioning. Made with a sleek leather upper, they’re formal enough for a wedding, while the GRANDFØAM sole provides ultimate walkability when you’re bouncing from meeting to meeting. Added rubber on the forefoot and heel ensures strong traction for swift walkers. Subtle flair like welt detailing and a rigid midsole keep things interesting and on-trend. Available in a wide range of colors, these sneakers pair well with jeans, chinos, or even a tux.

The Details: 6.5 to 16 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Why We Love It

  • Its elegant design ensures the Capri meshes well with almost any outfit.

What to Consider

  • Its all-white design could get dirty quickly.

If you’re looking for a pair of dress sneakers you can wear on your commute, in the office, or out to dinner, then look no further. The Capri from modern luxury footwear brand Koio is your do-it-all shoe. Crafted in Italy with Leather Working Group (LWG) Gold- and Silver-certified leather and waxed laces, these classy sneakers age like fine wine. The pair’s tight stitching and rubber soles provide durability for environments that might yield long walks and wet puddles — ideal for everything from long travel days to your daily commute. The clean silhouette combined with high-quality materials make it a wardrobe staple. Unlike most other leather sneakers, the Capri has a highly responsive insole for maximum comfort. It’s also available in a wider fit as well.

The Details: 7 to 16 | Leather upper, leather lining, OrthoLite Hybrid insole

Best for the Office

Amberjack The Original

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It’s not called “The Original” for nothing. Amberjack’s signature dress shoe is designed to look like your standard office shoe, but comes with the functionality and comfort of a gym trainer. Its full-grain leather upper offers a quality fit for the boardroom, while its sole is built with the same material used in hiking boots for ultimate support and slip resistance.

If you’ve ever suffered from dress shoes feeling too stiff or rigid, you’re in luck: Amberjack has incorporated a heat-activated foam that molds specifically to your foot. It comes in over 10 different colorways, so you may be tempted to cop a pair for each suit you have.

The Details: 7 to 15 | Leather upper, sheepskin lining, thermoplastic sole

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Best Sustainable

Nisolo Diego Everyday Sneaker

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Why We Love It

  • These sneakers are completely carbon neutral.

What to Consider

  • They only come in three colorways.

The Nisolo Diego Everyday Sneaker is a superior shoe for its impact on people and the planet. An LWG-certified, water-resistant leather upper and lightweight outsoles with strong traction make it ideal for mobility. Its out-of-the-box fit and shock-absorbing soles also get our approval for comfort. Based on Nisolo’s grading scale of materials, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping, these receive an A minus — miles ahead of most major fashion brands. Note, too, that Nisolo is a certified B Corp. The brand also pays 100 percent of its workers a living wage, according to the Fashion Checker campaign, which states that 93 percent of surveyed brands aren’t paying their workers appropriately. When you’re ready for a new pair, Nisolo also offers credit for upcycled or recycled shoes.

The Details: 8 to 13 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Best for Arch Support

Vionic Lace Up Sneaker

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Why We Love It

  • They use podiatrist-designed proprietary technology for best-in-class foot support.

What to Consider

  • These run small, so we suggest sizing up.

Finding a pair of sneakers that combats common foot pains is a niche pursuit often more excruciating than the aches themselves. Most “prescription” shoes may not look great aesthetically, and most fashion shoes don’t have the necessary support. The Lucas Lace Up offers a timeless design with support constructed by medical specialists. Backed by research confirming that the brand’s technology combats overpronation, Vionic received the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance. These sneakers can also stand the test of time. If you’re on your feet all day, count on these to offer the balance and structure you may need.

The Details: 7 to 13 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Best for Wide Feet

Adelante The Brisa

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Why We Love It

  • This sneaker comes in over 20 sizes and has seven width options.

What to Consider

  • They’re made to order, so shipping takes about a month.

For those with wide feet, shopping for stylish footwear that has enough room can be a challenge as the typical brands don’t usually cater to those specifications. And if they do, only a few wider options are available. The Brisa looks like a traditional dress sneaker, but has the sizing options fit for a king. Widths from the standard D all the way up to EEEEE (the widest we found available online) challenge the customization found at your local shoemaker. Incorporating the highest-quality type of leather, full grain, and available in a wide range of colors, the Brisa’s appearance will only get better with time. Be prepared to wait on production, though, because Adelante makes each pair specifically for you.

The Details: 4 to 17 | Leather upper, calfskin lining, acetate sole

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Why We Love It

  • These are made with organic and recycled materials.

What to Consider

  • Insole comfort is lacking.

If you’ve been seeing the “V” around town, let us enlighten you. French footwear brand Veja uses recycled materials and innovative technologies to make quality shoes that are less harmful to the environment. The Esplar Leather is made in Brazil with leather from farms in Uruguay.

Its thin profile will appeal to longtime fans of Chuck Taylor All Stars. If you like them even tighter, its organic-cotton laces will hold your foot firmly in place. An outsole made with a combination of materials including Amazonian rubber and recycled rubber also provides a firm grip for quick movers. But be careful when slipping them on — their small opening can be a squeeze.

The Details: 4 to 12.5 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Best Size Range

Greats The Royale 2.0

Why We Love It

  • They come in a wide variety of classic and unique colorways.

What to Consider

  • The shoes take a while to break in.

From one of the original direct-to-consumer brands, Brooklyn-based Greats, comes an updated version of its original bestseller. The Royal 2.0 offers a premium leather upper with subtle branding on the heel and tongue. Constructed using the “strobel” technique where the upper is stitched closely to the insole, it’s flexible, yet sturdy. With colors ranging from iconic all-white to a flashy pink, you won’t have trouble finding one that coordinates with your existing wardrobe. Each shoe is handcrafted in Portugal and fits great right out of the box — so we see where the name comes from. A removable leather-lined footbed also provides a nice bounce.

The Details: 7 to 22 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Why We Love It

  • The merino wool upper is durable and cozy.

What to Consider

  • There are limited full sizes and no half sizes.

From tech bros to chill grandpas, the now-ubiquitous Allbirds’ original Wool Runners fit the bill for anyone jumping from couch to desk, and back again. The New Zealand merino wool upper provides warmth and breathability, great for cold or hot weather alike, as the material also wicks away sweat. Its castor bean oil insole is anti-odor, cushioned, and emits less carbon than petroleum-based foam. Using laces from recycled plastic bottles, this shoe fits like a custom glove. Its simple design with low-key branding works well with chinos or shorts, and its lightweight materials make it a trusted all-day travel shoe.

The Details: 8 to 14 | Wool upper and sugarcane sole

Best Budget

Bruno Marc Modern Casual Oxford Shoes

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Why We Love It

  • The affordable price tag is unbeatable.

What to Consider

  • If you want to return them, they have to be unworn, so no try-ons.

There may be no better feeling than copping a great deal on a good look. Bruno Marc’s bestselling oxford makes a casual yet modern style approachable for many. Its synthetic leather upper has a perforation pattern that allows your feet to breathe easily, while not looking too “techy.” The durable thermoplastic rubber offers anti-slip shock absorption and the cotton insole provides a cloud-like step. Worn with your go-to pair of jeans, you’ll feel like you’re relaxing in your pajamas at the office.

Available in black, navy blue, and brown, the colorways are classic and versatile — and at this price, you might want them all.

The Details: 8 to 13 | Synthetic leather upper and thermoplastic elastomer sole

Why We Love It

  • It has the performance of a running shoe blended with luxury materials.

What to Consider

  • They take time to mold to your feet.

Upstart luxury brand Courser took four years to develop this first-of-its-kind “performance sneaker.” It’s made of 0.5-millimeter nubuck leather that is extremely lightweight while still remaining extremely durable. The nubuck is strategically molded to a special Dyneema fabric that offers flex with every step. Each pair incorporates a carbon fiber plate that provides extra support for impact from running or brisk walking. Crafted in Italian workshops, Courser is the brainchild of a former footwear designer at some of the most prestigious luxury brands. Coming in flashy colors like green and blue, the Uno is also available in standard black and cream shades that pair well with suits and chinos.

The Details: 7.5 to 15 | Nubuck upper, carbon fiber plate, and polyurethane sole

Best Slip-on

Cariuma Slip On

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Why We Love It

  • It comes in a few different material options.

What to Consider

  • It may be too casual for some settings.

If slip-on shoes are more your style, then these from Cariuma are a good option. The eco-conscious brand was built to bring comfort and responsibility to the “classic-cool” sneaker market. They exclusively use organic cotton and rubber sourced from ethical tree tapping. The LWG Gold-certified leather and stretch “straps” make the Slip On durable enough to slip on and off with ease. The cork insole made from a natural mamona oil provides all-day comfort with the brand’s signature memory foam. Also available in a canvas or a recycled material, each pair that’s purchased helps the brand plant 10 trees that help restore the biodiversity in rainforests. Kudos to Cariuma, they’ve already planted over two million trees.

The Details: 5 to 13 | Canvas, leather, recycled, or mixed upper and rubber sole

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Most Comfortable

Ecco Soft 7 City Sneaker

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Why We Love It

  • It’s made with leather from Ecco’s own tanneries.

What to Consider

  • They scuff easily.

Ecco’s proprietary comfort technology provides premium support and flexibility. The leather has a durable thickness and a smooth touch, and is made in the brand’s own tanneries (that are based in Indonesia, China, Thailand, and the Netherlands and are all either Gold- or Silver-LWG certified). A soft fabric lining even allows for sockless wear — if that’s your preference — without sweating.

Made for concrete jungles and suburban sidewalks, its dimpled outsole helps you navigate any terrain with swiftness and comfort. Looking for extra stability? The Soft 7 City has an extra thick midsole, perfect for managing more weight.

The Details: 5 to 14.5 | Leather upper and thermoplastic sole

Best Leather

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneakers

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Why We Love It

  • It’s made with full-grain leather, the highest possible quality.

What to Consider

  • Shipping times can be long.

Not all leather is created equal. Between the different categories (full grain, split, and genuine), full grain is preferred among shoppers and experts alike because it remains the thickest and most durable over time. The Reid Sneakers combine a full-grain upper and a Vachetta leather lining (what luxury handbags are made with).

Its wider opening and padded collar make these a friend to sensitive ankles. They also feature a carnauba wax and shea butter finish. Minimalists everywhere will also rejoice at the Reid Sneakers’ subtle look. The natural rubber base provides strong traction that can ward off scuffs and last for many years.

The Details: 7 to 14 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Why We Love It

  • It comes in several one-of-a-kind patterns.

What to Consider

  • It’s not very protective against the elements.

Floral prints on dress shoes? Count us in. Fancy designs on formal wear shouldn’t be reserved for just bowties and handbags. Built by a husband-and-wife duo, this US-designed boot brand also offers a wide range of strikingly unique sneakers and prints. The Jack Sneaker is made in Spain with a cotton-jacquard weave and leather accents on the toe and heel.

To keep the stink away, Taft adds a lavender-scented sole — something we haven’t seen (or smelled) before. These sneakers are sure to get the conversation started at your next co*cktail party. Just be sure to check the sizing guide as they tend to run small.

The Details: 6 to 15 | Leather-cotton upper and rubber sole

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Best High-tops

Oliver Cabell Jabbar High

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Why We Love It

  • Its padded collar provides extra ankle support.

What to Consider

  • It only comes in full sizes.

A lot of footwear brands haven’t released thoughtful high-tops sleek enough for nicer settings because of the model’s small customer base. Oliver Cabell changes that with the Jabbar High. Making a name for themselves for leather low-tops, the brand brought the same intention to its line of high-tops with the Jabbar High. Made in Italy, it has a smooth calfskin leather upper and a premium rubber sole. With laces up to the top, it offers tight support and stability that looks natural covered up, or stylish with a pair of skinny jeans. You won’t find yourself scrambling for options either — with different variations of blacks and a gray and white colorway, the Jabbar High has styles for most preferences.

The Details: 6 to 15 | Leather upper and rubber sole

Tips for Buying Men’s Dress Sneakers

Think about how you plan to use them

The use case of your sneakers will determine what styles and materials you should be looking for. If you’re going for a dressier look, quality leather and neutral colors, like brown and black, are your best bet. If you’ll be in more casual settings, sneaker profiles and unique colorways will add vibrancy to your outfit. If cared for properly, all-white leather sneakers can be worn with suits, shorts, and anything in between.

This is especially true for travel, when you won’t have space for multiple pairs of sneakers, so look for something that can work well for both walking and going out to dinner.

Find the right balance between comfort and style

If your dress sneakers are too rigid or make your feet sore, you’ll never want to wear them. Look for shoes that prioritize comfort for long days, but also don’t opt for something too niche like a racing shoe. Dress sneakers can be the perfect balance, so make sure to check the materials. Flexible soles, durable leather, and breathable fabrics keep sneakers both fashionable and functional.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should you wear socks with dress sneakers?

    This varies by style, but generally speaking, yes. If you’re wearing a pair that looks like traditional dress shoes, opt for a pair of dress socks. If you’re wearing a low-top sneaker, then you can get away with ankle or no-show socks. If the lining is comfortable enough, you can get away with no socks, but that’s best for those who don’t experience persistent sweating as moisture can lead to blistering.

  • What color is best for dress sneakers?

    It depends on what clothes you’ll be wearing with the sneakers, as well as your own wardrobe and taste. Neutral colors like white, black, and brown tend to go well with any pair of slacks. But if you’ll be wearing a suit, be sure to match your sneakers with the color of the suit or belt. So, it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference, but social norms and versatility still apply.

  • How do I care for dress sneakers?

    The best thing to do is always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as materials and processes vary. Cedar tree shoe trees are utilized to maintain the shoe’s form when not in use. Some leather comes pre-treated, but there is also a wide range of kits and cleaners that can help weatherproof your shoe, if that’s a concern. Oftentimes, a towel with warm water can clean away dirt, but leather shoes should never be put in the washing machine.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Joe Niehaus is an Austin-based writer and product reviewer. For this story, Joe used his extensive product testing experience, familiarity with many of the brands listed, and customer reviews to curate the best dress sneakers for every scenario.

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These Are the Best Dress Sneakers for Men for Every Occasion (2024)

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