Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (2024)

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (1)

Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Why Trust Us?

IT'S REALLY time to start dressing up again, with your tailored blazers and pants, shoes, button-downs, and whatnot. But should you need some tips on how to not look boring in formal attire, we recommend taking full advantage of the lines between casual and dressy which are now more blurred than ever, and opt for the smartest, most foolproof way of laid-back formal attire—sporting dress sneakers.

These sharp, snazzy sneakers are basically dress shoes go with (literally) everything; they can spiff up a casual outfit or freshen up a suit-and-tie ensemble. For occasions where the dress code is more forgiving, dress sneakers for men often turn up to be the most versatile choice of footwear—they blend with suiting or tailored trousers as seamlessly as they fit in with more easygoing getups, looking swell from the green course to the bar to a dinner party. So if you’re in a shoe rut, these comfortable dress shoes can offer the quickest, most comfortable, and most failsafe fix for rounding out any smart casual fits.

Below are the 16 best dress sneakers for men, from monotone leather low-tops to hybrid dress shoes, for every budget. If you're aiming to look more stately, pair something like Cole Haan’s Wingtip Oxford with your dress shirt and dress pants. For a more casual vibe, throw on jeans, chinos, or quite frankly anything you're comfortable in with suede sneakers. Whatever style your occasion demands, these 16 sleek pairs of dress sneakers for men below can polish off any look.

Best for Commuting

Florsheim Heist Sneaker

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (12)

Best for Commuting

Florsheim Heist Sneaker

Switching from mall-walkers on the train to wingtips once you get to the office is so 2019. As the name suggests, this dress shoe/sneaker hybrid style from Florsheim is made with commuting in mind. When the time comes to trek to the office again, you'll be ready with these.

It's the color and texture of the upper for the Heist Sneaker that does it for us. Rich grainy leather with layers of polish mirror a classic dress shoe perfectly. That masks the fact that the upper and sole are shaped a sneaker, and you feel like you're wearing a sneaker when you have them on.

Size7-14
MaterialLeather upper, textile lining, EVA midsole, rubber sole

Best Affordable Option

Bruno Marc Rivera Oxfords

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (13)

Best Affordable Option

Bruno Marc Rivera Oxfords

Bruno Marc's Rivera serves a "Monday morning on Wall Street" vibe as effortlessly as it does a get-your-freak-on Friday night justice. It can polish up a laidback hoodie fit, or make even the dressiest ensemble look casual—just not too casual. (Oh, and it's a favorite on Amazon).

Light and flexible like a sneaker, thanks to the textile upper, these dress sneakers were a joy to wear through a long work day. Derby style construction means that you can rock them with a suit for higher end business casual attire. With five colors to choose from, you can match any suit collection.

Size6.5-13
MaterialTextile/leather upper, rubber outsole

Best Oxford Sneaker

Cole Haan ZERØGRAND Wingtip Oxford

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (14)

Best Oxford Sneaker

Cole Haan ZERØGRAND Wingtip Oxford

When you think of dress sneakers, the first clothing brand that comes to mind is probably Cole Haan. Their ZERØGRAND wingtip oxford is, admittedly, more dress shoes than sneakers, yet the footbed is still more comfortable than most sneakers out there.

As a pioneer in the field of blending sneaker and dress shoe construction, the ZERØGRAND line has undergone a lot of field testing. Out style editors have been wearing variations of this for years and Cole Haan seems to find ways to improve the dress sneaker with each new model. By incorporating bold brogue "punched hole" detailing, the upper provides a very sophisticated heritage dress shoe look.

Size6-16
MaterialLeather upper, EVA midsole with rubber outsole

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Best Derby Sneaker

Wolf & Shepherd SwiftKnit™ Derby

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (15)

Best Derby Sneaker

Wolf & Shepherd SwiftKnit™ Derby

Wolf & Shepherd is no stranger to dress shoes or sneakers, and this hybrid style is a master marriage of the two. Their knit mesh derby is lightweight, breathable, and stretchy, with a break-in time of approximately zero.

"Wow, these are comfortable!" is more or less the first thing that came to mind when we tried out the SwiftKnit Derby. The look is just dressy enough to elevate above standard sneakers, but the feel on your feet is on par with top notch workout sneakers. We recommend sticking to a more modern semi-formal look with these dress sneakers, something like slacks and a crewneck sweatshirt.

Read more: Best Derby Shoes

Size6-15
MaterialTextile upper, leather lining, rubber sole

Most Comfortable Dress Sneaker

Ponto The Pacific

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (16)

Most Comfortable Dress Sneaker

Ponto The Pacific

Ponto is setting new standards of sustainability in the footwear industry. If the brand isn't on your radar yet, it should be. Ponto makes one gender-neutral shoe in three colors, and they make it from almost 100% recycled materials. The upper is recycled leather scraps and the soles are biodegradable plant-based foam, plus the lining, made of woven wood fibers, is naturally breathable, water-repellent, odor-resistant, and sweat-absorbent. No socks needed!

The monotone color scheme and leather uppers allow these sneakers to pass for derby shoes at arms length. We liked the way the looked at home with jeans and a t-shirt as much as they did with a suit. You can truly wear them as sneakers or dress shoes.

Size8.5-14
MaterialRecycled and bio-based upper, rubber sole

Most Formal Dress Sneaker

Charles Tyrwhitt Suede Brogue Sneakers

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (17)

Most Formal Dress Sneaker

Charles Tyrwhitt Suede Brogue Sneakers

The elegant brogue details make these kicks almost belong to the camp of co*cktail attire footwear, but they don't make the final cut—fortunately—because of how comfortable they feel and how walking-friendly, weekend-trips-appropriate they are. As such, it's able to find its place amid the tribe of dress sneakers as one that's best for dressing up.

Charles Tyrwhitt does formal menswear essentials with the best of them and these brogues are a perfect example. The upper is a pure classic, looking like a traditional dress shoe from a birds eye view. Swapping out the sole for a rubber sneaker finish not only makes them more comfortable, but modernizes and well-worn staple. Rock them with a suit for a fun twist, or with chinos and a hoodie to level up a notch.

Size8-13
MaterialSuede upper, 100% leather lining, rubber sole

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Best Suede Dress Sneaker

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneakers

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (18)

Best Suede Dress Sneaker

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneakers

This classic, minimalist leather sneaker by Beckett Simonon is complete with water-repellent Suede for a worry-free swagger in all weathers—a feature absent from many of its dressier counterparts. The color-matching laces and white outsole also make the soft suede pop somehow.

Bare bones leather dress shoes are a common sight these days so it is hard to stand out. Beckett Simonon accomplished this by providing exceptional quality leather working at a very friendly price. Our favorite part though, has got to be the buttery smooth suede that comes in six different colors.

Size7-14
MaterialSuede upper, rubber sole

Best Retro Dress Sneaker

Peter Millar Vantage Suede Sneaker

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (19)

Best Retro Dress Sneaker

Peter Millar Vantage Suede Sneaker

Now 75% Off

Here, the '70s flair plus a timeless silhouette add some stylish punctuation to your Friday night looks. It feels sophisticated yet casual, of the moment yet nostalgic. And it doesn't scrimp on the comfort side of things—the memory foam footbed and padding deliver ergonomic support every single time.

We found these dress sneakers to be closer to the sneaker end of the spectrum, making them idea for every day off-duty wear. Rocking a sneaker this well made will add a little something to any outfit. The rich velvety blue suede looks amazing with denim!

Size8-13
Material100% suede upper, rubber outsole

Best Slip-On Dress Sneaker

Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-On Sneaker

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (20)

Best Slip-On Dress Sneaker

Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-On Sneaker

No sweat here. Just a slide-and-go M.O. to match your smart casual style. More than that, these loafer-y sneakers look sophisticated enough to be considered dress shoes, but that sneaker-inspired sole gives their real stature all away.

Finding a go-to sneaker that will elevate your daily look is a constant search for us. We definitely found one here. Loafers are already a wear-with-everything style, especially these days. Adding a sneaker sole just makes them more comfortable and allows them to blend in better with more causal outfits.

Size7-14
MaterialLeather upper and lining/synthetic sole

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Best Leather Dress Sneaker

Koio Capri

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (21)

Best Leather Dress Sneaker

Koio Capri

If you're tired of cycling through your worn-out shoe year-after-year, it might be time to upgrade to an investment sneaker that will last a lifetime. Look no further than Koio. Their sneakers are made from full-grain nubuck leather, and even finished with hand-painted edges so there's no break in the monochrome effect. This muted ecru color goes with anything and will never go out of style, but packs a more stylish punch than your standard black or white sneaker.

The Capri is probably our favorite sneaker to wear with a suit. This particular shade of gray compliments navy as well as black. You can't knock the suede because it is on par with high end dress shoes. While the solid color design fills in the dress shoe role perfectly.

Size7-16
MaterialItalian nubuck leather upper, 100% rubber sole

Best Wool Dress Sneaker

Allbirds Wool Pipers

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (22)

Best Wool Dress Sneaker

Allbirds Wool Pipers

Allbirds' Wool Pipers are really good for logging the mileage on foot, especially during colder days that call for layering. They're made in premium ZQ Merino wool, which means they're super soft, super cozy, and super versatile for everyday wear, as well as all-day wear.

Size8-14
MaterialMerino wool upper, SweetFoam® midsole, rubber outsole

Best Knit Dress Sneaker

Rothy's The RS01 Sneaker

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (23)

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (24)

Best Knit Dress Sneaker

Rothy's The RS01 Sneaker

These editors-approved kicks are also a favorite of Pedro Pascal. They have a dynamic, retro-inspired knit upper to elevate any of your basic workwear trousers, while their durable gum sole guarantees these sleek kicks will provide the foot support you need for months or years of long wear. And unlike other sneakers, these don’t require breaking in and are fully machine washable.

Size7-16
MaterialKnit upper, gum outsole

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Best Dress Sneaker on Amazon

COSIDRAM Casual Shoes

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (25)

Best Dress Sneaker on Amazon

COSIDRAM Casual Shoes

Keep it casual on any formal occasion with this best-seller on Amazon. Despite being under $50, its stellar design that mixes a sporty sneaker outsole with the upper of dress shoes looks absolutely second to none. Wear it with shorts, chinos, and jeans—any day you're taking it easy but still want to look sharp. Whether it’s in the office or on your vacation, these kicks will stand out.

Size7-15
MaterialMicrofiber upper, rubber sole

Best Black Dress Sneaker

Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (26)

Best Black Dress Sneaker

Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers

Behold the internet darling of luxury black sneakers, Common Projects. You'll surely spot the signature gold serial number stamped on your favorite influencer's heel or when passing a stylish netizen on the street.

Size37-47
MaterialLeather upper, leather linings, rubber soles

Best White Dress Sneaker

Good Man Brand Edge Sneaker

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (27)

Best White Dress Sneaker

Good Man Brand Edge Sneaker

Now 20% Off

Good Man Brand makes the ultimate white leather sneaker–they're the epitome of refined casual. Plus, they've managed to not sacrifice an ounce of quality or craft, while maintaining a relatively friendly price point.

Size7-18
MaterialLeather upper and lining/rubber sole

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

What Are Dress Sneakers?

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (28)

The best dress sneakers are generally defined by having a uniform color, minimal detail, and higher end materials. Colors are usually in the same range as dress shoes, meaning brown, black, blue, or gray. The lone exception is white, since solid white sneakers pass for dressy, especially leather varieties. Uppers are usually leather or suede, but there are some fabric options that pass for formal. Soles can be flat or athletic, as long as they are a solid color that is complementary to the upper. Meaning that a brown or tan dress sneaker can have a white sole, and a black or gray dress sneaker can have a black or gray sole.

Some dress sneakers feature leather uppers that are identical to standard dress shoes, like a long wing brogue or a cap toe. These shoes enter sneaker territory by changing up the sole to an athletic design and can sometimes have other sneaker-like details, such as a padded ankle. You can even have a fabric upper that is designed to look like a dress shoe, but feel and perform like a sneaker.

What to Consider in Dress Sneakers for Men?

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (29)

Material: What makes up the upper and the outsole is what will make or break your footwear. Thankfully, for most dress sneakers—which often come in a quiet form of a minimalist upper over a flat sole—the upper is most likely leather or suede. Both are durable enough to last for years and require little maintenance after daily wear; and the outsole is often rubber which offers a sturdy grip and excellent traction for when you walk. Leather as an upper is also often waterproof to keep you warm and dry, while suede is great for hotter days. Moreover, some dress sneakers are made with knit uppers to be extra breathable for summer.

Versatility: We don’t mean that the best dress sneakers should be able to handle you running a lap or taking a hike in them, but more often than not, dress sneakers are versatile enough for daily wear such as running errands and commuting, as well as for formal occasions such as at work in the office, during co*cktail parties or evening dinners, or at the bar. As such, leather sneakers are often failsafe as dress sneakers since they’re truly versatile enough for you to get the most out of them.

Occasion: When purchasing a pair of dress sneakers, keep in mind how you want to wear them. If you're a commuter, definitely opt for the hybrid option. If you're chucking all your dress shoes and plan to dress sneakers in suits, pay attention to the shape—you'll want something slim that will fall in line with your pants. If you plan on being active, go for one that has a great amount of foot support, and be sure there's perforation for breathability.

How to Wear Dress Sneakers

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (30)

Don't over-complicate it. Dress sneakers, at their core, are still dress shoes, only casual enough for non-formal occasions or non-dressy fits. I.e., they can easily be dressed up while giving a more relaxed vibe, or down while making you look more elevated.

For dressing up:

whatever outfits you wear with dress shoes, dress sneakers can easily blend in with them. Especially now, when the line between dressy and casual is more blurred than ever, even your most tailored suit ensemble can be grounded with a pair of dress sneakers. In fact, if your dress sneakers of choice are a pair of Oxford sneakers, you really won’t notice much difference from suiting up with Oxford dress shoes; however, with lace-up leather sneakers, you’ll definitely look more laid-back and casual in them, while still copping an overall elegant, formal flair.

For dressing down: again, whatever outfits you wear with regular sneakers, dress sneakers can go with them, except they’ll make your whole fit look smarter, shaper, and more elevated. That means, anything from t-shirts over joggers to hoodies over sweatpants to sweaters over jeans to just about your whole daily wardrobe rotation, can be anted up by dress sneakers. Albeit, you’ll be dressing down, the style of dress sneakers definitely provides an elegance and professional flair that you won’t find in other shoe styles.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

How Do I Wear Dress Sneakers to Work?

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (31)

When it comes to office attire, you generally want to skew towards the formal side of the dress code. When choosing dress sneakers, this means sticking with solid colored flat-soled sneakers, preferably in leather or suede. These are good for offices with a more “modern business casual” vibe. In other words, if you are allowed to wear chinos and a sweater or dark jeans and an oxford shirt, then you can get away with flat soled dress sneakers.

You can also go with the athletic-soled dress shoe genre because those fit into the same business casual category. Choose these for more elevated dress codes where “dress shoes” are stipulated anywhere in formal writing. Essentially, if you have to wear a suit or at least a collared shirt and slacks, then these sneaker-ish dress shoes are the best choice.

As for styling, you want to put together outfits that work with dress shoes and then just sub in your dress sneakers. A helpful tactic is to always skew a little dressier when you are wearing sneakers. This will help counterbalance the formal tilt of the sneakers. For example, if you would normally wear an oxford shirt with slacks and dress shoes, wear a spread collar dress shirt when you go with dress sneakers. When in doubt, adding a casual blazer will always elevate your dress sneakers to office level.

How Do I Clean Dress Sneakers?

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (32)

While most athletic sneakers and canvas sneakers can be cleaned in a washing machine, that is almost never the case for dress sneakers. A little elbow grease and some simple products will be required. Which method you use depends on what material your dress sneakers uppers are made of. As for the soles, since they are pretty much all made out of rubber, you can wipe them clean with a wet washcloth and a little dish detergent.

Leather: Leather dress sneakers are the easiest to clean because most dirt, dust, and stains will wipe off with a wet towel. An old toothbrush works well for getting into cracks and crevices. For pesky marks, use a simple dish detergent like Dawn on a wet washcloth.

Suede
: If you own any suede shoes, jackets, or accessories, then it is worth investing in a suede brush. You can find them on Amazon and they work wonders. Any dirt, dust, smudge, or scuff will rub right off. However, if this does not work and your suede has a set in stain, you will have to take it to a professional cleaners.

Textile:

Any kind of textile upper can be cleaned with a wet towel and laundry detergent. Just wet the towel and dab a dime sized amount of detergent onto the towel, then scrub away. Use an old toothbrush to get into cracks and crevices. For set-in stains, you can use a stain treatment like Shout before cleaning.

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (33)

Brad Lanphear

Contributing Commerce Style Writer

Brad is a contributing style commerce editor. After a decade working for menswear brands including J.Crew and Ralph Lauren, Brad switched from selling fashion to writing about it. His words have appeared in Huckberry, Heddels, and The Manual.

Try These Comfortable Dress Sneakers, and You May Never Wear Oxfords Again (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 6011

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.