Which men’s casual shoes are best?
Investing in a few pairs of casual shoes can revolutionize your wardrobe. In addition to style versatility, wearers find that casual shoes come with just as many comfort features as sneakers or even slippers.
It only takes a quick look at a shoe department to realize that casual shoes for men are an exhaustive category with countless styles. Because there are so many styles, from business casual shoes to athleisure shoes to boat shoes, many men invest in a few pairs to round out their footwear collection.
Key considerations for buying casual shoes for men
What is casual footwear?
Casual footwear is one of those fashion categories that everyone seems to know but can’t quite define. While everyone has a slightly different idea of casual shoes, the consensus is that the category includes less formal styles that are comfortable.
Casual shoes for men include more laid-back styles, like boat shoes and athleisure shoes, as well as business-casual styles that are considered office-appropriate and commuter-friendly. Some people include flip-flops and fashion boots in this category as well.
How many pairs of casual shoes should I own?
It’s common to own three or more pairs of casual footwear to suit a few different looks and dress styles. Additionally, some men invest in more than one color of the same pair of shoes, such as this Skechers Slip-On Walking Shoe is available in navy and charcoal.
The best casual shoes for men with jeans, for example, may include slip-on styles or sporty boots. Business casual shoes for men, on the other hand, typically include leather and suede styles with finer details and premium construction. Travel-friendly casual shoes are comfortable styles suitable for long periods of walking, whether it’s athleisure shoes or a pair of boots with cushioned insoles.
Cushioning: It’s common for casual shoes to have cushioned insoles with memory foam or gel. These help to absorb shock and minimize foot fatigue. Because memory foam and gel contour to the foot, these styles may offer an improved fit for some wearers.
Breathability: Some casual shoes have breathable designs, in which they promote airflow around the foot to keep wearers cool. Many of these styles are constructed with breathable materials or have mesh panels.
Flexibility: The vast majority of men’s casual shoes have some degree of flexibility. Slip-on styles, for example, often have elastic detail, while lace-up shoes let wearers customize their fit. Certain styles use stretch materials, like elastane.
Most men’s footwear is available in sizes 7.5-13, and only select brands offer extended sizes. More brands have begun to offer wide widths, with New Balance leading the pack. This casual cross-training style, for example, is available in regular, wide and extra-wide sizes.
How much you can expect to spend on casual shoes for men
No matter your budget, you’ll find several pairs of casual shoes available. Many basic styles, like sandals and some slip-on shoes, cost $50 and below. Casual shoes with better construction and additional comfort features cost $50-$100, while high-end designs with premium materials run $100-$250.
The best casual shoes for men in 2021
A classic style from a much-loved brand, these comfortable boat shoes have a padded tongue, collar and footbed. They’re available in tan and dark brown, plus they come in wide widths.
Fans of full-grain leather Sperry boat shoes appreciate their fine construction and durability. They’re equipped with an Ortholite footbed and have a patented outsole designed to offer second-to-none wet/dry traction.
A throwback style with a few updated details, this tennis-style shoe is a sporty addition to any casual shoe collection. They use supple synthetic leather and recycled materials.
Comfort abounds in this Skechers pair, with a breathable mesh upper, memory foam insole and padded collar. The lightweight midsole is flexible, making it a favorite for travel and everyday wear.
Sold by Macy’s
This classic pair of Timberlands feature a six-inch shaft, padded heel collar and the brand’s signature two-tone laces. The boots are made with premium nubuck leather and come in over a dozen colors.
These suede boots will pair well with most jeans, khakis or slacks. The style has a faux fur sock liner to keep feet warm and comfortable. Wearers appreciate the boot’s simple, versatile style with details like neutral laces and contrast stitching.
A trendy yet timeless option, these checker Vans remain a customer favorite. They have a vulcanized sole for enhanced grip and a padded heel collar. The breathable canvas style has a wide toe box to give you plenty of wiggle room.
These Crocs loafers have West Coast vibes with a rugged spin on the classic loafer. The pair offers a relaxed fit, which is why many wearers consider sizing down. It comes in eight beach-inspired colors.
Business casual shoes
Flexible and suitable for commuting, this Kenneth Cole style is a favorite for business casual wear. It has a few modern details, like a side buckle and high-traction midsole. The slip-on style is also popular for air travel.
Sold by Macy’s
These pebble leather Oxfords are a comfortable alternative to more rigid, formal styles. In addition to a smooth Lycra collar, the pair has a rounded toe and is flexible through the instep.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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