The right pair of shoes can make or break an outfit, especially dress shoes. A good pair of dress shoes are an integral part of any professional work outfit or put together a leisure-time look. They should enhance your look without drawing too much attention away from you, the person who is wearing them.
After all, that is what an outfit’s main purpose is, right? To create a sense of professionalism and style without being too loud or rundown. So much so, that no one can focus on that new idea that you are pitching or see anything else in your photo except your old, tired looking shoes.
There are plenty of dress shoes available on the market that are un-flashy and minimalistic in style so you can feel confident knocking that meeting out of the park or feel good when you’re out and about but won’t distract people with your over-the-top shoe choice.
This list that I’ve curated below are what I believe to be some of the best minimalist dress shoes out there for men. They don’t skimp on details that make them fashionable and sleek but remain minimalist in their design overall. And they won’t break the bank either! That’s a win, win, win.
Clarks Tilden Cap Oxford Shoe
The first pair of shoes on my list is a tried and true classic, perfect for any workplace setting. They are crafted from 100% leather and come in a variety of different shades so you can easily pair them with any suit or business casual outfit.
The Tilden Cap shoe is from a popular shoemaker, Clarks, that has been in the business for over 100 years. So, you know you are purchasing from a brand that you can trust has plenty of experience manufacturing and designing men’s shoes.
The style of these shoes is the classic cap-toe derby and comes with built-in Ortholite insoles. The insoles are designed to wick away moisture, combat odors and fungus and, as an added bonus, they provide extra cushion for your feet. The extra cushion layer provides comfort for your feet all day long by absorbing the extra shock with every step you take.
The Tilden Cap shoes also feature a discreet elastic gore panel in each shoe to provide a better fit without taking anything away from the style. That’s just one more thing that adds to the comfort of these dress shoes! Depending on the size, fit and leather color that you choose, the shoes range in price from $50-$150 for the more obscure leather choices or fit options. Not a bad price point for shoes that look this good!
Clarks Bushacre 2 Chukka Boot
I am of the belief that every man needs a good pair of boots that can be worn for multiple occasions and with multiple outfits. A pair that you can style with jeans and a t-shirt for running errands on the weekend or dress them up with a button-down shirt for a date night look. These boots, like the previous dress shoes on my list, are made by Clarks, so you can be reassured that the quality will be there.
The boots are made from 100% leather so they will last you for years to come and won’t end up looking cheap. There are plenty of colors to choose from so you can tailor the boots to your own personal style, or purchase multiple pairs so you’ll never run out of outfit options! The boots overall are a crowd pleaser and have one good review after another. The one downside to these boots is that they tend to run a bit large so should you choose to purchase these, you may wish to size down.
Clarks recommends sizing down by half sizes to get that perfect fit! As stated before, boots like these are perfect for leisurely activities and also for date nights or events where you need to look put together but won’t be wearing a suit or business attire. They are ultra-fashionable but remain understated at the same time!
Kenneth Cole Unlisted Half Time Men’s Cap Toe Oxford
Have you ever had a piece of clothing in your wardrobe that you can wear to your fanciest of events and that’s also appropriate for everyday wear? It’s amazing to have that versatility in your closet as your go-to item when you’re in a pinch. This next pair of shoes can be one of those wardrobe additions.
These shoes, made by the popular and well-known brand Kenneth Cole, are super durable and have a no-frills, minimal design. Made from synthetic leather, they will be super easy to keep clean and free from stains and require less maintenance than shoes that are made from real leather. They are available in a variety of colors and can easily be worn to that black-tie wedding that you have coming up or to just another day at the office.
They come lined with a padded insole for that added comfort that you’ll crave after a long day on your feet. The shoe starts at a price of about $32, so you’ll get that fancy look without breaking the bank. Just one more reason that this shoe is the perfect fit for any minimalist’s closet!
Calvin Klein Men’s Bram Oxford
The next pair of shoes on my list have that little something extra when you want to elevate your look. From afar they have that minimalist vibe that you may be going for but when you get a little closer you can see the detail in the fabric that pushes the shoes from basic to a standout item of clothing all on their own.
The shoes are manufactured by Calvin Klein and are made from 100% real leather. The detail comes in the form of the contrasting topstitching in the middle of the shoe that breaks up the leather around the top of the foot and the rounded square cap toe.
They manage to still maintain their classic look and therefore can be worn to numerous occasions. These shoes also come equipped with comfort in mind and are designed with a comfortable flexible oxford construction that will easily flex with the natural movements of your feet.
They also have a cushioned foam insole for added shock absorption so they can be worn for hours without putting strain on your feet. The sizing on the shoes can be a bit hard to pin down but for the most part they run true to size and will hug your feet in all the right places. And, like the other shoes on this list, the price point is great for the quality and style that you’ll be getting!
Ecco Men’s New Jersey Slip-On Loafer
For the only pair of slip-on loafers on my list, these are the perfect choice for any minimalist’s closet! Loafers are one of those shoes that are classic, comfortable and versatile enough to be worn day after day. These are available in a few different shades of brown and black leather so you can match them to almost any outfit choice.
The shoe features a slip-on design with no laces so they are ideal for when you’re in a rush but still need to look polished and put together. They also have elastic-goring side inserts so they are ultra-comfortable and able to form perfectly to your feet and the natural movements you make while walking. You can pair these shoes with countless casual styles and feel confident while on the go!
Minimalist Dress Shoes: A Buyer’s Guide
As always, price is one of the biggest factors in any shopping scenario. There are so many pairs of beautiful-looking dress shoes out there that are at a reasonable price point. You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars to look nice and put together. A solid pair of dress shoes on a budget should run you anywhere from $30 to around $150. There are plenty of options within that range to choose from!
The brand that makes your shoes is also important. You definitely want a brand with good customer loyalty and great brand recognition. Brands that have been in the industry for years are a great place to start! Brands such as the ones on my list (Kenneth Cole, Ecco, Calvin Klein, and Clarks) all have plenty of experience and customers have favorable experiences with them. Consider who you are purchasing your items from before you make that payment!
Finally, the occasion or occasions that you need to have dress shoes for should be considered. Do you have a wedding coming up that you need to dress up for? Do you need shoes that can transition from everyday office wear to a night out on the town? These are all factors that are important to think about when picking out a new pair of shoes. Having versatility in the shoes that you pick will save you both money and time in the long run!
My Final Thoughts…
When you’re someone who needs a new pair of dress shoes but you also live a pretty minimalistic lifestyle, there are endless options for you to choose from! Every man should have a sleek pair of shoes in their arsenal that they can wear with a stylish casual look or wear to a more formal occasion. Hopefully, with the list I’ve put together, you’ll have a great starting point when you’re on the hunt for your next great pair of dress shoes!
Let me know what you think of my list in the comments below!