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Footwear, Men's Shoes

11 Types of Business Casual Shoes For Men 

By  Emily Konatella

LAST UPDATED - January 28, 2022

Your footwear choice can make or break your office attire. Choose the right shoe, and you'll look polished, put-together, and professional. Choose the wrong shoe, and you'll look like you forgot the dress code. Good thing there are plenty of styles of business casual shoes for men to pick from!

With footwear styles ranging from comfy sneakers to sophisticated Chelsea boots, business casual shoes aren't just for the workplace. Depending on how they're styled, they can be worn to formal settings or used to elevate everyday outfits. Whether you've recently returned to the office or switched to working from home full-time, these types of business casual shoes below are sure to have you looking sharp in a business casual setting.

11 Types of Business Casual Shoes For Men

Oxfords

Oxfords

What's the one pair of shoes every man should own? Oxfords. Versatile and timeless. Characterized by their clean lines, the traditional dress shoe can be worn with anything and everything in your work wardrobe. They complete any outfit, whether you're sporting a fancy suit or laid-back business casual attire. Oxford can be very formal or business casual based on your attire.

Brogues and Wingtips

Brogues

It is dressy but less formal and offers more personality due to its unique punching or decorative perforations. The nice decorations make them look more casual than plain dress shoes, making them work well with business casual outfits.

Derbies

Derbies

For added flair, try a pair of derby shoes, which feature a similar silhouette with slightly different construction and eyelets. Or, if you're looking to truly stand out in the office, try a pair with swanky monk straps.

Loafers & Drivers

loafer

Loafers are one of the most versatile business casual shoes a man can possibly own. The comfortable slip-ons come in every material and color imaginable. But no matter the style, stick to classic textiles like leather, suede, and velvet when you're in the office.

For a sporty take on the style, try a pair of driving shoes. Known as the "European cousin" of a classic loafer, they add a preppy touch to any look. Style them just as you would your go-to loafers

Chukkas

Chukkas

Characterized by their short stature, chukka boots have an inherently laid-back feel. While most desert boots are too casual for the office, more formal leather chukkas can be worn with chinos, short-sleeve button-downs, and other semi-casual clothing.

Chelsea Boots

Chelsea Boots

When it comes to business casual dress boots, there's nothing more stylish than classic Chelsea boots. Thanks to a laceless silhouette with elasticized sides, they're both functional and fashionable. Perhaps that is why they've been on-trend since the mid-fifties.

You'll feel more polished and put together the second you put your Chelsea boots on— whether it be for happy hour, date night, or a business meeting. Because the style is so timeless, it's worth investing in a high-quality pair that'll last for years to come.

Monk Straps

Monk Straps

Monk straps are dressy but can be worn for less formal situations. This type of shoe has been a favorite by modern men, yet it has one of the oldest styles of shoes known. It features single or double buckle straps with no straps, with the elastic support to stretch the straps makes them very comfortable to wear.

Lace-Up Boots

Lace-Up Boots

While most combat boots aren't suitable for the office, some lace-up ankle boots can transition to the office. Stick to sleek silhouettes with dressy details inspired by oxfords and derby shoes. To ensure they come off office-appropriate, stick to cognac, black, and dark brown colors in rich suede or leather.

Leather Sneakers

Leather Sneakers

Let's make one thing clear: you should never wear athletic sneakers or running shoes to the office. But a pair of sleek leather sneakers are just fine, especially when paired with a smart suit jacket. Not only will your sneakers bring a modern feel to your work outfit, but they'll also keep you comfortable during long days on your feet. You'll find yourself wearing them just as often on weekends!

Bluchers

Bluchers

Bluchers are a safe choice for business casual and can easily transition from casual to formal. With its opening lacing and single piece of leather and shoelace eyelets tabs sewn on top, this type of shoe can accompany a suit or less formal outfit.

Hybrid Dress Shoes

Recently, a new category of business casual men's shoes has begun to emerge. Hybrid dress shoes combine elements of a traditional dress shoe with the comfort and style of an athletic shoe. Most feature a sleek leather upper with a heavy tread or sporty outsole. They're an excellent option to pack for conferences and work trips.

FAQs

What is business casual for men?

Business casual outfits are usually comfortable, functional, stylish, and smart enough to wear in a corporate environment. It is more 'business' than 'casual.' They are typically classic and timeless, well-fitted and made clothing.

What not to wear for business casual?

As a rule of thumb, it is always the best to avoid wearing the following on business casual day:

  • Printed shirts and ripped jeans
  • Any denim
  • Sandals, boots, and tennis shoes
  • T-Shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Shorts
  • Hats
  • Sandals, tennis shoes, open toe shoes
  • Flannels

Can you wear sneakers in business casual?

Even though you can wear blazers with sneaks to dress down, they are not considered business casual.

What are the Best Business Casual Shoe Colors

If you choose the color smartly, it can easily match most of your wardrobe. The most versatile colors include tan, black, and brown.

How to pick the best business casual shoes?

When in doubt, stick with classic dress shoes like oxfords or loafers. No matter the dress code, you're sure to look put-together and professional. It's worth investing in a few pairs of high-end dress shoes that'll have you feeling your best during interviews, important meetings, and formal events. For ultimate wearability, stick to timeless silhouettes made from supple leather in a versatile black or brown shade.

About the author

Emily Konatella

Emily is a fashion consultant, designer and creative director with more than 15 years experience creating, designing and developing clothing & jewelry. From managing pageant shows to turning concepts into actual designs, she has experience with almost all fabric types and jewelry designs and is in touch with the latest fashion trends.

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