17 Different Types of Shoes for Men

A businessman dressing up with elegant shoes.

Shoes have always been an important aspect of men’s fashion as they speak volumes about the person sporting them. In media and literature, shoes have been representative of the wearer’s status – whether they are wealthy or not.

You might not know this, but shoes have served as an important status symbol in several cultures including ancient Egypt. Egyptians used to wear woven papyrus sandals, while slaves used to roam around barefoot.

In addition to being indicative of one’s status, good shoes show just how much you prioritize attention to detail. Men are often stereotyped for being less detail-oriented compared to women. By wearing stylish shoes, you break away from this stereotype. Shoes also help you bring your A-game forward as you’ll look stylish from head to toe.

It is often said that women are drawn to shoes and this is not some myth which you may shrug off. Given that ladies have a deep, profound love for fancy shoes, it is actually true that the vast majority of women are attracted to men wearing good shoes.

If you want to impress a lady, sporting a trendy pair of shoes is always the way to go. You never know, some of them might even approach you and strike a conversation about it or others may have wonderful things to say about you.

It goes without saying that there are numerous shoe styles for men. Here, we’re shedding some light on the most popular ones.

1. Loafers

A man wearing a pair of stylish tassel loafers.

When it comes to top-class appeal and aesthetics, loafers reign supreme. Loafers are one of those casual slip-ons that you can wear to any laid-back outings and still look dapper. They are designed as a low shoe, exposing the ankles as a result.

Sometimes, they feature leather around the vamp known as a saddle. They are the kind of shoes that can be perfectly paired with both casual wear (like shorts) and formal dresses. There are three common types of loafers that you can consider for yourself.

Penny Loafers

A pair of tan leather penny loafers.

Preferred mostly by businessmen, penny loafers boast a leather strap on the top. They come with a unique diamond shape which is the most attractive feature of the shoes.

Tassel Loafers

A pair of tan Vintage Handcrafted Tassel loafers.

Worn best with casual and business suits, tassel loafers are the most desired loafers globally. They also give a smart appeal when paired with a blazer and chinos. Tassel loafers in brown and black leather are the most sought ones ever.

Bit Loafers

A Blue bit loafer with gold accent.

This lace-less shoe comes with a piece of horizontal metal across the vamp. Originated by Gucci in the 1960s, bit loafers are popularly known as “Gucci loafers”.

2. Oxford Shoes

A pair of tan English Oxford shoes.

Simply put, oxford shoes are lace-up shoes which are largely considered as classic dress shoes. They are characterized by closed lacing with a low heel and a low cut which tends to expose the ankle of the wearer.

The most common Oxford shoes are the plain ones that do not boast any elaborate piecing. Their sheer simplicity and elegance make them the perfect choice for formal evening shoes. You can find these shoes mostly in black patent leather, ideal for a black-tie wedding or an evening ball.

Some plain Oxford shoes also come in polished brown leather – a unique pick than typical black Oxford shoes. Two other main types of Oxford shoes are as follows:

Cap Toe Oxford Shoes

A pair of Oxford blue cap toe dress shoes.

Sometimes referred to as captoe or cap-toe, cap toe Oxford comes with the “toe cap” along with the vamp and quarters. This piece of leather is placed across the toe box, featuring a heel cap.

Men often rock their business suits with classic black cap toe Oxford shoes. They are also available in plenty of shades such as tan, oxblood, brown, and cognac.


A close look at a classic brown Brogue shoes.

Also known as wingtip Oxford, brogue shoes feature a pointed toe-cap with extensions – wingtips. These wingtips extend from one side of the shoe to the other. As compared to the cap-toe shoes, brogues lean toward a more casual category of men’s shoes.

Wingtip Oxford can be sported with a stylish pair of suit pants or trousers with a casual shirt and blazer. For a more sophisticated look, go for an elegant pair of brogues. The shoes are super versatile as they go well with even as simple as a white tee and blue jeans. These days, people opt for classic brogues to go with their business suits.

3. Derby Shoes

A pair of black leather derby shoes.

As compared to Oxford shoes, derbies are more casual rather than formal. Unlike Oxford shoes, derby shoes have “open-lacing” which means that there are no seams between the front and tongue of the shoe. The quarters are meticulously stitched above the vamp. The lack of tightened or fixed laces allows greater movement to the wearer.

Some of the other features of derby shoes include elaborate toe, multiple paneled constructions, and durable leather sole.

4. Moccasins

A pair of Moccasin shoes.

Made from soft leather, notably suede, moccasins are a soft, comfortable pair of shoes. They are often mistaken for loafers but they are entirely different from them. One of the main distinguishing factors is that moccasins have laces while loafers don’t. That being said, moccasins offer the same slip-on quality as loafers.

Invented by Native Americans in the ‘60s, moccasins became popular as driving shoes because of the ease and comfort they provide to the drivers. However, the versatile shoes are no less in their trendy department.

Often embellished with beads, tassels, and artistic designs, moccasins are fit for runway fashion.  Besides soft-sole moccasins, you can also find these super fashionable shoes with hard, sturdy soles. The level of stiffness hard-soled moccasins provides is ideal for those looking for more character and work.

5. Boat Shoes

A pair of blue boat shoes.

Also known as deck shoes, boat shoes are canvas or leather shoes, specifically designed for use on a cruise. To stylishly rock this pair, there are certain rules to follow.

First of all, boat shoes look best when worn without socks or no-show socks. Always pair them up with shorter length pants. If you are not comfortable doing so, you can slightly roll your pants – remember that a little roll can go a long way.

What kind of a shirt will compliment your rolled-up or short-length pants, you may wonder? It is ideal to team them up with a pastel-colored polo shirt or chino. Don’t forget to accessorize with an embroidered belt!

When it comes to choosing boat shoes, the safest is to stick with the classics. Go for boat shoes in neutral leather with a slip-proof rubber insole and outsole. Some other great options that you can choose from are color-blocked boat shoes, two-toned boat shoes, and suede boat shoes.

6. Sneakers

A pair of white sneakers.

For most men, sneakers are often the first pick to finish off their stylish casual look, comprising of a sporty t-shirt and jeans. The following are some of the most common types of sneakers that men usually opt for.

Slip-On Sneakers

A pair of blue slip-on sneakers.

These are lace-less sneakers that are easy to wear, an ideal choice for those looking for utmost comfort and simplicity. Available in plenty of colors and styles, slip-on sneakers are minimalist yet extremely trendy. Depending on what you are pairing them with, these trendy sneakers can be worn both up and down.

Plimsoll Sneakers

A pair of red high top sneakers.

They happen to be the most common type of sneakers and the most famous ones too. They can be easily teamed up with all sorts of outfits whether it is casual or party wear. To rock a retro style, always go for classic white plimsolls as they will make your otherwise plain tee and jeans cooler.

These vintage kicks are undoubtedly timeless and something that every man needs at some point in their life!

High-Top Sneakers

A pair of pink high top sneakers.

Combine classic with comfort and you’ve got high-top sneakers. These sneakers are often called athletic shoes as many professional players, especially basketball players wear them on the playground.

While many think that these shoes are only limited to casual events; but with the right kind of dressing and right pair, these super comfy sneakers can be sported at formal occasions as well.

7. Monk Strap Shoes

A pair of brown monk shoes.

While they have no laces, monk straps do come with a buckle and strap. A single monk shoe has a single strap and a buckle while a double monk boasts two straps and buckles. There also happen to be triple monks but they are not in fashion as compared to other monk straps. Owing to their sophisticated buckle and strap, these shoes are a perfect pick for formal occasions.

Men in a tuxedo often opt for black monk straps to take their overall attire to a whole new level. In addition to formal looks, these straps can be rocked in casual settings as well. For that, you will need to ensure that you choose a fun pair of monk straps such as two-toned monk straps or leather brown monk straps.

8. Dress Boots

A pair of brown dress boots with a tan bag.

Durable, masculine, and utterly stylish, men’s dress boots are a must-have in every man’s shoe collection. They are considered effective winter boots for the security and comfort they provide.

The reason that makes them so protective is the lining on their insoles which is known as the sock. They also come with a flap that protects the vamp and prevents dirt or water to enter the boots.

The most distinctive feature of dress boots is their eyelets – small metal rings that allow laces to be threaded through. The one element that keeps all upper parts of the shoe intact is the insole which happens to be supremely durable.

Dress boots come into the following renowned types:

Chukka Boots

A pair of Chukka boots.

It is widely believed that chukka boots became famous in India among British troops that used to sport these remarkable pair of shoes while playing polo. Although they originated way back in time, in the late ‘40s, they are still considered to be a popular choice for casual and formal wear.

As compared to other boots, chukka boots are loose, light, and airy, making it easier to walk around in them.

Desert Boots

A pair of suede desert boots.

First designed for the British Army during World War II, desert boots are the most eminent version of the chukka boots. This stylish pair of boots come with two or three pairs of eyelets and a rubber sole known as a crepe. These are a few notable features that make desert boots different from other kinds of boots.

Chelsea Boots

A close-up of brown Chelsea boots.

Originated in the Victorian era, Chelsea boots are prized for being first ever boots flaunted by Queen Victoria herself. It is believed that the Queen used to walk in these prominent boots every day.

Chelsea boots are ankle-high without laces, making them the ultimate choice for both formal and informal situations.  Whether it is a sleek suit or blazer, or casual designer jeans, these boots work every time with everything.

9. Running Shoes

A young male jogger.

Running shoes are a must-have for every athlete, runner, or a sports enthusiast. These shoes provide lightweight support, shock absorption, and cushioning to allow runners to maintain stability.

Look for running shoes that come with synthetic leather as it provides long-term breathability and durability. Removable insoles are also a great feature as they make cleaning and replacement easier. An EVA midsole offers high-level cushioning while carbon rubber outsoles improve flexibility. For motion control, these shoes offer medial and lateral support to the footbridges.

10. Flip-Flops

A man with a pair of Blue-and-White Flip-Flops at the beach.

Heading to the beach or running a few errands, flip-flops make for an easy and comfortable shoe option for men. These are the most casual sandals out there, easy to slip on and slip off. Other than being casual and comfortable, flip-flops happen to be cheap as well.

Bear in mind that these are strictly beach sandals, sporting them somewhere else, let’s say, to a casual outing is the biggest fashion faux pas you can ever commit.


With a plethora of classy, versatile, and comfortable footwear options, men can really change or elevate their style game and stand out from the crowd.

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