How to Select Formal Shoes


Formal Shoes are a just as important part of a man’s attire as they are for women, But men are often clueless as to what shoes ought to be used. Formal shoes can either be completely formal or semi-casual. Selecting the appropriate shoes makes the impression of good breeding and sophistication. Shoes should always be chosen to match the attire worn to complete the look. The factors to be considered while buying formal shoes are listed below.

The Style of Shoe

Based on how the shoe is made and designed the formal shoes are available in various styles such as

Oxfords – These are low instep shoes with rubber insoles and body made of leather, suede or synthetic materials and come with little to no embellishment and have a lace up tab in the front. It is the best formal shoes when the design is simple and unadorned with a high shine finish.

Loafers – These shoes are characterized by a lack of laces or buckles that fasten the shoes. They can be used for a semi-formal occasion or as dressy sports shoes based on the design used. These shoes are a good choice for regular office wear versatile for a transition to a casual evening.

Cap-toe Shoes – These are a dressier version of the oxford shoe with and additional embellishment on the toe of the shoe like a cap. These shoes can be regular formals or dressy formal depending on the type of stitching, embellishments etc. done to it.

Dress Boots – These boots are slim fit and end at the ankle. They can be smooth and shiny and dressy based on the detailing done to them. Based on the type of material used they can be either worn with jeans or with a casual business attire.

Monk Straps – These are shoes similar to loafers except they have metal buckles attached to the front of the shoes. Based on the design of the shoes, they can be formal or dressy.


 Whether a pair of shoes is formal depends highly on the color of the shoes. Black and brown are the most common color for formal shoes. they can also be found in beige and certain other colors that are somber and muted. Black is the color to choose on a limited budget as it can be paired with almost any outfit and is a classic.



Always check for the fit of the shoes while wearing the socks you intend to wear with them to make sure they fit snugly. Shoes that are made of leather may be a little uncomfortable at first, but fit the feet like a glove once they are broken in. The discomfort of wearing it before breaking it in can be solved by wearing it inside the house for periods of time and running a hot hair dryer over the shoes while wearing it to help it mold better. Make sure to buy shoes that when worn have a half inch gap between the shoe tip and the longest toe.


For a normal office wear never wear shoes that are high shine and too flashy as they can distract from the somber appearance of the outfit. Use dressy/ stylish or high shine formal shoes to important functions and parties where it is matched with a similarly polished outfit to make an impression, as the main purpose is to stand out.


A good indication of quality is often the price. A good pair of formal shoes cost a pretty penny but is very much worth the price due to the lasting nature of the shoes. Better quality shoes have seams that last for a very long time and they only need to be resoled ones the sole of the shoe wears out. Waxing and polishing of the shoes will help them keep their sheen longer and protect them from the elements.


Good shoes are made of 80-90 percent of leather. Leather can be of different grade from the best quality grade one to the least grade 5. Grade 1 leather is soft and durable with the least amount of wrinkles, which is a part of the natural leather.

An example of high-quality leather is Nappa, a type of calf leather.

Insole – The insole should be made ​​from the same leather as the shoe’s upper part. A good insole allows the feet to breathe and prevents unpleasantness caused by chafing and sweating. It should be replaceable and cleanable.

Lining – Usually a soft to touch suede lining the inner part of the shoe

Sheathing – The part where the upper and lower part of the shoes connect. It is an essential part of the shoes that keep the shoe functional.

Outsole – Part of the shoes that protect the base of the feet from the floor. They were made of leather initially which is more flexible and, but now a more durable option of rubber soles is often used.

Considering all these factors, it is always advisable to enquire about where the best quality shoes are available locally, trying them out, wearing and testing them out around the store, comparing the prices and most importantly, making sure they suit the outfit and occasion they are being bought for ensures getting a good pair of shoes.