Types Of Shoes Every Man Should Have In 2021

Men are basic and like things to be as simple as possible, especially when it comes to clothing. For instance, if we're heading to the gym, we'll put on gym shorts and gym shoes. A journey to the beach necessitates the use of swim trunks and sandals. And everything that isn't a sneaker or a sandal is lumped into the obnoxious category of "formal shoes," right? Wrong.

There is actually a hierarchy among the many sorts of men's shoes. In other words, not all styles of dress shoes are made equal. But don't panic just yet. We'll go through the distinctions between an Oxford and a Derby, lace-ups, and slip-on, and the many varieties of men's dress shoes.


The powerful Oxford (or a Balmoral for our UK gents) kicks off our men's shoe guide and is possibly the most well-known form of a dress shoe. The Oxford is a sleek, elegant lace-up shoe distinguished by its "closed" lacing method and the allure of being constructed from a single piece of leather. The eyelet flaps on top of the shoe are sewn over the vamp, or the front half of the shoe, limiting the flap's mobility.

Oxford shoes are typically used in more formal settings, although they may also be worn informally with a business suit. You may hear this shoe referred to as a "closed front," but don't worry, you know what they mean.


The Derby is a near shoe related to the Oxford, although it is not the same sort of men's shoe. Unlike Oxford, which has a closed lacing system, the Derby has an open lacing system with the flaps sewed under the vamp and not attached at the front of the shoe. This stitching design allows the flaps to move, and when the shoe is laced, it seems to be divided up into parts (top, side, back, etc.)

Originally a sporting shoe, the Derby was later utilized in more casual settings such as hunting. Although a Derby can be worn in formal contexts, it is less formal than an Oxford and may provide a more comfortable, utilitarian fit.


Derbys and Butchers are two somewhat distinct styles of men's shoes that are commonly used interchangeably in the United States to denote the open front lace design. If you look closely, you'll notice that Derbys have the two sides sewed beneath the vamp, but Butchers have the two sides sewn onto the vamp. It's quite similar, but not exactly tomato/tomato.

Chelsea Boot

The Chelsea Boot, ahh. The preferred boot design of music legends The Beatles as well as ferocious space troops in George Lucas' first Star Wars trilogy (yup, stormtroopers have a thing for Chelsea Boots). That clearly qualifies it as one of our favorite styles of dress shoes.

This tight form of ankle boot, which originated during the Victorian era but became a mainstream fashion in the 1960s, is distinguished by its low heel, fabric tab on the rear, and slip-on/slip-off nature owing to its elastic side paneling. Chelsea boots feature rounded toes and may be worn with either jeans or a suit.


The Loafer was inspired by mocassins, the shoe of preference for Native Americans, and is distinguished by its broad heel and slip-on capabilities. Moccasins, like Oxfords, are available in a number of lace-free designs (tassel, penny loafer, monk strap, etc.).

When it comes to the numerous sorts of men's shoes, Loafers are often considered to be the most casual, regardless of style. You can wear loafers with jeans or a suit for a night on the dance floor, but we wouldn't advocate wearing them someplace fancy.