Listen up, gents! As far as first impressions go, the type and quality of shoe that you wear speaks volumes. Your footwear choices not only say a great deal about your sense of style but can also come off as a reflection of your personality and self-image.
A man benefits from owning at least five pairs of shoes (think sneakers, slip-ons, dress shoes, and boots) to wear at casual-, business- and formal occasions. The style, color, and function of shoes matter a great deal; having a comfortable fit that stays within a budget is just as essential.
Need a starting point? Here’s our list of best shoes for men that deserve a space in your closet:
Top 11 Best Shoes for Men in 2021
1. Best Running Shoe: Brooks Ghost 13
One of Brooks’ cushiest foam compositions, DNA Loft, puts the Ghost 13 in the lead for best men’s running shoe. The foam extends into the forefoot, creating a soft, smooth transition from heel to toe that comes in handy when you’re putting in those extra miles.
The Brooks Ghost training shoe checks off all the right boxes:
- All-around comfort
- Flexible support
- Plush midsole
- Just-the-right weight
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2. Best Basketball Shoe: Nike KD 13
Kevin Durant’s basketball shoe is one of the top best-selling NBA signature sneakers and with good reason. If you see a pair of Nike KD 13’s coming your way, watch out, this baller has the advantage of excellent ankle support, a tighter grip, and full-length Zoom Air for added spring and some of the best cushioning in a basketball sneaker on the market.
Tip: In celebration of International Day of Peace in September, look for the anticipated release of a tie-dyed version of the KD 13’s called “Peace, Love, and Basketball.”
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3. Best Slip-On Shoe: Vans Classic Slip-On
Vans casual shoes are an athleisure favorite. The brand’s classic, laidback style (with its elastic side accents, retro designs, and signature rubber-waffle outsoles) not only has a faithful teen fan club but is also popular amongst adults.
Keep it simple with solid colors, style it up with the iconic Checkerboard motif, or make a funky fashion statement with a newly released print (we like these all-over Flash Skulls slip ons).
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4. Best Loafer: G.H. Bass Larson Weejuns
G.H. Bass, a versatile supplier of retro and modern loafers, has a solid foothold in the nearly 100-year history of the “penny” loafer. Since 1876, the company makes some of the best shoes for men, including its bestselling Bass Weejuns.
Larson Weejuns add stylish flair to casual and formal looks, from jean shorts and white tees to an Oxford shirt and slacks. The upper, sock and outsole are genuine leather. The shoes also feature classic moccasin-style stitching and beefroll detail on the penny keeper.
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5. Best Boat Shoe: Sperry Authentic Original
Take a walk on the preppy side with a pair of Sperry Authentic Originals. These versatile, hand-sewn boat shoes feature durable, premium materials, including styles with unlined leather uppers that provide lasting protection against the effects of salt- and freshwater.
These top-siders have a 360° Lacing System™, which runs along the entire opening of the shoes to offer a customized fit. Other highlights include outstanding wet/dry traction, an Ortholite® insole, and a shock-absorbing heel cup for added stability and comfort.
Tip: Check out the Sperry Legend Edit for luxe inspiration, which features favorite styles from the brand’s 2020 Global Ambassador, singer John Legend—like these lambskin-lined Gold Cup Authentic Originals.
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6. Best Eco-Friendly Shoe: adidas Primeblue Collection
Adidas sells high-performance men’s shoes that integrate a minimum of 40% recycled material, namely a yarn made with Parley Ocean Plastic (upcycled plastic waste collected from beaches, coastal communities, shorelines, and remote islands).
Eco-friendly adidas men’s shoes include the following styles:
- Primeblue Ultraboost 20
- Ultraboost Summer.RDY
- Duramo SL
- Codechaos Primeblue Golf Shoes
7. Best Orthopedic Shoe: Orthofeet Lincoln Center
The Orthofeet Lincoln Center is a leather slip-on shoe made with a seamless lining, extra foam padding, air pockets, cushioning midsole, and shock-absorbing Ergonomic Stride™ sole.
What we like: This orthopedic shoe feels good and looks good as it delivers customized orthotic support and advanced therapeutic relief from persistent foot issues, like heel and arch pain, arthritis, diabetic foot pain, plantar fasciitis, corns, and bunions.
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8. Best Dress Shoe: Allen Edmonds Strandmok Oxford Shoe
We like the handcrafted Strandmok Cap-Toe Oxford for its contrast stitching, decorative styling, and refined, antique distressed look. This versatile, contemporary design with vintage flair is the ideal all-occasion men’s shoe—perfect for business-casual meet-ups to more formal affairs.
Strandmok shoe highlights include:
- Handcrafted with imported materials
- CustomCork™ insole for a custom fit
- Dainite Rubber Sole (for all-weather traction)
- Availability in extended narrow-, medium-, and wide sizes (from 5 to 16)
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9. Best Sandal: Nike Canyon
Enjoy a personalized fit, enhanced comfort, and added traction with its:
- Dual-density foam midsole
- Reinforced, rubber toe and heel
- Adjustable, triple-strap closure
Tip: Nike Members (it’s free to join!) enjoy free standard shipping and returns. Save even more with Nike coupon codes, plus earn 8% cash back when you shop with Giving Assistant.
10. Best Chukka: Clarks Desert Boots
Dress up (or down) in a pair of chukkas, ankle-high boots offering classic, year-round versatility for just about anything in your closet, from denim jeans and cargo shorts to casual suits.
Available in leather and suede, the clean lines and signature crepe sole of Clarks Desert Boots have kept these chukkas at the forefront of global shoe trends for over 70 years.
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11. Best Leather Boot: Cole Haan Nathan Cap Toe Boot
Every man’s winter wardrobe needs a pair of leather lace-up boots. Some trudge through ice and snow with steadfast durability, while others elevate outfits with a more tailored look, like Nathan Cap Toe Boots from Cole Haan.
These boots rank high in the style and comfort department, thanks to a waterproof leather upper, cushioned footbed, and rubber traction sole.
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How Shopping for Men’s Shoes Can Help Nonprofits
Shopping for men’s shoes not only expands a wardrobe and lets you step out in style but also helps you support your favorite nonprofits. With Giving Assistant, it’s easier to donate to charitable organizations and make a difference in the lives of others.