They say men can never have too many shoes the same way women can never have too many cosmetics. I must agree. Although there are different types of shoes a man can own, a great pair of dress boots might be the most impactful.
Dress boots are crucial in transforming men’s casual wear to the next level. Why you may ask? We have three reasons for you. One, it can be a man’s statement piece. Two, it keeps a man’s style “on-point” without being too much on the eyes. And finally, for the most trivial reason – a pair of dress boots can make or break a potential love interest. Women love men in good shoes.
For that reason alone we present to you the best dress shoes for men in 2021.
1. Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot
If you’re intimidated by dress boots and aren’t sure what brand to go for, your best choice might be the versatile Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot. The name of this pair of dress boots is derived from the recreated 1940s Wolverine pattern – a triple-stitched contour back.
The premium leather used for these boots ensures the 1000 Mile Boot lives up to its name. These are handcrafted dress boots supporting American workers and manufacturers.
Moving on to the boot’s anatomy, the upper is crafted from leather and suede material. The outsole is classic leather with a patented heel. To keep up with the lasting design, round rawhide laces have been added. These boots can be re-soled or fixed thanks to Goodyear Welt construction. Your feet will feel the premium experience thanks to the smooth three-fourths leather sock insert.
If you want something less heavy without compromising comfort, then the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot is your best bet. Besides, it’s named after Wolverine. Epic.
2. RM Williams Comfort Craftsman
Unlike the first pair we introduced, this next boot banks more on comfort than anything else. Also handcrafted, RM Williams Comfort Craftsman Boots is our premium pick.
You can wear this pair to work or for other dressier occasions. It has a sewn-welt non-slip sole that allows you to walk on unfamiliar surfaces with relative ease. The comfort innersole of the inner boot also adds to the solace these dress boots offer.
Made from yearling leather, you can be assured the quality, character, softness, and durability of the material are thoroughly checked to meet the high standards of the brand.
RM Williams is an Aussie staple, with this pair coming with a flat heel, chisel square toe, and padded heel lining. To help you find the best fit, these boots are elastic-sided, perfect for men with wide feet.
3. Clarks Desert Boot
While most dress boots are available in the basic black and brown colors, Clarks Desert Boot offers other neutral colors and combinations you can select from. Famous colors from the brand include beeswax, sand, white, dark olive, grey, and rust. Dissecting the anatomy of this boot, it has an upper part made of leather and suede lined with sheepskin and crepe soles.
It doesn’t have a removable insole, which means you will have to air out this pair more frequently to prevent stinky feet and a smelly boot. If you’re a fan of laces and eyelet trims but prefer only a few of them, this pair is for you.
These simple and beautiful dress boots offer the best value among the other pairs and are available in US sizes 7 to 13. Clarks Desert Boots became an instant hit to off-duty army officers because of their style and versatility and continue to be a popular dress boot.
4. Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boots
Similar to the previous pair, Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boots are also available in a variety of different colors. You can even find daring color choices such as yellow, satchel red, peppermint green, and orange, to name a few.
The 1460 boot is easy-to-spot with its signature eight eyes, smooth leather material, and yellow stitching on the soles. Its oil and fat-resistant air-cushioned sole has good abrasion and slip resistance that provides good footing on snowy or slippery surfaces. The durable smooth leather is a bit stiff to start, but gradually softens with continuous usage and can be polished according to the customer’s preference.
For better protection and maintenance, the company suggests you also buy their Wonder Balsam, which is formulated specifically for these dress boots. You can find Doc Martens in a relatively larger range of US sizes from 7 to 15.
5. Oliver Cabell Wilson Brown
The most distinctive feature of the Oliver Cabell Wilson Brown might be the laces, which are made from premium Italian leather. That aside, its Blake stitch allows the sole to be replaced if needed while the vegetable-tanned leather that makes up the upper, footbed, and midsole is crafted spectacularly.
These boots are water-resistant, with anti-slip rubber outsoles that are studded. Made in England, these dress boots offer a removable molded insole for comfort, but you can also choose to replace it with orthotics, depending on your preference.
The six eyelets are made with brass for a vintage look. Each boot also has speed hooks. The shank is custom-made steel from Germany and the finishing touches are done by hand in Albacete, Spain.
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6. Common Projects Ankle-Length Boots
Common Projects Ankle-Length Boots are a must-have for the winter season. They showcase the company’s clean-lined design approach without compromising the overall aesthetic of the boots. This style is similar to the RM Williams previously mentioned but has its own unique features, such as gold-tone logo lettering.
Common Projects Ankle-Length Boots are made in Italy and available in US sizes 6 to 12. These boots have elasticated side panels and front and rear pull-tabs to help when putting them on.
The 100% rubber material of the soles contributes to the chunkiness of the boots, which some of you might prefer for a bit of height boost.
7. Red Wing Lace-Up Boots
If you want bolder dress boots you should check out Red Wing Lace-Up Boots with 100% leather lining, calf leather outer, and rubber sole. Unlike the other boots on the list, these dress boots are mainly purchased for work and safety-related purposes. You may find it hard to search for this specific pair of dress boots online, but it’s all for a good reason. The Red Wing company believes that a person can find the perfect shoe fit in actual retail stores rather than relying on the size guides online. That said, we’ve found a great retailer where you can grab a pair of these boots.
Red Wing has expanded their selection and categorized its products based on the type, style, and choice of leather. You can choose either an 8-inch or a 6-inch boot height first. Then you can narrow down your choices based on the styles which are aptly named after boot-requiring-jobs, such as Logger, Blacksmith, and Iron ranger.
8. Paul Smith Oscar Boots
This pair of dress boots have a fastening type different from the others we have shown so far. The Paul Smith Oscar Boot, designed with an almond-shaped toe, has a zip closure at the heel and a gunmetal tone-hardware. The upper is made from calfskin in a single black color, while the sole is made from tonal treaded rubber. These Oscar Boots are crafted in Italy and available in US size 6 to 11.
The company also offers shoe maintenance tools and kits that intended to keep both your feet and boots in good condition. You can also get them in tan suede, depending on your closet palette. But these dress boots in black are very versatile and easy to style. Paul Smith’s website recommends you wear them with “tailored trousers and jeans” for an equally classic look.
9. Thom Browne Wingtip Brogue Grained-Leather Boots
Another pair made with single-color leather is Thom Browne Wingtip Brogue Grained-Leather Boots. These dress boots combine classic footwear details with a modern silhouette. Crafted in Italy, this pair flaunts an upper with the classic brogue perforation to indicate a touch of heritage. You could say these dress boots are designed to really distinguish the brand from its competitors. Like Dr. Martens, Thom Browne’s tricolor grosgrain tab is featured by this footwear.
If you’re a fan of buying items of the same brand or label for consistency and preset fashion style, these dress boots will suit you. Thom Browne is known for challenging conventional uniform clothing, style, and fashion, with these boots another feather in the brand’s cap.
10. Saint Laurent Wyatt 30 Jodhpur Boot
One of two dress boots in this list fabricated using suede, Saint Laurent’s Wyatt 30 Jodhpur Boot also features a different fastening type. These ankle-length boots have ankle straps and side buckle fastenings, making them quite unique in appearance. Saint Laurent has its own size guide, and these dress boots are available in the label’s sizes 39 to 48.
The light cigar brown lining is made from 100% leather, while the outer portion uses 100% suede material. The previous nine products all have rubber soles, while this one has a leather sole instead.
Rubber soles are more flexible than leather ones, but the latter is capable of molding to your feet for a natural contour on the footbed. This is the most expensive of all the dress boots we have mentioned, but you can be certain you are getting a supreme product from one of the leading luxury fashion brands.
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Dress Boot FAQs
What is a dress boot?
Dress boots are short, usually ankle-length, leather boots worn by men. Used as an alternative to more formal dress shoes, men wear dress boots in bad weather or rougher terrains that still require formal attire.
What are the best dress boot brands?
There are dozens of top-notch brands to choose from, with 10 of the best mentioned in this article. At the end of the day, it’s about what boot you feel most comfortable wearing.
What outfit goes best with a dress boot?
Dress boots can be styled with your favorite go-to pieces. You can create an elegant but still comfortable vibe when you wear black dress boots with a blazer and dress pants. If you’re not feeling a dressy vibe but still want to look and feel confident; a simple, grey crew-neck shirt and some black chinos can look less casual and more business-ready if you get your dress boots on.
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