The business casual dress code is a challenging dress code to follow for men. However, it can be particularly tricky with shoes as it’s easy to go too casual or too formal.
Therefore, we present the best business casual shoes for men that you can buy online:
- Beckett Simon Cohen Penny Loafer
- Oliver Cabell Driving Shoe
- Ace Marks Greg Penny Loafer
- Maglieriapelle Cunda
- Taft The Monaco
- Beckett Simonon Beaumont
- Allen Edmonds Strandmok
- Trickers Stow Boot
- Beckett Simonon Lopez
- Taft The Branson Boot
If a pair has caught your eye, simply use the links above to jump ahead. We will also provide a solid overview of the criteria that define business casual.
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Beckett Simonon offers some of the best value for money if you have a modest budget but you’re looking for quality. Benchmade in Bogotá, Colombia, from Argentinian calfskin leather and a Blake-stitch construction, their shoes are excellent, to say the least.
With our “BU20” discount, you can even enjoy an additional 20% discount. As a result, their shoes will cost you just $170!
The Cohen penny loafer is an ideal smart-casual option. It looks stunning in tan with a dressed-down yet elegant finish. As a result, it’s versatile and can be used with a variety of outfits in your wardrobe.
"The ultimate business casual shoe that offers a well-design profile and solid construction for everyday wear."
Although driving shoes are usually a little too casual for business casual attire, Oliver Cabell has found an excellent compromise. It features a classic penny loafer design with a moccasin-stitch toe.
Furthermore, it’s more structured and less flexible, which gives it a slightly dressier appearance. Made in La Marche, Italy, it features an Amelfex microfoam footbed. Therefore, it’s comfortable for around the office and behind the wheel.
As you may have gathered, loafers offer a great balance of formality between dressiness and casual wear. Therefore, they’re ideal for business casual wear.
Ace Marks exudes the classic Italian bit loafer style but is far more affordable than other famous designer brands. It’s available in either pebble leather or smooth calfskin depending on the effect you wish to create.
With socks or without, they’re very comfortable. The slim profile looks great with chinos or well-tailored jeans.
Maglieriapelle is one of the few shoe brands that creates its shoes entirely by hand for less than $500. Indeed, its tassel loafers cost just $400! Although most companies like to claim that their shoes are made by hand, they’ll usually use some sort of machinery in the process.
However, Maglieriapelle is an exception to this rule. As a result, its shoes offer exceptional value. These tassel loafers are unbelievably stylish and project raw Italian Sprezzatura. Nevertheless, they’re made by specialist artisans in a small, independent workshop outside of Istanbul.
If you want something a little different that turns heads but doesn’t cost a small fortune, Taft Clothing is a great brand to know. Its Monaco loafer is a great example.
It features a simple and elegant Venetian loafer design. However, it produces stunning visual interest by making the uppers from 100% hand-woven leather. It’s a great business casual option in the right environment but it might be a little too outgoing if you work in a conservative office.
Another, more outgoing, option by Beckett Simonon is the Beaumont bit loafer. If you don’t quite have the budget for shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo, consider opting for these instead.
Again, they’re ethically made in Beckett Simonon’s Colombian factory from Argentinian calfskin. Like Ace Marks’ Gregs, they just scream Italian elegance. However, you can pick them up for just $170 with our discount code!
We absolutely love the Strandmok brogue by Allen Edmonds. Whereas most of the shoes above lean towards Continental style, the brogue has a distinctively British character.
It was one of the first pairs of shoes that we reviewed on Bespoke Unit and we still turn to them today! Crafted with a 360° Goodyear welt, it’s robust and hard-wearing with excellent water resistance. Meanwhile, the striking Dainite rubber soles offer comfort and shock absorption.
The Strandmok by far the most versatile shoe on this list. Although it can be worn for business casual attire, it can be dressed right down or even paired with a suit. Therefore, it’s a great investment.
Since 1829, Trickers has been crafting its celebrated boots in Northampton. Indeed, it’s one of our favourite English shoe brands and Prince Charles awarded it with a Royal Warrant on its 160th anniversary.
If you’re fond of wearing boots with business casual wear, nothing beats the timeless brogue design. It’s a sturdily made boot crafted with a Goodyear welt and robust Dainite rubber soles. As a result, they’ll keep you going through every season.
Another offering from Beckett Simonon, the Lopez turns the classic Chukka on its head. Although Chukka boots can be regarded as a little too casual for a business setting, its design has tastefully drawn inspiration from its WW1 heritage.
It’s sleek with an elegant profile while rich stitching details offer rich visual interest. Meanwhile, a rubber sole offers solid traction and durability. It’s a little more understated than a brogue boot, which means that it’ll impress without being the centre of attention.
A distinctively fashion-forward option from Taft, the Branson boot carefully balances textiles with leather to create its unique Branson. The result is a rustic boot that is reminiscent of early-20th century spats and a country gentleman feel.
Built with a Goodyear welt construction, they’re pretty solid and offer great value for money if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd.
How Do We Define Business Casual Shoes?
As mentioned in the introduction business casual is a dress code that’s hard to define in precise terms. In fact, it’s easy to get it wrong and find yourself either too casual or too formal. Fortunately, we have an extensive guide covering the business casual dress code.
In terms of footwear, there’s actually a look that you can choose from. You’ll have noticed that the list above features derbies, which are a casual alternative to Oxfords and Balmoral shoes. There are also Norwegians, which are moccasins with a very similar design.
Similarly, there are brogues, which can feature decorative medallions, pinking, and perforations. Like the visually-similar Longwings, this makes them perfect business casual shoes.
Their structure gives them enough dressiness for the workplace, but their ornate decorations make them a bit more casual than a plain shoe (though they are indeed a touch fancier).
Alternatively, you can choose from a variety of slip-on shoes such as classic penny loafers or even the dressier bit and tassel loafers. The former features a metal link on the throat whilst the latter are an Ivy League style.
Otherwise, you could choose among the many boot options. For instance, we’ve covered brogues and chukka boots in the list above.
Best Materials For Business Casual Shoes
Most shoes are made of some kind of leather, but not every shoe is going to function well in the average office environment. Here are our do’s and don’ts as it relates to business casual shoe materials:
Ideal Business Casual Materials
Pebbled leather: Pebbled leather looks like it has, well, pebbles on it. While smooth leather is of course appropriate, pebbled leather has a certain casual vibe to it that fits perfectly in a business casual office.
Suede: Also known as “reverse calf,” suede is the nappy underside of a cow’s skin. It often makes for a more comfortable shoe due to its softness and pliability, but it also has a more casual air about it that makes it well suited to the office when you’re not wearing a suit.
Materials To Avoid
Patent Leather: Patent leather is great for tuxedo shoes and women’s wallets. It has no place on your feet at the office as it’s far too formal. This applies even if you were to wear a suit every day.
Exotic Skins: While you might be able to get away with it in some contexts, shoes made of alligator, ostrich, stingray, crocodile, or any other exotic leather are generally a bit much for the office and can be more distracting than anything else.
Leather Colors For Business Casual
There are a multitude of colors in which shoes are made (and you can check out our shoe & trouser coordination guide for a comprehensive list of what they are and how to best pair them), but not all of them will fly at work. Below, we’ve organized them by Ideal, Acceptable, and Avoid:
Brown: Medium to dark brown in autumn and winter, light-to-medium brown in spring and summer, brown shoes should be a staple of the business casual shoe wardrobe. Note that a chocolate suede blucher is one of the most stylish shoes a man can own, so make it a point to seek out such a pair.
Brown shoes go with anything but black.
Burgundy: This reddish-brown tone, also known as cordovan, is an excellent option for business casual offices. Pair them with grey or navy trousers for maximum effect.
Tan: In spring and summer, tan shoes are unbeatable, especially in natty shoe styles like double monkstraps. They are a smash with blue trousers in particular.
Black: No one will be offended if you wear black shoes with the average business casual ensemble. It’s likely that no one will be excited about it, either. Black shoes will get you in and out of the office in a very incognito way, so it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of pairs of basic black shoes in your rotation.
Darker Non-Standard Colors: Deep tones like plum and forest green can work for business casual environments. You will want to be sure that your office skews casual as opposed to business, so give it a few weeks at least before you throw on your purple suede loafers.
Colors To Avoid
Bright Non-Standard Colors: Unless you work for a style magazine that would be into such things (ahem), it’s best to avoid wearing brightly-colored shoes like fire engine red, electric blue, yellow, and the like. They run the risk of distracting your co-workers and looking unprofessional.
If you’re going to get called into HR for something, it should be for an interview for a promotion, not to get you sent home for your crazy shoes.
Business casual can be a confusing dress code, but even if you get only two or three shoes that we mention above, you’ll be properly dressed from the ankles down for any situation.
Now that you know how to dress your feet for the office, are you sure what to put on in other situations? If not, take a look at our other shoe guides: