Even the most laid-back looks can be the subject of public scrutiny and meticulous preparation. Therefore, it’s important to get it right and not be sloppy even when you’re chilling with the boys at a backyard barbecue.
In this guide, we’ve assorted the best casual shoes for men that you can buy online:
- Beckett Simonon Morgen Sneaker
- Aurélien Suede Italian Driving Shoe
- Oliver Cabell Driving Shoe
- Beckett Simon Cohen Penny Loafer
- Oliver Cabell Low 1 Sneaker Review
- Ace Marks The Duke Sneaker
- Allen Edmonds Strandmok
- Maglieriapelle Cunda
- Trickers Stow Boot
- Taft The Branson Boot
Interested in a particular pair? Just click on the link above to jump right to it! We’ll also be taking a look at all the styling options available at the end of the guide.
See Bespoke Unit’s Shoe Reviews
Beckett Simonon offers excellent value for money thanks to their ethical craftsmanship and group made-to-order business model. Rather than building a vast stock, Beckett Simonon receives all its orders over the course of a month and then manufactures them afterwards.
As a result, costs are reduced for customers, which means that you can pick up a pair of Morgen sneakers for just $120 with our discount code. Given that they’re benchmade from premium materials, it means that you’re getting a fantastic deal!
"Classic sneakers that offer unbeatable value for money for casual wear."
If you want something with the comfort of sneakers but with a little more flair, consider Aurélien’s stunning driving shoes. Artisanally-made in partnership with an Italian factory, they’re crafted from French calfskin suede.
Whether you’re behind the wheel or running on errands around town, they offer a great combination of style and comfort. Highly recommended for the distinguished gent!
Oliver Cabell’s driving shoe is similar to Aurélien but there are some key differences. For instance, the style is a little less casual by adopting a structured penny loafer design.
Therefore, if you’re looking for something dressier that can still be worn casually, it’s an excellent choice. Otherwise, it offers the same benefits as the Aurélien driving shoe.
Another shoe by Beckett Simonon, the Cohen is a classic penny loafer that has been crafted by its workshop in Bogotá, Colombia. It’s benchmade from beautiful Argentinian calfskin leather using a sturdy Blake stitch construction.
Although a classier option, the penny loafer is very flexible, especially in tan. For instance, you can easily wear them with jeans or chinos. However, you can turn it up a notch with business casual wear as well.
Oliver Cabell is best known for its sneakers and the Low-1 is its flagship model. It’s crafted with a substantial Margom sole with full-grain leather, which will keep you going for years.
If you’re looking for a clean and well-design sneaker that can be worn casually but also provide a subtle hint of style, it’s an excellent choice.
Ace Marks has taken the classic sneaker and overhauled it with a distinctive Italian flair. Indeed, the Duke will turn heads with its stunning hand-dyed and hand-burnished finish. Available in a variety of colours, it truly pops and offers rich visual interest.
Needless to say, the Duke sneakers aren’t as understated as the Morgen or Low 1 models listed above. Yet, if you want something that’s a little different, it’s the right sneaker for you.
While indeed a dress shoe, the Strandmok is incredibly versatile. It can be worn with a tweed suit but you can also dress it right down with a pair of jeans without it feeling out of place.
The Strandmok is robust and solidly-built with full-grain leather, a 360° Goodyear welt, and tough Dainite rubber soles. As a result, the sturdy construction will offer you sensational value for money with years of use.
Like the idea of a pair of loafers but feel that Beckett Simonon’s pennies lack that special something? Maglieriapelle is a rare breed that makes truly handmade shoes for a surprisingly low price.
Indeed, $400 isn’t cheap. However, other brands that claim to make their shoes by hand usually use machinery at some point. Meanwhile, every step in making Maglieriapelle shoes is an artisanal process.
With the Cunda, the result is an elegant tassel loafer that can be worn casually or even slightly more formally. The hand-painted finish stands out and pairs well with the slim profile of its design.
If you’re looking for the ultimate brogue boot, look no further than Trickers who has been making its shoes in Northampton since 1829. In fact, it has been listed among our favourite English shoe brands! Furthermore, Prince Charles awarded it with a Royal Warrant on its 160th anniversary.
The brogue boot is incredibly versatile. It can be worn for just about anything whether you’re out shopping or dressing down at the office. Thanks to the unparalleled quality and craftsmanship, you’ll be able to sport the boots for years.
Taft may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you have to respect the brand for its rebellious unorthodox designs. The Branson boot is an excellent example and it seamlessly combines fabric with leather for a unique finish.
If you want a rustic boot that exudes a similar albeit more contemporary style to Trickers, the Branson offers this in spades. It offers excellent value for money, too, while still providing you with a Goodyear welt construction.
What Do We Mean By Casual Shoes?
For our purposes, “casual” shoes refer to any shoe that you wouldn’t wear to work unless your office was so casual that it had no dress code or a shoe that’s highly ornamented or has multiple colors.
Shoes made of materials like canvas, suede, and nubuck are also typical of casual shoes, as are ones with rubber as a significant part of the construction.
For instance, you could consider Boat Shoes are listed above. Quintessential New England American style, boat shoes are simple two-eyelet shoes with siped rubber soles. Also known as “deck shoes,” these were worn by the likes of JFK and other members of the New England elite.
Alternatively, driving shoes are exceptionally comfortable, slipper-like casual loafers with rubber nubs acting as the sole. Another style that’s excellent sockless, it pairs well with casual trousers, shorts, and denim. It can also be worn in more casual business casual offices.
However, you may be more tempted by dressier options such as saddle shoes and spectators. These maintain their casual air by virtue of their color scheme. Whilst saddle shoes have contrasting leather on the throat, spectators will use two-tone broguing for a similar effect.
Nevertheless, you may consider boots instead such as the Chelsea or Chukka. Both are great with jeans or khakis and add some extra robustness whilst retaining a desired dramatic flair
When in doubt, there are always sneakers. The ones we’re talking about are not for athletics, but rather ones you’d wear to a casual brunch, out shopping, or something of that nature.
Finally, when things get warm, you can always choose between flip flops, slides or even Espadrilles, which are becoming quite common in the USA.
Best Materials For Men’s Casual Shoes
To maintain a casual air about your footwear, it’s best to avoid materials that are overly shiny. And though we are huge proponents of proper shoe care, a couple of scuff here and there on a casual shoe can add a bit of character.
Below, we go over our preferred (and not preferred) materials for casual men’s shoes.
Pebbled Leather: This is regular leather that looks like it’s covered in small pebbles of various sizes. It’s an excellent material for casual shoes. Its texture lends it visual interest while removing any stuffiness that a full dress shoe may have.
Furthermore, while still technically porous, pebbled leather tends to hold up better than other eathers if you get caught in the rain.
Suede: Suede, or reverse calf, is the underside of a cow’s skin and is known for its characteristic nap. A staple of casual men’s shoes, suede footwear looks fantastic when dressed down with jeans or casual trousers. A good rule of thumb is this: the more pronounced the suede’s nap, the more casual the shoe.
Canvas: Canvas shoes, while generally limited to spring and summer shoes, are the epitome of casual footwear. Typically seen on sneakers and espadrilles, canvas shoes are lightweight and pliable. Throw them on with shorts, jeans, or casual pants.
Calfskin: Calfskin is your standard smooth leather. While there are plenty of good-looking casual calfskin shoes on the market, we list it as “not preferred.” This isn’t a knock against calfskin, but rather to say that if you’re looking for a truly casual shoe, there are materials that do the job better than calfskin.
Patent Leather: Smooth, extremely shiny, and stiff, patent leather shoes are typically worn with tuxedos. As this is the antithesis of casual wear, it makes no sense to own a casual patent leather shoe.
Best Colors For Casual Shoes
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 truly work for “dress” shoes.
Below, we’ve organized them by Ideal, Acceptable, and Avoid:
Bright Colors: If you have a flair for color (and we have an entire color guide for you if you’d like to develop one), casual shoes are a great way to express that. Red, orange, yellow, purple, green, you name it – these colors all fly for casual shoes. Just be sure that you’re wearing them in an environment where it’s appropriate to do so!
If you’re curious about how to pair these colors and others with whatever trousers you own, check out our shoe & trouser coordination guide.
White: Though only for summer wear (or year-round wear if you live in a warm climate), white shoes are quintessentially casual, even when made in a dressy style. White bucks -nubuck bluchers with red EVA rubber soles- are a very popular American style.
Tan: Another typical spring and summer color, tan’s lightness of tone makes it a very casual shoe. Try a pair of tan boat shoes with shorts or tan drivers with jeans, and make sure to omit your socks when doing so.
Brown: Brown shoes are incredibly versatile and make a great choice for a casual shoe, and there are a million different shades to choose from.
Black: Yes, casual black shoes are indeed for sale on the market. You might even own a pair of black sneakers or casual boots. That said, it’s still our feeling that black is best reserved for a dressy shoe, as its formality is more in sync with such styles.
Building a collection of casual shoes is a fun project when you know what you’re looking for. Hopefully, this guide is helpful to you in that regard.
Now that you know how to begin your casual shoe collection, check out our recommendations for other situations: