Black dress shoes are an important part of your wardrobe and it’s recommended to own at least one pair. Although brown shoes are a comfortable yet formal, versatile choice, black shoes are essential for more formal events.

In this guide, you will discover the Best Black Dress Shoes For Men that you can buy online:

  1. Oxford Shoes: Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue
  2. Comfortable Oxford: Wolf & Shepherd Closer
  3. Classic Oxford: Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park II
  4. Wholecut Shoe: Magnanni Montay
  5. Dress Boots: Allen Edmonds Sullivan Street
  6. Monkstrap: Johnston & Murphy Fielden

See anything you like? Use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read about them all. We’ll also talk about the characteristics of black shoes and what renders them particularly formal.

Black Cap Toe Oxfords On Brick

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Quick Buyer’s Guide

Don’t have time to learn about the shoes’ details but want to grab something according to the style? Use the Quick Buy Guide below to head straight to the retailers. Alternatively, scroll down to learn about each pair.

Oxford Shoe

Fifth Avenue Cap Toe Oxford Shoe

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Oxford Shoe

Wolf & Shepherd Closer Cap Toe Oxford Shoe

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Oxford Shoe

Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park II Oxford

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Wholecut Shoe

Magnanni Montay Wholecut Black Dress Shoe

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Dress Boot

Allen Edmonds Sullivan Dress Boot

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Monkstrap Shoe

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What Are The Best Black Dress Shoes For Men?

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1. Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue Cap-Toe [Premium Oxfords]

Fifth Avenue Cap Toe Oxford Shoe
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Overview

Although a classic Oxford shoe at first glance, the Fifth Avenue from Allen Edmonds features a subtle touch of broguing across the balmoral cap toe. We love this attention to detail as well as the superior quality that you’re always guaranteed from the prestigious American brand.

How To Wear

Perfect for all your formal needs, these Oxfords can be worn with a typical business suit as well as all the way up to black tie attire. Furthermore, they won’t look out of place for either work or special events, so they’re great for both everyday use or reserved for occasions.

Alternative Colors

You can also opt for a light brown colour. Unlike most Oxford shoes, the brown works quite well here thanks for the subtle brogue nuances, which offer extra visual interest.

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2. Wolf & Shepherd Closer [Comfortable Oxford]

Wolf & Shepherd Closer Cap Toe Oxford Shoe
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Overview

If you’re looking for a particularly comfortable black dress shoe, you can do far worse than Wolf & Shepherd’s unique creations. With a construction inspired by athletic shoes, their Oxfords are made using materials such as EVA, carbon fibre as well as memory foam.

How To Wear

Although a typical Oxford on the surface, these are much easier to wear over long periods of time. If you’re heading to an event where you’ll be standing for long periods or time, they’re perfect for prevent fatigue. Meanwhile, men working professions where they need to move a lot but adhere to a dress code will not be disappointed.

Alternative Colors

Outside from the black colour, there is also the possibility of wearing them in a maple brown or honey tan. However, we’d instead recommend the Senna wingtip if you’re going to opt for these colours.

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3. Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park II [Classic Oxfords]

Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park II Oxford
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Overview

For a more classic and understated Oxford shoe, we rate the Hyde Parks by Johnston & Murphy very highly. If you prefer a more affordable Oxford that doesn’t have Allen Edmond’s subtle broguing, these are an excellent choice and are made using a Goodyear welt.

How To Wear

Ideal for all potentially formal occasions, these are perfect with both business suits and cocktail attire. They’re also ideal for black tie events thanks to their stream-lined and elegant last.

Alternative Colors

Being an Oxford shoe, the only colour we’d recommend would be the black European calfskin. However, there is also a tan option available should you find it more in line with your wardrobe. Nevertheless, we’d suggest perusing our brown shoe recommendations in this case.

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4. Magnanni Montay [Wholecut Shoes]

Magnanni Montay Wholecut Black Dress Shoe
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Overview

Handmade in Spain and featuring an Italian style, these classic European wholecuts are stunning. For something a little different from the norm, we’d consider the wholecut shoe style and Montay’s creation is a fine specimen.

How To Wear

Black wholecut shoes are particularly formal as they’re sleek with no ornamentation or details. Therefore, these are great for the upper-echelons of business wear. They’re also perfect for both cocktail and black tie attire to exude a particularly continental European style.

Best Colors

When worn in black, wholecut shoes are very formal and sleek. However, there’s also a Tobacco brown alternative, which is a much more laid-back and versatile patina.

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5. Allen Edmonds Sullivan Street [Dress Boots]

Allen Edmonds Sullivan Dress Boot
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Overview

It can be difficult to find both formal and stylish dress boots as most are usually quite rustic with solely brown options. However, the Sullivan Street by Allen Edmonds is a refreshing change that offers superior craftsmanship.

How To Wear

With a pebbled leather quarter and smooth calfskin upper, these are surprisingly versatile. As the pebbled leather offer a more casual aspect, these are great to wear for both business casual and business formal occasions. Furthermore, the balmoral cap toe adds an extra layer of formality for good measure.

Alternative Colors

Our preferred colour for these boots is the black as the balmoral cap toe really brings it home. However, they are also available in a brown leather for something that’s casual instead.

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6. Johnston & Murphy Fielden [Monkstrap Shoes]

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Overview

Monkstrap shoes are a classic style that recently came back into fashion with force. Whilst this was particularly the case of double monkstraps, we’re smitten by the Johnston & Murphy’s Fielden from their “Handcrafted In Italy” collection.

How To Wear

A great choice for formal wear, the shoe’s sooth Italian calfskin is contrasted by an embossed finish over the quarters. These renders them a particularly splendid choice for business wear but can also be reserved for more formal occasions. Nevertheless, we’d find their stylish zeal ideal for cocktail attire.

Alternative Colors

Whilst the black is perfect for formal wear, there’s also the possibility of wearing them in brown. Rather than a formal shoe, the hand-burnished brown leather makes for an excellent semi-casual monkstrap shoe.

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Why Wear Black Dress Shoes?

Black Cap Toe Oxfords On BrickPerceived as the most formal shoe colour, black dress shoes are often considered the norm for many conservative office environments. When attending events with a certain dress code, they may even be obligatory.

When it comes to your own personal choice, you may have a preference for brown shoes instead. In this case, consider checking out our detailed guide to the best brown dress shoes for men.

However, even without these prerequisites, you may choose to wear black shoes of your own accord. Whilst it might be a question of personal style, they also exude a certain level of formality according to the shoe’s style.

Best Shoe Styles For Black Leather

black patent leather tux shoesIt’s important to remember that whilst the colour of a shoe plays a role in its formality, the shoe’s style and design does too. In fact, the relationship between a shoe’s colour and its style can mean that even subtle changes can change their level of formality completely.

For instance, a black wholecut shoe would be considered very formal as it’s a sleek and smooth design. However, when in brown, they become very casual. This is because the lack of detail causes the colour to be the greatest deciding factor.

Meanwhile, an Oxford or brogue shoe will slightly change in formality when the colour is switched. Nevertheless, their iconic details mean that this plays a greater role in determining formality.

Black Opera Pumps With Brick BackgroundWith keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at the most to least formal shoe styles when in black:

  • Opera Pumps: A throwback to court footwear, opera pumps are rare to see these days. However, they’re an extremely formal style reserved for black tie events.
  • Oxford Shoes: An iconic and timeless style, Oxford shoes are the most common formal shoes that you’ll see, which is why three are even featured in this list.
  • Wholecut: A versatile yet formal shoe when black, Wholecuts would be among the most casual if made from brown leather.
  • Monkstraps: Having seen an impressive renaissance, monkstraps have returned as formal footwear that can even be dressier than Oxfords if well-made.
  • Brogue: Although these exist in black, brogue ornamentation renders them very casual. This is one reason why they’re more common in brown leather.
  • Derby: Likewise, derby shoes are more associated with brown leather. Therefore, they find themselves as the most casual when black.

What Next?

Now that you have discovered the best black dress shoes for men, check out some of our related guides to read more!

Best Black Dress Shoes Guide
Reviewed by Roy L., on .
"Formal and elegant shoes! Love the variety of shoes in this guide!"
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

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