A Complete Men's Formal Shoes Buying Guide

Everything You need before buying formal Shoes from color, shoe size, cleaning and pairing formal shoes with clothes.

by Akansha_B Updated: 21 Apr, 2022, 13:40 IST
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When it comes to men's footwear, it's a general awareness that formal shoes take precedence above anything else. Formal shoes are a common choice for men while attending a wedding or a party and the office. It's no surprise that they're a go-to for any man with most of the ensembles he wears on a regular basis. This buying guide for men's formal shoes will provide you with insight on how to pick the right shoes, and color, and keep them clean.


Many people are unaware that men's formal footwear comes in a wide range of styles. There are several styles to pick from, including brogues, oxfords, and boots. There's a lot to consider while choosing a pair of shoes from the racks on display, and fabric and shoe design are just a few of them. We're here to inform you all you need to know about formal shoes before you put your money down on your next pair. Also take a sneak peek into the 10 best formal shoe brands for men in India, so that you can know which brands are worth a pair. 

Types Of Formal Shoes for Men
1. Oxford Shoe


When looking for a dress shoe, Oxfords are an excellent way to start. It's a basic shoe that can be worn almost anywhere because of its versatility. They can be dressed up or down depending on the color and style.

Closed lacing, a low heel, and a long toe are the main distinguishing features of an Oxford shoe. It comes in four distinct designs, with the Cap Toe Oxford being the most popular. This kind of shoe is most commonly worn for formal occasions or as business wear.

2. Derby Shoes


Oxford shoes and Derby shoes are frequently mistaken. Once you understand their individual traits, they are pretty different. Unlike Oxfords, Derby shoes have an open lacing mechanism. The vamp (the upper piece of the shoe that covers the foot) splits in half and is laced.

This shoe is more casual thanks to the broader, more comfortable lacing. The silky leather patterns add a refined touch to every ensemble. The most adaptable choice is a basic derby, which may be worn as a formal or casual dress shoe.

3. Brogues


We're not talking about the silhouette when we talk about brogues; we're talking about the details that go on top of it. The perforated pattern around the exposed edges of a shoe's top distinguishes Derby brogues, Oxford brogues, and even monk brogues.

In contrast, a brogue is a shoo-in in and of itself. Toe caps with full or wingtip, half, quarter, and long-wing wings, as well as three closure styles: Oxford, Derby, and monk, are popular. Brogues are a staple of the greatest formal shoe businesses in India's collections.

4. Loafers


Because many forms of the shoe were worn by many civilizations throughout history, the origins of the Loafer are a little hazy. Loafers are a type of slip-on shoe that comes in nine distinct designs. Out of the nine categories, penny loafers are the most adaptable. Horsebit, kiltie, driving, slipper, boat shoes, bit loafer, and espadrilles are some of the different sorts of loafers.

Tassel loafers are a popular choice for weddings and work outfits. For a sophisticated casual appearance, pair the stylish shoe with long trousers, slacks, or shorts. Black tie and loafers, on the other hand, do not go together in terms of style.

5. Dress Boot


Dress boots are thin, with a formal appearance akin to an Oxford or Derby shoe. They've been trendy since the Victorian era, and many people still wear them now. Because of their high ankles, they are ideal for wearing throughout the cold winter months.

Dress boots are a more informal kind of footwear that should not be worn with suits or tuxedos. These boots look great with a pair of denim or pants. They instantly elevate an otherwise uninteresting ensemble.

6. Monk Straps


European monks invented monk straps in the 15th century. While laboring in the fields, they wore this sort of shoe. Single, double, or triple buckled straps go across the top of modern Monk Straps.

Because of the absence of intricacy, a single strap shoe is the most formal of the group, giving it a sleeker appearance. This easy-to-wear slip-on shoe is a step up from a loafer. You could wear monk strap shoes to formal events with just a little touch of this shoe shine.

Things to Consider when Buying Formal Shoes
Shoe Fit

Getting the appropriate size is the most critical consideration when purchasing shoes. It's vital to remember that formal shoes do not break in as sneakers do, so get the shape and size perfect the first time. That's why it's crucial to get your feet sized and figure out what fits you best.

Shoe Material

While shoes made of other materials such as suede and exotic skins are available, leather is the preferred material for formal shoes for men. Full-grain, top-grain, patent, and pebble grain leather are among the several varieties of leather available, with full-grain leather being the best and costliest.

Shoe Style

The style of the shoe is another consideration that might impact your purchasing decision. Men's formal shoes come in a variety of designs, including oxfords, brogues, loafers, derbies, monk shoes, chukka boots, and Chelsea boots. Later in the essay, we'll look through men's formal shoe designs and kinds in greater depth.

Shoe Heel

Formal shoes for men come in a variety of heel heights, and finding the correct balance between too high, too low, and just right can be difficult. When in doubt regarding the heel height, opt with a 1-inch heel.

Shoe Soles

The majority of formal shoes for men have rubber, crepe, or leather soles. Rubber soles are durable and grippy, but they aren't always attractive. Crepe soles, on the other hand, aren't very long-lasting. For formal shoes, leather soles are preferred. They don't, however, give a lot of traction.

The shape of The Toe

As a thumb rule, the toes of formal shoes for men should be rounded – especially if you plan to wear them to the office or on formal occasions.

Shoe Weight

A pair of men’s formal shoes of size 10 weighs around 860 grams. So pick a pair that’s suitable for you.

How to get the right shoe size?

Your footwear is the base of your outfit. Having a superb pair of formal shoes boosts your style significantly. This buying guide for formal shoes shows, that it's critical to remember to consider comfort and functionality. Formal shoes that don't fit properly are uncomfortable and can lead to blisters and severe pain.

A Brannock Device, created in 1927, is a fantastic place to start. By measuring the length of your foot from heel to toe, the length of your arch, and the breadth of your foot, this gadget can tell you what shoe size you require.

1. To observe the measurement, place your heel on the rear of the gadget and gaze straight down over your longest toe. The whole length of your foot is represented by this number.

2. Next, move the cursor to your foot's ball joints. Your arch measurement will be determined by this number.

3. You now have the results of the two measurements you just completed. Your shoe size will be determined by the larger number.

4. Next, determine the breadth of your foot. Slide the width bar to the side of your foot and write down the letter that corresponds. The widths A, B, and C are all rather thin. A grade of D is considered average. The letters E, EE, and EEE are all considered broad.

You have a wonderful place to start now that you know your foot measurements, but keep in mind that sizes and widths differ between manufacturers.

Color Combinations of Formal Shoes with your Clothes

Color is the simplest yet, at the same time, the most difficult aspect of getting dressed in the morning, just like everything else in your closet. It's simple to adhere to neutral pairings - black shoes with black trousers, brown shoes with tan chinos – and never seem out of place, but it leads to sartorial boredom.

Brown Formal Shoes

Unlike black shoes, brown leather acquires a patina, which is one of the best things about it. That means you get a wonderful leather look over time, and it's really nice, and it's not something you can get with black shoes. Also, leather textures like scotch grain, pebble grain, and suede are considerably more visible on brown shoes. They just vanish in black.

So, when is it OK to wear brown shoes? Brown shoes may be paired with practically everything, from cavalry twill jeans to corduroy, flannel, worsteds, and tweeds. Brown, unlike black, comes in a multitude of tints, allowing you to create a really distinct color pallet in your shoe collection.

Black Formal Shoes

In every kind of shoe, black is the safest option. While black shoes for men are typically worn with black apparel, they also look great with grey or charcoal-colored outfits.

  • Dark Shoes with Navy-blue Suit
  • Black Shoes with Charcoal Grey Suit
  • Dark Brown Shows with Medium and Light Grey Suit
  • Light Brown Shoes with Brown Suit
  • Black Shoes with Black Suit
How to Clean Formal Shoes?

You can make your old shoes appear better than they did when you first purchased them if you put in the effort. Remove the shoelaces and insert a shoe tree or wadded paper to give the shoe shape during the cleaning.


Dust should be brushed off rather than rubbed into the shoe. Wipe the whole surface of the shoe with a tiny bit of cleaner on your rag. To avoid the cleaner soaking in, keep it on the shoe for as little time as possible.


Moisturizing your leather prevents cracking and keeps it supple. Apply a tiny amount of polishing cream all over the shoe with your small brush; massage for around 30 seconds and let dry for a few minutes. With your broad brush, remove any extra cream.

Note that polishing creams come in a variety of hues to match the various tones of leather. If you don't test a tiny area beforehand, you can end up changing the color of your shoe. Use a neutral polish if your shoes have lighter stitching.


Because leather is permeable, it's critical to keep your freshly cleaned and polished shoes protected from the outdoors. Apply a protective cream or wax with your little brush in a circular motion. With your broad brush, buff to a lustrous sheen.

For a glossy finish on calfskin or patent leather, use wax. Use cream on softer Napa and tumbled leather.

Frequently Asked Questions About Formal Shoes – FAQs
What Are Formal Shoes?

A formal shoe, according to the American meaning, is anything that isn't a sneaker, boot, or any other type of footwear that exposes your feet, such as a brogue, a Derby, an Oxford, or a monk-strap shoe.

Which shoe brand is best in India?

Hush Puppies, Clarks, Lee Cooper, Bata, and others. You can find the 10 best formal shoes brands in India here.

Which sole is the best for formal shoes?

The majority of formal shoes for men have rubber, crepe, or leather soles. Rubber soles are durable and grippy, but they aren't always attractive. Crepe soles, on the other hand, aren't very long-lasting. For formal shoes, leather soles are preferred.

How to properly store dress shoes?

At home, the most important aspect of shoe storage is figuring out how to fit all of your shoes into your closet without damaging them, and how to avoid the unnecessary accumulation of dust.

Deal Lieutenant
Hi, I am Akansha Bhatt a Content Writer with a flair for writing for more than 4 years. I am a part of the Marketing Team at DesiDime. When not working, I love watching Anime, Paint and Play Games.
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Nice guide. 👍
Any suggestion for those who have a high sweat issue???

Deal Lieutenant Deal Lieutenant
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Wool socks are especially good for ventilation, as is cotton. But be sure to avoid nylon socks, which will trap moisture and lead to sogginess. Carry a spare pair with you and use an anti-fungal or talc powder before wearing your soaks. 

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Flip flops

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plus1 plus1
Helpful Helpful
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any suggestions for online purchase ?coz i am tired of return and exchange 

Deal Lieutenant Deal Lieutenant
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Online Shopping can be tricky. What you can do is take note of your proper size, if you know your size things will get easier. After you are done with your size, choose a brand, so the thing is each brand has a different shoe fit, so it would be convenient if you stuck to two or three brands that you are familiar with if you are shopping online. 

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