While it’s imperative all men own a pair of quality dress shoes, we understand not everyone can afford the most luxurious brands, which is where affordable dress shoes come into play.
While cheap dress shoes may not exhibit the same overall quality as their more expensive counterparts, they’re still more than acceptable for wearing to formal events, to the office or even just on a date.
We’ve scoured the world to hunt down the best cheap dress shoes for men that won’t compromise style and quality for price. But before that, a quick crash course on seeking out good dress shoes for those who know nothing about them.
How To Wear Cheap Dress Shoes
Cheap dress shoes have rightfully transcended the strict formal realm and now sit amongst purveyors of smart casual and casual players as well. What we mean by this is that dress shoes can be worn with:
The most important rule to follow with these pairings is the fitment of the bottoms. Whilst not as formal, cheap dress shoes are still formal wear so wearing fitted jeans, chinos, or shorts is a must for any dress shoe pairing. Get this right and you’ve got one hell of a polished look.
Traits Of Quality Cheap Dress Shoes
- Leather. Real leather is a must. It breathes better, evolves to accommodate the shape of your foot, and can be refurbished a number of times.
- Well-made soles. The soles should also be leather, and should be stitched – rather than glued – to the bottom of the shoes.
- The lining. The lining of your shoes should be made of high-quality calfskin or natural leather, not synthetic materials. Wait, your shoes don’t even have a lining? Fill them with dirt and pop a bulb in them. They’re useless as dress shoes, but they’ll make great planter boxes.
- The stitching. It should be neat and barely noticeable. Anything else is not up to your exacting standards and unworthy of your good taste in suits.
A relatively new brand, launched in November 2020, is Amberjack. The Amberjack team has had years of experience though, working with some of the biggest heavyweights in the men’s footwear industry such as Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, and Adidas.
They only have one shoe to offer, ‘The Original’, which is a stylish cheap dress shoe available in four timeless colours. But this shoe is secretly a serious game-changer when it comes to cheap men’s dress shoes. The soles of The Original are crafted with new, proprietary materials created by Amberjack that deliver comfort all day long! The shoes also feature heat-activated arch support made with foam (that’s more durable than memory foam) that when heated by your body warmth will mould to your foot for custom arch support.
Not to mention a dual-density outsole with high-performance athletic technology in the front for flexibility and strong hiking boot material in the back for support.
Oh, and the sustainably sourced Italian suede used for the upper is water repellent, meaning you can wear these cheap dress shoes in rain or shine, and the suede will stay protected and fresh. Most importantly, Amberjack’s incredible shoe is affordable at only US$179!
Far from the traditional leather makers of Italy, we have Cole Haan, a premium footwear maker hailing from the U.S. Their name is shaped by over a century of craftsmanship, innovation and style, and this is reflected in their cheap dress shoe offerings for men, made from real leather, which won’t break the bank.
Stacy Adams has been around since 1875 so you know you’re getting reliable cheap dress shoes from these guys. Founded in the U.S, the company prides itself on quality lifestyle fashion pieces for distinguished gentlemen who know true style and need to make an impression wherever they go.
Johnston & Murphy
Another power player in the men’s cheap dress shoe game is American shoemaker Johnston & Murphy. For over 165 years, they’ve been outfitting legends, leaders (including every U.S. President since Millard Fillmore) and independent souls everywhere. Through craftsmanship with charm, style and substance that are second to none, the company has been able to champion serious quality, without the serious attitude.
Scarosso is the online Italian brand producing premium handcrafted shoes that are are actually made in Italy. The beauty of this particular retailer involves cutting out the middleman and selling shoes that undercut far more expensive options, making them some of the best cheap dress shoes to own.
Carrucci is a no-nonsense name that offers hand-made dress shoes that evoke Italian design without the Italian price tag. The versatility of their range is impressive especially in the colour department, making it the perfect choice for those who need a quick and good looking cheap dress shoe without worrying too much about luxury or premium feel.
Massimo Matteo footwear blends fashion and style with timeless appeal. As a family-run brand, Massimo Matteo maintains core integrity while offering luxury-quality footwear at affordable prices, meaning everyone can arm themselves with a pair of cheap dress shoes, with styles ranging from wingtips to cap toes to the slip-on Oxford.
Carlos. Carlos Santana. Yes, the guitarist with a mean riff has his own shoe label and it’s inspired by the passion and energy that surrounds Santana’s music. Their men’s cheap dress shoe range evokes a slick and vintage feel of the golden era and they’re not as expensive as you’d think.