The most common types of dress shoes

14.5. 2020
The most common types of dress shoes

Quite a few people own a nice suit nowadays. Proper dress shoes that are both elegant and durable are still more of an exception. That's a real shame, a true opportunity to shine that some gentlemen fail to grasp. The good is news that it is never too late to start. 

Most people are only able to distinguish between dress shoes and sneakers. If you are one of them, you might find this article handy. It is basically a guide to most common types of dress shoes. We hope you will find it helpful.


Berwick Davis - Black

Oxford shoes, especially their plain black versions, are the most classic type of dress shoes with closed lacing. That is that the upper part of the shoe consists of a single layer of leather. Strictly speaking oxford shoes are the only type of shoes you should wear together with a suit. If you find them a bit too formal, you can also go for a lighter color or some decoration (e.g. broguing).


Compared to Oxford shoes, Derby shoes have an open lacing. To put it really simply: the lacing part is a separate piece that is stitched to the shoe. This makes them slightly more informal, but also significantly more comfortable to wear, even for people with atypically shaped instep. One should not wear Derby shoes together with a suit, however they work great with slightly more casual attires, e.g. with a jacket and a pair of chinos.

(Double) Monk shoes

Berwick Marlowe - Dark Blue

With their elegant buckle (or two and sometimes even three of them), the monk shoes have seen a rise in popularity in the recent years. Their main advantage (apart from the obvious flair of extravagance) is that you don't have to tie and untie the laces. They are also slightly less formal and wearing them requires a certain level of confidence and some style, both of which you surely have. 

Chukka boots

Chukka boots are the right treat for colder months. In spite of formerly being considered outdoor shoes, nowadays one can often seen them around the city, sometimes even together with a suit. Sure, the rules are there to be broken from time to time, but pairing chukkas with formal attires is something you should only do when you are truly confident about your style. There are, however, still some places where chukka boots are a taboo - just imagine wearing them to the theater and then promise never to do it.

Chelsea boots

Berwick Shelby - Dark Chocolate

Chelsea boots are a second type of shoes in this list that don't have any laces - one puts them easily thanks to the elastic gussets on the sides. They are comfortable, fashionable and surprisingly versatile - they can even be worn during the summer. Just remember that their slim silhouette makes them a perfect match with slim trousers, they do not go together too well with baggier clothes.


So these are the five basic types of dress shoes. If you memorized that there is something called Oxford and Derby shoes, you are more informed than about 95 % of the population. And that is a nice start.  There are even more types of dress shoes, of course, but let's talk about that later. 

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