Top 10 Affordable Work Shoes for Men

Updated on March 22, 2018
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GreenMind has written extensively about style, especially shoes. This guide shows how men can stay stylish without going broke.

The Top Ten Affordable Shoes for Men -- a Quick and Easy Guide

This guide compiles the top ten affordable men's shoes, based on a combination of personal experience, on-line reviews, style, and price. Stylish men don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes to look sharp. This guide provides clear, useful suggestions for how to look like you spent serious money on your shoes, even when you didn't. Most of these pairs are work shoes, which means you'll likely wear them all day and into the night; for this reason, there's added emphasis on comfort. Durability is another key metric in this list -- some shoes are affordable and even look and feel good, but the materials or the workmanship are of such poor quality that they begin to unravel after a few months. For quality shoes that are also within the range of a working man's budget, this guide is a great resource.

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Number 10: Stacy Adams Men's Dickinson Cap-Toe Oxford

This company has been producing quality affordable shoes for more than a century, which is a strong testament to the quality of the product. Stacy Adams is best known as a fashion forward, yet affordable brand. These Dickinson cap-toes made the list for their combination of sharp styling and excellent user reviews.

Features:

  • Leather
  • Imported materials
  • Synthetic sole
  • Brogue perforated trims and blind-eyelet lacing
  • Fully cushioned memory foam insole

People who wear Stacy Adams remark on the long-toe style, which, as one reviewer said "looks cool with jeans." As you might expect, what these shoes lack in total comfort they make up for in total style; although some are fine with wearing them all day, others have pointed out that people with heel or knee pain should probably steer clear. These shoes are a good example of sharp, fashion-forward style -- over comfort -- at an unbeatable price.

Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment, and where you’re going.

— Pharrell Williams
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Number 9: Bostonian Men's Bolton Dress Slip-On

Slip-ons are not for everyone, for some very good reasons -- they can look and feel like fancy slipper (which, in fact, is exactly what they are), and depending on your line of work or the event you're attending, they may appear inappropriate with the rest of your look. Some suits just do not take a slip-on! That said, this is a beautiful shoe with sleek lines and high-quality features. The full-grain leather upper and the elasticized goring and padded collar show a close attention to comfort, as does the shock-absorbing foot-bed, which is not always a top consideration in a dress shoe.

  • Leather
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Double-needle stitching and square toe
  • Elasticized goring at entry

Reviews highlight this shoe's comfort and all-day wearability -- which makes sense, given its comfort-conscious features. It also gets high points for quality and durability.

Classic Old Buster Brown Commercial

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Number 8: Madden Men's Trace Slip-On

Since its beginning as a country house shoe developed in mid-29th-century London, loafers and slip-ons have been a good option for men looking to expand their footwear wardrobe beyond the world of lace-ups. This pair of Maddens is a great option if you're a fan of slip-ons or want to widen your horizons. They sport a square toe with detailed stitching and dual elastic goring for comfort.

  • Synthetic
  • Made in USA or Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Venetian slip-on with crisscross stitching details
  • Bicycle toe
  • Reinforced welt
  • Dual goring at tongue

Despite the good look of this shoe and the excellent price, it has come in for some negative comments. One user noted that an old pair of Madden Trace loafers lasted forever, while a new pair appeared to be made to less exacting standards. Another said that the sizing was off, and the shoe was too wide -- which won't be a problem for anyone with wider-than-average feet. However most reviews are good, and for this brand at this price, the shoe belongs on this list.

Oxford, Derby and Blucher -- What's the Difference?

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Number 7: Dockers Men's Gordon Cap-Toe Oxford

it's true that Dockers is a brand not commonly associated with the fashion-forward, or even fashion-conscious, crowd. Men in Dockers pants look presentable and clean, but never truly stylish. That said, this pair of Docker cap-toe Oxfords would be at home in the wardrobe of nearly everyone, no matter how stylish. I like the cap-toe Oxford look to begin with, and own several pairs; Dockers, whatever else you may say about them, gets it right in this case. The stitching is understated and stylish, and the silhouette is clean and classic.

In addition to looking good, these shoes get uniformly high marks for comfort. The moisture-wicking lining keeps your feet dry, and there's a lightweight, flexible midsole for those of us on our feet a lot. All things considered, this is a good-looking and very affordable pair of work or dress shoes.

  • Leather
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Heel measures approximately 1"
  • padded collar and cap toe

User reviews have commended these shoes for comfort, including men who walk a considerable amount during the day. They are, according to one user, more comfortable than an ordinary dress shoe. Overall durability is also good. Bottom line: For the price, you can't do a whole lot better for a pair of sharp cap toe Oxfords.

Make it simple, but significant.

— Don Draper
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Number 6: Rockport Men's Style Purpose Wing Tip Oxford

Wing-tips have a tendency to look, for lack of a better word, "square." The conservative look of the classic wing-tip Oxfords might not be for everyone, in which case this update is well-timed and welcome. The lean and clean profile of this shoe shows a concern for staying stylish, while the familiar wing-tip detail and stitching keeps things classic.

The comfort of this pair is one of its most remarkable aspect, and the main reason for its inclusion in this guide.These shoes boast EVA cushioning developed by Adidas, which is a unique touch and means they're truly a blend of style and comfort. Other features include a custom tread design for grip on a variety of surfaces, and an advanced shock-absorption insole. In this case a company's claim -- that "Rockport has always been one step ahead of the times" -- is actually true.

Features:

  • Imported materials
  • Synthetic sole
  • Full grain leather
  • Lightweight EVA-foam sole
  • Dewix moisture-wicking odor-resistant lining

User reviews are very positive, although there have been occasional negative marks for durability -- it's possible, since there are so few of these, that the occasional "bad" pair sips through quality control. Most users found these shoes durable, and nearly everyone remarked on the comfort. Bottom line: a sharp-looking update to the classic Oxford, with a singular focus on comfort and wearability.

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Number 5: Florsheim Men's Montinaro Single Monk Oxford

The Florsheim brand is responsible for some very nice shoes; my own closet includes Florsheim sets for both casual and work. This pair of cap toes is unique and a bit more fashion-forward than most of the other pairs in this guide. The sleek, narrow profile barely qualifies this shoe as a cap toe, let alone an Oxford; add the metal buckles and you have a shoe that is both unique and very good-looking.

Construction is high-quality, with full-grain leather linings, breathable leather insole. and a fully cushioned foot-bed.

Features:

  • 100% Leather
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Heel measures approximately 1"
  • Full leather uppers
  • Flexible sole
  • Memory foam insole

Reviews of this shoe are almost uniformly positive, with the word "love" popping up often. It's unusual for a shoe with this degree of design savvy to garner such praise.

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Number 4: Steve Madden Men's Jamyson Oxford

Along with the Florsheim Monk Oxfords, these Steve Madden Jamyson Oxfords represent the fashion-forward tip of this guide. That's no accident, since Madden shoes have been aggressively pushing styles forward since the company's founding in 1n Brooklyn in 1990. As the company's site says, "it was not long after that the Steve Madden focus on 'now-ness' earned rave reviews."

Features:

  • Leather
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Hand burnished

This is another pair of fashion-forward shoes that earn rave reviews from the people who wear them. As a Florsheim fan, I can understand why -- the company seems incapable of making an uncomfortable, or boring, shoe. The fit is reportedly accurate, wearablity and comfort are a plus, and the overall look gets a lot of compliments, according to users. Bottom line: A very good looking pair of shoes with a high comfort quotient.

To me, style is all about expressing your individuality freely and courageously.

— Timothy John
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Number 3: Cole Haan Men's Lenox Hill Cap Oxford

Cole Haan, a collaboration between Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan, began in the 1920's as one of the original modern American artisanal design houses and is now a leading label around the world. This pair of shoes is my personal favorite; there's a pair of Cole Haan cap toes on my feet at least one day a week. They look as good with a suit as they do with jeans, they last forever, and they're comfortable enough to wear all day, even when you're on your feet all day like I am.

The one thing to consider when buying Cole Haans is the precise tone of the leather of each pair, which I've noticed does vary a little from shoe to shoe. It's a small thing, and the rich browns of these shoes is always good-looking.

Features:

  • Genuine leather
  • Imported materials
  • Heel measures approximately 1.25"
  • Stacked heel and tonal stitching

Cole Haan cap-toe Oxfords get interesting reviews -- few people focus on the comfort or durability, which as far as I'm concerned means there's nothing wrong with either (my own experience bears this out). Reviewers discuss the cut, style, and especially the color, which does appear to vary a little, although the distinction won't matter much to most men looking for a sharp, affordable, stylish shoe.

Great Old Commercial for Platform Heels

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Number 2: Calvin Klein Men's Brodie Oxford

This is another pair of forward-looking Oxfords at a spectacularly low price. When it comes to affordable matched with style, Calvin Klein Brodies are very hard to beat. The longer, narrower toe makes them, to me, look less like Oxfords and more like a monk strap, minus the strap of course. But the way the laces are built into the design marks them as Oxfords. This is of course a hugely popular style, and CK is a high quality manufacturer -- the price is remarkable given this combination.

  • Leather
  • Imported
  • Synthetic sole
  • Heel measures approximately 1"
  • Smooth-leather upper
  • Padded footbed

Occasionally a reviewer will complain about the comfort of this pair, but otherwise there are few critical themes in comments from people wearing these shoes. They do have a padded footbed; while it isn't made by Adidas as with the Rockport Men's Style Purpose wing tip, this still shows attention to comfort. Bottom line: Calvin Klein style at a great price.

Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.

— G. Bruce Boyer
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Number 1: Clarks Men's Tilden Walk Oxford

These very sharp, well-made, and eminently affordable Oxfords by Clarks top our list. I love Clarks for their desert boots, which seem to last forever and are always comfortable, and these dress shoes follow in that tradition. The look is classic without being stuffy or old-fashioned; pair these with a dark wool suit, a trousers-and-sports coat combo, or your favorite broken-in jeans -- they'll work for any situation. The price is right, too. For durable, classic, un-fussy style that's also affordable, these Clarks take home the prize.

Features:

  • Leather
  • Imported materials
  • Synthetic sole
  • Breathable leather uppers
  • Finely ribbed rubber dress sole for comfort and traction
  • Elastic side gore for snug yet flexible fit

Reviews for these shoes are excellent and, as you would expect, talk up the durability and solid construction. There's a steel shank in the shoes, though you would never guess from looking at them. They're going to last a long time. Bottom line: for an affordable men's dress shoe, these are the tops.

The Top Ten Affordable Shoes for Men -- a Quick and Easy Guide

This guide compiled the top ten affordable men's shoes, based on a combination of personal experience, on-line reviews, style, and price. The above list proves that stylish men don't have to spend an entire paycheck on a pair of shoes in order to look good. Fashion doesn't have to be complicated or expensive -- this guide has provided suggestions for how to look like you spent serious money on your shoes, even when you didn't.

Resources

www.businessinsider.com/best-mens-dress-shoes-under-200dollars

www.businessinsider.com/best-mens-dress-shoes-under-500dollars

www.menshealth.com.style/best-dress-shoes

https://www.gentlemansgazette.com

www.gq.com/about/dress shoes

www.robinsonsshoes.com/journal-oxford-vs-derby-shoe


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