dress shoes that feel like sneakers

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9 dress shoes that feel like sneakers

Look good. Stay comfortable.

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A study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that white-collar workers who reduce the amount of time they sit by just 50 minutes a day show signs of improved metabolic and cardiovascular health. (Great motivation to take that phone call standing.) Wearing dress shoes that feel like sneakers can keep you comfortable and supported when you’re on your feet, and they come in the same styles you’d expect from classic dress shoes, such as Oxfords and loafers, as well as more modern options like formal sneakers and comfy driving mocs. The shoe you pick will come down to several factors, so here are some things to keep in mind as you shop.

What to consider when shopping for dress shoes that feel like sneakers

Lace-up versus slip-on

While they differ aesthetically, there are advantages to both lace-on and slip-on dress shoes. Generally speaking, shoes with laces will offer more support, so these are a good choice for people who walk or stand a lot. Just note that thin laces pair well with more formal looks, while thicker laces will lend the shoes a more sneaker-like aesthetic. With that said, if you want the convenience of a slip-on, you can find loafers that look and feel great, while being easy to put on and take off.

Material

The best dress sneakers come in a variety of materials, including natural leather that will soften and stretch with wear, as well as vegan leather and other manmade materials that are easy to maintain and come in a variety of colors. The material you choose will mostly come down to preference and how much you want to spend, as leather can be a bit more expensive, — however some would argue that leather is a good investment that can last for years with proper care.

The material of your shoe’s sole is also important, and a durable but flexible rubber sole will provide traction on all kinds of surfaces.

Support

If your days include commuting by foot, working at a standing desk, or dancing the night away at a special event, it’s essential to find a pair of shoes that offers support and comfort. Quality men’s dress shoes with ergonomically contoured insoles will help provide comfort and support, while cushioning and memory foam layers can absorb shock to reduce foot, leg, and back fatigue.

If you’re looking for the most comfortable dress shoes for standing all day — or simply a pair that feels good on your feet — look no further. Combining the best of style and comfort, these dress shoes that feel like sneakers are a huge upgrade to traditional formal footwear.

Shop the best dress shoes that feel like sneakers

In a hurry? These are the best dress shoes that feel like sneakers:

  1. The Oxfords with ergonomic footbeds: Clarks Tilden Walk Oxfords
  2. The water-resistant wingtips with “sneaker-like” soles: Vostey Wingtip Dress Shoes
  3. The leather slip-ons with arch support: Clarks Tilden Free Slip-On Loafers
  4. The dressy sneakers with high-rebound footbeds: Jousen Fashion Sneakers
  5. The formal Oxfords with padded footbeds: Bruno Marc Oxford Dress Shoes
  6. The Oxfords with unique style: Bruno Marc Men's Casual Dress Shoes
  7. The cushioned slip-on driving loafers: Vostey Driving Loafers
  8. The lightweight dress sneakers with shock-absorbing soles: Bruno Marc Casual Oxford Shoes
  9. The Chelsea boots with ergonomic footbeds: Cestfini Chelsea Boots

1. These Oxfords with ergonomic footbeds

Boasting a 4.6-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 8,000 reviews, the Clarks Tilden Walk Oxfords have OrthoLite insoles that are contoured for optimal support and toe-to-heel cushioning that helps soften impact with every step. And the rubber outsoles will offer plenty of traction. The shoes have soft leather uppers and feature traditional lacing that can be adjusted for a custom fit, as well as two stretch panels across the front of the foot that provide flexibility and comfort when walking.

A reviewer wrote: “I've always been a fan of the Clark's line of shoes but this is my first pair of dress shoes. Have to say that I'm very impressed. Nice grade of leather, pillow like insoles and no break-in needed. I'll be back for another pair, in a different style, very soon!!!”

  • Available sizes: 7 — 15 (select wide options available)
  • Available colors: 8

2. The water-resistant wingtips with “sneaker-like” soles

Channel a classic vibe with these wingtips that have the look of real leather or suede but are made from water-resistant, breathable polyurethane. The shoes come fitted with padded insoles for comfortable wear, and the thin laces provide a secure fit and a dressed-up feel. One reviewer praised the “soft, sneaker-like sole,” which is made of rubber and provides decent traction on slippery surfaces — just note that other reviewers reported these require a little breaking in.

A reviewer wrote: “Amazing concept. Beautiful shoe. These shoes fit like the most comfortable secure sneaker yet look like a sharp pair of dress shoes. I wish I had stumbled upon these earlier in life. I simply love them.”

  • Available sizes: 8 — 15
  • Available colors: 10

3. These leather slip-ons with arch support

Don’t want to mess with laces? These leather slip-ons from Clarks are similar to the first pick, but have an easy-on, easy-off design, thanks to flexible gussets on the sides. The OrthoLite insoles cushion and support feet, and the padded collars are soft on ankles and won’t dig in. These shoes feature durable rubber outsoles that absorb impact and provide traction.

A reviewer wrote: “Very comfortable shoes! I purchased these shoes because I was looking for a very comfortable shoe to wear at work. They are dressy enough to wear with my suits and provide a ton of cushion and comfort all day. [...] All in all, for the price they are very comfortable and dressy shoes. I would buy again.”

  • Available sizes: 7 — 14 (wide options available)
  • Available colors: 7

4. These dressy sneakers with high-rebound footbeds

These sneakers that look like dress shoes are made from soft leather, and they toe the line between casual and dressy, making them a versatile pick for both everyday wear and more formal occasions. The athletic sneakers have cushioned latex insoles for comfort, which will provide a similar feel to memory foam, albeit with a little more rebound. The mesh lining and perforated side panels allow feet to breathe, while the two-tone stitched rubber soles offer style and nonslip performance wherever your day takes you.

A reviewer wrote: “I have to dress "professionally" for work and these look soooo good! They are comfortable - I wear them all day no problem. They match with almost everything, and they are perfect for business casual days. I will 100% buy another pair when I wear my current ones out!”

  • Available sizes: 7 — 14
  • Available colors: 21

5. The formal Oxfords with padded footbeds

Patent leather isn’t known for having give or flexibility, however these Oxfords from Bruno Marc have a few features that make them a big upgrade from other formal shoes you may have worn in the past. They have uppers that are made from a vegan leather, and they’re lined with premium leather for comfort. A padded latex footbed keeps feet cushioned and supported, and grippy rubber outsoles will keep you stable and slip-free on the dance floor and beyond. Not a fan of patent leather? This pair also comes in regular vegan leather styles.

A reviewer wrote: “Great support, extremely comfortable, no excessive rubbing anywhere, lots of toe room, no squeezing - an all-day all-night shoe that forever looks impeccable!”

  • Available sizes: 6.5 — 15
  • Available colors: 6

6. The Oxfords with unique style

If you’re looking for something unique, these vegan leather formal sneakers have textured uppers and contrasting heel caps for an extra dose of style. They feature memory foam footbeds and a breathable fabric lining for dry comfort and optimal foot support, and the padded collars help prevent digging in. The shoes have flexible rubber outsoles with a honeycomb pattern for traction.

A reviewer wrote: “Purchased these shoes as I was headed for a convention where I would be on my feet all day until late nights. I am a boot kind of guy but know well my boots would wear me out. Well I received the shoes one day before my trip and they fit perfectly, wore them all day for 4 straight days and they fit perfect, they felt like tennis shoes, they looked fabulous and they were perfect! Very stylish and look great while wearing jeans and even better when I’m in a suit. Love, love love these shoes!”

  • Available sizes: 6.5 — 13
  • Available colors: 8

7. These cushioned slip-on driving loafers

These lightweight driving loafers offer the convenient slip-on, kick-off design of a slipper but come fitted with memory foam cushioned insoles for added comfort. The laceless loafers are made of synthetic leather and have soft, flexible rubber outsoles that are textured for traction. Choose from styles with and without metal link hardware on the uppers.

A reviewer wrote: “I love how these shoes look and feel on my feet. They are very soft and comfortable. The material seems quite durable and I'm quite satisfied. I really hope this last a long time because they are one of the best shoes I own.”

  • Available sizes: 7 — 13
  • Available colors: 9

8. The lightweight lace-ups with shock-absorbing soles

If you’re veering toward a more casual aesthetic, these lace-up dress sneakers from Bruno Marc are like a hybrid between a sneaker and an Oxford, and they come fitted with flexible EVA outsoles that provide shock absorption, traction, and cushioning. The insoles are made from honeycomb foam that supports footbeds and arches for long hours on your feet. The vegan leather shoes weigh 25% less than standard dress shoes, helping to reduce fatigue and making them great for packing in a suitcase

A reviewer wrote: “I bought these as an alternative to loafers and I couldn’t be happier. My feet no longer hurt and I’ve worn them for almost a year and they still look like new! I’m on my feet almost 10 hours walking around the office and these shoes don’t disappoint!”

  • Available sizes: 6.5 — 13
  • Available colors: 6

9. These Chelsea boots with ergonomic footbeds

A more supportive and comfortable take on the Chelsea boot (without the narrow toe boxes), these leather boots can be dressed up or down and feature zippers for easy on and off. They offer a little more coverage than standard dress shoes, making them a great pick if you’ll be dealing with rain or snow (just treat them with a waterproofing spray first). The fully cushioned insoles feature heel cups for stability and OrthoLite high-rebound foam to absorb shock. The lining is breathable and moisture-wicking, while the rubber outsoles are slip-resistant.

A reviewer wrote: “Never imagined these boots would feel so comfortable! [...] I stand up 8 hours a day and I swear it feels like I’m wearing sneakers. And they look really nice with my suit.”

Studies referenced:

Garthwaite, T., Sjöros, T., Laine, S., Vähä-Ypyä, H., Löyttyniemi, E., Sievänen, H., Houttu, N., Laitinen, K., Kalliokoski, K., Vasankari, T., Knuuti, J., & Heinonen, I. (2022). Effects of reduced sedentary time on cardiometabolic health in adults with metabolic syndrome: A three-month randomized controlled trial. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 25(7), 579–585. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2022.04.002

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