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When it comes to men's footwear, the options can be overwhelming. The diverse styles and the subtle differences that distinguish appropriate choices for different types of occasions can be easily overlooked. Nonetheless, understanding the rules is essential.

One such challenge for men's fashion is finding suitable shoes for various events. While fashionable white sneakers have become acceptable for formal events and corporate settings, the best addition to your footwear collection is a pair of oxford shoes.

Understanding Oxford Shoes

Chances are, you've encountered oxford shoes before. These shoes come with a closed lacing system that covers the upper part of the shoe and a low heel. In contrast, derby shoes feature open lacing, brogues have decorative designs, and loafers are more casual. Oxford shoes, however, are the most formal dress shoes for men and suitable for business meetings, weddings, and black-tie events.

Types of Oxford Shoes

Plain Toe: These oxfords have no detailing on the toe, and are the most formal variation of the style. They lack toe caps and pair perfectly with tuxedos.

Wholecut: The upper part of a wholecut Oxford is produced from a single piece of leather, leaving no lining. Wholecut oxfords are perfect for occasions that require a polished look, like a date or a professional interview.

Cap Toe: Cap-toe shoes feature an additional piece of leather on the toe box and a heel cap.

Top Oxford Shoes for Men in 2023

What to Consider in The Best Oxford Shoes

When evaluating men's footwear, particularly Oxfords, attention to detail is critical. Here are a few things to watch for:

  • Leather: The leather's quality, source, and pliability are among the first things to consider.

Comfort: According to Daniel Bucheli, president of footwear brand Le Majordome, "Oxford lacing is an advantage in terms of comfort. The lacing allows for the fit to be adjusted by tightening or loosening the laces, which is more challenging to do with a loafer or a Chelsea boot."

Tux Cap Toe Oxford

Styling Oxfords

According to Bucheli, oxford shoes are more refined since they require a sit-down and lace-up process, especially if they have minimal embellishment. The simplicity of the pattern adds to the shoe's elegance compared to the derby, which has multiple leather pieces.

Palos Oxford

Prepare to make a statement with your footwear at any event, whether it be a formal affair or a business meeting. The Florsheim Tux Cap-Toe Oxford Shoes are a perfect match for your elegant ensemble. The patent leather paired with the cap-toe Oxford design is a classic combination that will leave a lasting impression. These shoes, crafted by Florsheim with magnificent artistry and quality, will not only elevate your style but also provide exceptional comfort with a fully cushioned memory foam footbed.

The Magnanni Palos Oxford Shoes offer a modern take on the classic Oxford. These Oxfords are perfect for a business meeting, a cocktail hour, or a date night. The burnished finish is a unique feature that unites modernity with tradition, while the cushioned insole with arch support ensures maximum comfort for your feet. Magnanni's mastery in shoemaking makes these Oxfords not only comfortable and stylish but also well built.

'Melton' Oxford

For the perfect Oxford starter shoe that oozes elegance, look no further than the Johnston & Murphy Melton Oxford Shoes. These shoes, made by a long-standing shoe company established in 1850, boast premium leather and a classic appearance suited for any occasion. From business meetings to weddings, these Oxfords will elevate your style with ease. Alternatively, rock these shoes with jeans and a nice jacket for a smart and casual look.

Alessandro Démesure leather shoes

Berluti Alessandro Démesure Leather Shoes exude luxury and class and are the perfect investment for a superb Oxford. Hailing from Italy, these shoes have an elegant, almond shape and are crafted from top-tier Venezia leather that is exquisitely supple. This particular model is one of the most ancient and distinguished designs in Berluti's history. Owning a pair of these shoes would place you in the company of style icons and grant you the privilege of being part of the Berluti legacy.


Ermenegildo Zegna also produces some of the most iconic and trustworthy Oxfords in today's luxury market. This acclaimed brand's exquisite leather Oxfords are fashioned in Italy and feature a formal lace-up style finished with sleek rubber soles. With their contemporary, almond-toe shape, these shoes look and feel modern, making them versatile enough for both casual and formal occasions, especially when paired with beautiful trousers.

Walster Cap Toe Oxford

If you're aiming for everyday wear, the tan Ted Baker London Walster Cap-Toe Oxford Shoes are an excellent choice. These shoes have a charming tan hue that complements blue or gray suits, yet can still spruce up your casual outfits, even in jeans. These Ted Baker Oxfords are made with a premium leather upper and feature a rubber sole for maximum comfort. They are exceptional in quality, and their elegance and style speak for themselves.

Dr. Martens oxford shoes

Dr. Martens 1461 Bex Pleasures Leather Oxford Shoes

Who said Oxford shoes could only be used for formal occasions? Dr. Martens proves the opposite with their edgy 1461 Bex Pleasures collaboration. This tie-dye spin on their signature lug sole style adds a grunge vibe that won't go out of style. These shoes are perfect for street style and casual outfits.

Johnston & Murphy Collection

Johnston & Murphy Collection Wilshire Oxford Shoes

Sophistication is key, and Johnston & Murphy's Wilshire patent leather Oxfords deliver just that. Made in Italy, these lace-up shoes feature a sleek almond toe shape and comfortable lining and insoles. These shoes are a must-have for any gentleman's wardrobe, just like a crisp white shirt or a luxury watch. Investing in high-quality shoes like these is worth every penny.

Winthrop Pelton

Winthrop Pelton Shoes

Sneakers or Oxfords? Why not have the best of both worlds with Winthrop's Pelton shoes. These comfortable and breathable shoes combine the formality of Oxfords with the comfort of sneakers. The nubuck material makes them perfect for a casual event or a long day on your feet. However, they may not be suitable for ultra-formal occasions.

Grenson Archie Leather Lace-Up Brogue Shoes

Consider brogues an elaborately adorned variant of Oxfords whose design follows the traditional Oxford shoe fastenings, like the ones offered by Grenson. However, brogues differ in their distinctive perforated detailing. Grenson is highly regarded for producing high-quality footwear, making it a worthwhile investment.

Archie leather lace-up brogues

BP Shane Casual Lace-Up Derby Shoes

If you'd like Oxford-style shoes that are more comfortable and casual, opt for a derby. Although this pair has the sophistication of Oxford shoes, the derby has an open lace upper, providing more flexibility. These BP shoes are perfect for a casual workday or even a weekend getaway. They are made of soft suede for a more comfortable and flexible fit.

Shane Casual Lace-Up Derby

Boss Eastside Plain Derby Shoes

For those looking for a contemporary style, these shoes by Boss offer a sleek and modern look. With ultra-smooth leather and a clean profile, they emit a high level of class and sophistication. Additionally, the leather's light luster produces a stylish finish. Pair these with a dark-colored suit - just avoid black.

Eastside Plain Derby

Meet the Expert

Daniel Bucheli is the President of the bespoke footwear and leather goods brand, Le Majordome.