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I tested 9 pairs of men's dress shoes from $30 to $550 — these are the best ones

I tried nine pairs of men's dress shoes from $30 to $550 — these are the best ones for work, weddings and beyond.

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Best men's dress shoes, for every budget and occasion (photos via Harry Rosen, Mark's)

Every year, we make our way onto the guest list for a handful of occasions that require a sharp pair of dress shoes. There are weddings, business dinners, the "Oppenheimer: premiere (yes, do it). When those moments arise, it's best to be prepared, because a lousy pair of loafers can completely ruin a look.

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Choosing the right shoes is an understated skill — one must know how to shop for a pair that suits them without breaking the bank. Luckily, quality kicks come at a variety of price points, and I tested and reviewed several pairs that widely vary in price, look and style. Here are nine options that will ensure you look sharp for when you encounter your boss, your partner, or Cillian Murphy.

💵 Best bang for your buck: Denver Hayes Men's Renmark Dress Shoes

💼 Most versatile for work and play: Banana Republic Vincent Brogue Dress Shoes

🕰️ Best investment piece: BOSS Lisbon Burnished Leather Derbies

George Men’s Lou Dress Shoes

George men's lou dress shoes walmart canada in black fake leather
All-black and affordable, the Lou are a good option for those who want to keep dress costs low.

Need to know:

  • Where to buy: $30, Walmart Canada

  • Padded collar is comfortable and durable

  • Imitation leather upper

I can think of many worse ways of spending $30. Thick and reliable, The Lou Dress Shoes from Walmart Canada are as practical as they come. With a modest price point, these flat derby shoes sport a low heel, making them a versatile choice suitable for students or individuals anticipating a bit of wear and tear.

These lace-up dress shoes have a durable outsole and a padded collar for extra comfort.

$30 at Walmart Canada

George Men's Sandy Dress Shoes

black fake leather loafer Sandy Dress Shoes by George walmart canada
The Sandy Dress Shoes by George are a cheap and handy slip-on to keep around the house.

Need to know:

Much like the Lou, the Sandy is a fine option for people who need cheap and sturdy loafers. While the two are priced the same, the Sandy best accommodates people with wide feet who enjoy a loose, slip-on fit.

These loafer-style dress shoes have a leather-like upper and a rubber outsole. 

$30 at Walmart Canada

Denver Hayes Men's Renmark Dress Shoes

man wearing black pants and denver hayes Men's Renmark Dress Shoes - Black
Elegant with an off-colour heel and cap-toe all for $70, the Renmarks are the best deal on this list.

Need to know:

  • Where to buy: $70, Mark's

  • Memory foam cushioning

  • Contrasting outsole

These kicks might just be the best deal on the list. Aesthetically, the Renmark plays a league higher than the Grayson and Lou, but still retails for less than $100. Their smooth top, stacked heels and off-colour outsoles make them passable as staple office or formal shoes. The toe box trends a bit narrow; keep that in mind if you have splaying toes.

Denver Hayes' Men's Renmark Dress Shoes have memory foam insoles to cushion your feet comfortably.

$70 at Mark's

Denver Hayes Men's Brody Shoes

man wearing black dress shoes, Denver Hayes Men's Brody Shoes
The Brody shoes by Denver Hayes come with thoughtful topstitching that make them more than just office kicks.

Need to know:

  • Where to buy: $80, Mark's

  • Thermoplastic rubber insole

  • Memory foam underfoot

The Brody’s are the ultimate dad shoe; in the best way. Dads (or anyone else working overtime) need a few things from a boot: Durability, comfort and a bit of class. These models, with their hefty memory foam and classy topstitching, meet those demands with style. At less than $100, they are a steal for someone looking for a multi-year work shoe.

These versatile dress shoes have a memory foam insole, padded collar, and a synthetic upper. 

$80 at Mark's

Denver Hayes Brody Lace-Up Style Chukka Boots

man wearing black pants and brown Denver Hayes Men's Brody Lace Up Style Chukka Boots
Sturdy and durable, the Chukka boots is the ATV of footwear.

Need to know:

  • Where to buy: $90, Mark's

  • Memory foam insole

  • Lace-up style boot

The Chukka boots are versatile complements to khakis and jeans that are perfect to wear for a range of formal or informal outdoor events. While on the heavier side, they are a fair combination of style and function: the memory foam keeps your underfoot comfortable, and the perforated-type pattern on the forefoot leather gives them a little shimmer.

The versatile chukka boots work with your jeans, chinos and cords - a versatile design for all your activities.

$90 at Mark's

Banana Republic Vincent Brogue Dress Shoe

review banana republic VINCENT BROGUE DRESS SHOE in cognac brown
The Vincent Brogue blends a sturdy leather shell with an elegant patterned finish.

Need to know:

Elegance meets craftsmanship in these enduring leather brogues. With signature detailing and a wingtip toe, this Portuguese-made product by Banana Republic boasts a leather finish detailed with bespoke patterns and waxed laces. Beyond aesthetics, these shoes — while stiff on the contour — fit comfortably on the feet and can accommodate officer-workers and wedding-goers alike.

These stylish leather dress shoes are available in cognac brown and black.

$300 at Banana Republic

BOSS Lisbon Burnished Leather Derbies

review hugo boss Lisbon Burnished Leather Derbies
These derbies by BOSS have just the right burnish to elevate most suits.

Need to know:

These chocolate-coloured, burnished leather shoes exude sophistication and complement formal attires across the colour spectrum. Carefully crafted with a stacked heel and pointed almond toe, their elegance makes a lasting impression without sacrificing comfort. While they may look narrow on the toe, the base and mid-boot splay widely and also accommodate wide feet.

These BOSS leather derbies come in three colours: Dark brown, black, and mid brown.

$328 at Harry Rosen

To Boot New York Amedeo Derby Lace-Up

To Boot New York Amedeo Derby Lace-Up dress shoes review black leather
The Amadeo Derby Lace Up's frills are subtle and clean: quiet confidence in a shoe.

Need to know:

Here, we are entering a new level. Made in Italy, the Amadeo Derby Lace-Up are lean and mean with a light burnish and an understated leather upper and lace closure. I recommend this one for those who know their shoes and who want to elevate their wardrobe a notch. Buyers beware: they run a bit long — something to keep in mind when placing your order.

These Italian-made derby dress shoes are available in black and mid-brown leather.

$495 at Harry Rosen

Harold Leather Cap-Toe Oxford

review: harry rosen Harold Leather Cap-Toe Oxford in brown leather, dress shoes review men's
From the cap toe to the logo-printed insole, the Harold Leather Cap-Toe Oxford spares no detail and is designed to impress.

Need to know:

While the Amadeos impress by their subtlety, these mid-brown wonders by Harold are made to capture the attention. Also crafted in Italy, the Oxfords feature a suave matte leather upper, complemented by a cap-toe and tonal stitching for a refined touch. From the debossed logo outsole, to the stacked heel, to the logo-printed insole, every detail screams polish and poise.

These Italian-crafted leather Oxfords are available in black and mid-brown.

$550 at Harry Rosen

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