A long day at the office could mean a lot of time in your office chair, but many business professionals spend a lot of time on their feet. IT workers often spend more time answering callings for help and walking back and forth across the office than actually sitting in their own department. Top level executives must stand and walk extensively to and from meetings, often in other buildings with other companies. Even office workers who spend most of their time at a desk still commute, and city dwellers are especially likely to spend a lot of time walking. Formal shoes are not designed to be kind to your feet. Fortunately, such a thing as formal walking shoes is hiding in plain sight.
What to Look for in Formal Walking Shoes
Formal walking shoes require the supportive features that make a good walking shoe along with a formal appearance. This blend is hard to find, especially since it’s difficult to hide good arch support and traction in a loafer. Still, there are a few simple features you should look for in a formal walking shoe. First and foremost, check out the interior. Does the shoe have any midsole support? Is there any padding? Do the shoes feature a removable insole you could replace with something more comfortable? Although formal shoes will never have the same kind of traction you can find on running or hiking shoes, they shouldn’t have completely smooth soles, either. A little heel elevation is great for walking, and this feature is by far the easiest to find in formal men’s shoes.
The Very Best Men’s Formal Walking Shoes in 2017
Formal walking shoes do exist, but they can be hard to find. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best options available in 2017. We’ve included information about features, customer sentiment, and even short pros and cons lists to help you find your new favorite office shoes.
Kunsto Men’s Leather Brogue Oxford Dress Shoes Product Review
Although these shoes don’t have as much arch support as traditional walking shoes offer, they do have enough to prevent collapsing arches. They are also ergonomically designed. This helps prevent stress and injury while walking. The Kunsto Oxford Dress Shoes also feature a removable insole which users can replace with a more comfortable liner and/or orthotic inserts. The classic wingtip design looks great in formal and business casual settings. There is a slight rise in the heel, which helps reduce stress and allows for natural motion. The sole is slip-resistant and works as well outdoors as it does indoors.
By and large, this shoe has great feedback. Buyers wore these to conventions and for long, standing hours at work. Even fresh out of the box, the shoes stood up to the test. Several users also received compliments on the shoes’ appearance. The majority of dissatisfied customers disliked the style. A few previous buyers, however, received faulty products with loose soles that separated from the upper after only a few days.
- Great looking shoes
- Wear well for long periods of walking and standing
- Good grip
- Elevated heel
- Arch support
- Removable insole
- Some manufacturing flaws
- Not all previous buyers liked the look
Flexi Harlie Oxford Dress Shoes Product Review
These formal black Oxfords cut a sharp image without cutting into your feet. Discretely padded collars prevent blisters and chafing without compromising the shoes’ design. Handcrafted with leather uppers, these shoes may not do so well outside, but they will look great in the office. A slip-resistant sole keeps you steady while offering simultaneous shock-absorption. These shoes feature a noticeable heel. The brand also includes a one month return and exchange policy to ensure customer satisfaction.
Previous buyers are full of praise for this product. One even said the shoes felt more like sneakers than oxfords. Although the official description does not describe the inside of the shoe very well, previous buyers attest that the shoe is well padded and very comfortable. Another previous buyer contacted the manufacturer directly for more information about similar products and received great customer service. This is a good sign for anyone who needs to make a return or exchange.
- Very stylish
- Lots of padding
- Clear heel elevation
- Excellent customer service
- Feels like a sneaker
- No mention of arch support
- Not suited to the outdoors
Ecco Men’s Jared Slip-On Loafer Product Review
These soft leather loafers are a great alternative to Oxfords. Easy to put on and easy to wear, they feature a padded collar to prevent blisters. These shoes also include a removable insole to allow for maximum customization. The interior is designed to create a comfortable internal climate with a steady temperature and no moisture. The direct-inject sole is made for maximum durability and flexibility. A slightly elevated heel is clearly visible, and the manufacturers state outright that they aimed to create a comfortable walking shoe.
These shoes have garnered great praise from previous buyers. Not only is shipping and customer service prompt and reliable, but the shoes themselves stand the test of time. One buyer had shoes that lasted ten years, and he chose to replace them simply because they were looking worn. The quality materials and high manufacturing standards that hike up the price tag on these shoes ensure the product has a long and useful life.
- Fit for multiple occasions
- High-quality materials
- Visible heel
- Padded collar
- Removable insole
- Last a very long time
- No mention of arch support
All of the formal walking shoes above would make a great addition to a business professional’s closet. Oxfords and loafers alike can make good walking shoes if you find the right product. Of the three, the Kunsto shoes had the least favorable feedback. They are probably the least formal, too. However, they were the only shoes to clearly mention arch support. While buyers can add inserts to other shoes, it’s nice when the manufacturers do the work for you. Still, all points considered, the Flexi and Ecco shoes are the best options for formal men’s walking shoes.