Best Casual Shoes for Comfort Reviewed & Rated
Whether it’s wearing professional shoes all week or constantly wearing dress shoes for your evening affairs, it’s nice to give your feet a break once in a while. Relaxed shoes are just the option that can provide the relief and relaxation for your feet that you desire from time to time. One of the main benefits you get from these shoes is the comfort. You’ll find features in this footwear such as AirCushion heels, padded collars, and foam midsoles.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 105 hrs of research
Non-Marking Rubber Outsole
Elastic Gore Panels
- Olukai Moloa
- Dunham Captain
- Birkenstock Boston Soft
- Skechers Diameter Vassell
- Merrell Encore Gust
- Adidas NEO SE
- Clarks Cotrell Step
- Nike Flex 8
- Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon
- Bruno Marc Urban
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Casual Shoes
1. Olukai Moloa
Non-Marking Rubber Outsole
Elastic Gore Panels
Limited Long-Term Durability
The stitching of the Olukai Moloa is one of the first things that may catch your attention; hand-sewn moccasin stitching. The shoes are made from an antiqued waxed nubuck and feature a moisture-wicking microfiber lining, a PU footbed, and a non-marking rubber outsole with full grain leather upper. These also feature elastic gore panels.Read more
The Moisture-wicking microfiber lining feature helps to keep your feet dry and cool. This means it draws sweat away from your skin and on the outside of the fabric.
The anatomical footbed is an excellent feature in this shoe because it molds to the shape of your foot; giving you a comfortable feel on your feet. Also, it is great for those with heavier weight, as it is dual-density. The Olukai Moloa is at the upper end of cost association. The design (combined with its other features) make these a great option to purchase, as it is equipped with high-quality materials.
2. Dunham Captain
Siped Rubber Outsole
Memory Foam Footbed
Extended Size/Width Range
The Dunham Captain is another product on this list that features a smooth, leather look to it on the outside. It also has a nice stitch lining and an attractive design overall. The Dunham Captain features a non-marking siped rubber outsole and a lightweight EVA midsole. Also, these shoes also have a memory foam footbed and come in extended sizes and widths.Read more
A siped rubber outsole is a unique feature in that it has thin cuts on the outsole. This helps your shoe to retain its traction on wet and even minimal icy surfaces.
The EVA midsole accomplishes a few things in these shoes; it’s extra protection stepping on any potentially sharp objects, helps to provide more comfortable cushioning on the feet, and it gives added shock absorption. The Dunham Captain are midrange in cost association. Its emphasis on foot comfort with its features makes this a good bargain to have, as a part of your closet.
3. Birkenstock Boston Soft
Roomy Toe Box
Raised Toe Bar
Deep Heel Cup
The Birkenstock Boston Soft is a unique option in that it comes in a variety of materials that really fits the soft part of its name. You can get them in suede, Amalfi leather, or oiled leather. These shoes feature a roomy toe box and a raised toe bar. The Birkenstock Boston Soft also features a deep heel cup.Read more
The roomy toe box feature in these shoes does more than comfortably give your toes room to stretch and wiggle. It, also, helps to enhance your balance and correct your alignment.
The Birkenstock Boston Soft’s raised toe bar feature assists with promoting the gripping motion of your feet. You’ll be able to more naturally get a firm step into the ground when you’re walking. While the Boston Soft comes at the upper end of midrange in pricing among these footwear options, there’s no arguing the quality of this shoe. If you desire to indulge in having a more fancy look, then this is a shoe worthy of your purchase; not to mention, it is made with high-quality materials.
4. Skechers Diameter Vassell
Memory Foam Insole
An ideal choice for relaxed wear during those cooler days, these shoes are made with a leather upper and have contrast bicycle-toe stitching. Lace-up, they are ready for a short journey in leisurely fashion. The memory foam insole helps to provide comfort while the mesh lining helps to promote breathability. Moreover, these shoes are great for a full day of leisure (i.e., jeans, tee-shirt, etc.).Read more
This is footwear made to last. Furthermore, you can use this leisure wear during colder days, as the leather upper will help to retain heat. When leather is at the helm, you are certain to have a pair of shoes which can last.
When a shoe is made of leather, a mesh lining is a must-have to allow some airflow to your feet. These shoes have it, but more importantly, this mesh lining helps to promote better overall foot health, as a result. Made with good-quality materials, this pair of shoes is worth the purchase price. Falling into the midrange of cost association when compared to other shoes on this list, this is a pair of footwear which can be of added benefit to a rotation with other shoes.
5. Merrell Encore Gust
Full-Grain Leather Upper
2-inch Heel Height
M-Select GRIP Outsole
Compression-Molded EVA Footframe
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Merrell Encore Gust is that it has a smooth look to it being made with leather. You can, easily, slip this footwear on within seconds and be on the go. The Encore Gust features an M-Select GRIP outsole and an Ortholite footbed. The shoes also feature an AirCushion heel and a padded collar.Read more
The M-Select GRIP outsole is made up of sticky lugs on the bottom of the shoe. They help to keep any dirt or rocks from attaching to the outsole. The angling of the lugs, also, help to give your shoes good grip on dry or wet surfaces.
The AirCushion heel feature, first of all, gives you a comforting feeling in the heel area but it, also, helps to increase blood flow in the area for better recovery from a foot injury. These are a bit expensive compared to the other options. In spite of that, there are enough good features (along with the nice leather look) that make these shoes worth considering for purchase.
6. Adidas NEO SE
Vulcanized Rubber Outsole
A denim upper flows throughout this pair. Having 3-strip leather overlays, you gain the right amount of support while, simultaneously, holding onto the flexibility needed for a good pair of relaxed shoes. These are lace-up; so, you will be able to take short strolls in these.Read more
These shoes have decent grip and a pivot point. In essence, they are created with skateboarding in mind but, also, fit the bill as relaxed footwear, as well. This means you can walk short distances while being both fashionable and comfortable.
The denim upper shouts of leisurely pleasure. Made to be both flexible and stable, this upper grants the kind of comfortability that only denim can offer. Found within the midrange of cost association, these shoes are perfect for leisure time. Although made for skateboarding in mind, these shoes have a relaxed structuring and, therefore, make a great pair of leisure shoes. With the price and build of this pair of shoes, they are a great buy and an ideal addition to any athleisure wear collection.
7. Clarks Cotrell Step
Ortholite Memory Foam Insole
Low-Volume Toe Box
Made for laid-back days, this is a pair of shoes which you will learn to cherish. Made with comfort in mind, these shoes deliver well. They have a 1.5-inch heel height, are made with a leather upper, and contain Ortholite memory foam. These are not shoes to be worn throughout every day but, instead, are made for leisure days and every day after work leisure time. When worn in this fashion, these shoes should last.Read more
Made to bring and extend the comfortability factor of this shoe, Ortholite memory foam will have you smiling after you put them on. After all, relaxed wear is about comfortable wear.
Perfect for walking around the house and not having to worry about scuffing up floors, this is leisure wear ready for the day. Wear them to the club or a short visit to the office; these shoes will not leave their presence behind, in terms of floor scarring. Midrange in cost association when compared to other shoes on this list, these are a great buy, in terms of both pricing and comfort. Furthermore, they will look good with nearly any outfit and are slip-on; making this a pair worthy of your investment.
8. Nike Flex 8
Padded Tongue & Collar
Rounded Toe Section
Injected Unit Sole
Padded Sandwich Mesh Tongue
Little Arch Support
Designed as a running shoe, the Nike Flex 8 isn't just for running. It's for walking around town or meeting friends for coffee. It's for HIIT workouts. It's for strength training. It's for any event you can think of where sneakers would be acceptable. The rounded toe section and cushioned footbed ensure maximum comfort for anything you do and will give your feet a chance to relax after wearing dress shoes all week. These are definitely a shoe best suited for weekend excursions.Read more
The injected unit sole (IU) gives an extra padded, lightweight, and flexible cushioning that absorbs shock and works well to contour to the unique shape of your foot, allowing for a comfortable experience for ideal all-day wear. The footbed does not have much arch support, however, making them ideal for those with flat feet or who do not need much arch support. These work well as an orthopedic shoe for those with flat feet.
Like most running sneakers, the Nike Flex 8 features a rounded toe section. This allows your toes to lay in a more natural position to keep you comfortable, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking. This along with the cushioned footbed, as well as padded collar and tongue, will ensure a comfortable wear no matter what you do or where you plan on going.
9. Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon
Light Tread Rubber Outsole
With Polo Ralph Lauren, we already know we are in for a treat. Within this regard, these shoes do not disappoint. Great for leisurely strolls, this pair can help to remind you that comfort matters. With a canvas upper, padded collar and insole, and a light-tread rubber outsole, these shoes are certain to hit the mark.Read more
The upper is made to breathe and, also, bring you a day in comfort. With the signature 'pony' on the side of the upper, everyone will know you are all about fashion. Moreover, they will understand your day is about comfort.
With this outsole, you are not going to be traversing questionable terrain types, as this rubber outsole will not do the job. This light-tread rubber outsole is for lounging around the club or the house; maybe, even for a gentle stroll down the avenue. In essence, the outsole is a reflection of a day of leisure. Priced to be budget-friendly, these shoes are a great choice for anyone who takes leisure time seriously. After all, we all need comfort after that hard day at work, and these perform well, in that regard. This is a nice pair of shoes to treat your feet to.
10. Bruno Marc Urban
Suede Leather Upper
Lace-up Front Closure
1-Inch Heel Height
0.5-Inch Platform Height
Toe Area Forms A Crease
This is a pair of shoes which has high-comfortability, can be worn to events and/or around the house, and is an overall delight, in terms of both structuring and aesthetic appeal. There are many colors to choose from; so, you can pick according to a specific wardrobe choice, or go with neutral for multiple wardrobe matches. They have a 1-inch heel height, 0.5-inch platform height, are made with suede leather uppers, and have a lace-up front closure.Read more
The upper is made to last, as it contains suede leather. Moreover, this type of material naturally breathes. As such, it is a great choice for both cooler days or days which are not extremely hot.
This is a heel height which allows you to wear light or business; depending on the environment, you are heading to. The height is great for adding a certain amount of sleekness in conjunction with professionalism. These shoes are budget-friendly. Moreover, there are a wide plethora of colors to choose from, and the material makeup is high; meaning, you are getting more than your money's worth with this pair of shoes.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the main reasons for having a pair is to have something to wear for your feet to be able to relax in. Comfort is a crucial thing to make sure you have when it comes to selecting a good relaxed footwear option. Seeing an AirCushion heel feature would give you a good start to your search.
It provides a soft feeling on your heel and, also, helps to maintain proper blood flow in the area to ease in any aches you have or pain that you might be recovering from. An EVA footbed would be a good bet for comfort, too. EVA, which is short for Ethyl Vinyl Acetate, is a similar material to foam and provides softness to your feet, like foam that will make it easy for you to walk comfortably.
In addition to the EVA footbed, it would serve you well to look for an EVA midsole featured in your shoes. The EVA midsoles provide an extra layer of cushioning between your insole and outsole for greater comfort. You can get this similar cushioning if you find foam midsoles highlighted in relaxed footwear, as well. Lastly, with regards to midsoles, you can keep your eye out if you happen to see a Soft-Air flexible midsole, with which a name like that you can be confident there’s going to be an excellent gentle feeling given to you with that feature in your shoes. Also, make sure to pay attention if your shoe is highlighted as having a Strobel construction, which provides comfort by giving you more flexibility in your footwear.
Returning to footbeds, the ADIPRENE footbed is another great find; as far as, comfort features. It provides cushioning, mainly, in the heel of the shoe but, also, in the forefoot of the shoe, too. An Air-Relax footbed feature in your footwear can, also, accomplish easiness walking around all day, as it massages your foot with every step you take, per se. Lastly, with footbeds, you’d be well served if you found an Ortholite footbed which provides extensive cushioning.
A good pair should be able to provide you all-around comfort beyond just the bottom of your feet. Pay attention to see if a padded upper or padded collar is noted as being featured. You’ll get that softness on the top of your feet and around your ankle, as well. Additionally, an upper made with full grain leather will, also, provide you that same comforting feel on top, too.
After comfort, foot support is an important trait to have in an effective shoe. The deep heel cup feature is one feature you’ll be glad you found in your footwear. It cradles the heel to assist in maintaining a proper arch in the foot and, also, redistributes pressure to relieve the high-pain areas.
Foot support should mean that all parts of your feet are able to stand and step naturally, including your toes. A roomy toe box is able to allow your toes to spread naturally with each step (as they’re supposed to) and keep them more properly aligned. It, also, encourages your balance more, as well.
Another toe feature you can search for that can be helpful for foot support is a raised toe bar. This feature assists your feet by promoting its natural gripping motion. An anatomical footbed can be found in a lot of leisure shoes, too. Anatomical, essentially, means the footbed is designed to the natural shape of a foot for better support. A contoured footbed can, also, provide this same effect by molding to your feet and supporting that natural shape of your foot.
You may not always think of great stability and traction with this type of shoes, but some of the best shoes can keep you stable on your feet; so, it’s essential not to neglect to find features that give you that in your shoe choice. The M-Select GRIP outsole is one of the best features you can find that will provide you good stability. It’s designed to give you slip resistance on wet surfaces and, also, good traction on dry surfaces for maximum control in your steps. A non-marking rubber outsole is, also, another great option for stability. What it does is give you a solid grip on the ground, and it doesn’t leave any scuff marks on the floor, either.
Similarly, a non-marking siped rubber outsole can accomplish the same grip on wet surfaces. Also, TPU outsoles are a feature you’ll be glad to see in a shoe given its resistance to abrasion, splitting, oil, and chemicals. It’s, also, great if you find a shoe that’s highlighted to have a trail grip. A wraparound bumper sole is another good sign you’re getting stability and traction, as well.
Lastly, in addition to the previous outsoles mentioned, an air-jet outsole and an EVA outsole can accomplish good traction with your shoes for stable steps. A beveled heel is a feature worth finding in your shoe (if you can) because it gives a nice rolling motion from the heel of your foot to the toe. This helps to give your feet stability upon impact to the ground with your steps.
A part of getting that relaxation you want in your feet involves getting adequate breathability; so, your feet aren’t feeling too sweaty and uncomfortable. Dri-Lex microfiber is an excellent feature to have in your footwear for getting that breathability.
It assists with pulling away sweat from your feet and transporting it to the outside of the material for better moisture evaporation. Certain sock liners, also, do the same kind of moisture management to keep your feet cool, dry, and relaxed. Anything with mesh material can accomplish these actions, too.
Perforations are another option worth finding in your relaxed footwear. Perforations are holes in the shoe which allow for air to get in and help keep your feet dry. Lastly, an Ecco comfort fiber system is, also, great to find, as it assists with giving you an increased air circulation inside of your footwear.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While leisure shoes most likely turn into your favorite pair of shoes for relaxing or hanging around the house, that doesn't mean they don't have a flair or style about them that you fell in love with. From red canvas, to even printed patterns, they keep you comfortable while looking good for daily activities and running about town.
While your shoes may not be as fancy as some other formal or decorative kinds you have in your collection, it's still important to care for them to help extend the lifespan.
Make sure to clean them now and again according to the manufacturer's instructions, and store them away from direct heat sources or sunlight to maintain the integrity and color of the shoe.
Other Factors to Consider
In fancier footwear, the toe area can sometimes be a bit tight. However, with a pair of relaxed shoes, this is no longer quite a worry as most have ample room for your toes, and allow space for foot flex and movement. You’ll also find foot support features in casual shoes to keep a great on foot feel. These features include things like an anatomical footbed, deep heel cup, or Ortholite footbed.
Everyone wants to relax now and again by slipping into a comfortable pair of relaxed footwear. This type of shoe gives you the versatility and mix of both comfort and something that has a fashionable appeal. Features such as a padded upper, a Soft-Air flexible midsole, or even an EVA midsole will keep you feeling good while standing on your feet and walking for the whole day.
Adequate foot support features, also, are included in this footwear such as the ADIPRENE and contoured footbed. You can be guaranteed stability walking with some of these shoes having beveled heels and raised toe bars. Lastly, there are great traction and breathability benefits in these shoes, which include rubber bottom outsoles, siped rubber outsoles, Dri-lex microfiber lining, and perforations. The fashionable looks (on top of all of these excellent features) make getting some casual shoes to relax in a worthy option to consider when purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are relaxed shoes?
These are shoes that you wear when you’re dressing less formal and want to have something comfortable on your feet. Most of them are, typically, easy to slip into and can often not have any laces, though you can find some that do (if you prefer to have that). They can, also, tend to be made with nice, soft material and intricate designs to look more fashionable.
q: How do I choose the perfect pair?
You want to first make sure the shoe you’re considering is one that’s going to make your feet feel comfortable by reviewing its features. Your shoes shouldn’t be as uncomfortable as formal shoes can be at times. After all, you’re looking to relax your feet. Secondly, it can be important to consider whether the type of shoe goes well with your clothes. For example, brown shoes tend to go well with khakis. So, picture the footwear you’re considering with the appearance you have, in order to make a conclusion for yourself.
q: How long will my pair last?
They are, generally, designed for comfort and appearance; more so, than long-term durability. The materials of these shoes are often soft materials that can be, potentially, damaged easily. However, some are equipped with really good traction features that measure up to the level of running shoes. It would probably be best for you not to wear your leisure shoes every day. You, also, might want to be cognizant of what activities you’re doing. For example, if you’re going for a run, then you should put on running shoes. Casual footwear is made, mostly, for walking around and not doing any activities that require a lot of intense physical movements.
q: How do I clean my shoes?
Cleaning your footwear depends on the type of material your shoe is made with. Since a lot of them are made of leather, here are some steps for cleaning leather shoes:
First, determine if your shoe is unfinished or finished leather, based on what it says on the shoe tag or shoe box. Unfinished requires a more specific cleanser but with finished you can just use water.
You want to brush off the shoes lightly to get debris off of them and loosen the leather. You can, also, rub it a little with a dry cloth.
After you do those things, dampen your cloth and wipe your shoe. Make sure you do it with the grain of the leather.
Once you’ve done those things, let the shoe dry completely in the open air in a cool place inside the house. Any other form of drying such as heating or sunlight can cause damage, such as cracking.
Lastly, you can apply leather polish that’s the same color as your shoe with a gentle cloth, give them a few minutes to sit, and then buff it to get that shine you want.