10 Best Looking Shoes for Men & Women Reviewed & Rated
For this list, we brought together the hottest trends in casual, dress, boot, and work shoes, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. Keep in mind that each individual’s preference to what makes a great looking pair of shoes can vary widely, so we opted to give versatile styled shoes that you can pair with several styles of dress to get the most bang for your buck from a new purchase.
Here you'll find sandals, sneakers, heels, boots, but all rated high for style, comfort, and fashion appeal. No matter what you're looking for, this top ten list of the best shoes for men and women will have an option perfect for you!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Nappa Leather Upper
Adjustable Ankle Strap
2.2 Inch Heel
Lightly Cushioned Footbed
10 Best Looking Shoes
1. Emporio Armani Glitter Sandals
Nappa Leather Upper
Adjustable Ankle Strap
2.2 Inch Heel
Lightly Cushioned Footbed
If you’re looking for that one pair of summer footwear that will have you standing out in a crowd while still looking extremely elegant, we definitely recommend going with this pair of Emporio Armani sandals. Combining a delicate and romantic upper with a futuristic chrome-plated hexagonal heel, this is one of our favorite models this year - not only is it beautiful, but as you can expect from this brand, it’s also made with quality materials, and a surprisingly stable heel.
The upper of this model uses soft nappa leather covered in black glitter, so you don’t have to worry about it cutting into your feet, even if you plan on doing a LOT of dancing. The round toeline compliments most foot shapes, and the ankle strap is adjustable through a subtle buckle.
The heel is 2.2 inches high which is a healthy height that shouldn’t cause any problems through shifting your weight too much over your toes. It also has a wide base for extra stability, and the footbed is lightly cushioned for your comfort. The price of this model is quite high, however, and may be too much for most people’s budget. Nonetheless, if you’re after something truly special, definitely check these out.
2. Plaka Palm Leaf Gladiator
Footbed Can Be Slippery
One of the hot trends for summertime footwear is a gladiator or strappy styled sandal, and Plaka delivers with their Palm Leaf. Unique hand braided straps adorn this stylish sandal flat, with soft suede strap décor running along the outside and heels of the shoe. A braided toe loop closure keeps you securely fit, all while giving you an exotic Mediterranean vibe. Not only are these super stylish, but proven comfortable for all-day wear on vacation as well.
High-quality materials construct this rope sandal, handmade with care and braided perfectly. Open and airy, they have a softer feel on the foot that traditional webbing or leather sandal straps, and are available in a variety of colors and color combinations, so you’ll be sure to find one to match your look. Minimalist flat, but with a bohemian feel to them, it embodies a gladiator sandal with an intricate woven design.
Not only fashionable, but functional as well, the Plaka Palm Leaf is water resistant, so you won’t need to worry if you get them wet. Wear to the beach, out by the lake, kayaking or on a SUP, and they’ll keep their integrity. A rubber sole helps add to durability and traction of the shoe, and the rope’s nylon helps prevent blisters if worn walking. These really are an all-around shoe!
For a moderate price, this versatile sandal is truly something you can wear for being active, casual events, or dress up with a bohemian flair for evening events. Strappy gladiator design will weave its way into your heart, and bring some glamour to your footwear collection. The perfect budget-friendly shoe for a hot trendy look!
3. Frye Paul Lace Up
Rubber & Leather Outsole
Waxed Fabric Laces
Toe Runs Small
Requires Leather Protectant
A stylish ankle boot, the Frye Paul Lace Up reminds us of mix between western style, and old school charm. It’s soft leather uppers appear a little rough and worn, but are far from just that. Fabric lacing all the way up the vamp keeps this boot classy and simple. Constructed to last a lifetime, it’s a boot suitable for work, business, or just an evening out with your significant other. Pairing these with slacks, skinny jeans, even cuffed denim jeans creates a unique fashion style and appeal. If you’re in search of something just a little different with sophisticated class, this may just be for you!
The Frye Paul Lace Up boot is constructed of suede leather, soft to the touch, and textured to the look. A cap toe is subtle, but adds to the sophisticated look of the boot. A long lace up vamp with waxed laces close the boot closely together, with a shaft height just under 5 inches. It’s ideal to show off, whether that be with skinny jeans, or a cuffed denim jean, it’s a show stopping look that combines vintage appeal and western flair.
The base of the Paul is a combination of rubber and leather, which, allows for durability over time, while rubber provides better grip and traction on different surfaces. Leather lining inside gives it a softer feel when wearing. It’s durable for the long haul with it’s construction and build, utilizing Goodyear welt construction to seal any wetness out, and boost craftsmanship. With a circumference of just under 11 inches at the opening, this boot is great for those with wider ankles or calves as well.
4. Blowfish Balla Wedge
In search of an urban flair with a clean cut look to it? The Blowfish Balla Wedge combines an urban feel with canvas uppers, accented with stylish leather strap ankle closure, into a sassy clean-cut looking wedge with minimal raise. Blowfish are known for making quite comfortable and cushioned shoes, but their Balla Wedge ramps up the foot appeal for nighttime parties or daytime social events. Peep toe design lets you show off your pedicure, all while keeping a light breathable focus on the shoe’s construction.
The Balla Wedge not only comes in a myriad of color options but textile as well. Canvas, soft suede, or microfiber uppers make it a breathable lightweight shoe, but the fullness gives it a bit of urban flair when combined with adorning leather ankle straps. Versatile enough to dress down with shorts, or dress up with summer strappy dresses or bohemian inspired wear, it’s perfect for nights out on the town or hanging at the beach.
A slight wedge gives this shoe a confident feel when walking about, and is padded slightly for comfort without being clunky. Side zipper provides easy in and out access, and the open heel gives it the feel of a slip-on style shoe. Peep toe lets you show off the new color coating from your recent pedicure, so you can step out looking ready for fun.
Price can vary depending on the type of textile you select, but by no means is this shoe expensive for the edgy look it provides. With its covered uppers but opened sides and heel, combined with strappy leather and buckle ankle accent, it’s a hit for any look you’re testing out! Well worth the purchase to try out a pair this summer!
5. VISCATA Escala Espadrilles
Heel May Rub
In search of a beachy but fashionable sandal? Espadrilles are a hot ticket item this year that have remained high in fashions’ list of must-haves for years. The Viscata Escala Espadrille is a closed toe cotton shoe, with strappy design to lock your heel into the shoe and lace up on the ankles. It gives a little bit of sexy to simple, and makes for a great beach or vacation shoe, as it’s comfortable for all-day wear. You can pair these with a cute flouncy skirt or flowy dress to give an island feel, or simply wear with shorts for something more casual.
Esparto rope is what gives an espadrille it’s unique sole and appeal to shoe enthusiasts, and both men and women traditionally wear this style of footwear. The Viscata Escala has a beautiful canvas upper that wraps the top of the foot, while strappy ties securely fasten it to your foot. A decorative heel wraps up the ankle slightly, and a shorter 2.5-inch heel gives this wedge a little lift for dressier attire.
Each pair of Escalas is handcrafted in Spain, inspired by Mediterranean culture and life. Natural jute and rubber soles keep a soft padded feel to the shoe, and with its open construction, ventilated comfort makes these easy for all-day wear. As the Escala is made from all-natural materials, it’s easily washable should you need to clean them off.
By no means expensive for a quality handcrafted espadrille, the Viscata Escala adds a ‘one of a kind’ feel to your footwear collection, and is well worth the money. Its Mediterranean flair and canvas comfort allow it to be suited for casual attire as well as dressier nights out. The Escala is a beautifully crafted shoe, and available in a variety of color options, so you’ll find one perfect for you!
6. Birkenstock Pisa
High Quality Leather
No list of the Best Looking Shoes can be complete without the addition of a nice comfortable Birkenstock sandal. The Pisa is a great choice being comprised of mostly leather and cork and boasting one of the most comfortable designs of all time. With a number of color options to select, you'll be sure to find one that suits your style.
It's no surprise that the main selling point on these pair of sandals in addition to it's looks is the overall comfort. The cork and leather build makes the walkability fantastic and the straps make it easy to slip on and off.
Birkenstock Sandals may not be known for their therapeutic uses, but they sure should be! The bed of the sandals is beyond comfortable and is great for those with back pain. Birkenstock Sandals are known to be a bit more on the expensive side but for a good reason. The quality of materials is unmatched compared to other cork and leather sandals on the market and in combination with its fantastic comfortability, you've got yourself one of the best sandals available on the market.
7. Nike Air VaporMax Plus
Synthetic External Cage
Innovative Air Unit
No Break In Required
Inspired by highly cushioned running models, the Air VaporMax Plus by Nike was developed to give you a futuristic look that comes in a huge number of colorways, along with some pretty nifty features that aren’t always available in everyday sneakers. The idea for the sneaker first appeared over 7 years ago when designers wanted to find a way to attach the Nike Air unit directly to the upper, without having to use a midsole. This shoe comes both in a regular and Flyknit version, and is even available in a Premium version for a slightly higher cost.
The upper is entirely made with cushioned fabric and synthetic for a futuristic look and comfortable feel. The heel has a synthetic counter for stability, while the entire foot is supported by a floating cage that was inspired by the 1998 version of Nike’s Air Max. In terms of shock absorption, you’ll find that the air units are more responsive than ever before, adapting to the exact amount of force you put on the with each step, and converting that energy into push-off as you move on.
The outsole features rubber pods in high wearing areas to provide you with the durability you need, and you’ll easily find the best fit thanks to the classic lacing system. While it does lack breathability, it requires almost no break-in time, meaning that you can easily wear these out of the box. As for the price, it’s quite hefty, but that’s no surprise, considering this is one of Nike’s flagship models.
8. Ariat Rambler
Western Style Boot
Easy Pull On
Toe Runs Narrow
Who knew that when western inspired shoes would start becoming trendy back in 2016, that we’d soon pair them with nearly every outfit we can throw together? The Ariat Rambler is a simple western style cowboy boot, great with jeans, slacks, even shorts if you dare. Their classic patterning gives a rugged yet elegant feel to the boot, and leather quality keeps them durable for the long haul. Easy to dress up or dress down, it’s a great boot for any occasion!
Still a hot trend in footwear, western styled shoes and boots are still going strong in 2019 in terms of looking good. The Rambler boot is perfect to pair with jeans with its slightly square toe, or even with slacks to give a little bit of a statement to your attire. With a simple western stitching atop the toe, these are easy to pair with casual or more formal wear without looking clunky.
With a slight heel to add some confidence to your step, the duratread sole provides rugged comfort for extended wear and maintains integrity even when worn on worksites or other unforgiving terrains. Torque Stability technology with a forked shank help provides stability while keeping the boot flexible for walking. With a nice wide 15 inch opening and side pull tabs, the Rambler is also easy to pull on.
For a boot, the Ariat Rambler is averagely priced, but compared to some on our list could be considered more expensive. Western stitching, quality leather, and rugged appeal are evident in this boot and contribute to the stylish classic look that will stand for years to come. A solid investment for those looking for western footwear!
9. Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon Low
Well Known Brand
Variety Of Colors
Lack In Durability
Polo Ralph Lauren as you already know is a home known brand in most parts of the world as they provide high quality and good looking pieces of clothing that cater to casual as well as professional settings. The Faxon Low Sneakers are a great addition to their line being more of a casual sneaker and a great shoe that fits into everyone's wardrobe.
The canvas/cotton body on the Faxon Low Sneakers are a great choice as they look and feel absolutely amazing. Additionally, the materials don't constrict or pinch any parts of the foot being extremely comfortable overall.
Long laces are often an overlooked feature due to the nature of laces in general, but they provide features that may not be noticed when first purchasing. Long laces allow for the shoe to be customized a lot better as well as fit a variety of foot widths for the best fit possible.
It's no secret that Polo Ralph Lauren has some expensive products, but the Faxons aren't one of them surprisingly. At a midrange price tag, the buyer is getting a name brand that's high quality and looks fantastic. Certainly worth the investment if you're a fan of Ralph Lauren products.
10. Stacy Adams Dickinson
Sizing May Vary
Oxford style shoes are always a classic for formal footwear, and who doesn’t love that clean cut, shiny leather look? Stacy Adams Dickinson keeps sharp looking footwear with a twist of brogue flair to give you a sophisticated look. Available in black or cognac coloring, the deep hues compliment many suits or slacks, and the cap toe design gives a little extra boost of approval from onlookers. Ideal for those attending weddings, or formal business events or galas who want to step up their look.
Classic oxford styling makes this a must-have for formalwear enthusiasts. Perfect to compliment a suit or business attire, the Stacy Adams Dickinson steps up your sophistication with cap toe styling and decorative brogues. Quality leather uppers give a polished and poised look, and will surely impress onlookers with its clean lines and lace-up closures.
Many times when we think of formal shoes, we think we need to sacrifice comfort. The Dickinson kept comfort in mind when they added a memory foam insole to keep cushioning maximal, and shock minimal. Breathable lining adds to the ventilation and cooling effect to keep you dry all day long. And with its low stacked heel, you can strut confidently in style all day without feeling foot fatigue or calve aches.
For a more formal style pair of oxfords, the Dickinson is a budget-friendly option for such a stylish and high-quality pair of oxfords. Decorative brogues, cap toe, and quality leather give this a rich feel and is sure to compliment business or formal wear appropriately. Well worth considering if you’re in the market for a formal oxford to keep a sharp look!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
As mentioned above in the conclusion, compiling a list of the “Best Looking Shoes” is quite the subjective topic as many of us are akin to many different shoe styles and looks. We did our best when compiling this list to choose shoes that are not only good looking in general but are generally enjoyed by others as well.
Additionally, we all have different styles of shoes we like so basing a list purely off of the opinions of others just won’t cut it. Listed below are all of the different styles of shoes on this list as well as examples. Included are shoes anywhere from boots and heels to sneakers and sandals.
Obviously good looking shoes need to be composed of high-quality materials. Materials, for the most part, go hand in hand with durability, the main selling point when determining whether or not to invest in a new pair of shoes.
Many of which listed below are the most common materials used when creating a shoe. Materials can range anywhere from leather to rubber and of course canvas.
When it comes to footwear, the brand behind the design plays an integral role. Everywhere you turn these days including newspapers, magazines, and on television, we see celebrities and Hollywood’s A-listers, wearing exquisite footwear.
In music lyrics and rap songs, we continuously hear the artist make mention of fashion giants like Gucci, Prada, and Louboutin. It’s all about flaunting your fancy things. So with this sort of influence, it’s only natural for people to want to fit in and to be a part of this lavish lifestyle.
The pairs featured on this list are made by designer brands, high end manufacturers, as well as more budget-friendly brands that offer excellent quality for reasonable sums of money.
The one thing to keep in mind before spending your hard-earned money is that brand does not always equal durability, which is why we would recommend looking at the pros and cons listed for each item, as well as checking out the reviews left by people who have bought the same shoe in order to ensure it is the best choice for you.
Another very important consideration that should go into choosing a new pair is their durability. Durability is essentially their ability to withstand wear or pressure, and therefore their ability to last. This is important because nobody wants to purchase a product that will break or start to tear too soon. This also will help save money, because you will be able to keep them longer and purchase new pairs less.
These are some of the qualifications to look for when seeking out a durable heel:
Though it might be something that is often overlooked, especially in high heeled pairs, durability is super important when it comes to choosing. This way, you’ll be able to keep your favorite heels for much longer, and wear them for many events to come!
Another important criterion that we used when picking out products is the price tag. The truth is, we all know the price is important. When picking out footwear, we have a budget in mind and try to stay in-between a specific dollar amount.
However, when it comes to this type of evaluation, we are looking at something a bit different. Here, we focused on a way to ensure that no matter what product you decide, you receive your money’s worth for the purchase.
So, to start off the buying guide, we actually first scanned the market and looked at what companies were charging. We paid very close attention to the highest priced items and the lowest price. In this, we were able to draw some conclusions as to what perhaps maybe an average price tag.
For us, we used this to our advantage when assessing each product. We carefully looked at each product and considered whether or not the price was fairly priced, in accordance to the average price tag. From there, we also were able to draw conclusions as to whether or not the value it offered was fairly priced.
In doing this type of evaluation, we were able to eliminate products that were overpriced, lacking value, or simply a scam.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Just as fashion changes each season, our footwear evolves to reflect growing trends in style. Some of the hottest trends in 2018 for footwear are patterns and polka dots, embellishments, buckles, and textures.
You can step up the style by finding a favorite pair with some of these fashion trends, and adding some color into your footwear to make a bolder statement.
While fashion trends are wonderful to show off your individual flair and sense of style, keeping a few staple pairs in your collection will keep you looking good for years to come.
Some staples in footwear are cowboy boots, oxfords or derbys, and high heels.
Other Factors to Consider
A great pair of shoes can have a transformative effect not only only your looks, but also your body language and attitude. It comes as no surprise that when we want to look polished, be it for a fancy occasion or for a casual outing, or even for work, we try to choose footwear that looks great, and that reflects the values which we find most important in life.
Some may prefer more traditional footwear such as Oxfords or pumps, while others want to stand out in futuristic designs, glittery uppers or sky high heels, but it’s easy to notice that the best looking models all have a few simple things in common:
You may find that some models on this list have price tags that are quite high, but that is not a requirement for a successful purchase. While investing in any quality pair of footwear is a good idea, especially if you want something that will serve you for years (depending on how often you wear it, of course), you may also find great looking models at low price points. For formal and professional footwear, choosing a simple black pump can go a long way. For athletic styles, you can even purchase older or simpler models, and still receive the benefits of a great look.
Regardless of which of the options listed above you go with, we would recommend paying close attention to the comfort and fit provided by the shoe, as, ultimately, your favorite pair of shoes will always be the one you feel good in.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I clean my leather dress shoes?
We have an entire article devoted to this topic here on NicerShoes as well as a buying guide for leather polishes.
q: Can I wear formal shoes with jeans or shorts?
As style is really a subjective and very individual thing, it’s really up to you how to mix and match items in your wardrobe and footwear to suit any occasion. Formal shoes are great for fancy evenings, but can always be paired with jeans or shorts for something more casual, but help keep an edge to your outfit to look sharp and impressive. The sky is the limit with style and formal footwear!
q: How do I stop my shoes from smelling?
Deodorizing smelly shoes can be quite simple. There are many ways to go about it but my favorite is to simply toss them in the washer (if they’re made from fabric) or just simply put one dryer sheet in each shoe.
q: Are sandals hurting my feet and posture if I wear them often?
More often then not, no, but it’s best to consult a doctor if you notice any problems.
q: What are some hot trends in footwear for 2018?
For 2018, we found lots of trendy shoes that highlight plaid or polka dot patterns to be fashion forward, as well as classic western styled or strappy sandals to still be relevant in terms of fashionable. Newer more edgy trends include angled block heels, flashy patterned sneakers, silver colored or jewel adorned shoes, and any footwear with a clear lucite or plastic build.