Best Shoes with Buttons Reviewed For Classic Style
It can hardly be considered unusual - so many things these days have buttons, either functional or decorative - so why would footwear be any different? These little round accents serve to deliver interest to a design, as an innovative type of closure, or perhaps they bring a touch of adjustability, enabling you to find the right fit for yourself.
Having buttons is highly practical, however you put it. This is why we felt the need to put together this guide, where we find the best shoes with buttons to help you change things up in your style and add some interesting elements to your outfits. Scroll on down and enjoy the wonderful world of shoes with buttons!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
Antique Washed Italian Leather
Contoured Ankle Support
Partially Nailed Leather Outsole
1. Frye Melissa
Antique Washed Italian Leather
Contoured Ankle Support
Partially Nailed Leather Outsole
Not for Wide Calves
Leather Creases Around Toes
A company which is older than a century, the Frye brand is all about impeccable craftsmanship and high-quality Italian leather. Their designs are simple and smooth in appearance but undeniably constructed to perfection. The same goes for the Frye Melissa, an equestrian-inspired tall boot that you will love wearing come colder season.
The upper of the Melissa is made from antique washed leather that is hard wearing and sufficiently resistant against scuffs and tears. It has a scalloped cuff with double pull-on tabs fastened by buttons. The round toe shape is flattering and spacious for your toes, and the entire shaft is contoured around the ankle for extra support. The Melissa comes with leather lining to maintain a healthy climate inside the design, and also with a leather outsole, which is both durable and provides a molded sort of comfort.
The Frye Melissa can be found in a large selection of color combinations, each one more than ready to complement your autumn looks. This is not a bulky, protective winter choice, but a more elegant everyday option that you can wear to work, to shopping trips, and even to evening dates with your significant other. You can do it all in the Frye Melissa!
2. Crocs Jaunt Shorty
Waterproof Croslite Upper
Croslite Cushioned Comfort
Traction Rubber Outsole
Adjustable Button Fastening
White Rings Pop Out
Rubs the Ankle Wrong
While we are used to the classic Crocs Clog, this brand has a wide variety of other designs as well - from snow boots to Mary Janes and heels, even to rain boots such as the Jaunt Shorty. This adorable little boot is a great, lightweight choice when the day is overcast and when the rain simply isn’t letting up.
The entirety of the Jaunt Shorty is made from Croslite material. On the outside, this may seem like rubber, but in fact, it is not. It isn’t plastic either - Croslite is its own category, a closed-cell resin foam material carefully developed in the Crocs lab. It provides cushioned comfort and has anti-microbial properties, preventing bad odors and infections. The reason the Jaunt Shorty landed on this list is the little detail at the top of the shaft which allows you to adjust the width of the opening to fit you better.
The inside of this boot has a roomy Crocs fit, and is outfitted with Croslite foam cushioning for all-day support. There is a rubber outsole on the bottom to improve traction on wet, slippery terrain.
Thanks to a selection of vibrant color choices, you are surely going to find a version of Jaunt Shorty that you love. Everyone needs a reliable, waterproof rain boot in their arsenal, and this lightweight, lovely little bootie will brighten all of your rainy days!
3. Ariat Waverly
Elastic Gore Panels
Full Grain Leather
Gore Panels Orange in Color
Another equestrian design on our list, the Ariat Waverly is all about clean lines, an elastic fit and a chic fall/winter look. It is a tall boot that comes in several natural colors and which features snap details at the back, a form of button closures which add to the overall riding aesthetic. You can easily pair these boots with skinny jeans or tights and be the most fashion-forward version of yourself come winter!
The Waverly is made from full grain leather which changes shape over time and molds to the contours of your feet and legs. There are full-length gore panels in the sides which stretch out to accommodate calves of all shapes and sizes. The zipper in the back allows for an easy way in and out of the boot, and the snaps keep it secure. The Duratread outsole is just what you need to preserve your balance on slippery terrain.
While tall boots may not be for everyone, there is something exceptionally elegant in the Waverly’s simple, smooth design. This option is not meant for the harshest of winters, but when the days grow cold and the sky becomes overcast, these boots from Ariat will definitely serve their purpose.
4. Skechers Keepsakes-Brrrr
Cozy Faux Fur Lining
Shock Absorbing Midsole
Only for Dry Weather
Not for Plantar Fasciitis
As its very name suggests, the Skechers Keepsakes-Brrrr (that’s four r’s) is a design which is meant to help you get through freezing days. It is a slouchy casual winter boot that you can wear in dry weather or pre-treat with special products to be able to wear it in wet conditions. The Keepsakes-Brrrr reaches up to mid-calf but can be folded over to add some versatility to your looks.
This boot is made from genuine suede. It is a soft, plush material that is extremely comfortable, though not resistant to stains and moisture. The top side of the Keepsakes-Brrrr has three button accents which can be undone if you wish to roll down the cuff to change up your style. The inside is lined with faux fur to provide both softness and insulation, and there are a couple of comfort layers which provide that all-day wearability. Finally, there is a flexible rubber outsole on the bottom to deliver good traction.
We will admit that the Skechers Keepsakes-Brrrr is not the choice you make if you are facing blizzards, slush or any extreme amount of moisture. However, for the dry season, it is a great choice to keep you cushioned, comfy and warm, and we can only applaud its ability to transform into an entirely different design once you fold over the cuff. Two boots for the price of one!
5. Clarks Leisa Carly
Full Grain Leather Upper
Easy to Wear
Lightweight EVA Midsole
Cushion Soft Technology
Clog Mule Design
Not for a High Instep
Not Enough Arch Support
Clarks is an age-old brand which first began in 1825. For almost two hundred years, they have honed the art of shoemaking, and today they rely on advanced techniques and contemporary materials to deliver only the best options to their customers. The Leisa Carly is an easy to wear clog mule that is exceptionally comfortable and traditionally beautiful.
It has an upper made from leather for high quality and comfort, decorated with a braided strap with ornamental buttons on the sides. The Leisa Carly is outfitted with the Cushion Soft technology, which includes an OrthoLite footbed for moisture-wicking and cushioning. On the bottom, an EVA outsole keeps the entire design light in weight and a breeze to wear.
The Leisa Carly is a great option for warm weather days when you don’t feel like exposing your toes, but also don’t want to fuss with any complicated designs or closures. It is simple and sensible in aesthetic and is great to pair with both pants and skirts and dresses. You will simply love taking it out for long walks and shopping trips!
6. Cobb Hill Hollywood
Anatomically Shaped Footbed
Soft Microfiber Lining
Genuine Leather Upper
The Hollywood sandal from Cobb Hill brings together a worldly sensibility and an enviable comfort for a ride that you have to experience to believe. This design is perfect for the office where open toes are not against the dress code, or even a long, satisfying walk around downtown with your closest friends. From business chic to casual, the Hollywood pulls it all off!
This sandal is made from full-grain leather, meaning that its straps won’t dig into your skin or cause any type of discomfort (after a short break-in period). The heel is low, 2.12 inches, and wedge in shape, providing you with much-needed all-day wearability. The footbed of the Hollywood is anatomically shaped and the outsole is made from TPR with an earthy, wood finish.
The reason the Hollywood landed on our list is definitely its buttons on the straps, which have a purely decorative purpose. However, you can easily adjust the fit of the straps thanks to their velcro closures. This Cobb Hill option is comfortable, adjustable and incredibly versatile - what more could we possibly want!
7. UGG Bailey Button Triplet II
Sheepskin Suede Upper
Water and Stain Repellent
Treadlite by UGG Outsole
Poor Arch Support
You’ve seen it absolutely everywhere - the UGG boot has become a synonym for comfort, coziness, and quality. Despite its less than attractive appearance, this design has swept over the world, and now it also comes in a version with buttons. The Bailey Triplet II is everything you’re looking for in an UGG boot, now with this round embellishment as well.
The Bailey is a plush sheepskin boot. Its upper is pretreated to repel water and stains, making it perfect for any type of winter outing. The three wood button accents are there for versatility - the Bailey can be folded over to reveal the fluffy lining underneath, or you can keep the elastic closures fastened for extra warmth around your leg. On the bottom, there is a Treadlite by Ugg outsole, which is pretty much everything you’d ever need in an outsole. It provides bounce and cushioning to your steps, it is more durable than other types of outsoles, and it delivers excellent traction in messy weather.
The UGG Bailey Triplet II comes in several different color options, one of which is this classic chestnut version. We understand if you’re maybe skeptical about wearing UGGs - we all have reservations about something that is so inherently popular all over the globe - but trust us when we say that this purchase is definitely worth it.
8. KEEN Bali
Reinforced Toe Area
Superior Arch Support
Good for Bunions
KEEN is a footwear company which supports leaving behind the concrete, urban lifestyle and exploring everything that mother nature has to offer. The Keen Bali is a sandal which you take with you to the pool, to the beach and everywhere in between for a breezy, lightweight experience that you won’t mind repeating every single day.
The Bali comes with an upper made from polyester webbing, with a hydrophobic mesh lining. This lining is quick to dry in case it gets exposed to moisture. The colorful straps of the sandal are joined together in the middle by a decorative logo button. We appreciate the toe area as well, which comes with a protective layer of rubber, to keep your toes safe from stubs, cuts, or any other light injuries. The Keen Bali really doesn’t hold back when it comes to comfort. It is outfitted with a metatomical footbed, one that is anatomically engineered to provide maximum arch support and cushioning.
This easy slip-on sandal is just what you need when the summer sets in. It will keep your feet exposed and happily enjoying the sunshine, while still protecting them and keeping them comfortable at the same time. There isn’t anything not to love about this sandal, and it will quickly become a staple piece you won’t be able to imagine your summers without.
9. Pin Up Couture Smitten 10
Vintage Pin-Up Style
Adjustable Buckle Closure
Button and Bow Details
Sweet and Sexy
Tight Toe Box
The brand Pin Up Couture is all about pushing boundaries and delivering only the most sensual, sexiest of styles! It combines cuteness, originality and often sky-high heels to make you the center of attention at any event. And while the Smitten 10 is not a sky-high heel by any means, it is undeniably feminine, romantic, and irresistible to wear.
This d’Orsay two-toned pump is entirely constructed out of synthetics - the brand takes pride in their vegan options. It has a T-strap with a row of decorative buttons in a contrast color, and a buckle around the ankle. This buckle can be adjusted to the width that fits you. In terms of embellishments, there is also a dainty bow on the front to amp up the sweetness factor.
The heel of the Smitten is almost four inches high. This may not be the most comfortable height and it may take some getting used to, but thanks to its thicker shape, it is more stable than your average stiletto.
If you’re all about that vintage style with a little bit of pin-up thrown in, then the Smitten 10 fits right into your aesthetic! You won’t find a shoe that is this sweet and yet this sexy at the same time, and we are sure that you will have a great time pairing it with all of your favorite outfits!
10. Cobb Hill Paulette
Genuine Leather and Synthetics
Soft Textile Lining
Flexible Strobel Construction
Shock Absorbing Footbed
Cobb Hill is a collection which belongs to Rockport. It mostly features vintage designs with charming details such as ruching, laser-cut accents, overlays and - you guessed it - buttons. The Cobb Hill Paulette is that reliable choice you make when you need a good shoe for all-day comfort. It is a slip-on that is easy to wear and difficult to part from, and it will seamlessly fit into your wardrobe.
The Paulette is made from a combination of leather and synthetic materials. It has that ruching detail we mentioned, together with an antique metal button with a bungee clasp for a fashionable fit. Inside this slip-on, there is a gentle textile lining, and an EVA footbed for impact absorption as you walk. The outsole is made from EVA as well, with a TR forefoot pod for even more shock absorption. Your joints will never feel as light or as pressure-free as in the Paulette!
Visually, the Cobb Hill Paulette may be unimpressive. It doesn’t follow the current fashion trends, nor is it concerned about being cute. However, its sensible appeal goes well with any sort of outfit, and its comfort is undeniable. Don’t hesitate to take full advantage of this well-rounded style.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When it comes their purpose, you have the option of choosing functional or purely decorative buttons.
By upper here, we mean ‘the purpose of the buttons and how they are showcased’. As we mentioned in our introduction, these decorations can play several roles - they can be purely ornamental, only adding interest to a design; they can serve as a closure, helping you keep your footwear fastened together; they can even provide some adjustability, in the sense that you can use them to customize the fit of the design however you’d like.
Ornamental decorations are the easiest to construct. These buttons don’t offer anything new to the functionality of the pair of shoes with buttons, but they do represent a great visual element, one that your eye is immediately drawn to. They are fun and quirky to have on your footwear, and we like the sensibility that comes with them.
When it comes to a closure of this type, those we see in the Skechers Keepsakes-Brrrr and the Crocs Jaunt Shorty. In these cases, buttons replace zippers, laces or buckle closures. They can be adjustable, but they’re mostly there just to keep your footwear on your feet and legs.
And finally, there are those which have an elastic band fastening which adds a touch of customization. The Cobb Hill Paulette is a great example of this, where the design is a little bit stretchier with the elastic elements tied to their buttons.
After going through all of these, we can’t forget the versatility of the Skechers Keepsakes-Brrrr, and the Uggs Bailey. The purpose of buttons on these designs is to allow you to fold them over so that you can get an entirely different look out of these boots if you so desire.
There is no one way to utilize these decorations, and no one correct way to wear them. We ranked the designs in our guide according to how well they showcased their little round embellishments, and how functional they were, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for a style which is more ornamental than practical. That is, in the end, the beauty of such decorations - they are endlessly versatile, and they fit right in with any type of style and any type of shoe.
For the most comfortable ride, look for cushioned and contoured footbeds, and chunky, low heels.
Having a cute pair of shoes with buttons is all fun and games until you realize that they kind of hurt as you walk. A seam digs into your sole here, the heel is too high, or there is not enough support to stave off the pain after an entire day of walking. So now what? You have a lovely shoe which you can’t wear because it hurts, and which you will most likely just throw into your closet and forget about until it’s time for spring cleaning.
Well, to avoid these unpleasantries - and the disappointment that comes with realizing that the shoes you were looking forward to are highly uncomfortable - we are here to help you choose the best option for yourself. We have prepared a mini crash course in what makes a design comfortable - at least pertaining to this guide - so let’s get started.
- Footbed: Footbed is the part of the design which comes in direct contact with the foot sole. It can either make your experience as cushioned and comfortable as possible, or it can be rather flat and cause more pain than comfort.
A cushioned footbed is always a plus. No matter the design - whether it is a sneaker or a heel or a boot - extra padding in the footbed is what provides you with a cloud-like feeling when you walk, what minimizes the pressure in your sole, and what ultimately makes the design as comfortable as it can be. However, there is such a thing as too much cushioning - it should be soft and moldable, but also firm, so that it provides adequate support as you walk or engage in other types of activities.
Another thing that a footbed can be is molded or contoured. This means that it has hills and valleys in its surface which correspond to the lines of the foot sole. They provide support where it’s needed, and gently cradle your heel and your toes. Molded footbeds also often have arch support, which is essential if you’re spending a lot of time on your feet, and if you want to reduce the chances of getting foot fatigue.
- Materials: While we will go more in-depth about footwear materials in a later section, here we will mention them in terms of comfort. The materials a design is made of determine how flexible or how stiff it is, how it comes in contact with your skin, and whether or not it is supportive or flimsy or somewhere in between.
You want the upper (and the lining) of the design to be gentle and not leave any abrasions or blisters, but you also want them to keep you secure and not lose shape over time. The best choice would be genuine leather or suede, as well as canvas or mesh fabrics, which are lightweight and conform to the shape of your foot.
Synthetic options can be almost as good as genuine leathers, but more often than not they lack the malleability of natural materials and tend to dig into the skin and leave indentations or lacerations.
If you’re trying on a design for the first time, make sure that no part of it is pinching you or stabbing you or otherwise causing discomfort. Little, seemingly insignificant details like these can grow into something a lot more painful through regular wear.
- Heel A feature which directly influences the comfort level of a design is the heel. Several options in our list have high heels to them. Here, we will briefly outline what you should consider if you wish to remain to standing, walking, twirling or dancing in your heels for as long as possible.
The first factor is the heel height. Heels which are four inches and above are quite uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. They put a lot of pressure on the front of the foot, and after only a couple of hours, they start causing cramps and pain. Comparatively, heels of three inches and less are quite comfy in the long run, in many cases as easy to wear as flat shoes.
Secondly, the heel shape is also important. Stilettos are difficult because they narrow all of your weight down to a point. They aren’t stable, and they can cause you to stumble or twist your ankle. They also make you shift your weight forward, adding more strain to the ball of the foot. In contrast, thick, chunky heels and wedges are infinitely more comfortable, as they distribute your weight more evenly through the shoe. Even wedges which are higher than three inches are easier to wear than lower stilettos.
You can find buttons on pretty much any footwear style you want - boots, heels, flats, even sandals!
Style, like beauty - is in the eye of the beholder. While there are designs which are more attractive to us than others, no one can say that something is universally unappealing, or universally pretty, as everyone’s tastes are different. If you find a shoe ugly, your friend might think it’s absolutely lovely. This is why in this section we won’t focus on the philosophy and beauty of the shoes with buttons, but rather on their style types, and what you can expect to get from each one if you choose to purchase it.
The group which is the highest in number on this list are the boots. We have true winter boots, such as the Skechers Keepsakes-Brrrr and the Ugg Bailey. These have thick, furry linings and uppers designed to withstand low temperatures and to protect you from the cold. Equally protective - but from the rain - is the Crocs Jaunt Shorty, which doesn’t keep you warm per se, but is an excellent choice to keep away the moisture.
And finally, we also have a fashion boot that is the Frye Melissa, which may not be the most protective compared to the rest, but is a great casual option when you want to look polished and cool.
Following the boots, there are heels. We mentioned these designs in our discussion about heels in relation to comfort. These can be fun and flirty, cute and sexy, or polished and professional. Heels are a great choice when you want to look poised and put together, whether it is for a party, a fun day out with your friends, or perhaps an important business meeting. They elevate your height, add grace to your posture, and make you appear slimmer.
In our list, we also have a flat sandal that is the Keen Bali, which you can wear on the hottest of days to keep you cool and comfortable.
Which one out of these styles you choose, and which one you want depends entirely on you. What is your aesthetic? What will the purpose of these shoes be? Are you going to wear them in winter, or in summer? When you answer all of these questions, finding the right option will be an absolute breeze.
To get the highest quality footwear, choose natural materials such as leather and suede.
Materials are an important factor when it comes to a design’s flexibility, comfort levels, breathability, durability, water resistance, and other similar characteristics. They determine the quality of the shoe, as well as how well it will move, how it will feel, and how it will behave in general.
In our Comfort part, under Materials, we mentioned genuine leather and suede. There is a reason these two materials have been at the forefront of footwear manufacturing for literal centuries. They are breathable, allowing the air to easily pass through in and out of the design; they are flexible, not constricting or preventing any type of movement; they are comfortable because they change shape over the course of wear and provide you with a tailored comfort, and they are also highly durable.
The only downsides to leather and suede are that they are expensive, and also obviously not animal-friendly.
In our list, we also have the Keen Bali, which is made out of synthetic materials. However, these synthetics are infused with special characteristics, such as in the case of the quick-drying mesh lining. Despite not being made out of natural materials, both this sandal and the Crocs Jaunt Shorty boot are not any lesser in quality than genuine leather and suede.
The Crocs Jaunt Shorty especially is made from Croslite, a brand-specific material that can’t be found anywhere else and which is unparalleled when it comes to water resistance, odor control, and durability.
One design on our list, the Pin Up Couture Smitten, is made out of faux leather that doesn’t come with any revolutionary benefits. In fact, it might feel rigid and unyielding, and it also might fall apart sooner than expected. However, this pump is also low in cost, and completely vegan, which might outweigh the quality problems.
In the end, you shouldn’t concern yourself too much with what type of material your shoes with buttons are made of. It is good to know the basics, to know what to expect of each material type, but ultimately, this isn’t something that should keep you up at night. Far more important is that you like how your shoe looks, and that it is comfortable to wear wherever you want to wear it.
For maximum durability, choose the material type carefully, but don't hold yourself back from wearing your favorite designs.
Branching off of our discussion about materials, we arrive at durability as the final criterion that we judged our shoes with buttons on. Durability and materials are closely connected, in the sense that materials are a big factor in gauging how durable a design is. Other factors are construction methods, frequency of usage, and the way of use as well.
In terms of materials, the most durable ones are genuine leather and suede, then synthetics, then canvas and mesh.
The durability of leather and suede depends on how thickly they’re layered. If there is only one layer in design, it may reach the end of its lifespan relatively quickly (in a few seasons). However, if it is two or even three layers of leather, these options can outlive even the toughest of rubber boots. One thing required for long-lasting leather, however, is that it needs to be conditioned regularly.
Faux leather and faux suede are less durable. They are subject to flaking, creasing, cracking and ultimately a type of damage that can’t be repaired with conditioning. A similar fate awaits lightweight materials, textiles, and mesh. These are not meant to be worn in harsh conditions and are prone to fraying and thinning out as time goes by.
All of this being said, we need to stress how important it is that you don’t hold back from wearing your new shoes. Yes, they may fall apart sooner or later, and yes, they may not last as long as they would if you’d worn them less often - but you’re not buying footwear to keep it tucked in your closet. You’re buying it to wear it, to be proud of it, and to take full pleasure in how it feels on your feet. Durability is only something to consider, but not something that should control how frequently and in what ways you wear your footwear.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Oddly enough, the buttonhole came after the invention of the button. While the decoration dates back to thousands of years BC, the hole was actually invented by Moorish tailors and adopted by Europe in the 13th century.
In Japan, it is a tradition that high school boys confess their love for girls they fancy by giving them the second button from the top of their school uniform. This button is the closest to their heart.
Other Factors to Consider
When you’re considering a type of a design as adorable and as whimsy as one with buttons on it - there’s no room for stress! While we did outline a lot of information in our Criteria section, this isn’t something that should burden you as you shop. Choosing a pair of shoes with buttons is supposed to be easy and fun!
So, spend only a few moments considering each criterion; decide whether you want a boot or a pump or a sandal or a slip-on, whether you’re going to wear it to work or to dinner dates or to the beach, and if it seems like it will be comfortable for you. Then don’t waste even a second more in getting yourself a pair of shiny shoes that are as cute as a button!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What if a button falls off my shoe?
That is, in fact, a great question. Some shoes with buttons on our list - especially the more expensive ones, from well-known brands - come with spares, or otherwise offer a means of replacement. However, others do not. In these cases, you should do your best to preserve the button and take your design to a cobbler to fix it. If not, you might just be doomed to walk button-less in the future.
q: Are buttons better than laces or zippers?
Depending on what your goal is! By definition, these round closures are not very adjustable - they are either fastened, or they’re not. The same goes for a zipper - it is either done or undone. However, laces offer a lot of adjustabilities, as you can tighten them or loosen them up to make the design fit right around your foot. If adjustability is something that you need, then you should definitely look for closures like laces, velcro straps, or buckles.
q: How old is a button as a concept?
The first of these round trinkets was discovered in relation to the Indus Valley Civilization, from 2800 to 2600 BC. Curiously, at that time they weren’t used as fasteners, but rather as ornaments or seals.
q: Can I get a pair of shoes with buttons for my kid?
Design- and style-wise, we see no reason why you shouldn’t. However, if your child is young, say a preschooler, then these small round objects which can easily come apart and get swallowed may not be the best choice when it comes to footwear decorations. It is best to save them for a later time when your kid is old enough to distinguish what is edible and what isn’t.
q: Aren’t buttons a little old-fashioned?
Absolutely not! They are the ever-present decoration not only on footwear but also on apparel, furniture, even electronics. They are a great way to merge functionality and design, and we are sure that they won’t go out of style for decades more.
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