Best White Dress Shoes For Weddings and More Reviewed
Though most people revert to dark colors—grey, black, navy—when it comes to dress shoes, we think it’s time to add white into the mix, too. Let the cleanliness and purity of this color be the finishing touch to your semi-formal or formal attire. Below is a list of ten of the best dress shoes, including pumps for the ladies and Oxfords for gentlemen, to steer you in the right direction.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Style is the most important criterion when it comes to best dress shoes. Some fanatics might say it’s the most important for all types of footwear, but that’s a bit of a stretch; when exercising or just going about your daily life, comfort ranks much higher, since wearing uncomfortable footwear could lead to blisters, cuts, callouses, and even long-term problems with the joints. However, when it comes to dress shoes, you won’t be wearing them for long periods of time. Even if they cause a bit of discomfort, the few hours for which you wear them isn’t enough to cause much harm. That’s why we think style comes first.
Shoe style, or shoe type, can determine the occasions for which the shoe is suitable. Since “dress shoes” isn’t a category of its own, it can be difficult to decide just what type of shoe to choose. However, some types are considered to be “traditional” dress shoe styles. It’s safer to stick to these to ensure you have dressed appropriately for the event.
Starting with men’s options, Oxfords are the most popular pick. These are characterized by the facing that is stitched under the vamp, also known as “closed lacing,” resulting in a slim silhouette. Within this umbrella category, there are cap toe, wingtip, whole cut, and plain toe Oxfords. Derbies are similar and are also popular. The third is the Monk Strap, which has a more traditional look and is not worn as much anymore. Further down the list are loafers and Chukka boots.
As for women, high heels are the obvious choice. They are feminine and glamorous, which is perfect for semi-formal and formal occasions. However, you want to make sure the heel isn’t so high that they seem more suitable for a Friday night out. Stick to kitten heels or pumps that measure two or three inches tall. Court shoes can also be chosen for traditional elegance, and brogues for a masculine element.
When we say “uppers,” we’re referring to the part of the shoe covering the toes, the foot, and the back of the heels. It can be thought of as the outer surface, and it is attached to the outsole using either the Goodyear Welt or glue. Some uppers are cut as a single piece while others include several pieces stitched into one. The tongue and the vamp are sometimes classified as part of the uppers as well, but nowadays they are mostly distinguished as separate parts of the footwear.
It goes without saying that the, in our list, the uppers of all the shoes are white. But the reason why this is a criterion isn’t so much because of color, but rather because of material. The thing is, the uppers are what protect the foot from the world outside, whether that’s scuffs or harsh weather. By consequence, they need to be made of the right materials.
When it comes to dress shoes, leather and suede are the most common upper materials—for a good reason. These two variations of animal skins are super flexible, supple, and durable. They are elastic, meaning they can stretch without risking tears or abrasion, and can also be made waterproof to protect you from wet weather. They also have a rich and luxurious appearance, though when dyed white the effect is less apparent. The only downside is that they are costly materials that can easily drive up the price of the footwear.
Nowadays, with the rise of manufacturing, synthetics are also commonly used. This material has benefits of its own, though keep in mind that it is not traditional. Synthetics refers to materials that are man-made, such as patent leather or vinyl. They are composed of an external surface along with a polyester backing. Their biggest advantage is their cheap price and, sometimes, their glossy appearance. However, they are less durable, less breathable, and less luxurious than leather and suede.
When purchasing any type of footwear, especially those worn during the warmer months, you should always ask yourself “how breathable are they?” Those with sweaty feet know the struggle. No matter how exciting the event is or how much you need to be focused and engaged, you just can’t do that with shoes that feel like ovens. On top of that, accumulated moisture and warmth can lead to bad odors and the growth of harmful bacteria. Athlete’ Foot, a foot fungus, also thrives in these conditions.
Shoe breathability is determined by the material from which it is made. Breathable fabrics were first produced with methods that resembled waterproofing. It included glossing the fabrics with solvents, but this method aroused environmental concerns. Today, manufacturers rely instead on having micro-pores in the fabric to allow moisture molecules to pass through. This way, excess body heat can escape and keep the feet feeling fresh and dry.
Tests have shown that microfibre leather provides the best ventilation out of all materials. This genuine vegan leather allows moisture to escape evenly through the pores and is commonly used in athletic shoes. Next up is genuine cowhide leather, which releases moisture but does so unevenly through the pores. The third and worst type of material are synthetics, including polyurethane and synthetic leather, through which moisture can escape very little, if at all. Keep in mind that synthetic leather is not the same as genuine vegan leather!
Buying footwear online is tricky because you take a huge risk when it comes to comfort. Since you can’t try them on and feel them yourself, you have to have faith that they’ll fit comfortably. There are, however, some ways that you can ensure a higher chance of getting the right pair. This includes having the right size, breathability, and material quality, which we explain in more detail in the rest of our criteria. However, it also includes shape and support.
Before making your purchase, take a look at the shape of your foot. Is it curved? Straight? Somewhere in between? Is it wide or narrow? Since shoes are designed to hug the foot for a snug and supportive fit, you need to make sure the shape of the shoe matches the shape of your foot. If you know for a fact that you’ve got wide feet, for instance, we recommend you skip the narrow flats and pumps. Some manufacturers have different width sizes (ex. Narrow, medium, or wide fit) to better accommodate each individual.
Support is more of a priority for athletic shoes because physical activity puts a lot of pressure on the feet, making it extra important to keep the arches support and the joint protected. However, you can never go wrong with a bit of extra comfort. The inside curve of the foot, also known as the arch, bears the most weight when walking, so it’s nice to have that part of the foot supported. This can be done by having a distinctly contoured shape on the footbed. Though not frequently found in heels, some men’s dress shoes will offer this feature.
A study done by the College of Podiatry states that nearly half of women and one-third of men purchase footwear that doesn’t fit properly. That’s a high percentage! If you’re part of that percentage, the bad news is that money and a slight discomfort aren’t the only cost you’re paying. In the long term, footwear that doesn’t fit can cause blisters, bunions, chronic foot pain, and even more serious issues. It could cost you your health.
Thankfully, you can take steps to ensure you get the right size. Though you may not be able to try on the dress shoes and feel see their size for yourself when shopping online, we’ve got some tips to facilitate the process for you.
Firstly, keep up-to-date measurements of your feet. It is recommended that you measure your feet once a year, as their size tends to change with time. Next, take these measurements and compare them to those of the sizing charts of different manufacturers, which will show you the corresponding shoe size to your foot measurement. Then, you can simply pick the shoe size that comes closest to your measurements.
If one of your feet ends up being larger than the other (it’s more common than you think!), it is advised to pick the size according to the larger of the two. In addition, make sure to have extra room if you intend to wear thick socks with the shoes—though that’s more applicable to winter footwear rather than dress shoes.
Top 10 White Dress Shoes
1. SR MAX Arlington
Practicality and fashion—choose ‘em both with a pair of these Oxfords. As a shoe company that revolves around slip-resistance and safety both at work and after-hours, SR Max is sure to keep you steady on your feet at all times.
The high-quality materials used in these Oxfords not only give them valuable features but also come together for a more luxurious appearance. Full-grain leather is used in the uppers, while the lining is made of pigskin and fabric. This provides breathability while also giving the white uppers a nice texture. The molded removable PU insole cushions your every step, while the MaxTrax rubber outsole prevents slipping. Since these are dress shoes, there is no safety toe cap, resulting in a lightweight and a flexible toe.
In terms of appearance, the classy lace-up and stacked heel are both featured, combined with the protective upper that gives them a subtle sneaker vibe. The mixture of style and practicality come together to serve those in marching bands, or whose work requires formal wear but also lots of walking.
2. Bates Lites Oxfords
Bates footwear serves those working in public safety, military, and civilian and industrial positions. Their most popular products are military boots, police boots, and Oxfords such as these.
With a less sleek and more casual appearance than most Oxfords, these are suitable for semi-formal, semi-casual occasions. In fact, its design almost reminds uof sneakers. The easy-to-polish leather uppers are durable and not glossy, for a more professional and versatile style. The lining is made of a breathable, moisture-wicking lining, and removable inserts are used for cushioning. Additionally, the Bates Lites technology provides a lightweight non-marking polyutherane outsole, and the Goodyear Welt Construction renders the overall Oxfords nice and long-wearing. The only downfall’s that they are the most expensive item on the list, but considering the excellent reputation of the brand, one can hardly complain.
3. Enzo Romeo Stone
For casual or semi-formal occasions, you’ll want something shiny, lustrous, and extravagant to pair with your attire. In that case, there’s no better option than these dress loafers by Enzo Romeo.
The silhouette gives an impression of modernity and extravagance. Rather than having the classic lace-up design, these only have a strap with a buckle across the front of the foot. In fact, the strap doesn’t even need to be adjusted—just slip them right on and you’re good to go thanks to the elastic opening. The square toe is contrasted by the 1 ¼ inch stacked heel, and perforations run along the sides and front of the uppers. Though the synthetic material isn’t the most breathable, the perforations make up for it. To top it all off, they are of an affordable price. Though not the most durable, they can certainly serve you well for out-of-the-blue occasions like weddings or parties.
4. Lucky Brand Emmie
Flats make excellent dress shoes because they are so traditionally feminine and elegant, yet also incredibly comfortable at the same time. These ones made by the proudly-American Lucky Brand are perfect for both street and dress wear.
Minimalist is the best way to describe their appearance. With a wide opening, a smooth white upper, and few seams, one can say there’s not much to want in this pair. However, their virtue is their simplicity. With no bows or designs on the bright white upper, they convey a sense of purity and feminity. They can also be paired with all kinds of outfits for all kinds of occasions. The leather uppers are flexible, similar to the lightweight rubber outsole, and comes in other colors like canyon rose, pewter, and nude. The inside is synthetics-lined. Just keep in mind that some customers say their material actually feels quite rough and uncomfortable.
5. Stacy Adams Gala
Stacy Adams is a brand striving to bring style as a form of personal expression to the fashionable men out there. Sleek, simple, and elegant, walk into the party with style with a pair of these men’s cap-toe oxfords.
These Oxfords shine, and not only figuratively. Made of lustrous patent leather, the white color just makes them gleam even more, giving them a unique and handsome appearance that you just can’t achieve with dark uppers. The simple silhouette features inconspicuous laces, a toe cap, and a stacked heel in a sharp, contrasting black. Inside, leather linings provide breathability. The memory foam on the fully cushioned insole makes it feel like you’re walking on clouds at every step. Pair these with an eccentric patterned suit or an all-white attire for an eye-catching, modern look.
6. Calvin Klein Brady
Founded way back in 1967, Calvin Klein is a global lifestyle brand that puts emphasis on “bold, progressive ideals and a seductive, and often minimal, aesthetic.” Their motto can be glimpsed in all of their products, the Brady pumps being just one example.
Clean, crisp, and elegant, every strong independent woman needs a pair of these Calvin Klein pumps to kick a**. The upper, insole, and even the heel are all pure white to create an appearance of cohesion. However, this is contrasted by the black outline at the bottom to accentuate the shape of the heel. The pointed toe tops off the look. Made of smooth patent leather and with a lightly cushioned insole, you can be sure that they’re high-quality in addition to fashionable. Though the 4-inch heel is higher than any of our other picks on the list and can be a bit risky for formal occasions, it shouldn’t be a problem for semi-formal or business casual situations. Keep in mind that they run small in size, so it’s best to order a size larger than you normally would.
7. Dream Pairs Low Heel Pumps
Similar to wedge heels, chunky heels are stable and modern-looking. This particular pair is reminiscent of summer with its sandal-style straps, but this is beautifully contrasted by the pointed toe for more of a “dress shoes” look.
Unfortunately, the downside of the pointed design is that it may lead to squished toes. Those with narrow feet are at an advantage here, because they are less likely to feel discomfort. But apart from that, the rest of the heel is perfect for all. The thick buckle strap at the ankle secures it in place to reinforce stability while also adding to their style. The upper is made of lightweight white PU. Though PU itself isn’t very breathable, the upper doesn’t cover much of the foot regardless, which counterbalances this flaw. In terms of value, it costs much less than it appears, so it’s definitely a bargain. Though it has an informal look and can be hard to wear to business meetings, the modest height of the heels that can’t be seen in the picture—a mere 2 ¼ inches—makes up for it.
8. Olivia K Classic D’Orsay
Is there anything more classy and adorable than bows on high heels? Incorporate it into your formal or semi-formal attire with these low pumps. Olivia K mixes business and fun to create this adorable pair.
With its glossy uppers and slightly pointed toes, this pair is extremely chic. Its simplicity allows it to be worn on all kinds of occasions and conveys an air of modesty. The heel measures around 3 inches, which is good for all-day wear. It’s also the perfect height in terms of versatility because it’s professional enough for work but also daring enough for partying. This way, one pair can do the job of two. What’s more, these pumps are super affordable and are offered in other colors too. If you like this pair, why not get another in navy, red, or nude?
9. Forever Doris-22
Wedges are arguably the best and most versatile type of heel out there. They are practical, chic, and depending on how you style them, suitable for formal occasions as well as parties.
These wedges by Forever Doris-22 have a shockingly simple design that, somehow, manages to convey all the chicness of modern fashion. With its rounded closed toe, it gives an impression of modesty, though some customers have experienced discomfort at the toes. The 2 ¾ inch heel is appropriate for professional occasions thanks to its wedge style, but the height teases the limit just enough to let others know that you’re not just a stern, no-nonsense workaholic—given the chance, you know how to have fun, too! Plus, the wedge design keeps you stable on your feet by allowing more surface contact. The white color of both the synthetic uppers and the heel gives this pair an overall neat and unified appearance.
10. Soft Style Angel II
“Soft" and “angel” are both words used to describe femininity and elegance. They also perfectly capture the style of these next kitten heels. Every element of their design comes together to create these dress pumps.
Unlike most heels nowadays, the opening of these do not come down nearly to the toes but are more like mid-foot. This ensures there is no “toe cleavage.” Combined with its 1 ¼ inch heel, it gives the impression of modesty. The bottom of the pumps is lined with black to accentuate their shape. As for comfort, they have it all taken care of with their padded and perforated footbeds, which provide both cushioning and airflow. This pair is excellent for those who don’t usually like to wear heels but are required for a formal occasion, as the stoutness of the heel makes them easy and comfortable to walk in. There is, however, one major flaw: they do not fit true to size. Some customers claim they fit small, while others say they fit large. This could cause some headaches in the ordering process.
- Women's Shoe Style Guide, Style Guide ,
- The Ultimate Men’s Dress Shoe Guide, Style Guide ,
- Top 5 Most Common Materials Used to Make Shoes, Informational ,
- The Upper of a Shoe and Its Parts, Informational ,
- What's My Shoe Size? How to Properly Measure Your Feet, ,
- What Makes A Shoe Comfortable?, ,