Skip to Content

Deciphering Mens Formal Shoe Styles

For those of us venturing into the world of mens dress shoes for the first time, it may seem like a foreign land. The terminology is so different from womens shoes! Here’s a short primer on popular styles:

Mens Oxford Shoes. In practice the term “oxford” has become somewhat generic; shoesellers may describe any leather mens dress shoe as oxfords. They do, however, tend to be lace-up styles with enclosed laces, which creates a sleeker and more formal look.

Mens Patent Leather Shoes. Patent leather is a shiny leather. You will find patent leather shoes in several styles, but they are always characterized by a high shine.

Mens Wing Tip Dress Shoes. Wing tips tend to be made from duller-surfaced leather than patent and are constructed with a toe cap. For added texture and interest, these shoes are often stitched in a “W” shape over top of the toe/instep area..