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Whether they are worn in offices, for walks around the park, to the bar, or just around your home, these are the kind of styles that don't require too effort or deliberation on any front—you don't have to mess with a bunch of laces and straps, you don't have to pull out a special pair of socks. You can slip these on and head out the door, and save all that mental energy for corporate functions, state dinners, weddings at the St. Regis, and other hard-and-fast black-tie events.
A casual shoe is a shoe you'll likely get a lot of use out of. It's in your everyday rotation, and when you reach for a different shoe, it's because there's an occasion. The casual shoe is not necessarily a sneaker; it's a loafer, too, or a derby, or a sandal that just...goes with your wardrobe. Not hard to style. Chic, without trying too hard. The shoe you reach for when you're running out the door, looking for a no-fuss option. So, to make sure your shoe game is up to snuff, here are 24 options for you to check out right now.
Stan Smith 'End Plastic Waste' Shoes
From fashion runways to tennis courts to streets far and wide, this sneaker dominates. You'd be wise to cop a pair, if you haven't done so already, because like the man it's named after, the style is the cream of the crop. And if that doesn't get you, the fact that this particular version is made of Primegreen (a performance recycled material) should.
Since its launch in 2017, the Allbirds Wool Runner has been a consistent best-seller for the DTC label, astounding (and confounding) many sneaker fiends. But what it lacks in sneakerhead cachet, it more than makes up for in durability, performance, style, and comfort. It's reliable. And that's damn important.
Dice Lo Sneakers
For a shoe that looks casual but is crafted with the utmost precision and care, the Dice Lo sneakers are perfect, with a retro aesthetic that uses leather and recycled rubber.
OCA Low Canvas Sneakers
You may have seen Cariumas on Ashton Kutcher lately. Lightweight and sustainably made, this affordable, casual shoe is one of our editors' favorites of the moment.
The Aventino is for a guy who wants a casual shoe that isn't an ugly shoe, as some sneakers tend to be. Sorry.
Ah, the classic Nike Cortez. Cool. Casual. Versatile. A shoe that never goes out of style.
Everlane's soft, lightweight sneakers are so comfy, you'll forget you're even wearing shoes. These look cool with just about anything—including formal pants, when you need to dress them up a bit.
Campo ChromeFree Leather Sneakers
The great thing about Vejas is that they're so damn wearable. Once you have these, you'll probably never put on your other shoes ever again.
Sonoma Suede Chelsea Boots
If you're in the market for an easy style flex that won't break the bank, look no further than New Republic's celebrated boot.
990v5 Made in US Running Shoes
For a long time, no shoe symbolized fatherhood more than the New Balance 990. Now, it symbolizes cool-kid status, too. From the comfort to the easy look, this is truly a no-fuss shoe that should be embraced by all the in family.
Whether it's spring or fall, the desert boot is a foolproof option for in-between seasons thanks to its easy, versatile silhouette and lightweight construction. And it really doesn't get any better than Clarks.
Boston Suede Clogs
The mule is having a moment. And the ultimate shuffling-around shoes definitely qualify as a go-to casual choice, whether you're heading out for a quick coffee run or, depending on your job, a long day at the office.
Casual doesn't have to mean you don't look like you tried. Tecovas' leather slip-ons are an easy, effortless style that give your look a dose of elegance.
M.Gemi brings together the best of luxury and the best of everyday, casual footwear. Made in Italy, the Paolo is perfect for daily wear, but it feels like a shoe you save for special occasions.
1461 3-Eye Gibson Shoes
Tough as nails but kind to your feet thanks to the good doctor's signature bouncing soles. A killer combo for any casual shoe—and even better when it's a bona fide classic like the 1461.
Kenton Pacer Boots
These boots may seem like a little bit more effort to slip into than, say, a casual sandal or sneaker, but at the end of the day, they make a pair of jeans look damn good, but not like you're trying too hard.
Old Skool Shoes
Vans keeps it classic with a style that's never not cool. The Old Skool is an iconic shoe for the everyday, and you can dress it down with jeans or up with a button-down.
Hear me out! Not all derbies are casual, but these ones definitely can be. You don't need to wear tuxedo shoes into the office every day, after all, but does that mean you should be wearing sneakers? No, it really doesn't.
Chuck Taylor All Star Sneakers
This is one of the most iconic, recognizable shoes in the world. Do I even need to explain how you can wear this with literally anything? It's the very image of a casual shoe.
Merino Cashmere Lace Up Sneakers
With a wool and cashmere blend, these sneakers feel endlessly luxurious, but they're such a versatile option that they're pretty much made to be worn everywhere, everyday.
A slip-on is only made classier with a suede upper, thick stitching, and a healthy dose of Armani design.
Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes
When it comes to boat shoes, nothing—and we mean nothing—is more authentic than a pair by Sperry.
Clifton 9 Running Shoes
When it comes to a casual shoe that takes you anywhere and everywhere, the Clifton 9 is a must-have. Hoka has mastered the art of comfortable chicness, and this sleek, all-black model is incredibly lightweight and cushiony.
Crofton Puffer Mules
As someone who lives in New York, I can vouch for one thing: wearing winter boots is the worst. They're heavy and bulky and ugly. Canada Goose has solved the question of cold-weather shoes, though, with these puffer mules that are so stylish, and keep your feet delightfully warm.
Which Shoe Is Best For You?
Ideally, you want a casual shoe that you can wear all the damn time. Aside for formal occasions, when you'll need something a bit dressier, your casual shoe should be a go-to basic that works with everything in your wardrobe—something you don't have to think twice about.
Comfort is key, and what's comfortable may vary in how active you are during the day. If you walk a lot, a sneaker will probably do you better than, say, a loafer or slip-on. But if you're in an office setting, then those are probably better for you than a dressed-down sneaker is.
Your environment will also determine which shoe is best for you. If you live in sunny, humid Texas...you'll probably steer clear of Canada Goose's puffer shoes. And if you live in rainy, cold weather, maybe a waterproof shoe is better than something like suede.
Why You Can Trust Esquire
We’re not going to say something is great unless it’s actually great. Every product in Esquire’s round-ups is carefully curated by our fashion and e-commerce teams.
When it comes to shoes, you can rest assured that we’re hand-selecting styles that we’ve personally tested, tried, and loved, along with styles that the rest of our stylish colleagues here at Esquire endorse for their own everyday wear. We’ve had to go through a lot of trial and error, and these casual shoes are the ones that are simply the best.
Every pick on this list (and our other lists!) comes from years of wearing different things, seeing what we love and what we don’t, and going from there. No two tastes are the same, and no two men are the same. Your proverbial mileage may vary. But if you’re looking for the right place to start, with advice from folks who and care (possibly too much!) about this sort of stuff, this is the place to be.
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