The 17 Best Men's Dress Sneakers for Your Next Semi-Formal Occasion

Time to get dressed up

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Charles Tyrwhitt, REVOLVE, Ponto Footwear

Fellas. Not sure if anyone has ever told you this, but you don't always have to wear loafers and oxfords for a formal event—there's other options to choose from as well such as dress sneakers. Speaking of dress sneakers, they can be a good way to jazz up your formal outfits as they can serve as a departure from the "normal" (not that normal is bad though). The lines between dressy and casual can be blurred from time to time (it's called semi-casual), and nothing tows that line more than a dressy sneaker. We're going to be taking a look at the best men's dress sneakers that you can rock to your next semi-formal function.

Why exactly should you consider a dress sneaker? Well, why not. In our experiences with dress sneakers we have found them to be versatile, durable, and sometimes comfier than your average dress shoe. So if you can get away with wearing them, you absolutely should in our opinion. We've put together a list that rounds up the best of them.

You can check out our selections below.

RELATED: The 13 Most Comfortable Dress Shoes for Men in 2023

What Makes a Dress Sneaker?

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A dress sneaker is essentially a shoe that is too formal to be worn in an athletic manner, but at the same time, still isn't too dressy if you catch our drift. It's a hybrid between a dress shoe and a sneaker so to speak.

The Best Men's Dress Sneakers, at a Glance:

1. Cole Haan Men's 2.ZERØGRAND Laser Wingtip Oxford

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Cole Haan

Editor's Choice

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 7-16
  • Colors: Marine Blue Nubuck, British Tan-Java, City Skyline, Barley Beige-City, British Tan-Ivory
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Cole Haan has always delivered on the quality and style components of their shoes, so it makes sense that they would also have a sizable selection of dress sneakers to go along with their catalog. The 2.ZERØGRAND Laser Wingtip Oxford blends together craftsmanship and athletic innovations that not only keeps you comfortable throughout the day, but still effectively serves as semi-formal sneaker. While all of the features are nice on this bad boy, the dynamic energy foam is unrivaled when it comes to comfort overall.


2. Bruno Marc Dress Sneakers

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Bruno Marc

Most Affordable Dress Sneaker

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 6.5-13
  • Colors: Black, Brown, Dark Brown
  • Sole Type: EVA

Admittedly, trying something you've never tried before in the fashion realm can sometimes be a little daunting. You want to step outside of the box and purchase something fresh, but at the same time, you also don't want to break the bank on something you still aren't sure is going to work for you. Bruno Marc allows you to find that balance with their Men's Dress Sneakers as they are a versatile and high quality shoe, but don't break the bank account as they are under $50. If they work out for you then great! If not, well, you only spent $47.


3. KURU Roam Sneaker

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Most Comfortable Dress Sneaker

  • Material: Cotton Canvas
  • Sizes: 7-13
  • Colors: Clove Brown, Smoke-Grey Sand, BrightWhite-JetBlack, JetBlack-BrightWhite, EmpireSteel-GoldenYellow
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Dress shoes have also got to be comfortable, and KURU's Roam Sneakers fit the bill in both comfort and style as they have built-in arch support that helps to cushion the foot, and a timeless design that allows you to dress the shoe up and down with relative ease. The versatility is another standout, as it can take you from shopping all the way to a date night if you so wish. A cool piece to add to your closet.


4. Ponto The Pacific

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Ponto Footwear

Best Dress Sneaker for Traveling

  • Material: Recycled and Bio-Based Materials
  • Sizes: 8.5-14
  • Colors: Oak, Black, State Blue, Lagoon, Obsidian, and 3 more
  • Sole Type: Bio-based Foam Technology

The Pacific from Ponto Footwear is another great dress sneaker option that you can consider adding to your lineup. The shoes are eco-friendly as they are made with recycled and bio-based materials, and Ponto describes the shoe as being a part sneaker, part dress shoe that can take you to any event across any city. Throw in the fact that the shoes are water-repellent, lightweight, and odor-resistant, and you've got yourself a winner.


5. Banana Republic Nicklas Leather Sneaker

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Banana Republic

Best Derby Dress Sneaker

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 7-13
  • Colors: Cognac Brown Leather, Black Leather
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Banana Republic is a good place to cop dress sneakers too, not only is the design and colorway options very much devonaire, but we're fans of the fact that the shoes are built with OrthoLite® performance insoles that helps allow for breathable cushioning through moisture-wicking. The Nicklas Leather Sneaker is also made with the Outlast® temperature-regulating technology originally developed for NASA that provides thermal comfort, and Advanced Comfort Technology that aids shock absorption in the heel and arch areas. Not bad considering the affordable price.


6. Charles Tyrwhitt Suede Brogue Sneakers

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Charles Tyrwhitt

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 8-13
  • Colors: Dark Chocolate, Tobacco, Walnut Brown
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Charles Tyrwhitt's Leather Brogue Sneaker is a shoe that gives you options. There's three different colorways to choose from, each of which gives you a very different look, and then there's the overall lightweight construction of the shoe and the padded collar and insock that prevents foot fatigue. If you want to wear these shoes to the office you can. If you want to wear them on a date, you can. If you want to wear them to a wedding, you can (you get our drift).


7. Koio Capri

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  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 7-16
  • Colors: Triple White, Avorio, White Light Gum, Poudre, White Gum, and 20 others
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Koio Capri's Leather Sneakers comes in a variety of colors (25 to be exact), and is handcrafted in Italy with full-grain leather, and a durable rubber sole. These shoes are a little bit pricier than some of the others on this list, but it's worth the splurge in our opinion due to the handcrafted Italian leather we just mentioned (Italian leather quality is amazing), the tight stitching that allows for water resistance, and the waxed cotton laces. Did we mention that there's 25 different colors to choose from? Cause there's 25 different colors to choose from.


8. Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneaker

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Axel Arigato
  • Material: Suede
  • Sizes: 7-13
  • Colors: Beige, Black, Dark Grey
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Axel Arigato has long been regarded for their fancy footwear, so it makes sense that they would also have dressy sneakers in their catalogue. The Clean 90 is, well, clean, as it is handcrafted in Portugal with premium suede material, has a minimalist design, and structure, and a cushioned footbed and arch support for maximum comfort. These can be paired with a good percentage in your wardrobe as well.


9. Oliver Cabell Low 1

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Oliver Cabell
  • Material: Calfskin Leather
  • Sizes: 5-15
  • Colors: Grey
  • Sole Type: Rubber

Oliver Cabell gets overlooked sometimes when it comes to their fancy footwear, so allow us to give you a reminder. The Low 1 sneakers from the brand are the perfect mixture of elegant and sporty as it is hand stitched in Italy, giving it that custom Italian shoe look, but still very much athletic in terms of its design. If we're talking durability, then this is also a shoe that can last you a good while if taken care properly.


10. Reiss Finley Leather Trainers

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  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 8-12
  • Colors: Black
  • Sole Type: Rubber

You could also check out these leather trainers from Reiss, which the brand defines as being a luxurious take on a sportswear inspired model. The Finley Leather Trainers boast a leather upper and rubber sole to provide the ultimate durability, and can be paired with a variety of clothing staples such as knit polos and tailored trousers.


11. Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Dress Sneaker

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Allen Edmonds
  • Material: Calfskin Leather
  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Colors: Black, Chili, Bourbon Brown
  • Sole Type: Rubber

What happens when you take Allen Edmonds' traditional Oxford Dress Shoe and turn it into a sneaker? Why the Park Avenue Oxford Dress Sneaker that is. There's three different colors at your disposal, and the ability to choose from four different shoe widths. Shoe width options are especially important as they can play a pivotal role in ensuring that you get a perfectly fitted sneaker as opposed to one that is too tight or too loose. We're huge fans of Allen Edmonds over here.


12. Common Projects Achilles Sneaker

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Mr. Porter
  • Material: White Leather
  • Sizes: 37-46
  • Colors: White, Black, Light Gray, Navy, Gray, Blue
  • Sole Type: Rubber

If there's such thing as a cult classic when it comes to sneakers, then the Achilles dress sneaker by Common Projects is most definitely a cult classic. The shoe features a leather upper, leather linings, a rubber sole, simple yet still cool design, and a lace-up built in. If minimalist fashion tends to be your go-to, then it wouldn't hurt to add the Achilles to your shoe closet.


13. Veja V-10 Leather Sneaker

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  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 35-41
  • Colors: White
  • Sole Type: Amazonian Rubber Sole

At first glance the Veja V-10 may not look like a dress sneaker as it can actually be mistaken for a more athletic shoe, but indeed, the Veja v-10 is in fact a dress sneaker. The shoe's feature a leather upper along with a wild Amazonian rubber sole, organic cotton laces, and is very much a sustainable shoe, which always a bonus feature for us.


14. ALLBIRDS Tree Runner Sneaker

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  • Material: Merino Wool
  • Sizes: 8-14
  • Colors: Mist, Jet Black
  • Sole Type: SweetFoam EVA Sole

The Tree Runner Sneaker from ALLBIRDS helps you take lighter cooler steps with its sustainably minded mesh upper, and cushioned springy sole. The cushioning built into the shoe is meant to absorb impact and distribute weight evenly to promote proper alignment and good foot health. While described as being running sneaker, the Tree Runner is actually dual-purpose as it can be dressed up or down.


15. VESSI Everyday Waterproof Sneaker

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  • Material: Knit
  • Sizes: 8-13
  • Colors: Mist Grey
  • Sole Type: Rubber

You can take the athletic dressy look even more to the next level, by copping the VESSI Everyday Waterproof Sneaker which features a waterproof breathable knit upper, and has a grippy traction sole to ensure you don't slip. The comfort is there as well with a breathable ventilated mesh upper, and extra cushioning throughout the shoe for support.


16. JAK Glove Vino

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JAK Shoes
  • Material: Organic Cotton
  • Sizes: 36-48
  • Colors: Glove Vino, Glove Mauve, Glove Artic, Glove White, Glove Indigo, Glove Black
  • Sole Type: Rubber

JAK has a pretty neat shoe that falls in the middle between sneakers and loafers. A canvas through and through, the Glove sneakers are made of organic cotton, recycled pet, vegan, and natural fibers making it a sustainable and eco-friendly option for sneaker lovers.


17. JOHNSTON & MURPHY Banks Sneaker

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  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 8-13
  • Colors: Tan, Gray Italian Washed Sheepskin, Navy Italian Washed Sheepskin, White Sheepskin
  • Sole Type: Rubber

JOHNSTON & MURPHY have been in the business of making great shoes since 1850. That's closer to the two century mark than what it is further away folks, and their reputation is stellar. Known for their quality and craftsmanship, the Banks shoe is an excellent sneaker pickup that keeps durability, versatility, and timeless designs at the forefront.


What to Look for in Dress Sneakers:

Material: If you look through this list, you'll see that most dress sneakers are made with leather material, as leather is something that holds up well over time, and is relatively sturdy. Suede is another good material to consider for dress sneakers as well.

Price: The price is something to consider as well if you are looking to stay within a budget. The average price for dress sneakers is around $150, which is reasonable. However, some brands require more of an investment, and obviously luxury shoes cost more. The budget is up to you.

Comfort: Comfort is the number one priority in our opinion. What good is an attractive shoe if each step is a painful one? We tried to include shoes that have EVA midsoles and cushioning/padding built into them, along with breathability factors to ensure maximum comfort.

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