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The Best Men’s Dress Shoes 2019 Part 2: Style & Quality Between 400-700$

Best Men's Dress Shoes 2019 - Enzo Bonafe Hand-Welted Loafers

Shoe Lovers Of The World, Unite!

Welcome to Part 2 of our Guide on the “Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019“. Today we will be looking at the best brands between 400-700$. If you missed Part 1 (under 400$), I suggest you give it a read! Part 3 (over 700$) is now online too!

Let’s face it. If you clicked on this article you are probably a man doing quite good well at the moment. You might have even gotten a promotion (congratulations!) and as a result you want to step up your shoe game. Your budget lies between 400-700$ but there is a problem. There are too many useless guides out there by “experts” that urge you to buy 100$ or 1000$ “quality” shoes.

However, after reading this article you should be able to choose between the plethora of Dress Shoes out there and base your choice on style, sizing and quality. The purpose is not to sell you shoes, but point you at the right direction. You should expect not only well-known Brands such as Carmina and Crockett & Jones but also hidden gems such as Cobbler Union and Zeb Shoes.

This is a long read as usual, so grab some coffee and enjoy!

Good Shoes Are More Than A Luxury

Think about it one second. You spend almost all day on your feet. From attending meetings with clients, to buzzing around the office and commuting back and forth. A good pair of Dress Shoes is not a luxury or something to brag about. It is a necessity because your feet need to be comfortable and have good support.

In 2019 technology has made such advancements that beautiful looking shoes pop out of nowhere, tricking you to think that they use good leather and are handmade when in reality they use cheap materials and glued soles.

This is why most high quality Dress Shoes companies are rather small in size and target specific people like you and me. Because they know their shoes are exquisite and worth the investment. If you are ready to spend more than 400$ on Dress Shoes you expect quality, comfort, style and good construction. You should settle for no less than that either.

With that out of the way, do not fall victim for companies like Prada or Gucci. Why do you think they go for 70% discounts every sales season? They try to sell you the luxury lifestyle, but you will realize that the shoemakers in this list are the ones that offer real history and prestige.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | 400$ -700$

Since prices vary depending on location and retailers, we will list the lowest or average price at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: All prices include VAT.

1. Cobbler Union – 395 $/3660 SEK/305 £/350 Euros

First to kick-start our list is Cobbler Union, one of the hidden gems I mentioned earlier. Shoe enthusiasts might be familiar with them but many people out there are not.

Hold on a second, why is a shoe that costs less than 400$ on the list?! This is because while most of their shoes begin at 395$, a few models cost up to 475$. Additionally, what they offer is of high quality for the price and Cobbler Union can punch way above their weight.

Daniel Porcelli, a former tennis player from Patagonia created Cobbler Union in just 2014. Using high quality French and Italian leather, they produce small batches of Goodyear Welted shoes in Spain and sell them directly to the consumer. The only exception is the Head Store in Atlanta, Georgia where interestingly, The Parisian Gentleman films his Sartorial Talks often.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - Cobbler Union Spectator Shoes
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Cobbler Union Spectator Shoes – 425$

The fact that Hugo Jacomet recommends Cobbler Union is a testament to their quality and you will see extremely happy customers in both Styleforum and the Goodyear Welt Subreddit.

They have a nice selection of RTW shoes with the option of MTO all presented nicely in a clean, easy to navigate website. There are a few broken links though that should be fixed. Shipment is free worldwide which is a big plus with no additional tax on sales.

Cobbler Union Lasts & Design

The advantage of Cobbler Union is that they know exactly what they are doing. You can buy from all the classics such as a wholecut oxford or Chelsea Boots but also some remarkable spectator shoes or a split toe ankle boot that keeps growing on me. Some of the designs have a mix of suede and calf which is aesthetically pleasing especially on boots like the Guillaume.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - Cobbler Union Renoir II
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Cobbler Union Renoir II – 425$

The leather soles have a beveled waist (or fiddleback sole) and close channel stitching which is something you usually find in shoes costing 2-3 times the price. Of course, there are rubber soles available or a combination of the two.

Cobbler Union has a total of 8 lasts and you can read about them here. At the time of writing though only 5 seem to be available. You should pay attention that all their sizes are in UK numbers! In general they seem to favor either round toes or soft-square toes, depending on the style.

If you are from the US, you should definitely keep an eye on Cobbler Union. You have to respect people that offer such a quality product at lower prices than usual. I look forward to trying them myself. In the meantime, be on the lookout for their Winter Sales during January and February.

2. J. Fitzpatrick – 410 $/3800 SEK/315 £/360 Euros

With such a saturated shoe market and competition in every price point, it is very difficult for a new player to infiltrate it. This is exactly what Justin Fitzpatrick has done with his shoes. Not only that, he just started in 2013!

Justin operates the Shoe Snob, a wonderful minimalist blog about shoes and has always been a shoe enthusiast. He put all that passion into making his own shoes which are made in Spain. Justin was also an apprentice of the late Stefano Bemer (one of the best Italian Shoemakers) which says a lot.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - J.Fitzpatrick Shoes
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | J.Fitzpatrick Shoes

Prices start from 410$ for loafers and go up to 520$ for some models. The website is very nice but as usual, there is something that I don’t like. You cannot sort by price and when you filter the material there is only an option for suede and tweed. What if you want to filter just for calfskin?

J.Fitzpatrick – Lasts & Design

Why would you choose Justin’s shoes over any other established Brand? Apart from the quality leather and construction, the area where J.Fitzpatrick shoes excel is design. With a few exceptions of classic models, there is a big variety of “unorthodox” daring designs, blending different materials, colors and buttons to create footwear like no other on the market.

Rarely at these prices you will find such tasteful two-tone shoes. There are some lovely elongated silhouettes and an abundance of lasts for everyone. From classic round toes to chiseled and pointy toes there is something for everyone. Even better there is information about sizing and fit comparing each last to other Brands. Here are 3 examples.

J.Fitzpatrick Shoes - Lasts NGT MGF JKF
From Left to Right | NGT, MGF, JKF Lasts

There is a MTO option for an extra fee (about 150$) with customization and a 3-4 month wait period.

J.Fitzpatrick shoes are a perfect choice for younger businessmen that want to make a statement and stand out. Justin seems also like a very honest, kind man and represents his company well, instead of hiding behind a Brand name.

I like people like Justin and I think you should too.

3. Joseph Cheaney – 480 $/2465 SEK/355 £/405 Euros

We will briefly take a trip to Northampton again to visit another historic shoemaker. Cheaney has a complicated history dating back to 1866. The company was bought by Church’s Shoes in 1964 who are now owned by Prada. Now however, the Church’s cousins relaunched the brand in 2009. A complete mind twister, but all you need to know is that they make quality, English Dress Shoes.

Cheaney is a difficult Brand to categorize by price. Some of their shoes retail for as low as 315$ and that is a good deal for a classic Goodyear Welted Shoe. I really think they should consider their business model though. Not only the prices fluctuate around the web, but there are 8 different line ups that are not self explanatory. The website is slick and easy to navigate thankfully.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Joseph Cheaney Godfrey Chelsea Boot
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Joseph Cheaney Godfrey Chelsea Boot – 565$

In this tier of Dress Shoes, I would advise checking out the Vintage and 130 Collection. The Imperial collection is the high end line for up to 670$ but seems limited only to 3 models. I think there is a bit of an identity crisis with such wide ranges with a wooping 142 different shoes, albeit some duplicates with different colors.

I really like their refurbishment offer though. For 150$ you can give a new lease of life to your old pair which sounds great.

Joseph Cheaney – Lasts & Design

As I already mentioned, there is a wide array of shoes to choose from. The style is quintessentially British especially when you look at their brogues. Colors are also more conservative in general with the odd light brown or blue in the mix. Another common recurrence is the presence of country shoes with a large commando sole and grain leather. Not my cup of tea as they look bulky and ugly to me.

Cheaney also have 18 different lasts with a nice informative “Last Index“. Most of the lasts have a classic round edge or an almond shape but others are aggressively boxy like the 11525. I really like the embossed logo on the insole!

Best Men's Dress Shoes 2019 | Joseph Cheaney Shoes Lasts
Joseph Cheaney Shoe Lasts

The variety though means there is something for everyone but also some room for experimentation. There is a lovely pair of spectator shoes in calf/canvas or boots with fur lining.

I would say Cheaney are worth checking if you look for a British Classic with a twist for a very competitive price in the lower end. It can be quite confusing choosing so if you are looking for an easier choice, you might want to look elsewhere. Over 150 years of shoemaking however means they know how to produce a quality Dress Shoe.

Update 13/4/2019: Since this article, I have had the pleasure to own a pair of incredible Shell Cordovan Cheaney Boots. Check the review here!

4. Zeb Shoes – 420 $/3875 SEK/325 £/ 370 Euros

This is probably the most unknown but wonderful addition to the list. Zeb Shoes is the birth-child of Shoe enthusiast Bojan from Croatia and is not your typical RTW Brand. It is a MTM/MTO service with a small workshop for an unbeatable price. You see, Bojan has a full time job but loves shoes. He chooses to make incredible shoes for as low as possible because of that.

While you probably don’t know about him, he is becoming very popular among those that lurk in forums. And for a good reason. Zeb shoes offers over 50 different colors and all kinds of leathers with a fully hand-lasted construction. If you have an idea, you can tell Bojan and they will work hard to create something for you.

Zeb Shoes Shell Cordovan Boots
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Zeb Shoes Shell Cordovan Boots

How do you do that? You can now contact us at The Noble Shoe and we will guide you through the process.

Did I mention how amazing the prices are? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Shoes: 420$ for Suede, 440-460$ for calf
  • Boots: 440$ for Suede, 485-510$ for calf
  • Horween Shell Cordovan: 690-850$ depending on model (loafers 690$, chukkas 750$, Boots 850$)

Shipping costs about 30$ but the price includes a handmade wooden box and MTM linen dust bags with hand-sewn crust leather logs. And wait until you see the designs!

Update: Bojan has provided me with some information regarding shipping. 20 Euros for Shipments within EU, 50 for US/Canada (with insurance and 57 Euros for Singapore.

Update 2: We now have an exclusive partnership with Zeb Shoes! More info here!

Zeb Shoes – Lasts & Design

Whatever I say here is not enough to capture the value for price. I urge you to take a look at his Instagram which has high quality pictures of different MTO projects.

There is no information about the lasts unless you look carefully on Instagram. They will modify an existing one for you and you can choose from a wide variety. Flexibility is really one of their strongest points and they are not afraid to try something different.

Best Men's Dress Shoes 2019 | Zeb Shoes Lasts
Bojan was kind enough to supply me with a picture of different Lasts!

Most of the people seem to request boots and I will be in line for a shearling lined in the future. I really love this particular oxford in burgundy calf and a burnished toe. It reminds me of Enzo Bonafe for a much lower price.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Zeb Shoes
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Zeb Shoes Burgundy Oxford MTO

Add to that the fact that you can choose what sole you want or the kind of stitching and you are looking at amazing value. I think because of the price, the value and the passion of one man I would not hesitate to pick Zeb as my favorite from this list.

I wish Bojan the best in the future and I am so glad to be able to recommend him to you. Please leave a comment if you are inspired!

5. Carmina – 445 $/4125 SEK/345 £/395 Euros

No list would be complete without the iconic Brand Carmina from Mallorca. Dating back to 1866, Matías Pujadas started his small workshop that has now evolved into Carmina Shoemakers. The name was adopted in 1997 and since then has taken the shoe world by storm.

It is a Brand very well-known in the high quality shoe market and revered for its quality, style and variety. Carmina has a very nice, clean website and offers shoes for both men and women. There is a MTO program and even an outlet store where you can get a few steals if you are lucky. They often waive the MTO extra charge if you visit them during Trunk Shows!

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - Carmina Cap-Toe Oxfords
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Carmina Cap-Toe Oxfords in Rain Last – 450$

Carmina Shoes retail for 445$ for entry models up to 1000$ for Shell Cordovan. For their reputation and quality, I am very surprised (and happy!) that they do not charge more.

Carmina – Lasts & Design

First of all let me mention that I have a pet peeve about websites without sorting filters. I really like to sort by price, something very helpful for those with specific budgets.

Fully crafted in Spain, Carmina shoes use the best leathers and have this Spanish flair that you will not find easily in British Shoes. The shapes are elongated and elegant which is something I love. It breaks from the traditional and especially the adelaides are beautiful.

You will also notice that in this tier of shoes, all of the Brands use high quality leather and same color range. Carmina is no different with black, brown and deep shades of burgundy covering all the different types of Dress Shoes. Apart from the classics there are some wonderful split toes, jumper boots and austerity brogues. There are even some really weird braided Loafers and Chelsea Boots and a whole section dedicated to exotic skins. For 2825$ for an alligator model though…I would rather buy 3-5 high quality shoes instead.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - Carmina Shoemakers Lasts
Carmina Shoemakers Lasts

I always love to see the different lasts in a comparison. Carmina has up to 18 different lasts with a detailed description to help you make your choice. Rain is the most popular and comfortable one along with Forest with a more pointy toe. You can always get a classic round model or a soft-square sophisticated last such as the Simpson.

Before check out, you can add a metal Toe-Cap or Shoe Trees or read information about each model. As far as I know you can request a specific fitting if you have wider or narrower fit which is a great plus.

Carmina is probably the highest quality Spanish Brand at the moment and for an unbeatable price, you will get an amazing pair of shoes that will stand the test of time with proper care. Definitely one of the best shoes you can buy so remember the name.

6. Tricker’s – 450 $/4175 SEK/350 £/400 Euros

We take the plane back to Northamptonshire for another British classic, Tricker’s. Founded in 1829, Tricker’s are one of the oldest manufacturers on this list constructing shoes of the highest quality. For a pretty good price too, going as low as 400$. The average prices vary depending on the model but on average retail for 450-500$.

Mostly famous for their selection of brogues and country boots, Tricker’s shoes are quite bulky and therefore not for everyone. If I could pick any of their models I would probably try this gorgeous Shell Cordovan Derby. Unfortunately, it retails for 1130$!

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - Tricker's Bobby Cordovan Derby
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Tricker’s Bobby Cordovan Derby – 1130$

They have a very nice website that reminds me of Cheaney’s and a really nice visual representation.

Tricker’s – Lasts & Design

I had the chance to try a pair of Tricker’s up close last month and boy are they as bulky as they seem. The welt and sole are massive! While they specialize mostly on classic shoes and country brogues. The leather was smooth with a nice finish and were quite comfortable to wear.

They also offer some models with more daring colors such as red, purple and blue and some very interesting sole choices. Some of them even have channeled stitching, a feature usually seen in more expensive Brands. The lasts are quintessentially British with mostly round toes and some soft-almond shaped. You can find more information in their very helpful page.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 - Tricker's Shoes Lasts
Tricker’s Shoes Lasts

Honestly, Tricker’s Shoes are (mostly) for those that look for a specific thing or something different. However, I must admit the country style might be too loud for my current taste. There are classic models and some amazing boots such as the Stow and I would advise checking them out.

I do like the Gladstone and Burford models! If you love brogues and the country style you should definitely consider them.

7. Antonio Meccariello – 475 $/4400 SEK/370 £/420 Euros

If you are looking for the most amazing Italian handcrafted Shoes for a killer price, learn this name. Antonio Meccariello comes from a shoemaking family dating back to the 50’s. Antonio was a Bespoke Shoemaker until a few years ago when he finally launched two RTW lines.

The Aeris begins from just 475 $ and for the level of craftsmanship, beauty and and work that goes into it I cannot comprehend what a steal this is for the price. They are made with the classic Goodyear Welt System but there is also another alternative. The Argentum RTW collection is his own welted system and starts at around 640$.

Antonio Meccariello Principes II Aeris
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Antonio Meccariello Principes II Aeris RTW – 490$

For those that want the absolute best, there is the handwelted collections which cost around 1000$.

Antonio Meccariello – Lasts & Design

Since Antonio produces a very small batch of the RTW shoes there is not an enormous selection of styles. You will find a lot of brogues, oxfords, derbies and boots. Of course there is practically no limit with the MTO option but this is not for today’s article.

The lasts are incredibly sleek with an elongated shape and beveled waist. The soles have closed channel stitching and everything looks to be of the best quality. As you will see most of them have a chisel or soft-square toe which is beautifully burnished for a beautiful finish.

Antonio Meccariello Lasts
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Antonio Meccariello Lasts

There is not much to say, you just have to go over to their website and look for yourself. There are a few spelling and grammatical errors here and there but I assure you all the love and attention goes to the shoes. My next pair of shoes will most likely be from him.

If you are on the hunt for the best looking business shoes between 400-700$ I can hardly see a better alternative.

8. Altan Bottier – 510 $/4720 SEK/395 £/450 Euros

You might have noticed that Spanish and English Shoes dominate these lists. Let’s take a break then and go to the City of Lights, Paris. Sukru Sensozlu (originally from Konya, Turkey) opened his store in 1973 to sell bespoke shoes. The name of the shop was Altan, named after his son, who actually runs the store these days.

Today there are 2 shops in Paris and one in Beijing selling a collection of expertly crafted RTW shoes on the Blake stitch construction. If you strictly prefer only Shoes on the Goodyear Welt System then this is not the Brand for you unless you go Bespoke. The prices begin at 510$ up to a whooping 6800$ for a pair of alligator boots.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Altan Bottier Pierrot Night Blue Oxford
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Altan Bottier Pierrot Oxford – 510$

Altan Bottier’s website is beautiful, simple and effective. Be on the lookout for their sales, where you can find some incredible deals. Hugo Jacomet is very fond of them and Altan is popular among his readers.

Altan Bottier – Lasts & Design

The most striking part of Altan’s shoes is the patinas. From aubergine, to cherry and honey the selection is beautiful! You can read more about it here. The lasts are mostly pointy with a tighter waist and focus on elegance. Even some of the bigger more casual boots could look well with a suit.

Just like J.Fitzpatrick, Altan Bottier is not afraid to dare. The lines and stitching is completely different that what you expect on some models, such as the Lucas Oxford in Honey Patina and the Mohican Topstitch. There is so much unique variety to compliment the classics, including boots with fur lining and a mix of double monk-strap ankle boots.

Altan Bottier Lucas Honey Oxford
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Altan Bottier Lucas Oxford – 510$

There is not much individual information on each last, but as I said, they are mostly chiseled. Notice how tight the sole is and how close to the uppers. Very sleek! Too bad there are no pictures of the soles.

I think Altan Bottier Shoes are perfect for those of you that have covered the basics and look for something different. My only other concern is how they fit as some of them look pretty tight. If you usually wear rounded shoes like Alden, this will probably feel strange!

My advice would be to finish with the basics and be on the lookout for sales or promotions on Altan Bottier.

9. ‎Enzo Bonafè – 550 $/5100 SEK/425 £/485 Euros

Our last trip to Italy ends with Enzo Bonafè, a master of design and construction that operates since 1963.

Enzo still makes shoes today in Bologna in limited quantities with a huge focus on quality. They have only a few retailers around the world that have permission to sell their shoes and they must fulfill strict criteria before doing so.

The base line is made on Blake Stitching, retailing from 550$ and sometimes as low as 500$. The Norvegese or Hand-Welted Line costs much more, with some options at 700$. For Shell Cordovan expect to shell out (pun intended) up to 1500$. Enzo Bonafè also has a very famous GMTO program where the sky is the limit.

I am very fond of their suede-calf Tassel Loafers.

Enzo Bonafe Tassel Loafers by Skoaktiebolaget
Enzo Bonafè Tassel Loafers | Photo by Skoaktiebolaget

Enzo Bonafè – Lasts & Designs

I think that after one starts to know a little more about Dress Shoes, they will be able to tell a pair of Enzo Bonafè. We are finally reaching legendary territory in design and style. Not in the same flamboyant way of Altan Bottier, but in a sexy Italian kind of way.

There is not much information about the Lasts and the website is rather weak and outdated. Some of the pictures are bad and look flat so do not pay much attention to that. They are not that easy to get your hands on either. Skoaktiebolaget as usual has a great informational guide and ships worldwide, but you can also check here for retailers in your area.

Enzo Bonafe Boots in Cordovan Color 8
Enzo Bonafè Boots in Cordovan Color 8 | Photo By Skoaktiebolaget

I think what sets them apart is the stitching and the beautiful soft-square toes of the higher end models. One area where they are very unique is their pair of button boots, often in two-tone colors. I don’t like this style but you have to admire them!

For the price judging by all these things, you could say that Enzo Bonafè shoes are an absolute steal. Add to that their reputation for comfort and craftsmanship and you have a winner. If you have this amount of money to spend, I would simply buy a pair from either Meccariello or Enzo Bonafè.

10. Caulaincourt – 555$/5135 SEK/430 £/490 Euros

France seems to be the place for flamboyancy. First with Septieme Largeur and Altan Bottier, it is time for Caulaincourt to step in the spotlight. A French Shoemaker founded in just 2008 by Alexis Lafont, Caulaincourt continues the strong Patina tradition with beautiful looking shoes with a variety of constructions.

Most models use Blake Stitching or the Bolognese construction, while there are a couple models on the Goodyear Welt System. At the time of writing there was no collection of Norwegian or  Storm Welt Shoes. Interestingly enough, almost all RTW shoes have a price of 555$ and many of them are on sale. The wholecuts are stunning.

Caulaincourt Wholecut
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Caulaincourt Wholecut – 555$

I have no experience with these, but they are apparently made in Palma and have a very good MTO program for an extra 200-250$.

Caulaincourt – Lasts & Design

The more time I spend looking at Caulaincourt shoes, the more of a dejavu I have. They remind me of Altan Bottier SO much. Bold colors, great patina and burnished toes with a longer tight shape. If you have a wider feet, you might want to stay away from these.

The toes are very pointy and most of the shoes are classics with some twists. For example, a tassel loafer with a contrasting tassel or a denim-museum calf mix. The stitching looks great and the soles sewn very close to the uppers due to the Blake Stitching. Unfortunately, if you choose a shoe with the Bolognese construction, they will not last very long in northern countries or rougher terrains. It is just too thin on the bottom to survive in a city like Stockholm.

Caulaincourt Paris - Utah Jeans Loafers
Caulaincourt Paris | Utah Jeans Loafers – 555$

I am getting a little tired of seeing the same patinas around now, but I think Caulaincourt looks a tad better than Altan Bottier. It could be the pictures, but it is a feeling I have. They also stick more with the classics and it is more my style. You can read some more information about sizing here.

In general, in this price range there are a lot of details that are hard to explain in writing. You have to hold the shoe, inspect it closely and see the work that has gone in the stitching, or how the line differs from another Brand. But one thing is for sure, you know it is good quality.

These are great shoes for the price, but once again most models are for the fashion forward person. Or someone that has the basics and looks for something different. I would personally hesitate paying full price for the RTW models, since they have up to 60% discounts on their outlet. Just 250$ for such quality? Sign me up.

11. Church’s – 580 $/5400 SEK/450 £/515 Euros

We go back to England for one more time in the most controversial Brand on the list. Church’s Shoes is one of the oldest shoemakers in the world, dating back to an incredible 1675. The workshops opened up in 1873 and this tradition continues until today. With a twist.

In 1999 the Prada Group acquired Church’s Shoes in order to “help take them to the next level”. I hate anything associated with those high luxury lifestyle brands and it makes it very hard for me to be positive about them. They are still very high quality shoes but are they worth the price tag?

Church's Dubai Black Oxford
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Church’s Dubai Black Oxford – 550$

You can find them for less than 500$ but on average I would say you would expect to pay 550-700$ for a good pair. It is hard to justify this especially when reviews out there talk about lower quality standards and bad customer service. While their website is pretty nice and copies the Cheaney/Tricker’s model, it absolutely bombards you with pop ups and subscription messages. Every time you change a page!

Update: Church’s completely changed direction and pricing in the last few years. They are horrible and you should avoid them.

Church’s – Lasts & Design

Church’s shoes used to be classic models for the business oriented man that respects himself and wanted a classic British Dress Shoe. Unfortunately Prada has infested the collection with some absolutely disgusting models with glitter, toes pointing upwards and god forbid flip flops that cost over 400$!!!!

I have not said anything good about Church’s so why are they in the list? Well, if you overlook those monstrosities, Church’s offer really classic shoes in the best business colors using quality leather and the Goodyear Welt System. Their Monk-Straps in Burgundy calf look fantastic and sleek, but there are also those “tanky” country brogues for those who like them.

Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Church's Shanghai Vintage Suede Loafer - 960$
Oh, my, god. | Church’s Shanghai Vintage Suede Loafer – 960$

Each page has a lot of information and good pictures which is vital in this business. Now while the leather is good, it was quite stiff when I tried them which probably translates to a longer break-in period. This seems to be a recurrence with English shoes.

By the way, if only there was some information on the lasts…though a nice plus is that there are different widths to choose from.

And back to the monstrosities. How can you have such classics right next to a buckle-loafer in distressed blue suede for 900$??? What were they thinking?

To sum up, I think Church’s shoes do the classics well even after the Prada acquisition but they are definitely overpriced. They seem to have lost their way a bit in the altar of profit so I cannot recommend these to anyone. If you find them however on sale or for 500-600$ and look for a classic British shoe with long history and quality construction, maybe Church’s are worth your time. Please let me know if you have experience with them and if they are worth a spot on this list.

12. Crockett & Jones – 650 $/6000 SEK/500 £/575 Euros

Would a list be complete without the quintessential historic Brand Crockett & Jones? The answer is no and shows how respected and revered they are. Crockett & Jones produces some of the finest dress shoes in the world since 1879 in Northampton.

They have two distinct categories, the “Main Line” that retails for about 550-650$ and the prestigious “Handgrade Line” that goes for over 850$. The latter especially is on par with much more expensive shoes while the former is the gold standard for RTW shoes.

Crockett & Jones Adelaide Wholecut
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Crockett & Jones Alex Wholecut – 550$

The website is superb, if not a little picture heavy with a good visual representation of the company, shoes, history and social media presence. Crockett & Jones shoes are rarely on discount so if you find any, consider snatching it.

Crockett & Jones – Lasts & Design

Can it get more classic and British than this? Probably not. If you are a lover of this style you should look no further. Using the Goodyear Welt System and leathers from the finest tanneries, these shoes are built to last and are your best companion for any business setting.

Most of the lasts have a round toe, but there are soft-square and almond shaped toes as well to please everyone. A great visual guide with lots of information exists here. I love when companies do this! You can also see them all side by side in the filter screen.

Honestly though, some of the designs look…uninspiring but also beautiful at the same time. Discreet, but elegant at the same time. You will not find very light or extreme colors, but there are some uncommon models such as the Double-Buckle Boot and the more stylish Adelaide models.

Crockett & Jones Balfour Derby
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Crockett & Jones Balfour Apron Derby – 930$

While on the boutique the other day, I have to say that the leather was incredible both on touch and look. A true work of art but also the true weapon of every gentleman.

Crockett & Jones are probably the best English shoes on this list and would make a great companion for possibly decades.

13. Vass Shoes – 600 $/5580 SEK/460 £/530 Euros

Hungarian sensation Vass is one of the best shoemakers in the world in my opinion. The founder is László Vass who started his own workshop in 1978 after working for years in the workshop of Magyar Divatintezet. In 1999, he released a book called “Handmade Shoes for Men” so people could learn the process of shoemaking.

Today, Vass Shoes is popular and renowned for their quality and craftsmanship for a great price. The last time I had the pleasure to meet them in the Shoegazing Trunk Show their shoes retailed for 600-680$. If you choose to use their extensive MTO program prices can go over 800$ so you really know we are in the endgame now.

The leather was smooth and high quality, the stitching impeccable for RTW models and the Derby I tried on the P2 last was very comfortable.

Vass Shoes Derby on P2 Last
Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 | Vass Shoes 1030 Derby – 600$

The website is pretty nice and simple and I always love reading the history section. If you find yourself in Budapest though, make sure to visit the boutique!

Vass Shoes – Lasts & Design

I already talked about the overall quality, but what about the aesthetics? Vass seems to have a balance between classic and more elongated shapes. There are in total 9 lasts ranging from round to chiseled toes. You can read more on the very informative MTO section.

Vass Shoes Lasts
Vass Shoes Lasts

The burgundy and cognac colors are absolutely beautiful and people often say that the P2 last is one of the most comfortable around. In the Webshop there is a decent selection available with a lot of focus on classics and brogues. You will notice the absence of boots however! The photography seems a little worse than other competitors, but these are truly works of art.

It is very hard to tell you through words how good Vass Shoes are and definitely worth the investment. I would suggest checking what other owners say online about them. Not many shoemakers make truly handmade shoes anymore and László Vass knows better than most how to do it.

Personal Recommendations

We are approaching the end of Part 2 of the Best Dress Shoes For Men 2019 and we have covered 13 Brands. From Iconic Brands to surprises, there is so much to choose from. How should you make your choice then? There are a few things to think about:

  • Budget: Never exceed your budget, but always buy the best that you can afford.
  • Why: If you buy shoes to show off, you are doing it wrong. Buy them for comfort, history, quality and durability instead.
  • Frequency of use: Do you really need 1000$ shoes if you wear them 1 a year?
  • Your foot: The width of your feet plays a big role. If you have a wider foot, some Brands will probably not fit you well.

If I had to pick 3 recommendations from the this list it would be:

  1. Zeb Shoes: Because what he does for the price and his pure passion is incredible.
  2. Antonio Meccariello: Close between this and Enzo Bonafe, but I lean towards Meccariello. Absolutely stunning shoes for the price.
  3. Crockett & Jones: Bastions of English Shoemaking spirit. Shoes of the highest quality.

These Can’t Be All Can They??

If I tried to cover every top shoemaker in the 400-700$ category we would be here until tomorrow and you would run out of coffee. However, here are a couple more quick suggestions for you that live elsewhere or look for something different:

  • Valentin Frunza: Amazing handcrafted shoes from Moldova for 680$
  • Rozsnyai: Austro-Hungarian high quality shoes for 650$
  • Löf & Tung: Great new brand from the owners of Skoaktiebolaget starting at 375$
  • Fugashin-Saigon: Vietnamese welted shoes for incredible price (265$)

Know anyone that deserves to be on our list? Comment down below and I might add it!

Long Read, Totally Worth It

A lot of love and research went to this article but finally we have reached the end of the Best Dress Shoes For Men between 400-700$. My goal was to educate those who need guidance on which Brand to look for or even help more seasoned shoe veterans with another perspective and comparisons.

It is easy to lose control when you get into this world of handicraft however. Be weary that buying one shoe might lead to desire for another and another. Learn to control your emotions and think rational. Do you really need this pair of shoes or do you want to impress your colleagues in the elevator?

Instead buy a quality pair that you will use often, it will be comfortable to wear and one day you might be able to pass it to your son. That’s the beauty of a well-made welted shoe. For me it has been a great journey and I have made wonderful friends such as Carlos Santos. I am sure you will make some along the way as well.

Thank you for reading,

Kostas Mandilaris,
Misiu Academy

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Comments (20)

Great article. Thank you. As you say, it is difficult to navigate the the options that exist. There are so many. Being a Novice this is especially true. One question that came to mind is about longevity. Do these high quality shoes really last a lifetime? I have a pair of cole haan that have lasted 8 years. They are much higher quality than the cole haan shoes I see on the shelves now. I have had them refurbished once. How would a pair of zeb shoes compare? Would they last 20 years? 40 years? Thank you!

Hi Josiah!

Glad you liked the article! And you are very right in everything you say!

I do not have Cole Haans, but if you (as a novice) can see the difference in quality now and then, it is probably true. What will happen to your shoes depends on the wear, the punishment and the conditions (ie. the terrain).

Now, remember that just purchasing a more expensive quality shoe is not enough on its own. If you abuse it, do not condition it or let it rot in the sun it will have the same effect probably. Overall however and depending on your experience/treatment they can last a lifetime, especially shoes made from resistant leather like Shell Cordovan. The leather on these shoes will also not peel or crack as much and you can resole them as many times as you want. With good care I do not see why they cannot hold out for 20 years or more!


Thank you for the insight Kostas. Your comments about care are true just like they would be for anything else in our lives. I currently navigating my wardrobe situation because I am moving to a warm tropical climate where I will driving a lot and meeting CEOs on a daily basis. I have my suits covered but I am looking for a shoe that will be comfortable and breathable for my long days but still provide the class I’m looking for. I ended up looking for loafers. I am interested in your thoughts and recommendations on the matter. As an additional question, does humidity and rain poise a significant factor in shoe buying?

Thinking about the tropical environment, loafers are a good choice. If you are looking for comfortable shoes, you could probably look at Alden if you are in the US as they have wider lasts. Otherwise, Blake Stitched shoes are a bit lighter and have a more comfortable feeling in my opinion at least! In those prices, you could find a pretty striking shoe by Enzo Bonafe or Caulaincourt/Altan Bottier. For Enzo shoes in US/Canada, definitely check my friend’s shop at!

Lastly, about the humidity it can definitely be bad for leather if unchecked. However, using a horsehair brush after every use and using cedar shoe trees that absorb the moisture should do the trick. If anything they should develop a nice patina in the end! Rain should not be a problem (unless you have suede shoes), but calfskin is not 100% waterproof. Just never let them dry next to a heat source or the sun as the leather will crack and fade. Cordovan is quite waterproof since it is fibrous and not porous.

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask any more questions you have I would be delighted to answer!

Once again, thank you kostas. You are a gentleman. Your recommendations are excellent. I should have mentioned that my budget is sub $400. I’m not poor but I’m just getting started in this new job. Haha. I like the look of the longer pointed shoe. Any ideas?

Thank you for your kind words!

The annual Allen Edmonds sale is on so you can get some great deals if you are in the US. As for the elongated shapes for this budget, you would either have to look for meermin MTO but also take a look at septieme largeur (the Miro loafer). I would also advise looking at the Antonio Meccariello shop he currently has some loafers in the sale section for a ridiculous price, though the sizing might be tricky.

Good luck with your purchases and I hope to see you here again!

HI! Great article!
I’m writing from the US, I’m in the market for a pair of shoes and would love your advice as oxford/derby, brands, colors, price points have become overwhelming.

I don’t dress up much as I wear scrubs for work but would like to get my first and only high quality shoe. I’m in my mid 30s and would be wearing mostly with jeans. That being said I think tan/conac work best with jeans? I like cap toes and I think Italian but certainly not married to that as I would love any advice you can give me as most people are looking to dress up their shoes and im looking to dress down.
My price point I think would be up to maybe $750ish but would hope to spend closer to 500. I’m lost HELP! IF you can point out a few shoes that may work that would be a huge help 🙂

Hey there Nick!

So happy you found the article helpful! Now, given what you told me, I think the derby shoe is the best style for you. An Oxford would look out of place with jeans in my opinion, but a derby shoe will look great and if you ever have to wear it in a more formal occasion, it is also excellent. Therefore I would generally avoid tan and very light colors. Medium brown to dark brown works best and will look great with denim/chinos.

I can give you a few recommendations off the top of my head (hope it makes sense, it’s 7 am here!):
1) Carmina: or these are excellent from a great reputable company
2) Allen Edmonds: I don’t have a specific model to recommend, but they have their annual sale right now and the prices are very low!
3) I would recommend you a shoe from Enzo Bonafè or Crockett & Jones if you want to spend a more, for example the Walton II from the latter. I have also been very satisfied with Joseph Cheaney.

I hope this helps and I will try to come up with more options when I wake up!

Hi Kostas,
just a line to let you know I looked at this post and decided to contact Bojan at Zeb shoes and as you say here he is very nice and accomodating and a real enthusiast. It ended up with me ordering a pair of semi-formal boots, and I just got the mail that they are ready and awaiting shipping and they do look just great. 🙂
I see that you have taken up sales through a new website The Noble Shoe and I wish you the best of luck with it.

Hej Jens!

Wow, how great to hear about your experience! I am glad to see you are so excited and yes, Bojan is a fantastic guy! I actually have partnered with him in my new shop so people can discover his brand easier! If you are in Stockholm or can come, we are attending the Shoegazing Trunk Show on September 28 on the Scandic Anglais with him.

Thanks for reaching out and for the support! Enjoy your new shoes!

Thanks for some very informative articles. I have enjoyed reading them and feel that I have learned much. Would you expand on your comment about Fugashin-Saigon shoes? I am looking for a simple cap toe/quarter brogue shoe to be my one and only dress shoe. I let the latest Allen Edmonds sale go by to find out more about Fugashin-Saigon. At sale price the cost for both is similar (AE 5th Ave.) Are the Fugashin-Saigon shoes: similar quality to AE, better quality, much better quality? Import duty, customs, tax and overall extra effort to bring in shoes from Viet Nam is a consideration. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thanks much.
Florida, U.S.A.

Hey Joe!

I am very grateful for the kind words! They mean a lot to me!

To answer your question, it is difficult to say without me physically trying the shoes yet. I have heard good things and the shoes definitely look good for the price. AE has some shoddy quality as of late.

The problem with Fugashin is communication although they have been working on it lately. The presentation of their box and goods is not great but if you can overlook that don’t be afraid to try. I would take a look at a review that The Shoe Snob Blog did about them in the past

The one I can comment about though is CNES shoemaker. Similar prices but I have seen the shoes up close and they are excellent quality. If you can navigate the website it is absolutely worth checking them out. I was impressed by the craftsmanship.

If that sounds daunting you can still get something like Carlos Santos from me in Europe as without the VAT you still land around the 275$ range and you are bound to find something in the Patina Service!

I hope this helps! I look forward to seeing what you will get!


Good article!

I would like to add the Artista line from TLB. I find them to offer a lot for the price.

Kostas Mandilaris

Hey Andrew,

Nice to see you here too! I have a review of the Artista on my blog. It is certainly a good shoe, but I do not like the vegano leather. The guide was written before I got it, so I might need to update it 🙂

Artista Review

Please do. I would like to know your thoughts on the leather as TLB is a consideration of mine particularly the Artista shoe in your review.

Keep up the great work!

Thanks! I am not a big fan of the vegano leather personally. Construction wise they are excellent shoes!

Bulus Johnson Dumsila

great job, so sweet

Thank you!


Wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I’m looking for a good quality pair of brogue style dress boots for my wedding. I’m Canadian so accessing some of the European brands is a bit harder but not impossible. I have looked at Zeb shoes, on your suggestion, but don’t have enough time to order a pair. Also wanted to ask what your thoughts on Cambrillon shoes/boots are? I’ve never heard of them before, but like their Military Brogue boot. Not sure if they are any good though.


Hi Brendan,

without knowing what style exactly you are looking for it is hard to make suggestions. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

If you look for more casual, country style boots then you should look at Tricker’s, Cheaney, Loake or even the Crockett & Jones Islay.

For a more modern aesthetic, you can look at the Carlos Santos 8922, or if you have a lack of time take a look at some boots from Allen Edmonds as they are easier to source in North America.

I am not familiar with Cambrillon sorry and usually if I don’t know a brand, it means they are not good enough.

If you want more personal feedback you can chat with me on Instagram or Email me!


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