We’ll forgive you if it’s been a while since you’ve given any thought to the best work shoes for men. “Work” is a tenuous term these days, and the shoes you wear to putter around the house and occasionally clack away halfheartedly on your laptop hardly seem to qualify. Clogs are ascendant. Slippers are essential. Hell, even decked-out Crocs can pass for office-appropriate attire when the office in question is the least-cluttered corner of your living room.
If your day-to-day gig involves ducking steel beams and anything approaching a hard hat—y’know, the type of job your old man can actually be proud of—these probably aren’t for you. (Try a pair of these hardwearing boots instead.) But if you’re looking for footwear with more juice than run-of-the-mill sneakers and a slightly dressier bent than your go-to penny loafers the selection here is tough to beat. To be clear, though, these aren’t quite dress shoes—think of them as a quality alternative to the hardbottoms you’ve refused to wear for months, if said hardbottoms emerged from lockdown with a punky new haircut and a healthy disdain for The Man.
Ample cushioning is a non-negotiable. Premium (often water-resistant) leather abounds. And a welcome dose of funk is paramount. Even if your 9-to-5 involves little more than strategically pausing and un-pausing the mute button on Zoom—be it from your home, the office, or some hybridized version of the two—it’ll pay to have a pair of the best work shoes for men around. Thankfully, your pals at GQ Recommends rounded up all of the ones worth your time, from sleek work boots to rugged lace-ups—dear old dad’s approval sadly not guaranteed.
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