It may not be barefoot weather, yet, but as temperatures warm up, it’s certainly nice to head out for the day without swathing our feet in thick winter socks. Instead, it’s time to pull on shoes that are light in both feeling and weight.
Although modern materials allow shoe manufacturers to significantly lighten the load with everything from EVA technology borrowed from the sports world to high-tech carbon-fiber components; good old-fashioned basic cobbling techniques also play a part in producing spring footwear that will leave you feeling like you’re walking on air. Here are a few of our favorites we’re kicking around in this season.
Lightweight Men’s Dress Shoes to Shop this Spring
We’ll trust a company that makes flip-flops to craft a pair of shoes that won’t weigh us down either at work or play. The Reef Landis teases classic shoe styling with its Derby silhouette, lacing, and Brogue-like perforations, but the cork insole and contoured EVA liner ensure all-day comfort.
A classic cap-toe lace-up is lightened up with grey wool flannel. Despite the unexpected material choice, Taft incorporates fully artisanal construction, including a stacked leather sole with rubber injections for durability, comfort, and traction, as well as increased flexibility and a sleek silhouette. The flannel itself is made in Italy then shipped to Taft’s Spanish factory for construction. The perfect neutral pale grey is a quiet, yet unexpected combination and great to pair with navy suits, white dress trousers, or tailored spring chinos.
While definitely headed in a more casual direction for many offices, the fact that you’re not showing up in sneakers is a step in the right direction. This Derby lace-up starts out lightweight with its canvas upper, but the buoyancy continues with a lightweight injection outsole that features a serrated tread pattern for increased traction and flexibility. This “non-neutral neutral” is great for travel. The olive color is one of our favorite trend colors for the season, so pair with khakis, white jeans, or navy trousers to keep things cool. You can even wear with shorts once summer’s heat hits!
While the calf suede may be un peu casual for the most buttoned-up offices, its minimalistic, elegant design and unlined construction should see you through most dress situations. For comfort and flexibility, Bruno Magli incorporates old world sacchetto construction into this collection. The word literally means “little bag.” It’s actually a rare shoemaking technique where each piece of leather is cut by hand and hand-stitched together for fewer seams. The result? Maximum comfort with a flexible sole that easily adapts to the movement and shape of your feet.
Hand burnished leather gives the Aidan a sort of broken-in glow that makes them look like they’ve been in the family for years. We particularly like this lighter tan for spring, and the lace-up Oxford looks as great with a perfectly tailored suit as it does with your favorite pair of jeans. Again, the brand’s superior construction techniques lighten the load, resulting in greater flexibility and more on-the-job comfort — whatever the job happens to be.
Wolf & Shepherd has built a brand on creating comfortable dress shoes from an athletic shoe tradition. Yes, founder Justin Schneider literally created his first prototype by gluing the foam heel of a pair of running shoes to the sole of a pair of dress shoes! This pair of sleek double monks will look a lot better than that, though. The sole incorporates supportive memory foam to hug your foot as it changes positions, a lightweight carbon fiber shank provides stability, and a high-density EVA heel absorbs shock. We also like this midnight blue color that still looks formal, but adds a little step-up from basic black.
Still not quite sure when or how to wear dress shoes? Get the scoop with our full guide on the topic.
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