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 How to Choose and Style Suit Shoes

You can tell a lot about a man by what's on his feet, which makes donning the right pair of dress shoes to a formal event essential. Whether you're suited and booted for a trip to the office or dressed to impress at a wedding, the wrong pair of shoes can be a fashion downfall and the undoing of your entire ensemble. Here at Rieker, we believe that every man should own a good pair of dress shoes – even those that prefer sneakers over Oxfords. However, with the vast array of men's formal shoe styles to choose from on today's shelves, we know that choosing an appropriate pair for a formal occasion can be difficult.

With this in mind, we've put together the ultimate men's formal shoes guide to help you choose the right style and fit for your next formal event. Covering everything from how to choose dress shoes to what designs and features to look out for, our guide will help you make the right impression at the events where it matters most. 




If you find yourself questioning whether loafers or brogues are the right fit for your formal attire, then fear not. Here at Rieker, we stock a smart and sleek collection of men's formal shoes – and we have the style knowledge to match.

However, before we dive into the different men's formal shoe styles available, it's essential to be aware of the fundamental features to look out for when choosing the right dress shoe.



Every material has a place and an occasion. However, if you're dressing for ultimate formality, we recommend leather. Leather shoes provide comfort, support and breathability and emit a certain level of class and sophistication, making them a superior choice for formal occasions.  

What's more, leather shoes are designed to last – So whilst they may come with a slightly higher price tag, they will be a smart investment that you can bring out of the closet time and time again.


Of course, a good sole is essential for all of your shoe purchases. However, it is particularly important if you're investing in a pair of formal men's dress shoes. Be sure to look for a sole that is stitched to the bottom of your shoe for a style that will endure as much as it will emit a refined look.

 Here at Rieker, our entire range of shoes is made with our antistress technology, allowing for maximum shock absorption, durable soles and ultimate comfort when attending any event. 


At Rieker, we believe that the minor details are essential to the bigger picture – and something as intricate as the stitching of your shoe can make the difference between what looks like a high-quality finish and a rushed race to the shoe shelf. 

 Good shoe stitching will not only showcase a high level of style and sophistication but is also a sign of a top-quality shoe that has been designed with men of class in mind. 



There are various men's formal shoe styles to sift through, however, we've narrowed it down to our top three favourites for formal events and gatherings. 

 Whilst our men's formal shoes guide will cover the rules and etiquette of different styles of dress shoes, and when to wear them, style and colour can often come down to personal preference. It's crucial to maintain your individual stamp of style on whichever ensemble you put together, taking into consideration the type of occasion and company on your calendar.


When it comes to men's formal dress shoes, the Derby is a foolproof choice that never disappoints. 

Identified by its elegant lace design and similarity to the traditional Oxford style shoe, the Derby shoe showcases a sleek sense of style. It will effortlessly complement a suit and tie ensemble.

When To Wear Derbys

As versatile as they are fashionable, Derby's are a timeless addition to any collection and a popular choice for weddings, funerals and formal events of all kinds. 

As a highly regarded style, the Derby shoe is available in various finishes. However, we recommend leather with either a high-gloss or matte finish for the most formal of events.

Style black Derbys with matching black attire for a refined, masculine look that will effortlessly communicate your professionalism and keep you looking your best at formal events.

 Our collection of men's formal shoes at Rieker offers a variety of takes on this shoe style: Choose from tan, black and combination finishes and enjoy a polished statement of masculinity and class.



Identified by its decorative perforations, the Brogue is a fashionable choice for semi-formal occasions and will add excitement and style to any outfit. 

Traditionally, the Brogue was solely designed with a tan leather finish, however, there are many variations of the classic Brogue to choose from on today's market. 

Here at Rieker, our collection of brogues leaves little to be desired. Whether opting for a slip-on or lace-up design, you can be sure that you will be receiving a well-made shoe that boasts comfort whilst simultaneously celebrating your unique fashion sense.

When To Wear Brogues

Though considered a dress shoe, the exciting designs and patterns of the Brogue make this style more suited for office wear and social gatherings. Style this shoe with a variety of outfits, such as chinos, jeans or suits, taking into consideration popular and traditional colour combinations for ultimate finesse. 

 Though this style is perfectly suitable for most events, we'd recommend against styling this busy patterned shoe with black tie attire, as it can take away from the overall impact of this traditional cocktail look.

 If you're looking for advice on what colour combinations work best, be sure to check out our recent post on what colour shoes and suits work best with each other. 



A classic slip-on style of shoe, the loafer is a timeless footwear choice that boasts refined sophistication and will effortlessly elevate any look.

 As versatile as it is fashionable, you can easily dress this shoe style up or down depending on the level of formality required, making it an excellent choice for events of all kinds. 

When To Wear Loafers

Specific colours and styles of loafers are suitable for certain occasions: Add the finishing touch to a smart-casual suit with a suede leather set, or chic sophistication to your wedding attire with a glossy black pair. However you choose to style this shoe, it will add a contemporary twist to your ensemble that radiates class.

Due to its slightly more relaxed style, we'd recommend steering clear of pairing this shoe style with black tie attire. 

Our collection of men's formal loafers at Rieker provides a variety of options for you to browse: Pair brown loafers with a light grey suit for a contemporary look or black loafers with a tweed suit for a traditional yet trendy finish.

Our range of men's formal dress shoes at Rieker is filled with versatile options to suit events of all kinds, so we’re confident that you’ll find the right pair for your formal event in our collection.

We hope our men's formal shoes guide has told you all you need to know about how to choose dress shoes, however for more style advice, such as ‘What to Wear with Chelsea Boots’ and more, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.