Best Casual Shoes for Men & Women Reviewed

Whether it’s wearing professional shoes all week or constantly wearing dress shoes for your evening affairs, it’s nice to give your feet a break once in a while. Casual shoes are just the option that can provide that relief and relaxation for your feet that you desire from time to time. One of the main benefits you get from casual shoes is the comfort. You’ll find features in this footwear such as AirCushion heels, padded collars, and foam midsoles.

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By Tenby Lloyd:

The recent update reflects the best of 2018’s casual shoes of all types, shapes, sizes, colors, with new information as to how to choose the best casual shoes and our criteria for evaluation. Also, included are some of the most frequently asked questions about casual shoes.

Toe areas can be tight in a lot of non-casual shoes. Thankfully, with many casual shoes, you get adequate toe space for your toes to wiggle and stretch around through features, such as a roomy toe box. Excellent foot support can also be found in casual footwear. You’ll see foot support features such as anatomical footbeds, Ortholite footbeds, and deep heel cups which will give your feet an easy time walking around all day.

Featured Recommendations

Skechers Diameter Vassell
  • Skechers Diameter Vassell
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Memory Foam
  • Price: See Here
Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Canvas Upper
  • Padded Collar
  • Price: See Here
Merrel Encore Gust
  • Merrel Encore Gust
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ortho-Lite Footbed
  • M-Select GRIP Outsole
  • Price: See Here

Along with the benefits discussed so far, you’ll get the added benefit of breathability and traction in these options. From perforations and removable inlay soles to rubber outsoles and M-Select outsoles, your shoes will be keeping your feet cool and maintaining your step on difficult surfaces. All these combined features, definitely, make these top casual footwear options worth consideration for the days you just want to wear something relaxing on your feet.

 

10 Best Casual Shoes

 

1. Skechers Diameter Vassell

An ideal choice for casual wear during those cooler days, these shoes are made with a leather upper and have contrast bicycle-toe stitching. Lace-up, they are ready for a short journey in leisurely fashion. The memory foam insole helps to provide comfort while the mesh lining helps to promote breathability. Moreover, these shoes are great for a full day of leisure (i.e. jeans, tee-shirt, etc.).
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Leather Upper
This is casual footwear made to last. Furthermore, you can use this leisure wear during cooler days, as the leather upper will help to retain heat. When leather is at the helm, you are certain to have a pair of shoes which can last.

Mesh Lining
When a shoe is made of leather, a mesh lining is a must-have to allow some airflow to your feet. These shoes have it, but more importantly, this mesh lining helps to promote better overall foot health, as a result.

Cost and Value
Made with good-quality materials, this pair of shoes is worth the purchase price. Falling into the midrange of cost association when compared to other shoes on this list, this is a pair of casual footwear which can be of added benefit to a rotation with other shoes.
Pros

Leather Upper

Rubber Outsole

Memory Foam Insole

Mesh Lining

Cons

Runs Wide

2. Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon

With Polo Ralph Lauren, we already know we are in for a casual treat. Within this regard, these shoes do not disappoint. Great for leisurely strolls, this pair of casual footwear can help to remind you that comfort matters. With a canvas upper, padded collar and insole, and a light-tread rubber outsole, these shoes are certain to hit the mark.
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Canvas Upper
The upper is made to breathe and, also, bring you a day in comfort. With the signature 'pony' on the side of the upper, everyone will know you are walking in stylistic fashion. Moreover, they will understand your day is about comfort.

Polo-embossed Rubber Outsole
With this outsole, you are not going to be traversing questionable terrain types, as this rubber outsole will not do the job. This light-tread rubber outsole is for lounging around the club or the house; maybe, even for a gentle stroll down the avenue. In essence, the outsole is a reflection of a day of leisure.

Cost and Value
Priced to be budget-friendly, these shoes are a great choice for anyone who takes leisure time seriously. After all, we all need comfort after that hard day at work, and these casual shoes perform well, in that regard. This is a nice pair of shoes to treat your feet to.
Pros

Canvas Upper

Padded Collar

Padded Insole

Light Tread Rubber Outsole

Cons

Minimal Traction

3. Merrell Encore Gust

The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Merrell Encore Gust is that it has a smooth look to it being made with leather. You can, easily, slip this footwear on within seconds and be on the go. The Encore Gust features an M-Select GRIP outsole and an Ortholite footbed. The shoes, also, feature an AirCushion heel and a padded collar.
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M-Select GRIP Sole
The M-Select GRIP outsole is made up of sticky lugs on the bottom of the shoe. They help to keep any dirt or rocks from attaching to the outsole. The angling of the lugs, also, help to give your shoes good grip on dry or wet surfaces.

AirCushion Heel
The AirCushion heel feature, first of all, gives you a comforting feeling in the heel area but it, also, helps to increase blood flow in the area for better recovery from a foot injury.

Cost and Value
These are a bit expensive compared to the other casual footwear. In spite of that, there are enough good features (along with the nice leather look) that makes these shoes worth consideration for purchase.
Pros

Full-Grain Leather Upper

2-inch Heel Height

M-Select GRIP Outsole

Ortholite Footbed

Compression-Molded EVA Footframe

Cons

Runs Small

4. Adidas NEO SE

4. Adidas NEO SE
A denim upper flows throughout this pair of casual footwear. Having 3-strip leather overlays, you gain the right amount of support while, simultaneously, holding onto the flexibility needed for a good pair of casual shoes. These are lace-up; so, you will be able to take short strolls in these.
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Vulcanized Rubber Outsole
These shoes have decent grip and a pivot point. In essence, they are created with skateboarding in mind but, also, fit the bill as casual footwear, as well. This means you can walk short distances in both style and comfort.

Denim Upper
The denim upper shouts of leisurely pleasure. Made to be both flexible and stable, this upper grants the kind of comfortability that only denim can offer.

Cost and Value
Found within the midrange of cost association, these shoes are perfect for leisure time. Although made for skateboarding in mind, these shoes have a casual structuring and, therefore, make a great pair of leisure shoes. With the price and build of this pair of casual shoes, they are a great buy and an ideal addition to any casual wear collection.
Pros

Denim Upper

Lace-Up CLosure

Cloudfoam Sockliner

Vulcanized Rubber Outsole

Cons

Runs Small

5. Nike Tanjun

5. Nike Tanjun
Designed as a running shoe, the Nike Tanjun isn't just for running. It's for walking around town or meeting friends for coffee. It's for any casual event you can think of where sneakers would be acceptable. The rounded toe section and cushioned footbed ensure maximum comfort for anything you do and will give your feet a chance to relax after wearing dress shoes all week. These are definitely a shoe best suited for weekend excursions.
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Cushioned Footbed

The extra padding on the footbed absorbs shock and works well to contour to the unique shape of your foot, allowing for a comfortable experience for ideal all-day wear. The footbed does not have much arch support, however, making them ideal for those with flat feet or who do not need much arch support. These work well as an orthopedic shoe for those with flat feet.

Rounded Toe Section

Like most running sneakers, the Nike Tanjun features a rounded toe section. This allows your toes to lay in a more natural position to keep you comfortable, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking. This along with the cushioned footbed, as well as padded collar and tongue, will ensure a comfortable wear no matter what you do or where you plan on going.

Cost and Value

Nike products typically fetch a premium, but this is for good reason. The Tanjun are made to be durable and comfortable and will be well worth the investment. They also come in a wide range of size and color options, making it easy to find the perfect style and fit for you. your feet will thank you with every step you take.
Pros

Padded Tongue And Collar

Rounded Toe Section

Cushioned Footbed

Durable Leather/Synthetic Construction

Cons

Little Arch Support

6. Bruno Marc Urban

6. Bruno Marc Urban
This is a pair of casual shoes which has high-comfortability, can be worn to events and/or around the house, and is an overall delight, in terms of both structuring and aesthetic appeal. There are many colors to choose from; so, you can pick according to a specific wardrobe choice, or go with neutral for multiple wardrobe matches. They have a 1-inch heel height, 0.5-inch platform height, are made with suede leather uppers, and have a lace-up front closure.
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Suede Leather Upper
The upper is made to last, as it contains suede leather. Moreover, this type of material naturally breathes. As such, it is a great choice for both cooler days or days which are not extremely hot.

1-inch Heel Height
This is a heel height which allows you to wear light casual or business casual; depending on the environment you are heading to. The height is great for adding a certain amount of sleekness in conjunction with professionalism.

Cost and Value
These shoes are budget-friendly. Moreover, there are a wide plethora of colors to choose from and the material makeup is high; meaning, you are getting more than your money's worth with this pair of casual shoes.
Pros

Suede Leather Upper

Lace-up Front Closure

1-Inch Heel Height

0.5-Inch Platform Height

Man-made Outsole

Cons

Toe Area Forms A Crease

7. Clarks Cotrell Step

7. Clarks Cotrell Step
Made for casual days, this is a pair of casual shoes which you will learn to cherish. Made with comfort in mind, these shoes deliver well. They have a 1.5-inch heel height, are made with a leather upper, and contain Ortholite memory foam. These are not shoes to be worn throughout each and every day but, instead, are made for leisure days and/or every day after work leisure time. When worn in this fashion, these shoes should last.
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Ortholite Memory Foam
Made to bring and extend the comfortability factor of this shoe, Ortholite memory foam will have you smiling after you put them on. After all, casual wear is about comfortable wear.

Non-marking Outsole
Perfect for walking around the house and not having to worry about scuffing up floors, this is casual wear ready for the day. Wear them to the club or a short visit to the office, these shoes will not leave their presence behind, in terms of floor scarring.

Cost and Value
Midrange in cost association when compared to other shoes on this list, these casual shoes are a great buy, in terms of both pricing and comfort. Furthermore, they will look good with nearly any outfit and are slip-on; making this a pair of casual shoes worthy of your investment.
Pros

Slip-On Design

Ortholite Memory Foam Insole

Leather Upper

Non-Marking Outsole

Cons

Low-Volume Toe Box

8. Dunham Captain

8. Dunham Captain
The Dunham Captain is another product on this list that features a smooth, leather look to it on the outside. It also has a nice stitch lining and an attractive design overall. The Dunham Captain features a non-marking siped rubber outsole and a lightweight EVA midsole. In addition, these shoes also have a memory foam footbed and come in extended sizes and widths.
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Siped Rubber Outsole
A siped rubber outsole is a unique feature in that it has thin cuts on the outsole. This helps your shoe to retain its traction on wet and even minimal icy surfaces.

EVA Midsole
The EVA midsole accomplishes a few things in these shoes; it’s extra protection stepping on any potentially sharp objects, helps to provide more comfortable cushioning on the feet, and it gives added shock absorption.

Cost and Value
The Dunham Captain are midrange in cost association. Its emphasis on foot comfort with its features makes this a good bargain to have, as a part of your casual footwear.
Pros

Siped Rubber Outsole

EVA Midsole

Memory Foam Footbed

Extended Size/Width Range

Cons

Narrow Fit

9. Birkenstock Boston Soft

9. Birkenstock Boston Soft
The Birkenstock Boston Soft is a unique, casual footwear, in that it comes in a variety of materials that really fits the soft part of its name. You can get them in suede, Amalfi leather, or oiled leather. These shoes feature a roomy toe box and a raised toe bar. The Birkenstock Boston Soft also features a deep heel cup.
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Roomy Toe Box
The roomy toe box feature in these shoes does more than comfortably give your toes room to stretch and wiggle. It, also, helps to enhance your balance and correct your alignment.

Raised Toe Bar
The Birkenstock Boston Soft’s raised toe bar feature assists with promoting the gripping motion of your feet. You’ll be able to more naturally get a firm step into the ground when you’re walking.

Cost and Value
While the Boston Soft comes at the upper end of midrange in pricing among these footwear options, there’s no arguing the quality of this shoe. If you desire to indulge in having a more fancy look to your casual shoe, then this is a shoe worthy of your purchase; not to mention, it is made with high-quality materials.
Pros

Roomy Toe Box

Raised Toe Bar

Deep Heel Cup

Synthetic Outsole

Cons

Stiff Leather

10. Olukai Moloa

10. Olukai Moloa
The stitching of the Olukai Moloa is one of the first things that may catch your attention; hand-sewn moccasin stitching. The material the shoes are made of is antiqued waxed nubuck. The Olukai Moloa features moisture-wicking microfiber lining, a PU footbed, and a non-marking rubber outsole with full grain leather upper. These also feature elastic gore panels.
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Moisture-wickingDri-Lex Microfiber Lining
The Moisture-wicking microfiber lining feature helps to keep your feet dry and cool. This means it draws sweat away from your skin and on the outside of the fabric.

Dual-density Anatomical Footbed
The anatomical footbed is a great feature in this shoe because it molds to the shape of your foot; giving you a comfortable feel on your feet. In addition, it is great for those with heavier weight, as it is dual-density.

Cost and Value
The Olukai Moloa is at the upper end of cost association. The design (combined with its other features) make these a great option to purchase, as it is equipped with high-quality materials.
Pros

Moisture-Wicking Microfiber

Anatomical Footbed

Non-Marking Rubber Outsole

Elastic Gore Panels

Cons

Limited Long-Term Durability

Everyone wants to wear something on their feet to relax every once in a while. Casual shoes give you the ability to have something on that’s comfortable for your feet and looks nice on your feet, as well. As we’ve seen among these footwear options, there are numerous comfort features to like about these shoes. Features such as a padded upper, a Soft-Air flexible midsole, or even an EVA midsole will keep you feeling good while standing on your feet and walking for the whole day.

Adequate foot support features, also, are included in this casual footwear such as the ADIPRENE and contoured footbed. You can be guaranteed stability walking with some of these shoes having beveled heels and raised toe bars. Lastly, there are great traction and breathability benefits in casual shoes which include rubber bottom outsoles, siped rubber outsoles, Dri-lex microfiber lining, and perforations. The stylish looks (on top of all of these excellent features) make getting some casual shoes to relax in a worthy option to consider when purchasing.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Casual Shoes

Best Casual shoes- pair of vans

Comfort/AirCushion Heel/EVA Midsole

One of the main reasons for having a pair of casual shoes is to have something to wear for your feet to be able to relax in. Comfort is a crucial thing to make sure you have when it comes to selecting a good casual footwear option. Seeing an AirCushion heel feature would give you a good start to your search. It provides a soft feeling on your heel and, also, helps to maintain proper blood flow in the area to ease in any aches you have or pain that you might be recovering from. An EVA footbed would be a good bet for comfort, too. EVA, which is short for Ethyl Vinyl Acetate, is a similar material to foam and provides softness to your feet, like foam that will make it easy for you to walk comfortably.

In addition to the EVA footbed, it would serve you well to look for an EVA midsole featured in your casual shoe option. The EVA midsoles provide an extra layer of cushioning between your insole and outsole for a greater comfort. You can get this similar cushioning if you find foam midsoles highlighted in a casual footwear, as well. Lastly, with regards to midsoles, you can keep your eye out if you happen to see a Soft-Air flexible midsole, with which a name like that you can be confident there’s going to be a good gentle feeling given to you with that feature in your shoes. Also, make sure to pay attention if your shoe is highlighted as having a Strobel construction, which provides comfort by giving you more flexibility in your footwear.

Returning to footbeds, the ADIPRENE footbed is another great find; as far as, comfort features in a casual shoe. It provides cushioning, mainly, in the heel of the shoe but, also, in the forefoot of the shoe, too. An Air-Relax footbed feature in your footwear can, also, accomplish easiness walking around all day, as it massages your foot with every step you take, per se. Lastly, with footbeds, you’d be well served if you found an Ortholite footbed which provides extensive cushioning. A good casual shoe should be able to provide you all-around comfort beyond just the bottom of your feet. Pay attention to see if a padded upper or padded collar is noted as being featured. You’ll get that softness on the top of your feet and around your ankle, as well. Additionally, an upper made with full grain leather will, also, provide you that same comforting feel on top, too.

 

Foot Support/Deep Heel Cup/Raised Toe Bar

After comfort, foot support is an important trait to have in an effective casual shoe. The deep heel cup feature is one feature you’ll be glad you found in your casual footwear. It cradles the heel to assist in maintaining a proper arch in the foot and, also, redistributes pressure to relieve the high-pain areas. Foot support in a good casual shoe should mean that all parts of your feet are able to stand and step naturally, including your toes. A roomy toe box is able to allow your toes to spread naturally with each step (as they’re supposed to) and keep them more properly aligned. It, also, encourages your balance more, as well.

Another toe feature you can search for in your casual footwear that can be helpful for foot support is a raised toe bar. This feature assists your feet by promoting its natural gripping motion. An anatomical footbed can be found in a lot of casual shoes, too. Anatomical, essentially, means the footbed is designed to the natural shape of a foot for better support. A contoured footbed in your casual footwear can, also, provide this same effect by molding to your feet and supporting that natural shape of your foot.

 

Stability/GRIP Outsole/EVA Outsole

You may not always think of great stability and traction with casual shoes, but some of the best casual shoes can keep you stable on your feet; so, it’s important not to neglect to find features that give you that in your shoe choice. The M-Select GRIP outsole is one of the best features you can find that will provide you good stability. It’s designed to give you slip resistance on wet surfaces and, also, good traction on dry surfaces for maximum control in your steps. A non-marking rubber outsole is, also, another great option for stability. What it does is give you a solid grip on the ground and it doesn’t leave any scuff marks on the floor, either.

Similarly, a non-marking siped rubber outsole can accomplish the same grip on wet surfaces. In addition, TPU outsoles are a feature you’ll be glad to see in a shoe given its resistance to abrasion, splitting, oil, and chemicals.  It’s, also, great if you find a casual shoe that’s highlighted to have a trail grip. A wraparound bumper sole is another good sign you’re getting stability and traction, as well. Lastly, in addition to the previous outsoles mentioned, an air-jet outsole and an EVA outsole can accomplish good traction with your shoes for stable steps. A beveled heel is a feature worth finding in your casual shoe (if you can) because it gives a nice rolling motion from the heel of your foot to the toe. This helps to give your feet stability upon impact to the ground with your steps.

 

Breathability/Perforations/Dri-Lex microfiber lining

A part of getting that relaxation you want in your feet wearing casual shoes involves getting adequate breathability; so, your feet aren’t feeling too sweaty and uncomfortable. Dri-Lex microfiber is an excellent feature to have in your footwear for getting that breathability. It assists with pulling away sweat from your feet and transporting it to the outside of the material for better moisture evaporation. Certain sockliners, also, do the same kind of moisture management to keep your feet cool, dry, and relaxed. Anything with mesh material can accomplish these actions, too. Perforations are another option worth finding in your casual footwear. Perforations are holes in the shoe which allow for air to get in and help keep your feet dry. Lastly, an Ecco comfort fiber system is, also, great to find, as it assists with giving you an increased air circulation inside of your casual footwear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are casual shoes?
A: Casual shoes are shoes that you wear when you’re dressing less formal and want to have something comfortable on your feet. Most casual shoes are, typically, easy to slip into and can often not have any laces, though you can find some casual shoes that do (if you prefer to have that). They can, also, tend to be made with nice, soft material and intricate designs to look more stylish.

Q: How do I choose casual shoes?
A: You want to first make sure the casual shoe you’re considering is one that’s going to make your feet feel comfortable by reviewing its features. Your casual shoes shouldn’t be as uncomfortable as formal shoes can be at times. After all, you’re looking to relax your feet. Secondly, it can be important to consider whether the style of the shoe goes well with your casual clothes. For example, brown casual shoes tend to go well with khakis. So, picture the footwear you’re considering with the casual style you have, in order to make a conclusion for yourself.

Q: How long do casual shoes last?
A: Casual shoes are, generally, designed for comfort and style; more so, than long-term durability. The materials of these shoes are often soft materials that can be, potentially, damaged easily. However, some casual shoes come with really good traction features that measure up to the level of running shoes. It would probably be best for you not to wear your casual shoes every day. You, also, might want to be cognizant of what activities you’re doing. For example, if you’re going for a run, then you should put on running shoes rather than casual shoes. Casual footwear is made, mostly, for walking around and not doing any activities that require a lot of intense physical movements.

Q: How do I clean my casual shoes?
A: Cleaning your casual shoes depends on the type of material your shoe is made with. Since a lot of casual shoes are made of leather, here are some steps for cleaning leather shoes:

  • First, determine if your shoe is unfinished or finished leather, based on what it says on the shoe tag or shoe box. Unfinished requires a more specific cleanser but with finished you can just use water.
  • You want to brush off the shoes lightly to get debris off of them and loosen the leather. You can, also, rub it a little with a dry cloth.
  • After you do those things, dampen your cloth and wipe your shoe. Make sure you do it with the grain of the leather.
  • Once you’ve done those things, let the shoe dry completely in the open air in a cool place inside the house. Any other form of drying such as heating or sunlight can cause damage, such as cracking.
  • Lastly, you can apply leather polish that’s the same color as your shoe with a gentle cloth, give them a few minutes to sit, and then buff it to get that shine you want.

 

Clean those shoes if you get them dirty (link)!

Prevent odor and smelly feet (link).

Treat Athlete’s Foot now (link).

Get rid of painful blisters (link).


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