Best Looking Shoes for Men and Women Reviewed
When thinking about what types and styles of shoes would make it to our list of best-looking shoes, we did a bit of research to really dig into the hot new trends for 2018, in both men’s and women’s fashions. Now, our list won’t include a lot of designer brand styles that bring the newest trends to the table, but we’ve looked around for similar styles of shoes that anyone can fit into their budget, and still feel hip and trendy. Some of the hot trends for 2018 include strappy ankle ties, polka dot or plaid, buckle accessories, western inspired, amongst many others that you’ll find in our criteria section.
- Plaka Palm Leaf Gladiator
- Gladiator Style Sandal
- Water Resistant
- Blowfish Balla Wedge
- Canvas Sandal
- Urban Flair
- Top Moda Hy-5 Crochet
- Crochet Styling
- Formal Shoe
For this list, we brought together these 2018 trends in casual, dress, boot, and work shoes, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. Keep in mind that each individual’s preference to what makes a great looking pair of shoes can vary widely, so we opted to give versatile styled shoes that you can pair with several styles of dress to get the most bang for your buck from a new purchase.
In our list, you’ll find espadrilles, heels, formal oxfords, casual yet fun sneakers, and the occasional statement maker. If you’re headed out to a party, opt for something more dramatic for an eye-catching effect, or, if you’re looking to boost your casual image, select one of the sneakers or slip-on style shoes presented.
10 Best Looking Shoes
1. Plaka Palm Leaf Gladiator
High-quality materials construct this rope sandal, handmade with care and braided perfectly. Open and airy, they have a softer feel on the foot that traditional webbing or leather sandal straps, and are available in a variety of colors and color combinations, so you’ll be sure to find one to match your look. Minimalist flat, but with a bohemian feel to them, it embodies a gladiator sandal with an intricate woven design.
Not only fashionable, but functional as well, the Plaka Palm Leaf is water resistant, so you won’t need to worry if you get them wet. Wear to the beach, out by the lake, kayaking or on a SUP, and they’ll keep their integrity. A rubber sole helps add to durability and traction of the shoe, and the rope’s nylon helps prevent blisters if worn walking. These really are an all-around shoe!
Cost and Value
For a moderate price, this versatile sandal is truly something you can wear for being active, casual events, or dress up with a bohemian flair for evening events. Strappy gladiator design will weave its way into your heart, and bring some glamour to your footwear collection. The perfect budget-friendly shoe for a hot trendy look!
Footbed Can Be Slippery
2. Blowfish Balla Wedge
The Balla Wedge not only comes in a myriad of color options but textile as well. Canvas, soft suede, or microfiber uppers make it a breathable lightweight shoe, but the fullness gives it a bit of urban flair when combined with adorning leather ankle straps. Versatile enough to dress down with shorts, or dress up with summer strappy dresses or bohemian inspired wear, it’s perfect for nights out on the town or hanging at the beach.
A slight wedge gives this shoe a confident feel when walking about, and is padded slightly for comfort without being clunky. Side zipper provides easy in and out access, and the open heel gives it the feel of a slip-on style shoe. Peep toe lets you show off the new color coating from your recent pedicure, so you can step out looking ready for fun.
Cost and Value
Price can vary depending on the type of textile you select, but by no means is this shoe expensive for the edgy look it provides. With its covered uppers but opened sides and heel, combined with strappy leather and buckle ankle accent, it’s a hit for any look you’re testing out! Well worth the purchase to try out a pair this summer!
3. Top Moda Hy-5 Crochet
Although the Hy-5 Crochet is definitely a more formal shoe with its complex crochet appeal, you can still dress up a pair of jeans or short with these high heels. Optional colors allow you to select one for any clothing and even consider them as a wedding shoe option. With its sexy strappy look and open crochet, it’s sure to catch onlookers’ eyes.
When selecting a high heel, most find that a platform styled heel allows height without placing strain on the toes or arches. The heel on the Hy-5 Crochet measures 4.5 inches, with the platform coming in at 1 inch, so you’ll be able to go for an extended timeframe without sore toes or balls of the foot. The adjustable buckle ankle closure lets you fine-tune the fit, and a padded footbed gives cushioning for each step you strut.
Cost and Value
Another budget-friendly option on our list, it’s extremely easy on the wallet for such a sexy, unique styled shoe. Price can vary depending on the color option, and some do come with sequin additions to give a little sparkle to your step. For those in search of a new pair of high heels that will wow the crowd, Top Moda’s Hy-5 Crochet has you covered!
Padding Wears Easily
Can Run Narrow
4. Vans Authentic Plaid
This snappy looking slip-on keeps classy in footwear without losing sight of how best a quality pair of low-top sneakers can feel. Signature waffled outsoles designed from rubber give traction as well as shock absorption, so you can wear these early mornings for coffee into the evening for happy hours or dinners. Low-top construction leaves ample room for mobility and helps prevent irritation.
Uppers are constructed from canvas, which keeps air flow should you want to wear without socks, but also makes these easy to care for. Should they pick up any dirt or odor, simply toss them in the washer on gentle, or hand wash with soap and water. Not only do they come in plaid patterns, but also plenty of other eye-catching designs and colors, so you’ll find one perfect for you!
Cost and Value
Averagely priced, and well worth investing in for their casual comfort and hot designs, Vans Authentic has been going strong with surfers and skaters since the 1960s. This classic shoe will be in style for quite some time, so be sure to pick up a few pairs as you’ll surely fall in love with them. Brand name styling in a solid comfort casual shoe!
Can Run Narrow
5. Ariat Rambler
Still a hot trend in footwear, western styled shoes and boots are still going strong in 2018 in terms of looking good. The Rambler boot is perfect to pair with jeans with its slightly square toe, or even with slacks to give a little bit of a statement to your attire. With a simple western stitching atop the toe, these are easy to pair with casual or more formal wear without looking clunky.
With a slight heel to add some confidence to your step, the duratread sole provides rugged comfort for extended wear and maintains integrity even when worn on worksites or other unforgiving terrains. Torque Stability technology with a forked shank help provides stability while keeping the boot flexible for walking. With a nice wide 15 inch opening and side pull tabs, the Rambler is also easy to pull on.
Cost and Value
For a boot, the Ariat Rambler is averagely priced, but compared to some on our list could be considered more expensive. Western stitching, quality leather, and rugged appeal are evident in this boot and contribute to the stylish classic look that will stand for years to come. A solid investment for those looking for western footwear!
Western Style Boot
Easy Pull On
Toe Runs Narrow
6. Birkenstock Mayari
It's no surprise that the main selling point on these pair of sandals in addition to it's looks is the overall comfort. The cork and leather build makes the walkability fantastic and the straps make it easy to slip on and off.
Birkenstock Sandals may not be known for their therapeutic uses, but they sure should be! The bed of the sandals is beyond comfortable and is great for those with back pain.
Cost and Value
Birkenstock Sandals are known to be a bit more on the expensive side but for a good reason. The quality of materials is unmatched compared to other cork and leather sandals on the market and in combination with its fantastic comfortability, you've got yourself one of the best sandals available on the market.
- High quality leather
- Un-matched comfort
- A bit expensive
7. VISCATA Escala Espadrilles
Esparto rope is what gives an espadrille it’s unique sole and appeal to shoe enthusiasts, and both men and women traditionally wear this style of footwear. The Viscata Escala has a beautiful canvas upper that wraps the top of the foot, while strappy ties securely fasten it to your foot. A decorative heel wraps up the ankle slightly, and a shorter 2.5-inch heel gives this wedge a little lift for dressier attire.
Each pair of Escalas is handcrafted in Spain, inspired by Mediterranean culture and life. Natural jute and rubber soles keep a soft padded feel to the shoe, and with its open construction, ventilated comfort makes these easy for all-day wear. As the Escala is made from all-natural materials, it’s easily washable should you need to clean them off.
Cost and Value
By no means expensive for a quality handcrafted espadrille, the Viscata Escala adds a ‘one of a kind’ feel to your footwear collection, and is well worth the money. Its Mediterranean flair and canvas comfort allow it to be suited for casual attire as well as dressier nights out. The Escala is a beautifully crafted shoe, and available in a variety of color options, so you’ll find one perfect for you!
Heel May Rub
8. TOMS Classic Polka Dot
Easy to slip on and off, this canvas shoe is made for lounging around, evenings strolling the boardwalk. An antimicrobial sock liner helps any unwanted odor or bacterial build up if you choose to wear these barefoot, and a removable molded insole will keep your feet cozy and comfortable during wear. The sole provides traction with an updated rubber and pattern to help make them wearable even on slippery surfaces.
The Classic by Toms is available in a plethora of styles and colors, but one of the hotter trends this year as well - polka dot. Polka dot patterning can add a little bit of fun to your footwear, and can easily make a plain canvas shoe slightly dressier. From gold polka dots on white to navy dots, or bright royal blue with white dots, you’ll find one to fall in love with!
Cost and Value
Depending on which pattern or color option selected, these can vary in price a little but are by no means expensive. Averagely priced for casual style shoe, Toms Classic keeps your feet looking good with polka dot patterns for casual wear or even a night out at your favorite restaurant. Comfortable fit and canvas make these a great option if you’re in search of a great looking casual shoe!
9. Stacy Adams Dickinson
Classic oxford styling makes this a must-have for formalwear enthusiasts. Perfect to compliment a suit or business attire, the Stacy Adams Dickinson steps up your sophistication with cap toe styling and decorative brogues. Quality leather uppers give a polished and poised look, and will surely impress onlookers with its clean lines and lace-up closures.
Many times when we think of formal shoes, we think we need to sacrifice comfort. The Dickinson kept comfort in mind when they added a memory foam insole to keep cushioning maximal, and shock minimal. Breathable lining adds to the ventilation and cooling effect to keep you dry all day long. And with its low stacked heel, you can strut confidently in style all day without feeling foot fatigue or calve aches.
Cost and Value
For a more formal style pair of oxfords, the Dickinson is a budget-friendly option for such a stylish and high-quality pair of oxfords. Decorative brogues, cap toe, and quality leather give this a rich feel and is sure to compliment business or formal wear appropriately. Well worth considering if you’re in the market for a formal oxford to keep a sharp look!
Sizing May Vary
10. Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon Low
The canvas/cotton body on the Faxon Low Sneakers are a great choice as they look and feel absolutely amazing. Additionally, the materials don't constrict or pinch any parts of the foot being extremely comfortable overall.
Long laces are often an overlooked feature due to the nature of laces in general, but they provide features that may not be noticed when first purchasing. Long laces allow for the shoe to be customized a lot better as well as fit a variety of foot widths for the best fit possible.
Cost and Value
It's no secret that Polo Ralph Lauren has some expensive products, but the Faxons aren't one of them surprisingly. At a midrange price tag, the buyer is getting a name brand that's high quality and looks fantastic. Certainly worth the investment if you're a fan of Ralph Lauren products.
- Well known brand
- Variety of colors
- Long laces
- Perfect fit
- Canvas/cotton finish
- Lack in durability
Compiling a list of the “Best Looking Shoes” is of course more of a subjective topic, in essence, nevertheless, we hope you found something the matches your style on our list whether it be sandal, boots, or just sneakers. We aimed to try and accommodate all types of styles and wardrobes to create the best list possible!
Look and Style
As mentioned above in the conclusion, compiling a list of the “Best Looking Shoes” is quite the subjective topic as many of us are akin to many different shoe styles and looks. We did our best when compiling this list to choose shoes that are not only good looking in general but are generally enjoyed by others as well.
Additionally, we all have different styles of shoes we like so basing a list purely off of the opinions of others just won’t cut it. Listed below are all of the different styles of shoes on this list as well as examples. Included are shoes anywhere from boots and heels to sneakers and sandals.
Most likely one of the more common options among casual shoe lovers, the sneaker is tried and true to be good at almost everything. Versatility is huge on a sneaker so therefore all the sneakers chosen have to be versatile as well.
Versatility means that the shoe not only has to be comfortable, look good, be durable, etc; but it also has to excel in all types of terrain. The Vans Authentic Plaid, for example, are known to be made for skater style sneakers with grippy traction, but the brand has become famous for its comfortable design, and bode well for almost all types of environments.
Much like sneakers, sandals also have to be versatile as they’re supposed to be used on multiple different types of terrain by nature. In order to achieve this, high-quality materials must be used and more often than not, such as high-quality leather and cork. A great example is the Mayori Black Patent Sandals as they excel in overall comfort and quality while also being extremely versatile and fantastic on all types of terrain.
Similar to sandals and sneakers, boots need to be reliable on a variety of surfaces and terrains due to the nature of the boot itself. However depending on the type of boot and whether or not it’s used in casual or professional settings, aspects such as materials and a steel toe will be determined. In most cases, and in terms of this list, boots need to be durable and preferably lightweight for added versatility. The Ariat Rambler, as an example, not only can make a great fashion statement but can be worn on the work site as well.
Obviously good looking shoes need to be composed of high-quality materials. Materials, for the most part, go hand in hand with durability, the main selling point when determining whether or not to invest in a new pair of shoes.
Many of which listed below are the most common materials used when creating a shoe. Materials can range anywhere from leather to rubber and of course canvas.
One of the most popular choices for high-end shoes as it generally looks fantastic and is a more sought after material by many consumers. Leather generally is extremely high maintenance as shines in general fade rather quickly. Nevertheless, leather is most commonly used in dress shoes or boots because certain types of leather can be quite tough.
A popular vegan choice as it doesn’t contain any animal products through a mixture of different materials most notably cotton. Used by the Blowfish Ballas, the canvas is utilized to achieve a vegan build while still being tough, reliable, and good looking.
A synthetic material utilized in the outer sole of the shoe to achieve a tough area that provides traction. Usually made out of a mixture of synthetic materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I wear formal shoes with jeans or shorts?
A: As style is really a subjective and very individual thing, it’s really up to you how to mix and match items in your wardrobe and footwear to suit any occasion. Formal shoes are great for fancy evenings, but can always be paired with jeans or shorts for something more casual, but help keep an edge to your outfit to look sharp and impressive. The sky is the limit with style and formal footwear!
Q. How do I stop my shoes from smelling?
A: Deodorizing smelly shoes can be quite simple. There are many ways to go about it but my favorite is to simply toss them in the washer (if they’re made from fabric) or just simply put one dryer sheet in each shoe.
Q. Are sandals hurting my feet and posture if I wear them often?
A: More often then not, no, but it’s best to consult a doctor if you notice any problems.
Q: What are some hot trends in footwear for 2018?
A: For 2018, we found lots of trendy shoes that highlight plaid or polka dot patterns to be fashion forward, as well as classic western styled or strappy sandals to still be relevant in terms of fashionable. Newer more edgy trends include angled block heels, flashy patterned sneakers, silver colored or jewel adorned shoes, and any footwear with a clear lucite or plastic build.