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.

Featured Recommendations

Plaka Palm Leaf Gladiator
  • Plaka Palm Leaf Gladiator
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Gladiator Style Sandal
  • Water Resistant
  • Price: See Here
Blowfish Balla Wedge
  • Blowfish Balla Wedge
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Canvas Sandal
  • Urban Flair
  • Price: See Here
Top Moda Hy-5 Crochet
  • Top Moda Hy-5 Crochet
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Crochet Styling
  • Formal Shoe
  • Price: See Here

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

One of the hot trends for summertime footwear is a gladiator or strappy styled sandal, and Plaka delivers with their Palm Leaf. Unique hand braided straps adorn this stylish sandal flat, with soft suede strap décor running along the outside and heels of the shoe. A braided toe loop closure keeps you securely fit, all while giving you an exotic Mediterranean vibe. Not only are these super stylish, but proven comfortable for all-day wear on vacation as well.
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Rope Sandal
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.

Water Resistant
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!
Pros

Gladiator Style

Sandal

Strappy

Lightweight

Comfortable

Cons

Durability

Footbed Can Be Slippery

2. Blowfish Balla Wedge

In search of an urban flair with clean cut look to it? The Blowfish Balla Wedge combines an urban feel with canvas uppers, accented with stylish leather strap ankle closure, into a sassy clean-cut looking wedge with minimal raise. Blowfish are known for making quite comfortable and cushioned shoes, but their Balla Wedge ramps up the foot appeal for nighttime parties or daytime social events. Peep toe design lets you show off your pedicure, all while keeping a light breathable focus on the shoe’s construction.
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Textile Uppers
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.

Wedge Heel
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!
Pros

Textile Uppers

Urban Appeal

Sandal Style

Soft Comfort

Price

Cons

Size Up

Durability

3. Top Moda Hy-5 Crochet

Best suited to more formal occasions, but ideal for summer and sporting a super trendy crochet look, Top Moda’s Hy-5 Crochet heel packs super sexy into simplicity. A platform style high heel with crochet toe, intertwined accent atop the foot, and strappy ankle closure makes this idea for pairing with sleek dresses and skirts. Padded comfort allows for dancing well into the night without fear of sore feet, and a peep toe opening lets you show off freshly painted toes.
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Formal Shoe
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.

Comfortable Heel
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!
Pros

Crochet Styling

Formal Shoe

High Heel

Strappy Design

Cons

Padding Wears Easily

Can Run Narrow

4. Vans Authentic Plaid

4. Vans Authentic Plaid
Another hot trend for 2018 are shoes with plaid patterning, and in typical Vans fashion, they’ve got the Vans Authentic in plaid to cover your fashion needs. Classic plaid can be paired with shorts or pants to step up a little preppy style to your attire, and always makes a statement as a shoe pattern. Comfortable style makes these easy for all day and evening wear, so you don’t need to sacrifice feeling sore just to look your best!
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Casual Comfort
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.

Breathable Canvas
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!
Pros

Plaid Pattern

Casual Shoe

Comfort

Brand Name

Price

Cons

Can Run Narrow

Durability

5. Ariat Rambler

5. Ariat Rambler
Who knew that when western inspired shoes would start becoming trendy back in 2016, that we’d soon pair them with nearly every outfit we can throw together? The Ariat Rambler is a simple western style cowboy boot, great with jeans, slacks, even shorts if you dare. Their classic patterning gives a rugged yet elegant feel to the boot, and leather quality keeps them durable for the long haul. Easy to dress up or dress down, it’s a great boot for any occasion!
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Western Flair
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.

Rugged Comfort
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!
Pros

Western Style Boot

Rugged

Leather

Easy Pull On

Comfort

Cons

Price

Toe Runs Narrow

6. Birkenstock Mayari

6. Birkenstock Mayari
No list of the Best Look Shoes for Women can be complete without the addition of a nice comfortable Birkenstock sandal. The Mayari is a great choice being comprised of mostly leather and cork and boasting one of the most comfortable designs of all time. With a number of color options to select, you'll be sure to find one that suits your style.
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Comfortable
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.

Therapeutic
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.
Pros
  • Stylish 
  • High quality leather 
  • Un-matched comfort
  • Versatile 
  • Durable 
Cons
  • A bit expensive 

7. VISCATA Escala Espadrilles

7. VISCATA Escala Espadrilles
In search of a beachy but fashionable sandal? Espadrilles are a hot ticket item this year that have remained high in fashions’ list of must-haves for years. The Viscata Escala Espadrille is a closed toe cotton shoe, with strappy design to lock your heel into the shoe and lace up on the ankles. It gives a little bit of sexy to simple, and makes for a great beach or vacation shoe, as it’s comfortable for all-day wear. You can pair these with a cute flouncy skirt or flowy dress to give an island feel, or simply wear with shorts for something more casual.
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Espadrille
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.

Handcrafted Comfort
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!
Pros

Espadrille

Canvas

Comfortable

Strappy

Handcrafted

Cons

Heel May Rub

Durability

8. TOMS Classic Polka Dot

8. TOMS Classic Polka Dot
Casual comfort can be found in the TOMS Classic, but be sure to select their polka dot patterns to stay hip with trends for 2018! This casual textile shoe puts comfort foremost, with a breathable lightweight constructed shoe to keep you cool during summertime. Polka dot patterning gives some added flair to your style and makes a statement when paired with solid colors. Perfect for casual evenings with friends, a quick happy hour in town, or just lounging around.
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Canvas Comfort
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.

Polka Dot
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!
Pros

Polka Dot

Canvas

Comfort

Price

Casual Style

Cons

Durability

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9. Stacy Adams Dickinson

9. Stacy Adams Dickinson
Oxford style shoes are always a classic for formal footwear, and who doesn’t love that clean cut, shiny leather look? Stacy Adams Dickinson keeps sharp looking footwear with a twist of brogue flair to give you a sophisticated look. Available in black or cognac coloring, the deep hues compliment many suits or slacks, and the cap toe design gives a little extra boost of approval from onlookers. Ideal for those attending weddings, or formal business events or galas who want to step up their look.
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Oxford Look
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.

Comfort
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!
Pros

Oxford Style

Leather

Stacked Heel

Brogues

Cap Toe

Cons

Run Narrow

Sizing May Vary

10. Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon Low

10. Polo Ralph Lauren Faxon Low
Polo Ralph Lauren as you already know is a home known brand in most parts of the world as they provide high quality and good looking pieces of clothing that cater to casual as well as professional settings. The Faxon Low Sneakers are a great addition to their line being more of a casual sneaker and a great shoe that fits into everyone's wardrobe.
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Canvas/Cotton Body
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
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.
Pros
  • Well known brand
  • Variety of colors
  • Long laces
  • Perfect fit
  • Canvas/cotton finish
Cons
  • 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!

 

Criteria for Selecting the Best Looking Shoes

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.

  • Sneakers:
    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.

 

  • Sandals:
    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.

 

  • Boots:
    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.

Materials Used

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.

  • Leather:
    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.

 

  • Canvas:
    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.

 

  • Rubber:
    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. How do I clean my leather dress shoes?
A:
We have an entire article devoted to this topic here on NicerShoes as well as a buying guide for leather polishes.

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.

 

Sources

  1. https://menzclub.com.au/blogs/editorial/dress-shoes-questions
  2. http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-walking-shoes-for-men-and-women.html


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