A new year is the perfect time to kickstart a new you. We’ve all heard the cliché saying, but it rings true nonetheless.
One of the easiest ways to make a subtle, yet effective change is by getting yourself a new pair of shoes. Perhaps you need to look a bit smarter at work, or you just want something that looks nice for taking your kids to football practice.
In this article, we will try to provide you with a list of 22 of the best shoe brands for men. We want this to be a place that you can come to gather some inspiration for your next purchase and to do so, we cover many different styles of shoes, and many different brands.
Finding a new pair of shoes can be a tricky issue, as it’s not always as easy as it seems. Each brand has a different style, a different fit and most importantly, different qualities
However, we shouldn’t let that put us off. There are plenty of brands to choose from, and the best shoe brands for men make it easy for us to choose.
Well, the best men’s shoe brands, simply put, make it difficult to go wrong. All of their items fit well, look great, and they’re consistent. If you know that a particular brand runs slightly small and requires you to size up, then that’s something that’s invaluable when looking for a new pair of shoes.
Really, to know if shoes are worth investing in, you want to look at the quality and the durability of them. If they are made from top quality materials, and can survive some heavy wear and tear, then regardless of whether they are cheap or high-end men’s shoes brands, they will be worth the investment that you make.
Balding Beards is reader-supported. When you buy through external links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
The best shoe brands for men 2020
1. Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole is a designer brand that also happens to be one of the best formal shoes brands.
As a general rule of thumb, if you need something that’s formal, for work, weddings, or otherwise – consider Kenneth Cole. They provide a guaranteed level of quality that they are proud of, and they are not particularly expensive either.
To judge whether something is worth the investment is to know whether it is worth the price point, and we believe that Kenneth Cole shoes are definitely worth the price, in most cases. They offer competitive rates whilst really caring about the quality that they provide.
These days, and certainly in 2020, Kenneth Cole produce shoes that blend fashion with functionality, and they are suitable for men that want to work or play.
The important thing is that they are worth the investment, but they are primarily worth considering if you are looking for a new pair of formal shoes.
Nike originally launched as a sportswear brand, and the world famous “Just Do It” slogan has propelled them into becoming a household name worldwide.
There is no doubt that Nike has a huge influence over the shoe market, and they don’t just stick to one style.
Sure, they still do sportswear. If you are looking for a pair of basketball shoes or some soccer cleats, then you can’t go far wrong going to Nike. They are the innovators of sports footwear and they are constantly releasing new models, new sizes, and new colors. The best thing is that many of your favorite athletes will be wearing them, proving that they are worth the investment – albeit, they’re getting paid for it.
It doesn’t stop there, however, more recently they moved into the lifestyle and general fashion area of shoes, and it is easy to see why they are successful. Again, they started to pioneer certain types of shoes, like the VaporMax or the iconic Air Max’s. They are both shoes that Nike has released for the general market, and have achieved great success in doing so.
We believe that going into 2020, your money will remain safe with Nike. It seems that they only seem to improve year on year, and we expect this trend to continue going into the final year of this decade.
So, if you’re ever in doubt, then look at the collection Nike have before making any decisions.
Similar to brands like Nike, Reebok, and Champion, Adidas launched to make a difference in the sportswear world. Without a doubt, they have made a difference. Millions of athletes worldwide trust Adidas with their shoes, and that is not something to frown upon. After all, many athletes need their feet to be in perfect condition and in the best environment to succeed. Adidas shoes allow that, and show that they’re worth the investment.
Similar to most other brands these days, Adidas have expanded out of the purely sports shoe frame of mind and tried to appeal to the general population a bit more. The Yeezy collaboration, with Kanye West, for example, really took their brand to the next level, and gave everyone in the mainstream an insight into why Adidas make some of the best shoes on the market.
Away from that, they have tried to step away from the classic materials that a sports shoe brand would use, and instead looked at stylizing some of their designs by following the blueprint created by the best leather shoes brands in world.
One example would be their Stan Smiths model under the Adidas Originals brand name. The Stan Smiths are fully rubber, comfortable, and most importantly – stylish. When you buy a pair of Stan’s, you know what you are getting, and that is something that’s imperative when looking for something you can invest in safety.
If you want to stick to the classic design of Adidas shoes, then they have plenty of options. From the Adidas NMD’s to Ultraboosts and everything in between, you’ll love the fact that you’ll find something that you can wear on a day to day basis without much trouble.
Reebok is a brand that lost its way a bit in the 2000’s, before making a triumphant return more recently. This storming return, both in style and innovation, is what has given it the right to have a place in this list.
It is one of those brands that are centralized around sports and fitness, but regardless of that, still innovating and producing shoes for all audiences.
From collaborations with some of the most famous celebrities, like Victoria Beckham and hip-hop stars in the world, to appealing to niche audiences worldwide, they have made waves in the market within the last 5 years, and we fully expect that to continue moving into 2020 and beyond.
They have something for everyone, and this is illustrated perfectly by their Crossfit range. Crossfit is a type of weightlifting that combines the bodybuilding style of training with something more functional. Instead of being in a sweaty room curling for 2 hours, you’ll be engaged in non-stop action, generally doing some pretty precarious things.
Whilst Crossfit gets a bad rap across much of the community, Reebok decided to take matters into their own hands and tap into this emerging market with Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer Shoe. With the launch of their Crossfit range, they appealed to a set of customers that would have otherwise never considered shopping with Reebok. The same can be said of their expansion into the UFC, and it just goes to show how efficient their marketing is these days.
So far we have only mentioned the sports side of things, and we understand that, but Reebok also do some of the nicest leather sneakers you can find today. They come in great styles, colorways and fits, meaning that you can trust yourself to buy a pair of them today and look back in six months thinking that it was definitely worth it.
In conclusion, we see Reebok as a brand that is still underrated despite all of its success, and it’s desire to reach the dizzy heights of Nike and Adidas mean that they’re likely to keep doing all they can to improve.
As long as they keep showing a desire to improve, then we can be sure that they’ll be worth investing in. Keep an eye on them in 2020.
FILA made somewhat of a reverse transition in the story of their history. Starting off just making footwear for the people of the Alps and the Mediterranean coast, it wasn’t until they moved into sportswear and the ‘illustrious lawns of Wimbledon’ that they reached global recognition for their work.
They see themselves as one of sports only designer men’s shoes brands, and as a result, try particularly hard to create and produce shoes that people can be confident investing in. Consider this, if you’re a brand, and trying to portray yourself in a particular way, you would not risk jeopardizing that by launching a pair of shoes that is of poor quality, poor durability, or low levels of comfort. Instead, you would be pushing for your shoes to be better and better each year, and we believe that is the approach that FILA take.
Even though they are more focused around sport, they haven’t forgotten their roots, and it is possible to go to FILA for shoes that are different the ordinary. Steel toe-cap boots, for example, Men’s Landing Steel Work Shoe. seem like a rogue decision for a sports company to make, but illustrates their invention, goals and outright confidence to try something like that.
This is something that makes sure FILA can remain in touch with its competitors, by producing shoes that cover many basis, almost any men can choose to shop with them. And, as we’ve already discussed, if you choose to shop with them then you’ll be happy to know that you’ll be getting a guaranteed level of quality and satisfaction. Worth the investment.
When you think of Timberland, you probably think of one of the best leather shoes brands in the world. Not a bad first impression, huh? That’s exactly what Timberland have been building since their inception.
We fully agree with this assumption. There’s a shoe for everyone, they provide everyday style, comfort and performance, and they go above and beyond in ensuring that all materials that they source and use for their shoes is of the highest quality.
Timberland is one of those brands that you can trust with your life if you are looking for something sturdy, professional and safe. Their line of work boots, like these Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boots just go to show that. Other similar styles include the classic high boots that Timberland has become famous for over the years. It is a timeless design that will continue to be sold, and trusted, for years to come.
But away from the very obvious, Timberland also produces styles that you perhaps would not have thought of, and that opens up the door to a huge range of possibilities. From Chukka’s, to Chelsea boots, to Boat shoes, Timberland makes it all. This is huge news as it means that you’ll never be lacking a brand idea when needing to upgrade your footwear. If you are a Chukka boot kind of guy, then you’ll sleep easy knowing that Timberland’s are available. They provide a certain level of quality and comfort that is difficult to guarantee anywhere else.
For those unaware, Clarks have been around for some time now, and really made their name in the children footwear market. If your parents were ever unsure with where to take you for your next pair of school shoes or sneakers, it would be Clarks that you’re walked into.
To be fair, we can’t begrudge anyone for trusting Clarks with their children’s footwear. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that in 2020, you should be able to trust them with your own. They have really grown leaps and bounds recently, and many of their styles and customer reviews are reflective of that.
Not only have they grown as a brand, but they have tried to produce shoes that we can trust. By building customer trust and relations, they have etched their way into the ‘should invest’ category.
In terms of actual choices, Clarks specialize in leather shoes, and formal shoes in particular, but that is not to say that you cannot find something a bit more casual. Whatever your preference, Clarks have got it, and they generally do it right.
Vans launched as a skate brand, and they have carried this proudly throughout their expansion. Now they target not only skaters, but the general population. However, their style has remained pretty constant throughout.
One thing that you can guarantee from Vans is comfort. It makes sense when you think about it logistically. If Skaters are on their feet all day doing tricks etc, then it is fully understandable as to why they’d need a pair of shoes that is comfortable and functional in equal measure.
Similar to their clothing, they made a conscious effort to push into the mainstream significantly more once the demand started coming. Now, they make shoes that are in their classic skate style, but they do not need to be marketed specifically to skaters.
Ultimately, we feel that Vans are worth the investment that you’d spend on them because they are stylish, comfortable and a hallmark in quality. They are a brand that everyone has heard of, but barely anyone has something bad to say about them – and that speaks volumes.
Iconic brand, and deservedly so. Converse Chuck Taylor’s fell off the map a bit towards the end of the 90’s, but they came back with force in the 2010’s. With the growth of the vintage and old-school market, Converse found themselves back in the midst of the action, becoming more and more popular by the year.
In year 2020, we are sure that you will see even more people wearing Converse, and perhaps you’ll even be one of them yourselves. If you are, we don’t blame you, they are excellent shoes and the brand prides themselves on their quality.
Their most famous shoe is the Chuck Taylor All-Star high Tops it is the one that most people will think of when they think Converse. Fortunately, the style is still in fashion today, as perfectly illustrated by the number of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews that they get on a daily basis.
In conclusion, Converse is a brand you should heavily consider if you are in need of some street shoes this coming year. They provide quality and comfort that is unrivaled in their sector of the market, and that is why they would be a great investment should you choose to shop with them.
For a while, Puma went quiet. As Nike and Adidas continued their monopolization of the sporting market, they struggled to find their grip.
However, in 2020, they have well and truly hammered themselves to it, and grip is no longer an issue. Their brand is growing year on year, and thanks to on-going collaborations and improved marketing, they are finding ways to get more customer engagement and more trust on a daily basis.
They have really made a name for themselves in this market, and some of their street shoes are now the best-selling street shoes on the entire market.
One of the things that impresses us the most is the style and design of their shoes. Yes, they’re generally just sneakers, but it is fashionable street wear that we’d rank as worth the investment. They are continually pioneering the types of shoes that they release, whether it be the general design or just the colorways. These Vigor Evoknit sneakers for example, have pushed the boat out in terms of style and color, and they are most definitely reaping the rewards as you can’t get anything like that anywhere else.
Crocs, a brand that divides opinion. Whilst there is no doubt that they provide unrivaled comfort and enjoyment, it is the look that most people despair.
Granted, we admit, the look of most Crocs is not great. We are convinced that they deliberately make their shoes ‘ugly’ to prove a point. And that point is regardless of the look, we will still make sales, because our quality is too great.
That is something that everyone should keep in mind when looking for a new pair of shoes to buy in 2020. If you aren’t comfy, then why bother? After all, you’re on your feet all day in most cases, why would you not want them to be wrapped in blissful comfort. Sure, you could look good in a good looking pair of sneakers from another brand, but is it really worth the blisters?
12. Calvin Klein
When you think of Calvin Klein, you probably think of underwear and denim. We were the same. However, the truth is, you can also get some excellent smart shoes there.
As with any of their other items of clothing or accessories, Calvin Klein really try to ensure that they are the best in everything they produce – fortunately for us, it appears that their shoe production is no different.
They have made a step into the primarily formal market, and have made their name as one of the best luxury shoe brands, with the likes of oxford shoes and leather sneakers. On top of that, you’ll also be able to find some additional goodies, like Calvin Klein flip-flops.
Calvin Klein is one of those brands that really bring to your attention the fact that not all brand should be judged by its cover. Yes, they are known for their underwear, but their shoes are also worth the investment in 2020.
In 2020, we don’t want you to forget about the summer. Sure, you probably haven’t. During the gloomy months you think about it every day.
However, how many of us actually prepare for it well enough? Probably very few of us. It is understandable why. Most summer footwear is just simple enough to buy on the day right? Maybe even a beach front store is good enough for your flip flops this year.
This is the mindset you should get out of. As with any other type of shoe, beach, or summer shoes should be invested in with just as much care and comfort as any other. Most people don’t realize that they probably do more walking in the summertime than any other time combined, so wearing a cheap pair of flip-flops or sandals from the beachfront is doing their feet a massive injustice.
Instead, think about shopping with Ripcurl. They have been a leader of surfing fashion for many years now, and their shoes indicate the type of quality and comfort that have got them to their lofty heights within the industry.
Skechers are slowly, but definitely surely, beginning to make waves within the industry. They are slowly catching up to the likes of FILA and Reebok, and it is probably not long before they are right there at the very top.
They have already started the collaborations in similar styles to other brands. The more recent collaboration with Camila Cabello just goes to show the lengths that they are going to push their brand into the mainstream, appealing to the younger audience too.
That is something important to note, as if you are younger you’ll probably frown upon Skechers with the first sight of them. They are inevitably a slightly ‘older’ shoe. If you are an adult and not as concerned with the looks of your sneakers, then these could be a perfect choice.
The reasoning behind that is that Skechers are known for their brilliant quality. Their shoes often have cushioned soles and even custom soles that mold to your foot and ensure quality regardless of how long you are wearing them for.
We believe that Skechers will slowly break into the younger market, and once it does then it will be hard to stop. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on Skechers this year, and if you like a pair of them, they’ll definitely be worth the investment.
Lacoste have been making inroads into the sportswear market since 1933, and with the rise of vintage fashion, they have been making a resurgent comeback in recent years.
Fortunately for them, we see that trend continuing in 2020. However, that sounds too harsh. It is not just the fact that we have seen a rise in vintage fashion, but it is also that have really tried to produce shoes that appeal for different audiences and even audiences outside of sports in general.
Lacoste Dreyfus (Men) Fashion Sneaker for example, are a clear fashion piece rather than something that you’d be wearing for sports purposes. We feel that this is a sign of a truly great brand. When something isn’t working, you need to switch things up.
Judging by the customer reviews, their switch up has paid back ten-fold. Not only are they getting thousands of reviews across all of their products, they are also overwhelmingly positive. We believe that this says something about their brand when they can become irrelevant for so long before coming back and making a name for themselves once again.
16. H by Hudson
For those unaware, H by Hudson are a manufacturer of high-end leather shoes, and they are incredibly proud to do so.
Their shoes are always high quality, and that’s a guarantee. They use the best materials and their shoes go through a meticulous process to ensure that they’ll be of the greatest quality, too.
Formal shoes are what most people need. Whether you need to dress smart for work or not, there are always occasions where smart shoes will be necessary. For example, if you have been invited to a wedding, then you can be sure that you’ll need some extra smart shoes.
Occasions like these happen throughout your adult life on a regular basis, so you want to make sure that you’ve invested in a pair of smart shoes that is worth it.
Ultimately, we just feel that H by Hudson are the manufacturers of some great smart and leather shoes, and if it is that look you’re going for, then you should stop looking for any alternatives.
17. Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger has been a well-known name in the clothing scene for some time. They produce some great quality t-shirts, jumpers and more.
As with their t-shirts and jumpers, the quality is a constant throughout the company, and it extends to their shoes. Not only are their shoes made from brilliant, durable materials, but they are also great to look at, possess great brand design and even feature some specialized comfort technology that allow you to get the most out of each pair that you buy.
You’ll feel great wearing Tommy Hilfiger shoes, and that’s one of the key reasons why they are worth investing in, in 2020. Not only will you be benefitting from the comfort and style aspect, but you’ll receive an intrinsic confidence boost just from wearing them.
Many of us will recognize the Columbia brand because they are industry leaders in outerwear – both in terms of clothing and shoes.
Their quality remains a constant throughout their products, they pride themselves on keeping their customers warm, so they would not want to risk making them unhappy with a pair of shoes that do not achieve this purpose.
Nonetheless, it is possible to wear their shoes even if you aren’t someone that enjoys going on weekend hikes and expeditions. They aren’t solely produced for the explorer, and that’s what makes them so great.
It is also possible to find shoes that are in alternative styles, and more aimed for the general population. For example, they produce boat shoes that look great and would suit any beach party or else.
If you’re just in need of some comfortable shoes that are warm, well insulated and very well designed, then you need not look anywhere else.
19. New Balance
New Balance is a relatively new arrival on the footwear scene, but one that has been making plenty of noise. As the manufacturer of sports kits across the world, including Liverpool Football Club, they have been propelled into the public spotlight and have finally reached mainstream popularity for good.
The great news is that they haven’t just bought their way there, they have deserved it. Their shoes are a combination of style and comfort that we love, and we feel like no one would regret their investment if they went out to buy a pair right this moment.
It is worth noting, though, that New Balance is primarily a sportswear brand, and so many of their trainers are running shoes or shaped in that way. However, they need not be worn for sporting purposes, and they simply provide a stylish alternative to other shoes that you may wear on an everyday basis.
20. Under Armour
Under Armour is a leading sportswear designer that got there off of their own backs. Whilst they do sponsorships and collaborations, it is their unique design and quality that really propelled them to the big leagues.
As with any brand that has exceptional quality, style and design, you can guarantee that they are worth the investment you will be putting into them. Their shoes are likely to last a long time with their durable material, and you can guarantee that you’ll be comfortable in them.
Even though they are sports shoes, that should not limit you whatsoever. They are subtle enough to be worn with most outfits, and they look good enough that you’ll be able to get away with it without trouble.
The majority of us will overlook the importance of a great pair of off-road shoes. We are too caught up in buying ourselves the best looking sneakers we can, but forget that sometimes we can find ourselves going on a walk on a rainy day, or just going through muddy fields.
In these situations, you don’t really want to be wearing your brand new Adidas trainers, as they’ll be ruined forever.
Instead, look at Bogs, as they produce lifestyle shoes that are suitable for natural environments. They make the most of waterproof and grip technology that gives their shoes the additional boost of being practical as well as stylish.
Even though we may rarely find ourselves out of the beaten track, it is worth being prepared for the situation that we are. A small investment now can get rid of any issues in the future.
For those of you that have never heard of Vibram, they are an alternative sportswear brand that have really tried to make the most of some interesting innovation and pioneering technology.
Their most famous product will be the ‘toe’ shoes that allow you to move freely and achieve your running goals much easier.
But their target audience does not stop at running, they have also started to produce shoes aimed at Crossfitters and general gym goers. The reason for this is that being ‘barefoot’ can have many benefits for the human body. It is easier on the joints and it closer to nature, like it was intended before we decided to create shoes and boots.
Vibram shoes are worth the investment if you don’t mind people staring at you funny, but are just looking for comfort.
Getting a new pair of shoes can be a pretty painful task. Even though there are hundreds of brands out there, finding the right pair can be a pain. After all, you may need them for work, but not for play. Alternatively, you may need something that is a jack of all trades.
So many variables come into play with shoes, and it is impossible to list just a definitive single brand for all situations.
Instead, we have made this article to try and help you recognize what a good shoe brand is, and we have listed our favorites, as well as reasons why, and some of their best-selling examples.
Obviously, our examples are just a starting point, and we urge you to look a bit deeper – but clicking through our links will give you a great starting point towards your new pair of shoes.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you have recently bought a pair of shoes for 2020, then we’d love to hear what brand you went with. Is it one that we’ve listed, or did you go elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts.