Men’s casual shoes: what are they and when to use each of them

What are casual shoes? When the occasions relax and the dress code becomes more comfortable, we usually go directly to the shoes that have been successful in recent seasons. However, there are appointments that, even if they are not so formal, require shoes. But which ones? There is a middle ground between the most strict models and the sneakers , and those are the causal shoes .

Moccasins, boat shoes, suede… what are the different models that we can find? When should we dress each one? What do I wear it with? Each one has its moment and its combination, and it can hit the nail on the head with a simple touch at your feet.


Loafers are the shoes that act as the border between the most formal and the casual . Until the First World War, shoe trends were dictated by the English, until the Americans arrived and exported a comfortable, slip-on shoe that, in its most formal version, could be compared to the English sewing shoe to combine it with a suit. Despite its roots in the Old Continent -legend has it that Norwegian fishermen were the first to wear them-, it was the American company GH Bass & Co. (George Henry Bass) that officially created the first pair of moccasins for the street in 1936 . Shoes that soon became part of the official uniform of the preppys   from Ivy League universities – and that today they wear white socks again as they did then-.

Men's casual shoes, what are they and when to use each of them?

Years later, the Italians reinvented them in their sportier version –with a thinner sole and softer leather– and in 1979 Diego Della Valle, founder of the Tod’s firm , changed his classic leather sole for rubber buttons to make them more comfortable. This is how the model known as Gommino arose .

Loafers are perfect to combine with dress pants or jeans in more casual situations. For their part, the Gomminos are more appropriate for jeans or shorts in summer.

Men's casual shoes, what are they and when to use each of them?

Nautic shoes

The boat shoe is the classic shoe for summer, due to its non-slip rubber sole and its great comfort. Its origin dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the development of the large ports on the French Riviera began in Europe and, by extension, water sports. For this reason, the need arose to create a shoe model that would not slip when practicing these activities.

In 1935 , Paul Sperry , an American tycoon with a passion for sailing, created the first boat shoe in history thanks to his dog . Walking with his cocker spaniel, Prince, one winter afternoon, Sperry noticed how easily his faithful friend kept her balance on the ice. He carefully examined his paws and discovered a grooved surface on his pads that allowed him to maintain stability on slippery floors. As an experiment, he took a piece of white rubber (so as not to stain the surface of the boat), with a knife he made indentations on it in the form of a pattern –later patented as Razor-Siping – and attached it to his shoe. And that was how Paul Sperry avoided slipping off the deck of his yacht.

This model is exclusively to be worn in summer, generally without socks and on informal occasions . It is usually combined with shorts, a bathing suit or jeans and a jacket during the summer.

Men's casual shoes, what are they and when to use each of them?

Suede shoes

Not only the seam

or the structure of the shoe are decisive when it comes to the differences between formal shoes and casual shoes, the material in which they are made is just as influential when it comes to making our choice . For example, those made of suede are considered more sport shoes, even if their silhouette is that of formal shoes such as Oxford , full Brogue or buckled shoes .

Although suede is a less formal material, depending on the model chosen it can be combined with a suit to go to work. The most appropriate shoes for this case are Tassel loafers or Penny loafers (in the first photo). On the other hand, the other options made of suede are reserved for mixing in more informal situations with dress pants (flannel, corduroy or tweed) or even with jeans and a jacket. For those occasions that require a touch of formality, but without being excessively strict.

Men's casual shoes, what are they and when to use each of them?

Ankle Boots, Desert Boots or Chukka Boots

Within the suede shoes section, these ankle boots need a separate mention. Its origin is located in India , specifically during the colonial era; The British introduced them to the European continent under the name of Chukka boots and they have managed to survive to this day .

Zapatos casual de hombre cules son y cundo utilizar cada uno de ellos
With leather or rubber soles , these boots have become the perfect footwear for the weekend and more relaxed situations in which you prefer to do without sports shoes. With jeans, canvas or even flannel or corduroy pants for the most relaxed occasions.
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