The Best Men’s Dress Shoe Brands Under $500

Since the inception of TVG, our 11 Quality Shoe Brands You Need to Know article has been the undisputed champion of clicks. That piece was put together years ago, and whilst the brands within it are still relevant and of course still ‘quality’, the landscape has evolved. New manufacturers of men’s dress shoes are entering the market, selling products direct to the consumer at a reduced price, often with parts of the process moving to Asia. Naturally, the quality drops, but the designs and construction process remain largely the same, influenced by the English and Italian brands I mentioned in my previous article.

What you need to consider when purchasing men’s dress shoes or formal footwear, whether it be for weddings or for work, is longevity. Looking for a Goodyear welted, or hand-welted shoe, will allow for multiple resolings, and the prospect of owning your shoes for decades, if cared for properly.

The following collection of manufacturers all produce stylish and serviceable shoes with varying technique but do so at an accessible price. Some of the brands below are notably more credible than others, but all offer a solid value proposition depending on your budget. Randy and I have covered a few of these brands in the past and provided links for further reading below. Here’s our list of 8 Best Men’s Dress Shoes Under $500.

Meermin

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

Meermin Dark Brown Calf Shoe

We’ve been wearing Meermin products since we started TVG and have featured them in a number of articles including our Black Tie Guide and Wardrobe Essentials. In our opinion, they’re the perfect everyday work shoe and a steal at $175 US ($233 AUD).

Velasca Milano 

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

Velasca Milano Esclusiv Shoe

Randy has covered the young Velasca Milano brand with an excellent in depth review of the Esclusiv shoe which retails for roughly US$195 (Approx. $245 AUD). You’d be hard-pressed to find men’s dress shoes of this quality, at this price, at any retailer in Australia.

Ed Et Al

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

Ed Et Al Raffles II Shoe

Another hot tip from Randy, Ed Et Al’s Ready-To-Wear offering starts at $244 SGD (Approx $235 AUD). Read his expose on the brand here.

Jack Erwin

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

Jack Erwin Chester Ankle Boot

Starting in 2013, Jack Erwin’s shoes are entirely made in Portugal, from Portuguese tanned leathers. US$195 will pick you up a pair of Oxfords or Brogues delivered CONUS. Unfortunately shipping is currently only within the US, but $220 US ($293 AUD) for a pair of Full Grain Ankle Boots is an appealing proposition, and well worth organising someone in the US to forward them on.

Carlos Santos

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

Carlos Santos Black Dress Shoes

Carlos Santos is a brand I’m only familiar with online, but I’m impressed with their range, and their twist on traditional shoe making. Their products are made in Portugal and can be purchased at Skoaktiebolaget for $369 AUD.

Loake

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500 Ed et al

Loake 1880 Buckingham

Hailing from Northamptonshire, Loake is a brand with over a century of heritage and a respectable reputation amongst makers of men’s dress shoes. Those who do their research will find that most Loake customers recommend shelling out the extra cash for their 1880 Collection, with products on offer for around 215 pounds (Approx. $409 AUD).

Allen Edmonds

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

AE Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxford

Loake’s American counterpart Allen Edmonds has been making shoes since 1922 and is regarded as one of the best value shoe makers on the market today. It seems that Amazon Fashion is one of the best places to purchase, with prices ranging from the hundreds up to $500 AUD.

Carmina

8 Best Men's Dress Shoes Under $500

Carmina Oscar Oxford

In terms of quality and reputation, you’d have a hard time arguing that Carmina wasn’t the pick of this dress shoes list. Both Skoaktiebolaget ($470) and the Carmina Outlet have products available for under $500, and if you’re keen to shop the brand in Sydney or Melbourne you can head to Double Monk (I’m not certain on prices in store though).

Feature Image: Skoaktiebolaget

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James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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