The Best Shoes to Wear With a Tuxedo
Tuxedos are all about rules–and that isn't a bad thing. They're a formal garment with a formal set of guidelines to adhere to when you're suiting up (this is why tuxedo shoes are important). You can't just wear a regular pair of oxfords or loafers with a tux. They call for a shoe as sleek as the suit itself. For everything you need to know about tuxedo shoes, how to wear them, and when you can ditch them for something different (there are exceptions to every rule), read on.
In this article:
What Are Tuxedo Shoes?
Tuxedos require tuxedo shoes. This means a whole-cut oxford dress shoe with no extra detailing like cap toes. Tuxedo shoes are usually made from patent leather, though in some cases a classic whole-cut oxford from regular leather will suffice. Tuxedo shoes are always black.
The most common alternative to tuxedo shoes and oxfords is a velvet slipper. Tuxedo slippers are a bold, popular styling choice meant to add a leisurely air to an evening suit. They tend to come in traditional black velvet, though sometimes they come with elaborate and fanciful embroideries that can bring a lot of personal style and character to a tuxedo look.
The Best Tuxedo Shoes for Weddings and Beyond
Looking to lace up a pair of tuxedo shoes at a wedding soon? You've got plenty of options, ranging from budget-friendly steals that overdeliver on quality to ritzy options that make a bold statement. Whatever it is you're looking for, you'll find it in some of our favorite tuxedo shoes available right now.
Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxford Dress Shoe
Allen Edmonds nails the classic tuxedo shoe with this patent leather take on an oxford. It's simple and comes with all of the quality we've come to expect from a brand like Allen Edmonds.
Size Range: 6.5-15
Amberjack The Tux
Amberjack specializes in dress shoes with the comfort of sneakers. Their tuxedo shoe is no different, blending high-tech insoles with a formal finish.
Size Range: 7-15
Suitsupply Black Tuxedo Oxford
Suitsupply's take on the tuxedo shoe is as elegant as the rest of their wares. It's got a narrow silhouette and a pointed toe for a fashion-forward look.
Size Range: 6-14
Steve Madden Beax Black Patent
For a cool hundred bucks, Steve Madden's Beaux tuxedo shoe provides the perfect finish to any tuxedo look.
Size Range: 6-15
Dolce & Gabbana Patent Leather Derby Shoes
Dolce & Gabanna provides a unique spin on the tuxedo shoe by folding in elements of an edgy derby shoe into the silhouette. It's still tux-ready but sets your shoes apart from the rest.
Size Range: 7-15
Gucci Lace-Up Shoe
If you want to go all-out, go Gucci. The classic Italian fashion house has a predictably stellar tuxedo shoe in its arsenal for when you want a luxurious finish to your tuxedo.
Size Range: 5-17.5
Tuxedo Loafers & Other Stylish Shoes For a Tuxedo
Looking to eschew tradition? Try a pair of tuxedo loafers, a great way to give a tux a whole new look and feel. Slide on any of our favorite tuxedo loafers and bring that fresh vibe to your next tuxedo look.
Hawes & Curtis Black Velvet Padded Loafer
With a simple design and a padded sole, this take on the tuxedo loafer feels as good as it looks.
Size Range: 7.5-12.5
Stubbs & Wootton Black Velvet Slippers
Todd Snyder teamed up with Florida menswear brand Stubbs & Wootton for this killer take on the classic dress loafer. It's simple, elegant, and quality–everything a tuxedo loafer should be.
Size Range: 8-13
Steve Madden Laight Loafer
Once again, Steve Madden comes in clutch with a sub-$100 menswear staple. For a hundred bucks or less, they'll help you get your tuxedo loafer moment underway.
Size Range: 7-15
To Boot New York Bolton Velvet Loafers
To Boot's tuxedo loafer comes with a slightly elevated heel, giving a literal boost to an already perfect take on a menswear staple. They'll give your tuxedo fit a proverbial boost, too.
Size Range: 7-13
Joseph Abboud Soiree Formal Slip-Ons
Not every tuxedo loafer is a velvet slipper. These patent leather beauties from Joseph Abboud provide a pretty singular finish to any tuxedo.
Size Range: 8.5-15
Polo Ralph Lauren Paxton Velvet Slipper
As with most things in menswear, few do it better than Ralph. The brand's Paxton velvet slipper is a tuxedo loafer equal parts cozy and dashing.
Size Range: 7-15
Perry Ellis Evening Patent Slip-On
Perry Ellis's budget-friendly patent leather slip-on is a great addition to any tuxedo look. It's simple and pared down, with a red interior for a pop of color.
Size Range: 7.5-12
Suitsupply Black Tuxedo Slip-On
Suitsupply's tuxedo slipper has a silhouette resembling a penny loafer, with piped detailing running over the top of the foot. It's a touch that stands out in a sea of plain black tuxedo loafers.
Everything Else to Know About Tuxedo Shoes
Need to know when to wear tuxedo shoes and when to go with oxfords? Thinking about how to best go about selecting your pair of tuxedo shoes? You've come to the right place–here's everything else you need to know about how to style tuxedo shoes.
How do I choose the best tuxedo shoes?
What constitutes the best tuxedo shoe is going to vary from person to person. Sometimes "best" means budget-friendly and sometimes it means made from the highest-quality materials possible. A good bit of shorthand in case you're looking for something quality without breaking the bank is going to be to buy shoes made from actual leather. Imitation leather is going to look cheaper, feel cheaper, and won't last as long.
Are black tuxedo shoes the only color?
More or less, yes. There are exceptions to every rule but black patent leather shoes are the most dominant kind of tuxedo shoe.
Do tuxedo shoes have to be shiny?
Not every tuxedo shoe has to be made of patent leather, no. A traditional whole-cut oxford dress shoe in black leather can work as a tux shoe if you need it to.
Can you rent tuxedo shoes?
Yes, you can. Many rental services offer not only the ability to rent a tuxedo but also all of the other pieces that go with it. This means you can rent the necessary shirt, accessories, and yes, even tuxedo shoes from the same place you're getting your tuxedo.
Can you wear tuxedo shoes with a suit?
Generally, this is a no-go. The patent leather finish complements the sheen of the silk detailing in a tuxedo. It doesn't do the same for a traditional suit.