Are you searching for a dress shoe that can fit with your business-casual attire, but also have great comfort like running shoes? Some brands offer dress shoes you can run in so that they tend to suit most occasions.
You don’t have to spend time with your feet hurting when you are working hard in the office all week long. These dress shoes will give you the best of both worlds in terms of stylishness and comfort.
So, read this guide till the end as I have cherry-picked some dress shoes that cover a proportion of the comfort featured in the running shoes so that you can have a casual running activity after business hours. Moreover, the soles of these dress shoes for running are thick enough to provide the right amount of cushioning to avoid pain in the knees, Achillies and foot joints. Also, the fit of these dress shoes is comfy that your toes won’t be crammed.
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Top Best Dress Shoes You Can Run In
The reviews below feature the most comfortable dress shoes that will not only keep you comfortable while sitting or standing for a long time but also allow you to run around during the day to stay fresh.
While deciding dress shoes in which you can also run, I’ve covered those styles that have a casual touch. We have tried formal plus running esque shoes several times, and it always has come off goofy.
So, without any further delay, let’s get uncover some dress shoes in which you can feel a taste of comfort like running shoes.
Bonus Read: Dress shoes vs running shoes size
1. Cole Haan Wingtip Oxford (Best Dress Shoes With Sneakers Sole)
Cole Haan is a famous brand known for making comfortable and stylish dress shoes with sneakers comfort. After the Cole Haan brand was taken over by Nike, there were some unique sole designs introduced in Cole Haan shoes to enhance the comfort and make the wearers feel as if they were wearing the running shoes.
There are two variations in Cole Haan wingtip shoes. One is Original Grand, and the other is ZeroGrand. Both soles are made of EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) material, which is very lightweight and have an excellent shock-absorbing feature like running shoe sole.
The difference between ZeroGrand and OriginalGrand sole is that ZeroGrand sole has deep grooves in the sole to improve the flexibility. As you know, the soles of normal dress shoes are made of rubber or leather, they are quite stiffer. The insoles in such shoes have to be high quality to provide comfort.
In the case of these ZeroGrand Cole Haan Wingtip shoes, the shock-absorbing capacity and flexibility have been enhanced by embedding deep grooves in the soles. The grooves allow the sole to easily conform to your foot’s arch as soon as you step in your shoes.
So, comfort-wise, OriginalGrand Cole Haan shoes have a significant edge over traditional dress shoes. But, if we compare them with ZeroGrand Cole Haan shoes, ZeroGrand class has an edge over OriginalGrand due to grooves in the sole.
Although I lean towards preferring the Cole Haan ZeroGrand for comfort, I think the OriginalGrand is a solid counterpart. Its classic and simple sole design makes it appropriately formal for the workplace while providing the sufficient comfort you would need for long hours standing or during causal running activity. ZeroGrand’s noisy look is not suitable to wear in offices.
There is also a hard-wearing rubber on the heel and toe region of the outsole of Cole Haan Wingtip shoes so that when you strike with a heel on the ground while running, the outsole remains intact.
As far as sizing is concerned, Cole Haan shoes run true to size if you have standard width feet. For narrow feet, you may have to go for half a size down. If you have wide feet, you should buy a half size bigger.
Let’s discuss the downsides of Cole Haan Wingtip Shoes.
The entire sole of Cole Haan Wingtip shoes is made of EVA foam. EVA foam gets dirty easily. Moreover, EVA foam is not wear-resistant. Unlike running shoes, there are no rubber pads across the entire sole of Cole Haan shoes. Small rubber strips on the heel and toe area of Cole Haan shoes are not enough to prevent the sole from wearing out.
The second downside of Cole Haan Wingtip shoes is their leather quality and poor construction. The original price of Cole Haan dress shoes does not justify their leather quality. The leather is not original. It is quite thin and can develop wrinkles easily.
2. Doc Martens 1461 (Slip-Resistant and Comfortable Dress Shoes for Running)
Doc Martens are also some of the great dress shoes with a plain look and cushioning feature. They don’t have any stitching pattern on the upper like traditional dress shoes. However, the iconic yellow stitching around the area where the upper meets the sole adds an aesthetic look to the shoes. The look of Doc Martens 1461 shoes suits well with formal work clothes, jeans, or other leisure clothing.
The cushioned AirWair sole is the DNA of the Doc Martens shoe brand. It is a rubber sole in which air is pressurized to give a bouncy feel and protect your feet’ joints from the hardness of the surface. In this way, this AirWair feature of Doc Martens shoe sole can allow you to have casual runs to stay fresh. Furthermore, the rubber sole of Doc Martens is slip-resistant compared to the above reviewed Cole Haan shoes. The sole is also hard-wearing and perfectly justifies the price of Doc Martens 1461 shoes.
As far as sizing is concerned, these Doc Martens 1461 have unisex sizing. They are based on the men’s shoe size. You should buy the original size of Doc Martens that you wear in other dress shoes. The toe box is a bit tighter at the start. If you buy a size bigger, your foot will start rubbing against the heel of your Docs. So, it would be better to go for the original size.
Check my guide on Dr Martens sizing for more details.
Let’s discuss the downsides of Doc Martens 1461.
Doc Martens shoes were used to be originally manufactured in UK. Made in UK Docs had great leather quality. These days, it’s quite difficult to buy a made-in UK version.
You will mostly get made in Asia Doc Martens. They have synthetic leather, which is quite stiff at the start and can cause blisters on the back of your foot. The leather of Dr. Martens takes some to break in so that leather conforms to your feet. You can apply Wonder Balsam to soften the leather of Doc Martens shoes so that they can break in easily.
3. Rockport Men’s Style Leader 2 (Best Budget Slip-On Dress Shoes You Can Run In)
If you like slip-on formal shoes and they are allowed in your workplace, you should consider these Rockport shoes. Whether with a pair of khakis at work or a pair of jeans on the weekend, these Rockport shoes will never go out of fashion.
The leather of these Rockport shoes is pretty soft and can conform to your feet without causing blisters. As far as the outsole of Rockport shoes is concerned, it features Adidas AdiPrene technology. When Rockport was taken over by Adidas, this cushioning technology was introduced in Rockport shoes.
AdiPrene is an EVA-based material to make shoes lightweight and add a shock-absorbing feature that you find in running shoes. Adiprene is a highly elastic material that promptly responds to the cushioning needs of the wearer.
In the heel area of Rockport shoes, there is an exclusive TRUTECH technology introduced by Rockport. It is additional padding in the heel area like the gel cushioning of ASICS shoes for additional cushioning and preventing the heel from impact when you strike the surface with your heel during running.
Lastly, there are also rubber treads across the entire outsole of Rockport shoes to enhance grip and durability.
Let’s discuss the downside of Rockport Style Leader Shoes.
The first downside is that Rockport shoes feature a corrected-grain leather that peels off easily when rubbed against a surface. But, the quality of Rockport shoes definitely justifies the price. In less than $100. You won’t find such quality.
Another downside is that the grip of Rockport dress shoes is not good enough to walk on wet surfaces. If there is a slick material like ice on the surface, you will likely slip on it. In that case, the above-reviewed Dr. Martens serve the purpose.
How To Make Dress Shoes Comfortable?
If you like the style and formal look of your dress shoes, but they are not cushioned, you can use orthotic inserts or soft insoles in your dress shoes to make your dress shoes more comfortable. The comfortable dress shoes I have listed above have a removable insole. So, you can remove them and place comfortable insoles to relieve pressure off your feet.
I usually prefer Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles in the dress shoes as they are highly cushioned to relieve pressure off the sore heels and other uncomfortable areas of the foot. To place Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles in dress shoes, you have to trim them. The available size doesn’t fit in dress shoes. Moreover, you have to buy a bigger size of your dress shoes as gel insoles make them tighter.