Fall is arguably the best season for menswear, and footwear is a big part of this. Here are some of the best fall shoes for men this year.
People are setting their decorative gourds on the porch. The trees are changing. Children are making hand-turkeys as if their lives depended on it.
You’re starting to wake up with frosty toes. That t-shirt you’ve been wearing all summer is developing fold lines in your drawer.
And those sandals aren’t going to cut it anymore.
It’s fall 🍃🍂
Fall weather makes a lot of fashion lovers happy. You can finally throw on layers and show off some of the thicker, more substantial fabrics you own.
But what should you wear on your feet?
Sure, people know all about layering coats and sweaters, but how do you pick the right shoes?
We’re going to break down how to pick the right shoes that fit perfectly with the cooler weather. Plus, we’ll give you a list of 10 essential shoe styles for fall and our top three picks for any budget.
So start posting those hand-turkeys on the fridge, get the decorative gourds out, and prepare to eat your annual dose of cranberries.
It’s time to put your best foot forward this fall…
Table of Contents
What Makes a Shoe Good for Fall?
With all the layers (vests, cardigans, work shirts, jackets), fall outfits become a bit bulkier than spring and summer outfits.
Wool, flannel, corduroy, suede – these fall fabrics are thick and textured, so your shoe choices should match this bulkier profile.
You could definitely get by wearing brown boots for the entire autumn season, and we wouldn't judge you for it.
But you can also wear
The point is, you have options. Here are some of our favorite fall shoes for guys to wear this year.
1. Chukka Boots
There are so many different types of chukka boots, from leather to suede, casual to dressy.
The brown leather chukka goes with almost anything, but grey suede is also a versatile choice.
Chukkas are a great choice because they work well with casual outfits and dressier outfits alike.
Budget Pick – Clarks Bushacre
Clarks popularized the desert boot style that was worn by British troops fighting in Northern African during World War II.
Their updated Bushacre is a casual, affordable leather chukka that's been fan favorite for many years, and for good reason.
Value Pick – Thursday Boots Scout
A great all-around chukka is the Scout from Thursday Boots.
The Scout is a middle-of-the-road chukka, in terms of formality. It's not as casual as a true desert boot, but it's definitely not a dressy chukka that you'd wear with a suit and tie.
It's perfect for casual, smart casual and even business casual looks (think chinos with a tucked in button down shirt), and the price-to-quality ratio makes it easy to recommend.
Midnight blue suede goes with many different shades of jeans and chinos, and it's a nice addition to your wardrobe if you want to break free of brown shoes.
Dressy Pick – Ace Marks Lorenzo Chukka
If you want a dressier chukka boot that you can wear with wool trousers and suits, this Italian-made Ace Marks chukka is right up your alley.
Made from calfskin leather, this boot features “Blake flex stitch” construction, which makes it lighter and more pliable than a Goodyear welted boot.
Don't worry, it's still reasonable, so you'll be able to wear this chukka for many years!
2. Lace-Up “Work” Boots
There are two types of leather work boots: the type you actually wear to work if you’re in construction, and the type you wear to work if you write about men’s fashion.
We’re going to focus on the latter 😉
When you start to layer vests, sweaters, and coats, your top half can get pretty bulky, so rounding out the bottom half of your outfit with a larger pair of boots will help maintain a balanced silhouette.
We love the basic leather lace-up work boot, especially if you want a minimal shoe collection.
These pair really well with henleys, flannel shirts, vests, raw denim and leather coat jackets.
Here are our top picks for this style:
Budget Pick – Eastland High Fidelity Cap Toe
For under $100, you can't expect high-quality leather and Goodyear welt construction, but you can still get a handsome pair of boots that should last a few seasons.
These cap toe leather lace ups from Eastland are available in plenty of sizes and three versatile colors.
Temper your expectations, and you'll probably be happy with this budget purchase.
Value Pick – Thursday Boots Captain
For under $200, you can't really do better than the Captain from Thursday Boot Co.
These Goodyear welted boots are built for comfort and longevity. The leather is “Thursday Chrome” which is Thursday Boot Co.'s chrome-tanned leather.
They have a cork-bed midsole and DuraEVA Comfort Strip, so they should be pretty comfy right out of the box and require very little break in.
In the looks department, they're on par with much more expensive boots like the Wolverine 1000 Mile. For more info, check out our Thursday Boots Captain review.
Splurge Pick – Grant Stone Diesel
We’re calling the Diesel from Grant Stone a work boot, but it could easily fit into the dress boot category, too.
Brock’s been wearing a pair of these for a while now and loves them. I mean, just look at them:
The Diesel has a sleeker profile than something from Red Wing or Chippewa, so it works in a greater variety of outfits.
Although it's made in China, Grant Stone's flagship boot has been compared to Alden, in terms of construction quality and attention to detail.
These boots aren't cheap, but they'll last many, many years if you want them to!
The word moccasin dates back to the early 1600s and refers to the construction of the shoe.
These days, moccasins come in many shapes and sizes, but the look and feel is generally casual.
One great type of moccasin for fall is the blucher moc (or “ranger moc”) which is a slightly more robust version of the simple camp moc.
Although some loafers and driving shoes are constructed like moccasins, they're not really great for fall, as they're meant for wearing sockless (or with no show socks).
Stick with these top picks instead:
Budget Pick – Minnetonka Camp Moc
As a company, Minnetonka pretty much focuses on moccasins. Their Camp Mocs are affordable, laid back and perfect for wearing with a pair of thick wool socks.
Here's the best part: these can totally double as boat shoe replacements during spring and summer. Just wear loafer socks or go barefoot.
Value Pick – L.L.Bean Jackman Ranger Moc
L.L.Bean has making handsewn moccasins since 1936, so they know what they're doing.
Their Signature Jackman Ranger Mocs are almost like a great choice for boot lovers who want to try the moccasin style.
In terms of formality, they'll wear like a desert boot or casual chukka.
Splurge Pick – Rancourt & Co.
If you're into heritage quality goods and willing to invest in shoes that will last, look no further than Rancourt & Co.
Handmade in Maine from Horween Chromexcel leather, these are some of the highest quality moccasins you can buy.
These aren't cheap, but you get what you pay for!
4. Brown Minimal
If you find yourself wearing white
As much as we love white
Gum soles look great with brown, but white soles are just fine too.
Budget Pick – Cole Haan Grand Crosscourt
While the price fluctuates a little bit, you can often find these on Amazon for around $50, which is reasonable for a leather sneaker.
Of course, you can't expect high-quality leather or the most durable rubber outsole at this price, but these
Value Pick – Beckett Simonon Reid
The Modest Man is a longtime fan of Beckett Simonon, and we think the texture of the pebbled leather is perfect for the autumn season.
Keep in mind, most Beckett Simonon shoes are made to order, which means you'll have to wait a few weeks to get your hands on them.
If you want something similar, but quicker, check out the Greats Royale (wait for a 25% off sale, then grab them for around $135).
Splurge Pick – Koio Capri Mocha
These are deluxe. Heck, even if you have Common Projects money, we recommend checking out Koio instead.
These have a pretty high price tag for
The Mocha colorway is simple and stunning. Plus, minimal
5. Colorful Trainers
Trainers are so easy to throw on for quick trips out and about, and they work with just about any casual outfit.
You can find these
Both are great for fall, especially if you pick a more colorful style.
If you're wearing jeans or chinos, definitely feel free to cuff your pants to give your shoes center stage.
Low Profile Budget Pick – Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
These classic low-profile beauties are simple and fun.
Because the Mexico 66 is available in so many different colorways (over 30 at the time of writing), you can really tailor them to your wardrobe.
Or stick with the classic red/white/blue for an easy four seasons style.
Chunky Budget Pick – New Balance 574 V2
New Balance's updated take on their classic 574 silhouette is a great choice for fall.
These won't break the bank, and they're available in a lot of different color combinations.
If you're not into New Balance as a brand but like the idea of a chunky, colorful sneaker, check out the Saucony Shadow.
Value Pick – Nike Killshot v2
This is truly a legendary four season sneaker, but the Killshot 2 has certain features that make it great for fall, like the gum sole and suede accents.
The “Desert Orange” colorway is especially autumn-y. Then again, these sell out quickly, so it may not be available by the time you're reading this :/
Splurge Pick – Koio Avalanche
The Koio Avalanche are decidedly chunky which puts them on the forward end of fashion.
But we think Koio's interpretation of the “ugly shoe” trend is spot on.
These aren't for everyone, but if you don't hate them, you might just love them.
6. Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots are one of the most versatile types of boots you can buy, and they're perfect for fall and winter.
A great pair of Chelseas will work with everything from raw denim to flannel trousers.
They look fantastic dressed up and dressed down, so investing some money in a good pair will pay off.
Budget Pick – New Republic
Although not cheap at over $100, these are very much a poor man's Common Projects.
For the price, it's hard to find better quality and style, which is why these New Republic boots are often touted as the best affordable Chelseas.
Value Pick – Thursday Boots Duke
Thursday Boots does a great job in general, but their Duke Chelsea boots are outstanding.
I mean, a Goodyear welt Chelsea for under $200? Incredible!
Brock paired them here with denim, but the suede texture matches equally well with cotton chinos or thicker wool pants.
Keep in mind, the Duke is a more casual Chelsea boot, so they will look out of place if you try to dress them up too much.
For a slightly more refined boot, check out the Beckett Simonon Bolton.
Splurge Pick – Common Projects
If you want amazing quality and design, and you're okay with paying the extra markup for one of the coolest designer labels, Common Projects if the way to go.
These are some of the sleekest, most refined and minimal Chelsea boots you can buy.
We especially like the light grey color, which will look great with literally any shade of denim in your closet.
7. Suede Bluchers
Bluchers will never, ever go out of style. Unless humans take up space travel and space boots become the new-norm…
But until then, bluchers are great.
Suede bluchers are a great shoe for everyday wear, especially if you work in a business casual environment.
This somewhat casual lace-up style suits a smart-casual and business casual wardrobe, and suede bluchers can be worn all year round.
But the texture of suede really compliments cold-weather fabrics like wool, cashmere and corduroy.
Budget Pick – Eastland Fairfield
Eastland has been around for a long time, and they make a solid shoe for the price.
The Fairfield isn’t the best blucher ever made, but it’s a relatively low-cost way to add this versatile style to your arsenal.
Plus, the brick-red rubber outsole fits right in with a summer or winter wardrobe.
Value Pick – Thursday Boots Statesmen
The Thursday Boot Co. Statesman is a premium quality shoe for a ridiculously affordable price.
For less than $200, you're getting Goodyear welt construction (i.e., easy to resole), water-resistant suede, waxed laces, a cork-bed midsole and fully leather-lined interior.
What's not to love? These might be the best suede bluchers under $200 right now.
Splurge Pick – Grant Stone Longwing
The Longwing from Grant Stone is an elevated wingtip blucher with broguing along the upper.
We liked the extra decoration, and our experiences with Grant Stone have always been good.
This is a high-end shoe on par with brands like Allen Edmonds and even Alden. It will last many, many years!
8. Dress Boots
Dress boots go way beyond fall, as they’re style staples in their own right.
But they do make sense for colder weather since they offer a bit more protection and warmth than dress shoes.
Budget Pick – Rockport Colden Wingtip
A couple of disclaimers here…
First, Rockport is best known for comfort, not style. Second, you can only expect so much from a dress boot under $100.
You're not going to get high-quality leather, Goodyear-welt construction or a boot that lasts many years.
But these Colden Wingtip Boots look pretty darn good for the price, and they'll have that comfy, broken-in feel that people expect from Rockport.
Value Pick – Beckett Simonon Elliot
We’ve been longtime fans of Beckett Simonon. Their styles are timeless but not stuffy, and the brand offers incredible value for the price.
Their Elliot Balmoral Boots are some of the coolest dress boots under $250 on the market.
They're sleek and sturdy, and they'll look great under wool trousers, jeans or any type of chino.
The Oxford style construction and leather outsoles make these look like a formal dress shoe from the ankle down, so feel free to wear them with a suit.
Splurge Pick – Allen Edmonds Dalton
Bust out these legendary wingtips when you want to impress. They're not cheap, but if you want a sophisticated, well-built dress boot, Allen Edmonds has you covered.
These wingtip boots are one of Allen Edmonds' bestsellers, and for good reason.
They just check all the right boxes, especially if you prefer the sturdy, heavy build that the iconic American shoemaker is known for.
Loafers? For fall?!
I know, I know…but loafers are actually way more versatile than most guys think they are.
You wouldn’t want to be caught in really cold, snowy weather with them. But put on a thick pair of socks, and you’ve got some great treads for fall.
If you've only ever worn your loafers during spring and summer, try them out with some wool socks this fall.
You might be surprised how comfy and stylish loafers can be as the weather cools down!
Budget Pick – G.H. Bass Weejuns
It’s said that the Weejun made loafers popular in the States. We're not sure if that's true, but these classic penny-loafers have definitely aged well.
In terms of formality, these your classic middle-of-the-road penny loafers.
They're perfect for casual, smart casual and business casual outfits, but they're not formal enough to wear with suits.
Value Pick – Jay Butler Millbank Bit Loafer
Bit loafers have a little something extra than their plain penny loafer cousins, so they're perfect for guys who want to stand out from the crowd.
The olive and burgundy colorways are perfect for fall, and the suede makes these the ideal footwear for kicking back by the fireplace.
Splurge Pick – M.Gemi Sacca
For a premium suede loafer, look no further than the Italian direct-to-consumer brand, M.Gemi.
Specifically, their best-selling Sacca loafer is our top pick.
The soft suede texture is perfect for fall, especially when paired with thick cotton or wool socks.
These are no-go’s for snowy winters, but come spring and summer, you can go sockless as the Italians do.
For more details about these loafers, check out our M.Gemi review.
10. High Tops
High tops are like
They're not quite as versatile as low top
Still, if you live somewhere that keeps you wearing pants for most of the year, you'll get plenty of wear out of your leather high tops.
Budget Pick – Cole Haan Grand Crosscourt
It's hard to find any decent quality leather high tops under $100, but these Cole Haan Crosscourts are pretty darn good for the price, especially if you can snag a pair for as little as $75.
They're available in all of the basic, neutral colors that most guys gravitate towards. We especially like the lighter brown colorway for fall.
Value Pick – Greats Royale High
If you can spend a little more, wait for these Greats Royale high tops to go on sale for 25% off, and grab them for around $150.
Made in Italy with premium materials like full-grain leather and waxed cotton laces, these are very comfortable right out of the box and an incredible value for less than $200.
Splurge Pick – Koio Primo
If you want the very best, we got you covered. Check out the Koio Primo high top:
Hand-crafted in Italy from premium materials, these are luxury
Everything from the clean silhouette to hand-painted edges is premium. If you have the budget for them, you won't be disappointed with the Primos.
When it comes to finding the best shoes for fall, you've got plenty of options, and most of these styles can be worn all year round (which is great if you're building a minimalist shoe collection).
What's your favorite pair of shoes or boots to wear during the autumn season?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!