What Are Dress Shoes? How To Tie Dress Shoes Properly?

It can be said that accessories in general and fashionable shoes, in particular, are the greatest invention of mankind. The footwear accurately expresses the fashion style as well as the human personality of the person who uses it. For example, dress shoes will make you look like a man with a more classy fashion style.

Have you known anything about dress shoes yet?


How to tie dress shoes most beautifully with certainty?

With the motto that knowledgeable consumers are the best ones, so in this article, we will help you redefine all the concepts and information about dress shoes. Thereby, you will understand more and make wiser choices for yourself without getting surprises or misunderstandings.

Here is everything you need to know about dress shoes!

What Are Dress Shoes? How To Tie Dress Shoes Properly?
How to tie dress shoes properly – Top easy methods

What are dress shoes?

Dress shoes are the type of shoes to wear on formal occasions, such as going to work or to polite, luxurious places.

Perfect dress shoes are usually made of leather, with unique designs and elegant colors. Moreover, combining costumes with dress shoes is also easy and suitable for many different situations. In terms of color, they are basically traditional black. Black dress shoes never become outdated when combined with different clothes tones.

Today, to meet the increasing demand of users, designers have introduced beautiful, genuine dress shoes with more youthful and diverse designs, as well as various colors for men.

When it comes to dress shoes, people often mention some of the most popular types, such as Oxfords, Derbys, Brogues, Bluchers, Monk straps, Loafers, etc. Each style has a distinct function and can be coordinated with a certain outfit.

Let’s go through some common types of dress shoes in the market nowadays:

1. Oxford shoes

Oxford laces consist of a vamp, a low heel, and often a Goodyear-Welt construction product. With Oxfords, the vamp is stitched underneath. When tied on, the vamp laces are sealed for a more polished and elegant look, so a pair of simple black Oxfords are considered as elegant men’s leather shoes with a sealed design originating from Scotland.

2. Derby shoes

If Oxford is closed, the Deriend has an open lanyard, giving it a more powerful and flexible feel. Derby includes many colors from cognac and oxblood to red and brown. This line of shoes is less formal, so you can also match it with a suit, jeans or chinos. If you’re a little more traditional, you can cling to sweatpants and sneakers.

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3. Brogue

If we were to actually choose literal hole shoes in this case – we would say that the Brogue refers to one detail of the shoe: the holes designed to drain water from the foot.

However, whether in Oxford or Derby style, this Brogue is classified into many different categories, such as Wingtips in the form of a bird hug on the shoe body or a Captoe like a hat on the toe.

4. Monk Strap

With a sturdy buckle, this type of shoe is completely different from the Oxford and Derby in terms of form, and a perfect replacement for a lacing shoe.

Although the style goes back centuries when monks were looking for an alternative to sandals, these shoes are favored by those who are looking for something different. They have been popularized in recent years by celebrities.

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What are dress shoes?

5. Loafer

Although the name may not sound very luxurious, Loafer gives you a more comfortable look and of course, the solemnity is not the medium. The origin of this line is controversial, but King George VI is said to have wanted a shoe in the house in 1926, so Loafer was born gradually. These shoes have flats and no laces. They have a moccasin-like upper, usually with a piece of leather on the top.

6. Chukka

Ankle-high, made from two bits of leather and with two or three straps, Chukka is a more casual shoe that is traditionally made from leather. The Crepe soles on desert boots were introduced by Mr. Nathan Clark after he saw what soldiers were wearing on their feet during a trip to Burma in 1941.

7. Chelsea Boots Shoes

With exotic, equestrian origins dating back to Queen Victoria, Chelsea boots – popularized by The Beatles and British bands in the 1960s – are a great addition to any contemporary shoe collection. Comfortable and sleek, they are characterized by an elastic cloth on the side.

Why do men need to tie dress shoes properly?

A pair of high-quality dress shoes must always be perfect from the material, the style to the laces. The classy and neat laces will make your dress shoes more luxurious. Besides, this also brings safety and comfort when using, helping men to walk confidently.

To create harmony in every detail, dress shoes are often equipped with round knitting laces made of leather or covered with a glossy paint outside. That makes the laces very little frictional and easy to slip off if you don’t know how to tie them tightly.

Because of this, many gentlemen turn to love the lazy work shoes to avoid such trouble. Still, with small tips and tricks, you can easily tie up your dress shoes’ laces to confidently walking on them.

Notes to choose dress shoes’ laces

Before we get into how to tie dress shoes, it’s important to note that choosing the correct laces. Wrong shoelaces will destroy the elegant and luxurious beauty inherent in this footwear.

  1. Avoid large laces because they are very coarse, which is more like sneakers, and do not represent the inherent and elegance of dress shoes.
  1. The chosen shoelaces should be small and round, about 75cm long (for shoes with 4-5 pairs of holes) or 90cm (for shoes with 5-6 pairs of holes). You can take turns to change the flat-cord laces for a little more casual but still formal enough to wear at work.
  1. Choose the tone that is close to, or similar to, the shoe color. This makes the pair more suitable for daily office wear. However, sometimes you can also go for the color in contrast with the color of the shoe. This gives a different look to our shoes. And it’s even greater to combine with party outfits, or casual outfits like jeans, t-shirts/shirts, sports jackets, etc.) for a friend meeting or movie days.
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Step by Step on How To Tie Dress Shoes Properly?

The Straight Bar style

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The Straight Bar style

Derby shoes and Bluchers have the same designs of two open-lacing rows. This is intended to provide comfort and mobility to your feet. Perhaps that is why the Derby/Blucher shoes are used a lot in informal cases, as opposed to Oxford or Balmoral.

Therefore, the Straight Bar shoelaces should also be created for the same comfort. Normally with these two types of shoes, the shoelaces will be parallel rows at the top, creating ease in all movements.


  • Step 1. Insert the two pieces of wire into the first two cross holes, from top to bottom.
  • Step 2. Insert the right wire into the right hole in the second horizontal row. Then, continue to pierce the remaining hole of the second horizontal row, also from top to bottom.
  • Step 3. Insert the left wire into the left hole in the third horizontal row. Then, continue to pierce the remaining hole of the third horizontal row, from top to bottom.
  • Step 4. Continue doing so until the end.

The Oxford/Balmoral shoelace style

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The Oxford/Balmoral shoelace style

In contrast to the two types above, Oxfords and Balmorals are designed with two rows of close lacing. This design is intended to be formal, well-groomed, and suitable in more formal cases. And the way to tie the shoelaces also needs to create the same order.

This tying is actually a combination of Straight Bar and Criss Cross. In which, the shoelaces form parallel rows above, but it will be interlocking rows at the bottom. The method is perfect for a cleaner and more formal shoe.


  • Step 1. Insert the two pieces of wire into the two holes in the first horizontal row from top to bottom.
  • Step 2. Insert the left wire into the right hole in the second horizontal row. Then, continue to pierce the left hole in the second horizontal row.
  • Step 3. Take the right string and the left hole in the third horizontal row, also from bottom to top. Next, continue to pierce the right hole in the third horizontal row.
  • Step 4. Continue doing so until the end.

The Criss – Cross style

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The Criss – Cross style

This is a pretty simple shoelace that any gentleman can do. It can be seen that most of the new shoes were bought from the store. Therefore, if you like simplicity, just go for Criss Cross!

This type of lacing applies to the shoes with double eyelets, which are usually Derby and Blucher. The open design makes it easier to create the signature interweaving.


  • Step 1. Insert the two pieces of wire into the first two cross holes from bottom to top.
  • Step 2. Insert the right end of the wire into the left hole in the second horizontal row. Do the same with the wire on the left side.
  • Step 3. Continue doing so until the end.
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The Diagonal style

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The Diagonal style

The Diagonal lacing method means creating parallel and diagonal lines with the horizontal row of the eyelet, which brings a modern, unique look to your shoes.

This style of lacing is suitable for both shoe types: close lacing and open lacing. However, to achieve the highest aesthetics, you should apply it to shoes with lots of holes (over 4/row).


  • Step 1. Start with one end of the lace in the top eyelet, leaving enough lace to tie still your shoe, then run it diagonally down to the bottom eyelet above your big toe.
  • Step 2. From the bottom eyelet next to your big toe, thread the shoelace to the opposite bottom eyelet.
  • Step 3. Following that, thread the lace diagonally across to the next open eyelet. Then, thread it straight across to the opposite side and through the adjacent eyelet.
  • Step 4. Continue doing so until the end.
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How to tie dress shoes with hidden strings

How To Tie Dress Shoes With Hidden Strings?

It is no coincidence that dress shoes’ laces need to be neatly hidden. Doing it brings many outstanding advantages, such as:

  • Make the shoe well-ordered, less messy, creating a sense of style for the wearer.
  • Users can walk freely without having to worry about laces slipping off at any time.
  • If the laces are too long, hiding them allows you to remove extra pieces easily without cutting them off.

If you are uncomfortable with showing the shoelaces on your pair, you can choose to hide them. Here are a few approaches to help you out:

1. Place the lanyard knot inside the shoe

After you’ve done tying, simply put the laces inside the shoe, then put your foot in. The cord will be discreetly hidden inside. However, the downside of this approach is the discomfort when the leg is pressed against the knot. You need to adjust the position as long as you feel comfortable most.

2. Use shoe insoles to hide laces

To avoid contact with knots, you can hide all excess laces under the shoe insoles. However, this way still has drawbacks, which is that it’s harder to put your foot in the shoe because the laces can easily slip out.

3. Use lace anchors

This might be the most ideal way for you to hide the shoelaces, and its one and only downside is probably the extra cost of buying staples. With lace anchors, you just need to fix the excess string on the inside of the shoes. After that, comfortably put the foot in without loosening or tightening the laces anymore.

Final words

How to tie dress shoes may not be your much concern like a well-tied tie or a perfect belt. Nevertheless, to complete your elegant outfit, do not forget the highlight dress shoes with fine and luxurious shoelace-tying.

After reading this article, have you chosen a shoelace style suitable for your dress shoes yet? Don’t be shy to show us your achievement in the comment down below. Thank you and good luck!

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