6 Best American Made Dress Shoes: Robust, Classic, and Rare

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 
best american made dress shoes - Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer, Allen Edmonds Hamilton Oxford and USA map shape

American dress shoes tend to be well-made with excellent heritage. They can also be quite pricey—and they’re pretty hard to come by these days.

Hard to come by, but not impossible. Support domestic craftsmanship by considering  the six best American-made dress shoes we’ve featured here.

Best Overall
  • A mix of ornate and relaxed aesthetics make this shoe distinct yet adaptable
  • Hand-burnished calfskin leather is supple and vivid
  • Made to Fit program offers a high level of fit customization
Best on a Budget
  • Goodyear-welted construction offers excellent value for price
  • Rubber outsole provides shock-managing stability and comfort
  • Upper is smooth, clean-looking, and oil-resistant
Great Value
  • Lasting and durable shell cordovan construction
  • Natural gloss on the upper provides a rich color
  • Steel shank provides energy-saving support and stability
Most Comfortable
  • A cool and youthful style that’s still classy and sophisticated
  • Dense, open-celled insole and roomy leather interior provide support, comfort, and breathability
  • Flexible rubber outsole makes long periods of standing and walking easy
Best Suede
  • Repello suede is treated for richness and a high level of weather resistance
  • Genuine American penny loafer design
  • A truly handcrafted shoe, the sole is made from zero pre-assembled parts
Best Dress Boot
  • Broguing adds distinct ruggedness and a unique personality
  • Rubber outsole is highly grippy but won’t pick up a lot of dirt
  • Storm-welting and weather-proof membrane provide exceptional protection

Unfortunately, the once bright shine of the American shoe industry has waned to a dim flicker.

This is a shame, because American shoemaking is actually quite impressive—though it seems to be a dying art. Many heritage brands like Florsheim, who are great when it comes to budget shoes, no longer make the robust, handcrafted footwear they used to.

And while just a bit of research can unearth some pretty good, durably-made American boots, the American-made dress shoe category is more elusive.

However, with a bit of creativity and digging deep, you can find some stateside-made gems out there. Or not, because I did it for you.

Check out these six worthwhile options.

How Did I Come Up With My List?

When it comes to dress shoes, I’ve worn more models than most people (and there are plenty to choose from). 

I was forced to wear loafers as early as the age of five because my school uniform required it, and I’ve worn hundreds of pairs of oxfords, derbies, and monk straps because I’ve always had a job that required a full suit.

So, as usual, I summoned my decades of dress shoe experience to help generate this list.

For immediate research, I spent weeks trying different models (some new, some refreshers), talking to colleagues, and jumping into rabbit holes of online reviews.

Furthermore, I went full journalist mode to dig up as much info as I could on American-made shoes. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of fine print out there. Even brands we associate with US manufacturing aren’t making all of their models domestically.

All six dress shoes in this round-up are, in fact, made in the land of the free.

6 Best Dress Shoes Made in the USA

Best Overall: Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer 

Who else but a New England brand could serve up such a well-executed Ivy staple? Still, you don’t have to subscribe to preppy style to wear the Horsebit Loafer from Rancourt & Co.

It’s classic yet distinguished, sporting a traditionally Americana-esque silhouette and body, but with refined lines giving it more versatility. There aren’t any sharp turns like in a European loafer, but it’s formal enough for any suit.

The horsebit really ups the sophistication factor. The circular “cheek pieces” are almost heart-shaped, while the “mouthpiece” tapers towards the middle, giving it a decorative and thoughtful aesthetic, especially compared to bulkier horsebits.

This small detail makes this loafer almost aristocratic but not intimidating. Most anyone can wear this shoe.

As a brand, it’s impressive how Rancourt & Co can run their online business almost like a bespoke in-person cobbler. They have a trial fit program in which you’d receive two pairs of uniquely sized shoes so that you can figure out how to size your custom order.

And if the shoe you receive is too tight, they’ll re-last it for you, so you won’t need to stretch your shoes yourself. Even more, they confidently offer a lifetime guarantee.

Of course, this loafer is fully handsewn right in their Maine atelier. They use hand-oiled calfskin, which is clear to see. This really is some supple and vividly-colored leather.

What I Like

  • With its ornate horsebit and relaxed yet sleek silhouette, this shoe boasts a unique and adaptable take on the classic American loafer.
  • It’s hand-burnished and handsewn in Maine, meaning actual people are paying attention to every single detail, which is seen in its impeccable finish.
  • Even as an online business, Rancourt & Co’s Made to Fit program offers a high level of customization when it comes to fit.

What I Don’t Like

  • Even when you get the right size, this shoe can be confusingly snug at first. It costs $50, but I highly recommend using their Made to Fit program—it’s totally worth it.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers love the quality and price of this shoe. And while Rancourt & Co isn’t the only business cleverly avoiding middlemen to offer high-quality footwear, they stand out from the rest because of how customized the service and product are.

Several reviewers praised the brand for offering such a wide range of sizes and fit. This loafer is even available in sizes as small as a men’s 4.

The Verdict

US-made and American-styled. Rancourt & Co levels up the traditional Americana-style loafer by remixing it with sleekness, refined lines, and, most importantly, that truly exquisite horsebit.

This dress-code-flexible shoe is made from tight and durable calfskin and is fully hand-made in Maine. Relatedly, Rancourt & Co gives a highly customized experience, allowing you to develop the perfect, personalized horsebit loafer.

Best Overall
Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer

The Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer features a refined but relaxed silhouette and an ornate horsebit. As such, you could wear this hand-built, custom-sized calfskin loafer in a range of scenarios.

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Best on a Budget: Original Footwear Leather Colonel

It isn’t easy finding American footwear on a budget, especially since we’re all so used to the impossibly low prices coming out of overseas manufacturing. Fortunately, Original Footwear is almost like a community service in that it offers US-made shoes with the military in mind.

That being the case, this Leather Colonel dress shoe isn’t just a classic and adaptable derby, but it’s functional enough for our men in uniform (and therefore definitely good enough for everyday wear).

A testament to just how much this durable upper can handle? It’s made out of fully oil-resistant leather. Meanwhile, its rubber outsole is naturally strong as well as weather resistant. Moreover, it provides a level of shock absorbance, making this a practical shoe for walking and standing for long periods.

The most impressive quality about this shoe, at this price point, is that it’s Goodyear-welted. Basically, the Colonel shoe is like an impervious, leak-proof submarine.

What I Like

  • Its resoleable, water-resistant, Goodyear-welted construction offers excellent value for price.
  • The rubber outsole is tough, water resistant, and tempers shock, providing stability and energy-returning comfort.
  • The treated leather upper is oil-resistant.

What I Don’t Like

  • It only comes in one brown colorway, which you can’t wear with a black suit or tuxedo.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers include servicemembers and civilians, each equally satisfied with this simple shoe’s top-notch functions. Several mention that they work in operations in suit-and-tie corporations, so it’s nice to have a shoe that you could wear with a suit or a hard hat.

Many reviewers happily point out that this shoe is Berry compliant, an amendment that requires the Department of Defense to prioritize procuring US-made supplies.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for an on-template dress shoe that’s as functional and durable as it’s versatile, then the Original Footwear Leather Colonel checks all the boxes.

Though it’s at the same price point as most budget-tier footwear, it’s Goodyear-welted, shock-absorbing, and oil-resistant.

Best on a Budget
Original Footwear Leather Colonel

Functional and durable, the Original Footwear Leather Colonel is made for military men. Its upper is oil-resistant, its rubber sole is shock absorbing, and the entire shoe is Goodyear-welted.

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Upgrade Pick: Alden Straight Tip Bal Oxford

Stately and adaptable, the Straight Tip Bal Oxford from Alden is a true investment shoe. It can handle wear and tear, is supportive and robustly built, and will always be relevant, style-wise.

Much of these positive qualities are rooted in the fact it’s built with shell cordovan. 

Functionally, it’s a stronger kind of full-grain leather because it’s equine, not bovine, and is especially fibrous. The result is a virtually crease-proof material, especially if you keep it clean and waxed.

Visually, shell cordovan has a natural gloss, making even the darkest, most neutral colors look deep and rich instead of stale or murky.

The Massachusetts-based Alden Shoe Company has been making high-end footwear since the 1880s, and continues to avoid cost-cutting fast-fashion practices to this very day. Of course, Alden Goodyear welts their shoes, making them all resoleable.

They use their Hampton last for the Straight Tip Bal Oxford. It’s actually their second thinnest last, which is why this model has such an elegant taper. However, the interior architecture is still deep enough to accommodate high insteps, and there’s enough toe room to let your foot breathe.

What I Like

  • Its shell cordovan construction makes this shoe especially strong, crease-proof, and gives it a beautiful and natural gloss.
  • The steel shank provides support and stability, which keeps your feet from getting tired too quickly.
  • Despite its gracefully thin last shape, this shoe accommodates higher insteps well and isn’t tight in the toe area.

What I Don’t Like

  • Since it’s built so sturdily, this shoe comes with a long and particularly uncomfortable break-in period.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers are thoroughly impressed with just how long a pair of Alden shoes last. One reviewer mentions that he received his pair from his father, and it was as good as new after a wax job and resoling.

As I mentioned above, many reviewers with high insteps, or just generally more foot volume, are pleasantly surprised at how much space is in the shoe despite the thin silhouette.

The Verdict

Made with fine shell cordovan, the Arden Straight Tip Bal Oxford is as exquisitely rich as it is lastingly durable. Between its Goodyear-welted construction and steel shank, this shoe is also a secure and stable wear.

And don’t let that chic, narrow last fool you—once you’ve broken this shoe in, it’s also quite comfortable.

Great Value
Alden Straight Tip Bal Oxford

The Alden Straight Tip Bal Oxford boasts a strong, glossy shell cordovan construction. It has a beautifully narrow silhouette and is Goodyear-welted, guaranteeing a long life span.

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Most Comfortable: Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Dress Sneaker

The sneakerized version of the iconic Park Avenue, the Allen Edmonds oxford dress sneaker is slick, modern, and oozing with cool factor.

The upper, made from tight and supple full-grain calfskin, is flawlessly waxed. It’s also just as well-stitched as its dress shoe counterpart, the middle piece clearly triple-stitched to the back. It’s plain to see that Allen Edmonds puts just as much thought and labor into this dress sneaker as they do the leather-soled version. 

Most importantly, this shoe is wildly comfortable thanks to a few moving parts that come together perfectly.

Starting with the fit, the soft leather-lined interior of this sneaker is roomy and breathable but still secure. Meanwhile, the insole is a unique, densely-built, open-cell foam. This means it provides comfort, support, and shock absorption, while maintaining airflow. Then below that, the rubber cup sole offers even more shock management and is flexible right out of the box.

What I Like

  • With its oxford upper and sneaker outsole, this shoe has a fresh and youthful aesthetic, while maintaining sophistication and class.
  • The combination of a dense, open-celled insole, a roomy leather interior, and a flexible rubber outsole offer long-lasting comfort even if you’re on your feet all day.
  • The upper is made of vegetable-tanned, full-grain calfskin that’ll patinate handsomely over time.

What I Don’t Like

  • This hybrid dress shoe isn’t as versatile as a true dress shoe.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers point out the immediate, no-break-in comfort of this shoe is one of its top features. Even though the calfskin upper needs some wearing in, the flexibility of the rubber outsole makes up for this.

Many are also grateful that the rubber cup soles are recraftable, meaning Allen Edmonds can, and will, recraft them if they wear out. That’s truly a rare treat when it comes to dress sneakers.

The Verdict

Slick and stylish, the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Dress Sneaker is extremely comfortable, with a youthful aesthetic that still maintains a level of sophistication. If you want a chic dress shoe that’s perfectly comfortable right out of the box, then this dress shoe sneaker is definitely one to consider. 

Most Comfortable
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Dress Sneaker

The Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Dress Sneaker features the brand’s classic, chic, well-stitched oxford upper and a comfortable sneaker outsole, for a cool yet classy overall look. The rubber cap sole is even recraftable.

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Best Suede: Oak Street Penny Loafer

Not only is the Oak Street Penny Loafer fully made in America, but it’s a true American design.

Their 800 last is meant to capture the classic and authentic shape and fit of a traditional penny loafer. With its mildly rounded toe but polished and tapered silhouette, this shoe can go with any personal style. Wear it with cable-knit for a studious look or a utility shirt and jeans to go the ‘practical-casual’ route.

The upper is made out of famously strong Repello suede. Not only is this calfskin material treated to be exquisitely napped and deep in color, but also for extra strength and weather resistance. This shoe can take a beating.

Did I mention how much handwork goes into making one of these? It’s handsewn, hand-waxed, and even the sole is put together from the bottom up, starting with scratch raw materials.

What I Like

  • Flaunting a surprisingly tank-strong construction, its Repello upper is a calfskin suede treated to be rich and resistant.
  • The classic penny loafer style, with its rounded toe and slender silhouette, is a genuine American design.
  • The sole is made using no pre-assembled components, giving this shoe an extreme level of hand craftsmanship.

What I Don’t Like

  • The back collar rubs against your ankle before break-in, so bring bandages in the meantime.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

What really shocks me when I read and watch reviews about Repello suede shoes, is the extreme tactics people use to break them in. This penny loafer is no different.

I’ve seen people put it in the freezer and take high-pressure hoses to it. Now, I don’t know how much I trust those reviewers (my advice is to just break it in the traditional way and take no chances). However, it’s clear that this is one strong and weather-resistant shoe.

The Verdict

The Oak Street Penny Loafer is an authentic American design, and the epitome of smart casual. As such, it can be worn formally and casually, allowing you to put a lot of mileage on it.

It’s handmade using Repello calfskin, which is as visually attractive as it is strong and weather resistant.

Best Suede
Oak Street Penny Loafer

A traditional, handmade American shoe, this Oak Street Penny Loafer is relaxed yet elegant, making it easy to wear in a range of contexts. The repello suede has gorgeously deep color, as well as high weather resistance.

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Best Dress Boot: Allen Edmonds Hamilton Oxford

Maybe you’re on the hunt for the kind of dress shoe you can wear to a ranch wedding. Or maybe you just prefer a less polished personal style.

While cowboy boots and loggers don’t count as dress shoes, the Hamilton Oxford Dress Boot from Allen Edmonds does.

AE takes a traditional Oxford design, adds a boot collar, and adorns every stitch with decorative perforation. There’s even a medallion at the toe. When your suit trousers go over the ankle, it still looks like a dress shoe, but one with a bit of muscle to it.

Additionally, it’s constructed with 360 storm welting, which is just like Goodyear welting, but much wider. This creates a seal around the area between the upper and midsole. This, and the weather-proof membrane built into the leather lining will keep you protected from rain and dirt.

What I Like

  • The heavily-brogued design is distinct, and balances out the dressier features with a rugged aesthetic.
  • The rubber outsole is grippy, but won’t aggressively grab onto dirt, and hides underneath the refined, stack-heeled exterior.
  • Between the storm-welted construction and the weather-proof membrane, you get elite-level weather protection with this boot.

What I Don’t Like

  • The ankle is definitely stiff before you’ve broken this shoe in. Pro tip: Wear long socks so that there’s a barrier between you and the lip, which will dig into your skin until the stiffness wanes.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers rave about how well this boot keeps the elements out. It’s sleeker and lighter than a traditional work boot, but more practical and heartier-looking compared to a traditional dress boot.

Also, that Dainite rubber sole is reportedly really easy to clean. Since it doesn’t grab onto a lot of dirt, you can just run some water over the bottoms to get rid of any stubborn pieces.

The Verdict

The Allen Edmonds Hamilton Oxford Dress Boot is a functional and practical shoe, made to withstand the elements while still looking formal. When it comes to style, you’ll love this shoe if you like a little less delicacy and a bit more brawn with your dress shoe.

Best Dress Boot
Allen Edmonds Hamilton Oxford

The Allen Edmonds Hamilton Oxford is a dress boot with a lot of personality, thanks to its heavy broguing. It’s also highly functional, with a weather-proof membrane, a fully-sealed storm-welted construction, and a grippy rubber outsole.

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3 Key Benefits of Choosing American Made Dress Shoes

Lowering trade deficits aside, there are several benefits to going for American made shoes. Here are three important ones.

  • Quality: One of the reasons the American shoe industry has been all but decimated is because the higher quality craftsmanship in the US is just more expensive than a lot of overseas manufacturing. Still, you get what you pay for, and shoemakers like Alden and Oak Street serve up long-lasting, truly artisanal products.
  • Having a local resource: You know how Allen Edmonds will recraft certain soles for you? Or how Rancourt will re-last your shoe if it’s too tight? This traditional atelier-customer relationship is common with the few high-end American shoemakers that are left.
  • Lowering your carbon footprint: If you live in the States, your shoes will have a shorter trip from factory to doorstep. Even if you’re not in the States or North America, American-made shoes generally have a lower environmental impact than fast-fashion manufacturing, which often emit more chemicals and pollution.

American Prime

With its versatile style and supple, hand-burnished upper, the Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer is our best overall pick. 

Our Top Pick
Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer

The Rancourt & Co Horsebit Loafer features a refined but relaxed silhouette and an ornate horsebit. As such, you could wear this hand-built, custom-sized calfskin loafer in a range of scenarios.

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Fortunately, you don’t have to drop a bundle to go American. The Original Footwear Leather Colonel is a practical, Goodyear-welted derby with military-level specs. If you do want to invest in a luxury shoe though, Alden’s Straight Tip Bal Oxford is a shell cordovan dress shoe with a build and style that’ll last forever.

Unsurprisingly, Allen Edmonds delivers on the US-made front, with their super comfortable Park Avenue Dress Sneaker, and the weather-ready Hamilton Oxford Dress Boot.

Great Value
Alden Straight Tip Bal Oxford

The Alden Straight Tip Bal Oxford boasts a strong, glossy shell cordovan construction. It has a beautifully narrow silhouette and is Goodyear-welted, guaranteeing a long life span.

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Looking for something suede? The Oak Street Penny Loafer is beautiful and traditional, with a special suede treated for extra strength.

It’s sad but true that there aren’t a lot of American-made dress shoes on the market. At least there’s still great quality and range with what’s left though.


Is Allen Edmonds made in the USA?

Though not all models use mostly American components, all Allen Edmonds shoes are crafted in the USA.

Are dress shoes still popular?

Yes, dress shoes are still popular. Even if you have the most casual lifestyle, there will always be a time when you’ll need to wear traditional dress shoes, whether that’s at a wedding or graduation.

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