TIPS & the Best Formal Shoes for Interview (Male & Female)

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Your appearance will be the first thing an interviewer will see. So, keeping that in mind will help guide your choice.

The best kinds of shoes you should wear to an interview generally are:


Keep it simple. Classis is best. Go for Oxfords and Derbys. Purchase shoes with black or brown colors – those look great! Avoid multi colorful socks.


You should wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes that fit the job you’re looking to get. I typically recommend wearing black or brown closed-toe flats, pumps or low heels for a business casual interview.

You should make sure the shoes are not scratched, dirty, or scuffed, and avoid sandals, sky-high stilettos, flip-flops, sneakers or brightly colored shoes.

For your business casual interview, wear black or brown closed-toe flats, pumps, or low heels. Make sure your shoes are not scuffed, scratched or dirty, and avoid strapped sandals, flip-flops, sky-high stilettos, sneakers, or brightly colored shoes.

Best Formal Shoes for Interview (Male & Female)

The best shoes for your interview are Derbys and Oxford brand of shoes. Monstraps are great too!


  • Oxfords

Oxford shoes are simple, classic, timeless, and beautiful. A good pair of oxfords in dark shades comes top of the list for interview shoes for men.


I own a pair with a quarter brogueing and they work great for plenty of occasions, including an interview.

Depending on the color you pick, ensure you are following general color matching rules between the shoes, your belt, and your pants.

Best Formal Shoes for Interview

Oh, I’d generally advise against wearing black shoes with brown pants or vice versa. It’s an all too common trend, don’t you think? The purpose of an interview is to stand out and you won’t be doing that if you pretty much appear like every other person.

Interviews are important events in a young man’s life so you need to present your best self. Black socks are great but adding a bit of color in the pattern makes it more interesting.

I find the charcoal dress pants to be the best suited for this occasion. They naturally blend with black shoes but also look great with dark brown shoes.

  • Derbys

Ah, Derbys! The less formal (but equally attractive) sibling of oxfords. The plain derby shoe collection is suitable for the occasion.



There are fancier ones that have brogues. Those are ideal for casual occasions.

  • Monkstraps

Owning a pair of these babies has been exciting! These shoes are great for interviews and outings.

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The monk strap shoes are very versatile. They can be dressed down with a pair of chinos or jeans or be worn as formal shoes (even with a suit).


These shoes got their name because their first users were monks, haha. The straps were simple, practical, and the closed toes offered better protection.

I’ve added the monk strap shoes last on the list because they’re the least formal shoes. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot wear them for an interview, especially in areas close to water.

With the straps fastened, these shoes have a clean look so they’ll do great in our context.

The shoes are available in single, double, and even strap variations. Personally, I love the look of the double straps; they are simply the best and more formal.

I’d suggest you stay away from triple straps, to begin with, the other two would be fine. You are sure to get *pumped* as you slip them on, imagine that kind of enthusiasm for your interview? Small joys.

For all three shoes though, remember to stick to dark colors


  • Aravon Women’s WEF07SH

Quick Features

  • Synthetic-and-mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Removable molded PU and memory foam footbed
  • Removable EVA and memory foam footbed with stability cradle
  • Synthetic lining

You’d be amazed at how well these shoes seem to accommodate neuropathy, pronation, and custom orthotics.


They have a great design and unlike many competing shoes out there, you’ll be able to “feek” the floor or ground as you walk, offering you more comfort and stability. The laces are short when the opening is spread further apart to fit wide feet but you could get longer laces at a local shoe store or order some with this shoe on Amazon.

  • Geox Womens Newannya 1 Pump

The shoes are really comfortable and look exactly as advertised. My friend Lisa who is a size 5 UK ordered a size 4.5 and it fits her well. So, I advise you order a smaller size, as they tend to be a bit larger.


This shoe is great for formal events, including interviews!

  • Camper Wee K400327-001 Formal Shoes Women

The camper is for a more modern and smart look.

It is made from smooth leather that is lightweight, has improved flexibility and cushioning too.


Overall, this is a great shoe for formal events/occasions.

  • Clarks Women’s Closed Toe Sandals

These shoes are formal looking yet classy. They are very comfortable and have a good toe room and no slipping around or irritation at the heel of the shoe which is important to you.


Clarks Women's Closed Toe Sandals

It looks great on the feet, is classic, and slimming. It has the beauty of a pointed toe shoe, but the comfort of a rounded toe shoe!

  • FISACE Womens Low Mid Square Heel Ankle Strap Sandal Office Ladies Pointed

These are cute for work and are very comfortable too. They’re comfortable enough for you to walk all day and dance at night without your feet hurting (of course your feet hurt a little but I think just the normal amount they would hurt with all-day walking in like regular shoes). SO CUTE. I get SO MANY compliments on them.

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FISACE Womens Low Mid Square Heel Ankle Strap Sandal Office Ladies Pointed

You wouldn’t suffer blisters though. If you’re 9, order a 8.5. If you’re 8, order a 7.5, you get it? The sizes are a bit bigger than they really are.

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Tips For Deciding Interview Shoes

  • Find Out The Office Dress Code And Work Setting in Advance

This lets you have a grasp at the work culture of the company you are interviewing ay so that you’re able to dress well to match the work environment.

A business casual or casual work setting is no excuse to be sloppy about your posture or shoe choices. It is always better to dress professionally and at a level that’s one step higher than the role you’re trying for.

  • Match Your Belt with Your Shoes

It is always better to match your belt with your shoes. For example, a black belt with black shoes, and a dark brown belt with dark brown shoes.

Do not give in to the temptation to wear (say) a tan belt with dark brown shoes or vice versa, but that’s a no-no too.

Matched shoes and belt make you look more put together, and you will have less to worry about.

Oh and remember to match the materials as well – only leather belts with leather shoes.

  • Wear Dark Shoes

Dark shoes are usually great. In fact, black is the most formal of all, followed by dark brown.

Oxblood is fine too, but anything lighter than that is calling for too much attention to your shoes, which we don’t want.

Stay away from the light browns and the tans (unless absolutely necessary).

Blue would be smart too. I’m talking navy blue since they look almost black. If it’s any other type of blue, I wouldn’t advise you to try them; maybe wear them for other occasions.

  • No Fancy Socks

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT wear fancy socks to the interview, please. Instead, match them to your trousers and you’ll look amazing.

If you’d like to take things further and give a long-lasting impression then choose traditional patterns like stripes in dark colors. The rule of thumb would be the same – it shouldn’t contrast too much with your pants.

Ribbed socks are a go too! They’ll look especially nice in an interview if properly matched with pants

Avoid Full Brogues As Much As Possible

Brogueing is the tiny perforations that are done on shoes. In the past, they had a functional purpose but now, its purely swag and decoration.

There are mainly four brogue types:

  • Full
  • Half,
  • Quarter and
  • Longwing

Quarter brogueing are usually fine, but anything more will not (even in dark colors like brown or black).

That being said, it is possible that a pair of brown/black wingtips is the only shoe you have right now. Carry out research on the formability setting of the office and see if they allow it.

At business casual workplaces, you could still get away with wearing full brogues. For any place more formal, I’d suggest you look for something else.

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Shoes Not to Wear to An Interview

These are shoes you should not wear for your job interview. It is nice to know these too, so here you go:

  • Slip-on Shoes / Loafers

A slip-on shoe or Loafer has a relaxed vibe best suited for business casual occasions.

Some companies do not allow it while others do. So, do your research and know the ones that do.

If you don’t know then I recommend not wearing it to the interview. Loafers are more suited for business casual workplace.

Unless your prospective job has a suit-tie setting you can very well wear the loafers later on once you’ve started the job.

As earlier stated, if you’re interviewing at a place with a casual dress code – loafers could be worn on the interview (emphasis on ‘could’ because there are a lot of factors at play)

It will be a good way to adhere to the code while still looking job-ready

  • Sneakers

Sneakers would be expected in the creative field. However, being an interview, I still think it would be safe to dress slightly more formally than expected.

I’m sure the employers would appreciate a certain level of formality – best to check it out in advance.

So, do me a solid and not wear sneakers to the interview, please?

  • Suede Shoes

The topic of wearing suede shoes to an interview is debatable. Some may agree, others may not.

I think it would be better to stay away from them unless your workplace permits it. Even if you have suede oxfords in a dark color, it might still be a risk and draw some attention

Suede shoes are a great way to express your personal style (if that’s what you like) but it will not be the right choice here.

Should I Wear Heels To An Interview?

You can. But, are you comfortable in heels? The answer will affect your ability to project control, confidence, and grace which are your best-selling assets. If you aren’t then consider a modest wedge heel or stacked heel flats with a jacket and slacks. Never go open to toe.

Medium height heels are professional footwear for women. And so are flats with slight-stacked heels. But the key here is that, like men’s shoes, they must be high-quality shoes, well made, comfortable, and project professionalism.

Can we Wear Brown Shoes for the Interview?

You can wear either black or brown but you are planning to wear a black belt then wear black shoes and with a brown belt, brown shoes. Don’t do the mistake of wearing a black belt with brown shoes and a brown belt with black shoes.

Wearing black shoes to your interview is risk management. Black shoes are standard for interviews and are the most conservative choice. Wearing brown shoes may not matter or you could get dinged for it. Therefore, it’s best to air on the side of caution and wear black shoes. Once, you’ve secured an offer you can wear whatever you’d like.

Wishing You Luck!

Go forth, padawan, and rock that interview! All the best!

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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