Dress & Business Casual Minimalist Shoes Guide 2016
It has been over 18 months since I published the original Dress & Business Casual Minimalist Shoes, the most popular post on our site. This updated post highlight the latest available versions of the models covered in our original guide in addition to any new models introduced since then. The one consistent factor: the same shoe vendors blazing the trail with updated and improved models or new models. They are:
- Altra Zero Drop
- Chronology (formerly, The Primal Professional)
- LEMs Shoes
- Skora Athletics
Altra Zero Drop
Altra coined the term “Zero Drop™” to describe how the level cushioning no longer dropped from the heel down to the forefoot. With the best and most innovative minds in the running shoe industry, Altra created the world’s first cushioned, Zero Drop™ shoes.
Mix business and pleasure with a comfortable yet professional version of the award-winning Instinct (men) or Intuition (women). Using the original Instinct midsole and outsole, the Instinct Everyday™ dresses up the fit and feel you love. Enjoy the comfort, stability, and injury-reducing benefits of a cushioned Zero Drop™ platform and FootShape™ toe box whether you’re at the office or out on the town.
Chronology (formerly The Primal Professional)
Version 3, shipping soon, is the ultimate quest for quality, with these major changes: structured trek leather, fitted leather upper, closer lacing, gusseted tongue, round laces (dressier looking), tighter stitching, poron cushioning for comfort. Black oxfords for now and 6-inch boots plus brown colorways to the oxfords in the near future.
Each fine pair of dress shoes personally inspected by Mountain for his highest standards before shipping.
FER Cap-Toe Oxfords
Chronology shoes has a timeless real style, is interchangeable with multiple outfits and situations formal and casual, and provides you with real comfort throughout. The FER and ZETONE are exactly the same style except for the presence or absence of a cap over the toe. These shoes are made by a shoemaker with a real Heritage of 120 years’ experience. And because, not only are they resoleable, but they are backed by their full recrafting service which will restore your shoes to better-than-new, years later, for a fraction of the cost.
ZETONE Plain-Toe Oxfords
Same as the FER but without the cap over the toe.
LEMs Shoes’ philosophy is simple – less is more. Instead of spending time trying to develop the next footwear fad, LEMs dedicate themselves to creating sustainable shoes that consider the foot above all else. All their products are flat, flexible, and fit the natural shape of the human foot. Through such design focus LEMs shoes emphasize proper fit, comfort and functionality with no unnecessary material or marketing gimmicks and that will never change.
Even if you’ve got a case of the Monday’s, your feet will be showing you much appreciation after slipping on the all full-grain leather oxford. Settle into that cubicle and let your feet relax, for no stylish dress shoe has ever allowed your toes so much room for wiggling and comfort ability. Well here it is you 9 to 5er, the shoe that will make that climb up the corporate ladder a cake walk.
LEMs Shoes has taken their original Mariner, kept it’s natural shape, wide toebox, and ultra-minimalist design and decked out the rest! The flexible, zero-drop outsole will bring you back down to sea level and if scuffing your skib is a concern, know that the this sole is non-marking. Forget about any anchors dragging you down, because the Mariner 2’s lightweight form comes in at a mere 8.9oz. With those features you might assume they’ve avoided quality materials, but think again, because LEMs newly designed insole featuring a 1.0mm pigskin leather/4.0mm breathable open cell PU compliments their top quality 1.8mm leather upper so much that your barefoot funk will certainly be kept at bay.
Skora Athletics is the result of a 12-year journey to craft a better running shoe – one that incorporates the best of what nature intended with the best of what technology can enhance. Rather than look for features to add, Skora look for features to remove. They believe that the best shoe is one that complements the human body and allows it to perform naturally.
FORM redefines premium athletic footwear. The full-leather goatskin upper forms to your foot, and a sheepskin lining and asymmetric no-tongue design make it incredibly comfortable. The durable upper and rubber outsole will make this shoe a go-to in your weekly lineup.
CORE is designed around the foot at every level. On top, Skora’s signature asymmetrical and no-tongue design combine with a wide fit for natural toe-splay and increased comfort. Inside, an antimicrobial breathable mesh lining fights odors and wicks moisture. An IBR outsole provides flexibility and incredible ground feel, without sacrificing protection.
VIVOBAREFOOT make one of the best barefoot shoes in the world. Created without compromise around their patented Pure Barefoot Technology, VIVOBAREFOOT products are the epitome of ancient wisdom with modern technology; designed in London, with a sole for every terrain, to live your life barefoot.
Keeping it casual, the Aqua II lets you live barefoot though your day-today. Based on one of VIVOBAREFOOT very first designs, Aqua is a VIVOBAREFOOT original with a spanking new, updated look. The simple, stitched leather construction and classic lace-up design give it a casual, every day wearability; designed to work easily for any occasion. Made with the principles of Pure Barefoot Technology, the super-thin, flexible, and puncture resistant V-city sole lets your feet do what they do best; move freely, move naturally and explore their surroundings.
Wild Hide Collection – Gobi II, Mata, Ra II
Mata is a super-simple slip-on that lets your feet do their thing. With supple tumbled leather, stretchy elastic lining and our ultra-thin, ultra-flexible sole, Mata gives you room to move naturally and engage with the ground beneath. VIVOBAREFOOT Wild Hide collection uses Ethiopian leather, tanned by Pittards®, from the hides of free roaming cows.
This Oxford lace-up lets your feet behave naturally, whilst the leather upper does a perfect job of keeping up appearances. The supple yet strong upper and ultra-thin sole give you total flexibility, whilst allowing your feet to engage with the ground; giving you barefoot freedom from the Monday meeting to the Sunday pub.
Being barefoot has never looked this good. The classic design of the Gobi desert boot, by VIVOBAREFOOT’s Head Designer Asher Clark, unites simplicity with style and offers premium appearance appropriate for work and play with its brushed leather finish.
Hand Cut Collection – Lisbon, Porto
The VIVOBAREFOOT Hand Cut collection is part of VIVOBAREFOOT barefoot luxury casual shoe category. These models currently include Lisbon and Porto and all are hand cut, hand stitched, and handcrafted using premium leather components. The finest traditional shoe making techniques are resurrected to create these shoes that have a wide anatomic toe box and super thin puncture-resistant sole for your feet barefoot luxury. Designed in England by Head Designer Asher Clark and Made in Portugal.
The Lisbon is VIVOBAREFOOT formal barefoot dress shoe that lets your feet perform whilst you look the part. The hand finished, polished leather is suitable for the most formal occasions and will allow your brain to engage with the ground. The leather footbed is durable yet comfortable and will form around your foot giving true barefoot experience.
The Porto is a sturdy, premium desert boot made from exquisite Portuguese leather. Available in brushed Tan or Brown, this robust boot will make easy strides through your day to day.
There you have it – give your feet a break and let your toes spread naturally. Enjoy the freedom and save your back!
As before, if you are worried about getting the correct sizes, don’t worry.
- For Altra Zero Drop shoes, Altra promises a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all of their products. If you are not completely satisfied with your new product within the first 30 days after purchase, they will replace or exchange your product, including unworn and worn or defective items, free of charge–no questions asked. Details here…
- For Chronology shoes, after ship date, if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return your order for a full refund, or exchange for another size/style, for up to 365 days from the date the original order was shipped. Returns must be clean, in the state you received them, with original packaging and all accessories included. Details here…
- For LEMs Shoes, all LEMs products that are unworn without any visible wear and tear can be returned or exchanged within 45 days of purchase, NO EXCEPTIONS. Details here…
- For Skora Athletics, orders over $90 shipped within the continental U.S. are eligible for free return shipping using the supplied pre-paid return label. For orders under $90, you may use the supplied pre-paid shipping label, please note Skora will deduct $5 from your refund to cover the return shipping. Skora is unable to refund shipping costs for orders under $90, or for orders over $90 that were placed with expedited shipping. Details here…
- For VIVOBAREFOOT shoes, if you’re not completely satisfied you can return your goods to them for FREE for a full refund. They will accept returns for any unused / unworn items with all original labels and packaging, purchased from www.vivobarefoot.com within 30 days of purchase date. Details here…
- For ANY shoes, we also highly recommended purchasing from Zappos since they offer free shipping on all domestic orders and you can return your order to the warehouse for a full refund. Returns must be unworn, in the state you received them, and in the original packaging. Detail here…