The Best Black Derby Shoes for Men 2022: Prada, Dr. Martens, Paraboot, and More

Long before sneakers dominated the casual footwear space, the humble black derby shoe reigned supreme. Back then, the derby’s lace-up look made it an off-duty staple, the hard bottom you switch to when pulling on a pair of wingtips that feels a bit too corporate. (We’d say it’s overrated for its “relaxed vibe,” but it’s such an antiquatedism that it stretches the limits of believability.) today…the right? Well, not quite.

Over the past few years, the derby has made a concentrated effort to regain its rightful place in the hearts — and wardrobes — of stylish guys around the planet. And the PR push paid off. The numbers may not exactly show that, but in the popular menswear mentality, the dominance of sneakers is steadily increasing, and along with loafers, derby shoes can gain the most from its autumn. Because a lot has changed since the first derby emerged, but one thing isn’t: the silhouette remains one of the most versatile on the planet, especially in black.

Don’t believe us? Try on one of the best black derby shoes for size and then circle back. From exquisitely designed riffs to trusted classics that cost less than a night out in luxury, there’s a selection here for you. Somewhere on the shoe rack in your hallway, your sneakers are fluttering.

Daily Picks

Derby shoes Dr. Martens 1461

Dr. Martens’ 1461 shoes are a rare derby shoe that looks good with jeans and suits a suit. However, mainly because 1461 looks good with everything: baggy denim, loose-fitting trousers, crisp work trousers. (Its endless versatility is thanks to the brand’s signature sturdy leather and rubber sole.) And when the time is right and you can’t resist reaching for your Docs, go for it. give in to temptation — just print out this picture of Frank Ocean and go on your merry way.

Option Ready for Suit


Allen Edmonds “Leeds” slippery toe derby

If you stow your last pair of shoes around March 2020, a no-frills pair of sneakers is an easy way to slip back into your leather clutch without delivering a nasty shock. A lot of the options on this list are for casual wear, but Allen Edmonds goes in the opposite direction. Their compact design and modest shape make them ideal for any formal wedding on your suddenly crowded social calendar, but they’ll look puffy when anchoring your trusty navy suit when you beat that guy.

The Tres chic Pick


Paraboot derby shoes “Michael”

Lots of sneaker lovers aspire to polish their dress shoe counterparts, but few try to estimate the weight of your favorite classic sneakers. Paraboot has made several versions of Michael since the ’40s, and by far the beloved famous French brand has had the equation going downhill. Tough leather cap + waterproof Norwegian felt + chunky rubber sole = completely unique shape, as flexible as a pair of New Balances. You can wear them with a giant pair of chinos and a sturdy jacket, but if you’re eager to put on your briefcase before the leaves change color, do like Tyler, the Creator (Parabootreciator par excellence. ) and go with a sweater vest, silk scarf, pleated shorts and elastic waist socks.

Designer’s Choice


What makes a plain black derby worth more than a thousand dollars? Depends on who you ask. Ask Prada Guy a question, and he’ll tell you, not sure, that the brand’s pedigree is enough to justify the price. But keep him on the point, and he’ll begin to rant about the wits between Raf Simons and Muiccia Prada, and how they deftly pick their noses at the conventions of anodyne, breathe life fresh life into sharp tailoring, my point-and-shoot – my men’s trousers, and — yes — sturdy black tights. And, he might say (a bit hysterically now), like the brand’s slick nylon tracksuit, Prada sneakers are practical but not well thought out, well thought out. Cut from supple leather set on a stacked rubber sole. If, at this point in the conversation, the excited look in his eyes is starting to make you feel a little uncomfortable, now is the time to bail. But if all he’s saying makes sense, well, we should probably warn you about the side effect of engaging a Prada Guy in serious conversation about derbies: you too are likely to become became Prada Guy— and the policeman was a couple with him.

Comfortable first choice


Clarks Originals “Desert Khan” derby shoes

When Nathan Clark introduced his desert slipper boots in the ’50s, he couldn’t have predicted how popular his signature shoes would become. (It’s so popular, in fact, that we’ve sung its praises long, many times before.) So when we say its lowest counterpart can be even better than OG, you know we’re serious. Desert Khan is a new riff on silhouette built on the same thick rubber sole that made its sibling a smash. Looking for a derby that doesn’t feel remotely like a derby — at least any version you’ve been to before? No need to look no further.

Plus 14 other Black Derbies games we love


Celine “Ranger” printed derby shoes

If you’re looking for the ultimate derby shoe money can buy, we’ve got to say these, uh, auditor competition.


Cole Haan derby shoes “Harrison Grand 2.0”

By now you probably know about the pitfalls associated with going also cheap when it comes to lace-ups. Wondering where that line is? Cole Haan drew it for you.


Jil Sanders black leather derby shoes

Having trouble swapping out your trusty turtlenecks for a nicer, better-dressed partner? Try a classic derby as they come with a pair of icy-soled sneakers.


Morjas . Black County Derby

Get it from us: Goodyear welded pebble grain leather is rarely this cheap.


Solovair’s vegan hi-shine “Gibson” shoe

A little shine goes a long way.


Beckett Simonon “Anders” flip-flops

How much to split feathers to buy a new pair of fluff? Splurge over $200 on these split-legged mugs and never look back—unless it’s to check your reflection in the mirror.


Balenciaga’s Inspector Leather Derby Shoe

Probably the 2022 black derby the most of them all.


Toga Virilis “Polido” derby shoes

What’s the most horrifying thing you can call Toga Virilis’ purely punk rock derbies? Dress shoes.


The Marsell “Nasello” derby

If the office you’re headed to is the Berlin outpost of a world-renowned design firm, these to be suitable office.


Adieu derby shoes Type 54C

The easiest way to make a polished leather derby feel more street-ready? Add a thick rubber sole.


Kleman derby shoes “Padror”

So the French will start asking friend for directions while you’re moving it out of the CDG airport.


Bottega Veneta “Tire” derby shoes

Won’t lie, the new flavors of Oreo are a bit out of reach.


Gucci lace-up leather derby shoes

Gucci isn’t exactly known for its sophistication, but its sneakers only just the right amount of brand DNA — in the form of a signature red/green ribbon — to stand out. Ninety percent of what’s going on here is pretty straight, Italian-made footwear, but that 10% at the ankle that you can blink with every step? Good luck finding a bigger bend.


Grenson derby shoes “Dermot”

Northamptonshire, the sleeping county in England, where Grenson manufactures his shoes, is a long-standing center of footwear manufacturing for a reason. (Hint: You’re looking at one of them.) The Best Black Derby Shoes for Men 2022: Prada, Dr. Martens, Paraboot, and More

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