Do folding mens dress shoes exist?
August 2, 2021 8:19 PM   Subscribe

When I travel I've resigned myself that 95% of the time on a trip I'll wear my hiking shoes and it'll be fine. They're perfect for almost everything. But not going out dressy. What I'd like is the equivalent of women's ballet flats - ultralight, collapsible, simple - but for dress shoes. And for MEN. Is there such a thing?
posted by rileyray3000 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
No one will mistake them for dress shoes, but Rothy's has some very light and probably pretty collapsable men's loafers that are a step or two up from hiking shoes.
posted by primethyme at 8:32 PM on August 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

Vivobarefoot work shoes can pass for formal. Very light weight. I have a leather upper brown pair I wear with a jacket once a year :)

They are pricey but very durable.
posted by BrStekker at 10:26 PM on August 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

How about:

Nisolo travel derby shoes

Cole Haan Originalgrand Oxfords

Or something like a Moroccan babouche?
posted by music for skeletons at 10:36 PM on August 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have a pair of driving moccasins that I’ve used in similar cases. They’re not collapsible, but they are flexible, and that’s as close as I’ve gotten. It should be noted that driving mocs are often expensive; mine are from the G.H. Bass factory outlet - cheap enough that I don’t mind if they get folded over or scuffed in my luggage, but nice enough that they still work as dressy shoes.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:59 AM on August 3, 2021

Alternatively, you could spend $$$ on a very nice pair of cordovan* boots (e.g., Alden) and take care of them. A polished pair of cordovan boots works fine up to the formality level of a full-on business suit, is suited for walking, extremely durable and will last a lifetime if maintained properly. Now you’re back to only one piece of footware.

* Note: you’re looking for cordovan, not “cordovan colored” leather. Cordovan is a membrane, not a hide, and thus has different properties than leather (e.g., it is not porous like calfskin). It comes in a wide range of colors in addition to the iconic “cordovan” color, although that color is extremely versatile and is often a good choice. A very well known method of maintaining the finish on cordovan simply involves several minutes of vigorous brushing after each use. High quality examples can be restored to “like new” condition by the makers even when in quite rough shape.
posted by slkinsey at 4:05 AM on August 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Or something like a Moroccan babouche?
Seconding this. This footwear has heel parts that can be folded flat to the sole to wear like a sandal - for around the house - or lifted up to wear like a slip on shoe - for small excursions into the dessert. This design means they can be packed flat - available in black or brown to be discrete. Available in yellow to be not discrete. Made from leather - so you can polish them if you wish.
posted by rongorongo at 6:04 AM on August 3, 2021

Sounds like you may be looking for something like the Astorflex Patnoflex Travel.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 6:21 AM on August 3, 2021 [6 favorites]

Nothing really collapsible and folds. If you want "everyday wear" dress shoes, it's either loafers or Chelsea boots, IMHO.

Propet Griffen would be a proper men's dress loafers at about $100 USD. Not that foldable, but the soles are reasonably soft.
posted by kschang at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2021

There has been such a thing for hundreds of years - the men’s dress slipper. The most formal kind (bow across the front) is probably too formal plus also now weirds people out, but the simple leather ones with a closed heel are really simple. Here’s one with an indoor-outdoor sole.
posted by clew at 9:50 AM on August 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have some Born shoes that look kind of like these. The leather is super soft and always gets squished down when I pack them, but they have maintained their form. I've hiked across half of Santorini in them. I've never had them, but Sanuk makes shoes that look like they are soft enough to squish down.
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:38 PM on August 3, 2021

I wore these with a suit to a (relatively casual) wedding. They're washable and they compress.
posted by taltalim at 4:41 PM on August 3, 2021

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