Classic Bucks: The Perfect Casual Dress Shoe

suede bucks
Men don’t have a lot of options when it comes to shoes to wear with a smart-casual outfit. If you’re going on a date, or you just want to look better than a t-shirt and jeans. There aren’t a whole lot of choices. 

Many of us default to boots, and they look good. They’re comfortable and they’re rugged. But they’re not very dressy — and dressy isn’t really what were going for either, we don’t want to wear a leather wingtip or a cap toe, but we don’t want to look like we’re hiking in the woods with boots or like we just came in from a long day outside with sneakers.

There may not be many options, but there is one very good choice. The suede buck.

Bucks are similar to Blucher oxfords, they look kind of like a dress shoe, but they’re made of suede and typically have a brick red sole. They’re sort of like a dressed-down dress shoe.

They first appeared in the late 1800′s and were intended to be tennis shoes. The originals were made from Brazilian or Chinese deerskin; being made from ‘buckskin’ is where they get their name. The red sole was introduced in the 30′s and Pat Boone made white bucks famous in the 50′s.

Our pick is the Eastbend by Bostonian. The heritage shoe brand reintroduced a line of bucks and their timing couldn’t be better. Because of their colors they look great in the spring or summer, but don’t be afraid to wear them year round. Except for when the rain or snow starts coming down since they’re suede you may not want to expose them to the elements.

Our personal favorites are the olive shown here, but the sand and gray suedes look great too.

At under $80 it’s an easy choice. I found them to be super comfortable to walk in all day.

For as common and as long as they’ve been around, bucks are still sure to make a smart statement. When you’ve heard that women notice guys who pay attention to the shoes they wear, this is the type of thing they’re talking about. You’re not dressed up, but you’re not too casual either. You’re intentional. Smart.

If you’re looking for a pair of casual shoes that still look dressed up, pick up a pair of bucks, you won’t be disappointed.

Pick them up on Amazon or Bostonian.


»Eastbend by Bostonian

Other styles to consider

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page.

  • Mike

    Nice find. You say they are an easy choice “at under $80″ but the clickthrough Bostonian site has them at $89.99. Is there a coupon or something? Thanks.

  • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

    Hey Mike,

    Sorry for the confusion. If you click on the images on the right, it will take you to Amazon. The Olive in 10.5 is $71.95 with free shipping. You can also get there by clicking here: http://ow.ly/4Lgff

  • Mike

    Thanks. I actually just picked up a pair of grays off shoebuy.com for $63.96, all in (no tax, no shipping and MDAY20 code).

  • WILLIAM H MALONE II

    Take a close look at Ralph Lauren’s ‘jamford’ wingtips in grey and dirty buck colors. Nice!

  • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

    Mike, Great find! Thanks for the tip!

    William, Those are pretty slick as well. I love the dirty buck.

  • Jay

    The shoes in the photo are the olive and not the gray? Any idea if the gray is much darker?

  • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

    Hey Jay,

    That’s right, the ones I have are the olive. From the looks of the gray ones on Bostonian’s site they appear to be the same shade, just a different color. I haven’t seen them in person, however.

  • Jay

    Thanks! In the pictures, the olive looks gray-ish to me. Is that the case in real life or are they closer to greenish? I’m back and forth between the olive and the gray to order.

  • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

    The olive is kind of grayish. I think the bottom picture under the jumping picture above represents the color the best. They do look greener in certain lights, but for the most part it’s very subtle. I think the gray looks (from the pictures anyway) more smoke colored. If you’re still not sure, consider ordering both and return the ones you like least.

  • Felipe

    FYI. I got these at +$60 with a 20% coupon at Macy’s. Very comfortable bucks!

  • Denis

    Can you put these in the wash when they get dirty?

  • http://craigplaystead.com Playstead

    Great write-up. You cannot go wrong with a pair of suede bucks — classic shoe. Here’s a tip: if you scuff them and you’re out on the town, rub them together and the scuff will come right out.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

      Playstead, Thanks I’m glad you liked it! Great tip on rubbing them together, I had never heard that.

  • http://longsleevedressesx.com Jene

    I think the bottom picture under the jumping picture above represents the color the best.

  • Tanner

    Not quite sure if anyone is still paying attention to this thread but it looks like the olive suede eastbend is on sale for 68 bucks (he he bucks) http://www.zappos.com/bostonian-eastbend-grey-suede

  • Alex

    I just picked up a pair of RL/Chaps for $32. Got them in the sand, great buy.

  • JENE

    Macy’s has discount coupon for these. You can get upto 20% off on these.

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  • Andy

    Picked up the Bass Brocktons at DSW for $17. Pretty satisfied so far, would you say its fine to wear these in the wintertime in a hot climate? For example it is around 70 degrees outside right now, on New Year’s Eve.

    Cheers,
    Andy

    • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

      Yep I think the Brocktons would be a great choice for warm winter climates. Good find!

  • Jonathan

    Man, these are impossible to find now. I can’t find the olive color available anymore. Think the grey is that different?

  • Jeff

    Jonathan, I just found the olive ones on Newegg for $44 and free shipping they only have a few sizes left – I got a 9.5.

  • matt

    i dont get it. all the olive ones look mighty GREEN. the images show grey. i like the grey look, but if the actual grey is super grey id prefer the olive….but i dont want GREEN like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Bostonian-Mens-Eastbend-Olivesuede-Dress-Oxfords-Shoes-US-Sizes-/130745778833?pt=US_Men_s_Shoes&var=&hash=item1e710e4291#ht_3321wt_1106

  • aks

    According to the article, the color of the shoes in the picture is ‘olive’ whereas they actually look similar to the grey Bostonians like the ones pictured here - http://www.ebay.com/itm/BOSTONIAN-MEN-CLASSIC-GRAY-BUCK-OXFORD-SZ-7-5-STYLE-EASTBEND-26979-NIB-/251158766921

    What’s going on? Is the color reproduction in my LCD sucking that bad?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      The ones I have are definitely the olive. (I still have the box.) I think it’s just the lighting.