Since success in car sales requires the ability to build rapport quickly, every factor of the first impression is important. When a customer meets you for the first time, what signals are you sending? Part of that signaling will depend on your attire, so I wrote this article “Best Dress Shoes for Car Salesman” to help you out!

Are you letting them know, using every tool that you have, that you are a respectable and upstanding salesperson? Someone that they can trust to spend their money with?

What do your shoes look like?

It’s essential for your shoes to be professional.

One of the first questions you may ask yourself when applying for and getting your first car sales job will be what to wear. What exactly is the “car salesman dress code”? Is there a standard attire or does it vary dealer to dealer?

The answer is that although there is some variance dealership to dealership, most dealers conform to a standard dress pattern that varies between hot and cold seasons. The standard car salesman dress code is business casual (button down with tie and slacks) in the colder months, and khakis with a branded polo shirt in the warmer months. Although there are dealers that want you to wear a suit 365 days a year, their numbers are dwindling.

Best Dress Shoes For Car Salesman: Must-Haves

Car salesmen have unique requirements for their shoes. The shoes themselves need to:

  • Look Professional
  • Handle a Variety of Weather Conditions
  • Be Able to Handle the Asphalt of the Car Lot

We need to find attractive dress shoes that can withstand outdoor conditions

Best Dress Shoes For Car Salesman: The Guide

If you walk into Macy’s or browse Amazon’s shoe section you will be overwhelmed with options of shoes.

The aisles are lined with hundreds of pairs of shoes, with hugely varying prices. Price signaling would lead us to believe that the more expensive the shoe, the better it will perform for us. This is hardly the truth. Here are a few examples of shoes that look good, last a long time, and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Best Dress Shoes For Car Salesman: Brown Leather Dress Shoes

Clarks is a brand that is well known for a variety of shoes, most commonly the more casual Clarks Chukka Desert Boots. That said, Clarks makes one of the best dress shoes for car salesman- the Tilden Plain Oxford. These shoes look professional, with 100% leather, and a durable sole.

The Tilden Plain Oxford from Clarks

When I say “durable sole” I’m referring to the synthetic bottom of the shoe:

Much More Durable

The Amazon feedback seems pretty positive as well:

These Clarks shoes are hands down the BEST dress shoe I have ever owned. I’m already shopping for pairs in other colors/styles! I’m on my feet in these most of the day, and they really cut down on my knee and back pain. They’re super comfortable and have a stylish look. I can’t say enough good things about these shoes or this company. Clarks has earned a customer for life!

Note- I’ve found the shoes above to run a bit wide. Consider sizing down a half size when you order a pair.

Best Dress Shoes For Car Salesman: Black Leather Dress Shoes

For the black leather dress shoes, I still recommend Clarks Tilden Oxfords (Black). The combination of the price point ($50-$100), the quality, and the adherence to our three car sales requirements make them the best shoe that I can recommend.

The reviews on Amazon seem to agree:

For the price, these are a great value. Super comfortable. I was looking for a shoe I could wear all day. Usually, this means you need rubber soles (no wood). You can’t resole many one-piece rubber sole heels, but that’s fine. Rarely do I do that since the top of the shoe shows so much wear, it makes me want to get a new pair of shoes no matter how much shoe-shining I do.

I own Saks 5th Avenue brand shoes, Cole Haan, and many other pricey shoes. Sure these Clark’s don’t look as sharp as Italian-made shoes. But Clark’s are comfortable. With this particular shoe, they struck the right balance between fashionable and functional–a rare feat indeed!

With Toe Cap on the Black Shoes

Best Dress Shoes For Car Salesman: Other Options

I’m confident that the first two shoes should be enough for most car salesmen to get started. That said, I have had some recommendations come in from other readers, which I thought I’d share. Your mileage may vary, as I don’t own these particular shoes:

  1. Nunn Bush Men’s Norris Wingtip Slip-On Loafer:
  2. La Milano Mens Cap Toe Oxford Leather:
  3. Dockers Men’s Proposal Leather Slip-On Dress Loafer Shoe:


Best Dress Shoes For Car Salesman: Work in Progress

This article has been sitting in my draft folder for a few months. I don’t have much to add other than my two simple suggestions at the top, so I’ve held off on publishing it. That said, I figure it might provide some value for someone so I might as well publish it. 

This article would be a lot better with your feedback! Let me know if you know of any ideas for the “Best Dress Shoes for Car Salesman”!

You are the dealership’s representative. If you seem disinterested, tired, frustrated, or aloof, your customer is going to question how much you truly want to sell them the vehicle. The customer will then wonder how “fair” you are pricing a car if you don’t really care if you sell the car or not. 

I implore you to perk up. Drink some coffee and remember why you came to work today. When you are sitting across the customer, they should have a distinct impression that you will do anything to sell this car. This type of attitude makes any deal you offer much sweeter, as the customer believes you when you tell them an offer is fair.