Going to a funeral can be challenging and emotionally draining. Even when overwhelmed with grief, one of the most straightforward requests that family or friends may make is for guests to dress appropriately.

Deciding how to dress for a funeral was once a much simpler task due to clear expectations surrounding attire, but increasing diversity within religious affiliations has made it more difficult. 

To help you plan out what shoes to wear while attending a funeral, here are some tips and guidelines for selecting appropriate footwear so there’s one less thing you’ll worry about as you prepare a tribute in loving memory.


Men’s shoes: Oxfords, Loafers, Dress Boots:

For men, several types of shoes are suitable for a funeral service. These include Oxfords, Loafers, and Dress boots. Each of these shoes has its unique style that can be paired with various formal outfits.


Oxfords are a classic shoe choice for any formal occasion, including funerals. Their sleek and polished appearance makes them suitable for dressier outfits. Oxfords are typically made from leather and have a closed lacing system, giving them a more elegant look. They can be worn with suits and dressier pants, making them versatile for funerals.


Loafers are another suitable shoe choice for a funeral service. They are slip-on shoes with no laces or buckles, and they are usually made from leather or suede. Loafers have a more casual appearance than Oxfords, but they can still dress up for a formal event like a funeral. They can be worn with dress pants and a blazer or suit jacket for a polished look.

Dress Boots:

For men who prefer to wear boots, dress boots are another appropriate option for a funeral. These boots are sleek and refined, making them suitable for formal occasions. Dress boots are made from leather or suede and can be worn with dress pants or suits in colder weather. They provide style and comfort, making them popular for many men attending funerals.

Women’s shoes - Pumps, Ballet flats, Low-heeled sandals:

There are several options for choosing the right shoes for a funeral for women. The most important thing to remember is that the shoes should be comfortable and respectful.


Pumps are a classic shoe choice for women attending a funeral. They have a closed-toe design and can have different heel heights, from low heels to stilettos. Pumps are very versatile and can be paired with dresses and dress pants, making them a suitable option for any funeral service.

Ballet Flats:

For those who prefer a more comfortable shoe option, ballet flats are an excellent choice for funerals. They are flat shoes with a rounded or pointed toe and do not have any heels. Ballet flats are stylish and comfortable, making them popular for women attending funerals. They can be paired with dresses or dress pants for a more casual yet respectful look.

Low-Heeled Sandals:

For warmer weather, low-heeled sandals can also be worn to a funeral service. These sandals have a low heel and an open-toe design, making them a more casual option than pumps or ballet flats. However, they can still wear a formal dress or suit. Choosing sandals that are not too flashy and have a simple design for a respectful appearance is essential.

Color Considerations: Which Colors Are Suitable for Funeral Shoes?

Showing respect and honor to the deceased and their family is essential at a funeral. This includes dressing appropriately, which often includes wearing formal shoes or dress shoes. However, when choosing funeral shoes, it is necessary to consider the color of the shoes as well.

Black Is The Traditional Choice:

Traditionally, black has been considered the most appropriate color for funeral shoes. This is because black is a somber and respectful color, often associated with mourning. Black shoes also tend to be more formal and conservative, making them suitable for a solemn occasion such as a funeral.

Other Neutral Colors:

While black may be the traditional choice, other neutral colors can also be suitable for funeral shoes. These include dark shades of brown, navy blue, and gray. These colors are also respectful and conservative, making them appropriate for a funeral setting.

Avoid Bright or Bold Colors:

When choosing shoes for a funeral, avoiding bright or bold colors is best. This includes red, yellow, pink, or bright green. These colors may be seen as too cheerful or distracting for a solemn occasion like a funeral. Sticking with more subdued colors is best to show respect and honor to the deceased.

Dos And Don’ts - Shoe Etiquette For Funerals:

Funerals are sad occasions that require a high level of respect and decorum. And while most people know what to wear, it’s the footwear that often gets overlooked. Therefore, following proper shoe etiquette is essential to show sensitivity and respect during this difficult time.


  • Closed-toe shoes, such as dress shoes or flats, are the most appropriate for funerals. They provide a formal and respectful appearance while also covering your feet.
  • Funeral attire is all about keeping things simple and understated. So, it’s best to stick with neutral colors like black, grey, navy, or brown when choosing your shoes.
  • Make sure your shoes are clean and polished before attending a funeral. Scuffed or dirty shoes can be seen as a sign of disrespect towards the deceased and their family.
  • Funerals can be long and emotionally draining, so choosing shoes that are comfortable to wear for an extended period is essential. However, make sure they are still appropriate for the occasion.
  • Some cultures and religions have specific customs regarding footwear at funerals. It’s crucial to research and follow these customs out of respect for the deceased and their family.


  • Sneakers and athletic shoes are too casual for a funeral and should be avoided. They can come off as disrespectful and inappropriate.
  • Funerals are not the time to make a fashion statement. Avoid wearing flashy or heavily embellished shoes, which may be seen as attention-seeking and disrespectful.
  • Open-toe shoes, such as sandals or flip-flops, are unsuitable for a funeral. They are too informal and can be seen as disrespectful towards the deceased and their family.
  • While heels may add a touch of elegance to your outfit, it’s best to avoid wearing too high heels. They can be uncomfortable and distracting, especially during a funeral service.
  • Shoes that make loud, squeaky, or clicking noises should be avoided at funerals. These sounds can be disruptive and disrespectful during a sad occasion.


Overall, there is no strict protocol regarding what shoes to wear to a funeral. Depending on the occasion and the quality of dress you are wearing, try your best to wear shoes that are respectful and fitting for the moment. To be courteous, avoid bright colors and bold patterns, as these types of shoes express an air of informality. Most importantly, rely on instinct and wear what makes you feel comfortable. With these tips in mind, there is no reason why you won’t be able to pick out suitable shoes for such a solemn event.

Sniper Jones
Hi there, I'm Sniper Jones, mastermind of shoesviewer.com. My digital platform is devoted to sharing valuable knowledge about various types of footwear that can help refine your shoe selection process. Shoes have always intrigued me, leading to an impressive collection of over 1000 pairs! shoesviewer.com was launched in 2023 with the objective to provide extensive information that aids you in making well-informed shoe purchases. I've assembled a squad of shoe aficionados who share my enthusiasm for delivering unbiased reviews and thorough buying guides. Our evaluations are rooted in our personal experiences, ensuring the advice we offer is practical and usable. I always welcome feedback and discussions. If you have any questions concerning footwear, feel free to leave a comment. I'm here to assist!