The 9 Best Men's Belts

Updated June 14, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Men's Belts
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No matter how much thought you put into your combination of pants, shirt, and shoes, you'll still need a good belt to tie it all together. Our selection of men's options includes something for every occasion, from a casual day on the links or the water through to a boardroom presentation on which your next promotion may depend. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best men's belt on Amazon.

9. Tommy Hilfiger Leather Reversible

The Tommy Hilfiger Leather Reversible is a great choice for the gentleman who infrequently needs a dress option, as it has both a brown and a black side, as well as polished hardware. That should have you covered when wearing everything from a dark suit to khakis.
  • quickly reverses colors
  • affordable price point
  • not top quality materials
Brand Tommy Hilfiger
Model 11TL08X014
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. BC Belts Braided Elastic Woven Stretch

The BC Belts Braided Elastic Woven Stretch isn't going to appear on the runway of a Parisian fashion show, but it's affordable and its elasticity means it will fit your waist snugly. It is a good choice for plumbers or carpenters who are always on the move.
  • fits all loop sizes
  • gold-plated metallic components
  • buckle hardware is cheaply made
Brand BC Belts
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. Fossil Joe

The Fossil Joe is the casual kind of belt every man must own. It's simple and understated, yet timeless in style, and its wide, soft design is comfortable whether it's cinched tight around a pair of skinny jeans or worn with cargo shorts.
  • leather continues to soften with age
  • comes in 3 colors
  • large sturdy buckle
Brand Fossil
Model MB1252
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Tommy Hilfiger Ribbon Inlay

The Tommy Hilfiger Ribbon Inlay is the perfect choice for holding up a pair of khaki shorts donned before a day on the water. Its nautical theme, complete with anchor logos, helps in that regard, as well. The company brand is clearly displayed on the outside.
  • blend of hide and cotton
  • casual and comfortable
  • not ideal for professional outfits
Brand Tommy Hilfiger
Model 11TL02X032
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Nike Golf Tech Essentials Web

The Nike Golf Tech Essentials Web is an affordable, casual option that will work with almost any weekend outfit, though rarely with dress clothes. Use it when you are hiking, fishing or, of course, playing golf. It can be easily adjusted to fit most waists.
  • 100 percent cotton
  • can be machine washed
  • built-in bottle opener on buckle
Brand Nike
Model 1111305
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. SlideBelts Leather Ratchet

The SlideBelts Leather Ratchet uses a buckle that is both stylish and functional, allowing maximum customization and comfort, and eliminating those awkward moments where one belt hole pulls your pants too tight but the next leaves them too loose.
  • available in 17 styles
  • easily fits most waists
  • handsome textured leather
Brand SlideBelts Inc.
Model SB-BlackGunmetal
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Allen Edmonds Manistee

The Allen Edmonds Manistee can be worn both casually or as a dressier accessory, so it will work for almost any occasion or outfit. This well-made belt won't stretch out over time, and the leather will keep its lustrous shine and warm colors, too.
  • made in the united states
  • handsome brogue perforations
  • decorative durable stitching
Brand Allen Edmonds
Model Manistee
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Marino Leather Dress

If you don't like the way those extra holes look on a leather belt, or your weight has a tendency to fluctuate in a way that makes predrilled sizes uncomfortable, the ratchet-closure design of the Marino Leather Dress will provide you with a clean, nuanced fit.
  • available in 32 colors and patterns
  • comes in a nice gift box
  • matching keychain included
Brand Marino Avenue
Model 77A-M
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Nickel Smart Free Roan Mountain

The rugged and attractive Nickel Smart Free Roan Mountain comes to you distressed by its manufacturers for a well-worn look that's still going to last you for a long time. Its genuine leather strap measures 1.5 inches wide.
  • brushed gunmetal buckle
  • handmade in the usa
  • lifetime guarantee
Brand Nickel Smart TM
Model 4782D-34*
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

The Belt: An Accessory No Man Can Live Without

In today's world, a man's belt can "dress up" or "dress down" an outfit, adding a casual air to a pair of slacks or bringing some refined grace to blue jeans. The fact is that no man should own just one belt, and not only because of how much impact the belt can have on the trousers and therefore the whole effect of your outfit. A man needs to own at least two dress belts because of one of the most basic issues of the fashion world, the black or brown quandary.

Basic men's fashion dictates that your shoes and belt should match or complement one another. That means a brown belt goes with brown shoes, a black belt with black shoes (or brown belt, white shoes, black belt, gray shoes, and so forth). But your belt and pants much also work together. A black belt and khaki pants, for example, is generally unacceptable, as is a brown belt worn with a black suit or slacks. This discussion can be drawn out at length, or summarized as this: a man must own a black and a dress brown belt, or he must invest in a reversible belt displaying one of these classic colors at a time. And said belt or belts must be made from a refined material including leather, a convincing faux leather, or a more rarified option such as alligator.

When choosing your dress belt (or belts), leather is often the best choice. This classic material is handsome, durable, and ages well. If you want a belt that makes more of a statement, invest in an alligator skin option. Those who notice the material will appreciate it (others will just assume it is leather). As for color in a dress belt, generally the darker the shade, the more formal a belt appears. Thus a dark brown belt is better suited for business attire, while a caramel-colored leather belt is better for business casual attire.

For a decidedly more casual and functional belt, there are myriad options made of cloth. What these belts tend to lack in refinement, they make up for in low cost and performance. Many fabric belts are made out of tightly woven cotton that resists tearing and punctures yet which offers a bit more flexibility than leather or alligator, allowing you to cinch the belt snugly around your waist. Belts that secure with adjustable closures rather than traditional buckles also allow for plenty of comfort, reliable pants support, and can be shared among users as needed. Many cloth belts also have the added benefit of being machine washable, making them a good choice for use during an activity that leads to sweat such as golfing, boating, or yard work.

Men's Belts Beyond the Basics

Most belts are worn primarily to keep a pair of pants in place, serving as single-function items. Others, however, are cleverly designed to be used during specific activities, such as a runner's belt, which can serve as a pocket, a place to secure water bottles, a safety reflector, and more, or the policeman's duty belt, to name two obvious examples. Other options look and perform much like regular belts but have secret pockets for stashing a bit of cash or a key. Still others can surreptitiously conceal tactical self-defense gear or survival tools, including cutting implements, bottle openers, and so forth.

But a belt need not be a multi-function tactical tool to go beyond the role of mere pants support system; the right belt can help a man achieve his own sense of style, too.

Men simply don't have as many options for sartorial expression as women; at least within the generally-accepted confines of polite society, there is no option for a man to wear much beyond long pants or shorts, while women can wear pants of essentially any length, skirts, and dresses. Most men also wear minimal jewelry if any at all, and tend to accessorize their outfits only with a wristwatch and, at time, a tie, scarf, or some other individual item. Therefore a man's belt can serve as one of his only outlets for personal expression.

When you choose a bright and colorful belt, it helps to make your overall outfit standout more. A large and assertive belt buckle can lend a rugged air to an otherwise debonair gentleman, while a distinctly refined belt can speak volumes about an otherwise casually dressed fellow.

And when it comes to gift giving, a man's belt is always a surefire success, if not necessarily the most inspired option. As belts are indeed such essential accessories, and as they can do so much to enhance an outfit, few men will dislike owning several fine belts. Choose a good belt as a man's present and you are guaranteed not to give a bad gift, even if it won't be the item he prizes above all else received at a birthday or holiday.

The Belt Through the Ages

For as long as human beings have been wearing clothing, we have been wearing some manner of belt. The earliest known belts still identifiable today date back to the Bronze Age, with recovered artifacts estimated to be well over 5,000 years old. Early belts tended to be simple and utilitarian in nature, designed to cinch clothing and help keep the wearer warm and protected against the elements.

As groups of people around the world progressed from mere subsistence living into true civilizations, often their garb reflected the developments and advancements of their culture. For many groups, the belt took on a ceremonial role, became a status symbol, or did both. Many Roman Legionnaires wore ornate belts with lavishly-carved metal buckles and often draped with strips of tough leather that was both decorative and protective.

The Japanese kaku obi is a man's belt designed to be worn wrapped around a traditional kimono. The obi is both functional and decorative in nature; some simple variations were worn daily, while others were more ornate and used only during ceremonies.

Many Native American tribes created ornate hand-beaded belts that were then used for personal adornment during rituals or for trade with other natives and/or with newly arrived Europeans. This artistic accessory is still popular among appreciators of southwestern-style culture today.

In the modern era, the belt is often used to symbolize victory in a sporting event, with professional boxers, Mixed Martial Arts fighters, and wrestlers in particular vying for the championship belt.

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Last updated on June 14, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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