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The humble sneaker has come a long way. Once reserved for the gym or athletic activities, sneakers have become a go-to option for any man who wants to remain current – and classy – with his wardrobe.In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
Let’s start by looking at some buying tips for when you’re in the market for a new pair of kicks.
|Vans Authentic||Check on Amazon|
|Adidas Originals Stan Smith Shoes||Check on Amazon|
|Toms Men’s Carlo Sneakers||Check on Amazon|
|Puma Men’s Suede Classic Plus Sneakers||Check on Amazon|
|Etnies Jameson Vulc Skate Shoe||Check on Amazon|
|Reebok BB4500 Hi 2||Check on Amazon|
|Nike Killshot 2 Men’s Leather Sneakers||Check on Amazon|
|Skechers Classic Fit Delson-Camden Sneaker||Check on Amazon|
|Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Sneaker||Check on Amazon|
|Jordan Nike Air Future Low Men’s Sneaker||Check on Amazon|
|Adidas Originals Daily 2.0 Sneakers||Check on Amazon|
|Crocs Men’s Santa Cruz Playa Lace-Up Sneaker||Check on Amazon|
|Reebok Men’s Club C 85 Sneaker||Check on Amazon|
|Under Armour Men's Charged Commit 2.0 Cross Trainer||Check on Amazon|
Before you buy: 8 Things to consider when purchasing sneakers
Choosing the right pair of sneakers isn’t as simple as reaching for the first pair that catches your eye and then plunking down your hard-earned cash. There are many factors to consider, including size, style, what you plan to wear them for, price, etc.
Here’s a closer look:
1. Get fitted
A sneaker may look great and help make your wardrobe pop, but none of it matters if it doesn’t fit properly.
That’s why it’s important to get your feet fitted every time you visit a shoe store; maybe you’ve worn a size 11 all of your life, but feet change over time for a variety of reasons.
Ask the store clerk, who hopefully knows a thing or two about shoes, to size both feet and also to do an arch and gait analysis.
Your arch may be normal, flat, or high, and knowing what type you have is important for making sure the shoe you choose offers enough support. In some cases, you may need to purchase arch supports.
Something else to keep in mind is that some brands run small or large. A size 10 in a Puma may fit differently than, say, a size 10 Nike, so allow yourself the flexibility to size up or down if needed.
2. Consider your activity
There’s a sneaker (and athletic shoe) for every activity, and it’s important to choose your shoe depending on your activity.
Whether you plan to wear your sneakers for casual activities like strolling about town or also have plans to use them for something more strenuous, make sure the shoe fits the activity.
3. Try on shoes later in the day
Speaking of size, you’ll get a truer fit if you try on shoes later in the day. Feet swell naturally during the day, and how a shoe fits first thing in the morning is often different from how it fits in the late afternoon or early evening.
Another helpful tip for trying on sneakers is always to wear the socks you plan to wear most often with them. If needed, brings those socks with you to the store, if you aren’t wearing them already.
4. Consider buying more than one pair
We’re not suggesting that you spend your entire monthly budget on sneakers, but having an extra pair or two around has a couple of benefits. First, you can get a sneaker rotation going, in which you won’t wear one pair out because of daily use.
Also, it’s easier to switch up your “look” when you have more than one pair.
5. Don’t focus on the brand too heavily
Even if you’re partial to one popular brand or another, it’s helpful to keep an open mind. Less iconic brands may offer the best fit and comfortability for your feet, and, as long they’re of good quality, there’s no reason not to try them out.
6. Set your budget
Sneakers and athletic shoes may vary widely in price, depending on the type of shoe that best fits your needs and the brand.
It’s always smart to have an idea of how much money you’re willing to spend before you start shopping, because, in part, you’re less apt to try on shoes that exceed your price limit.
It’s also important because price sometimes equals quality, although not in every case. A low-priced sneaker may not have all the features, or offer the support and comfort, of a more expensive shoe.
However, some studies show that the higher-priced option may not be much better, if at all, than a less expensive sneaker made by the same brand.
7. Know your type
Sneakers come in many types – from skateboarder shoes to slip-ons to high tops – and it’s never a bad idea to have a certain style or two in mind before you shop for your next pair of sneakers.
8. Know the return policy
Many shoe stores and specialty retailers have a 30-day return policy that allows customers to return shoes even if they’re worn. Make sure you know the seller’s return policy – including that of an online retailer – before you buy.
Let’s take a look at our choices for the best men’s sneakers.
The 14 best sneakers for men in 2020
- Signature design
- Simple yet stylish
- Easy on the feet
Best sneakers for:
- Men looking for a signature, classic design
Vans has a dizzying array of sneakers from which to choose, and the Southern California brand has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a simple, classic design, however, the Vans Authentic is an excellent, affordable choice.
The Authentic is the first style that comes to mind for many people when they think of Vans, and it never goes out of style. It’s a classy, simple design with plenty of features that make it a favorite of so many buyers.
Featuring a low-cut design, the Authentic looks great while providing ample support. Made from a high-quality synthetic material that’s very lightweight, it’s durable and suitable for all kinds of terrain.
The Authentic provides good support along the arch of the foot and has the rubber waffle outsoles that anyone familiar with the Vans brand will recognize. It also comes with reinforced metal lace eyelets.
While the Authentic is a popular choice for many men, hardcore skaters and skate enthusiasts continue to favor these shoes over many other brands. Put simply, it’s a classic design that’s stood the test of time.
- While the shoe is lightweight, it’s also very sturdy, durable, and won’t cause foot fatigue.
- The Vans signature waffle-tread sole offers plenty of grip and comfort.
- A comfortable heel rest helps keep your feet secure and fatigue-free.
- Sizing runs a bit small.
It’s hard to go wrong with an original, and the Vans Authentic is just that – a signature design that’s helped define a brand.
- Iconic brand
- Leather upper
- Remains in style after all these years
Best sneakers for:
Anyone who likes a long-lasting style and brand with serious street cred
Who knew that the shoes tennis great Stan Smith wore when winning Grand Slam championships nearly 50 years ago would have this kind of shelf life? But, here they are, an Adidas original that keeps on selling after all these years.
While they’re not used for competitive tennis these days, the Stan Smith sneakers retain their original style and look good with almost every style of clothing.
It’s a simplistic design, mind you, but sometimes the simple things in life have more staying power than anything else.
You can purchase them in their original white with green detailing design but also in a variety of other colors to match your outfit for almost every occasion.
The uppers consist of full-grain leather that’s perforated and features the iconic Adidas three-stripe design. They come with a synthetic lining that helps enhance comfort and also with a rubber sole that provides excellent support and traction.
- Very affordable considering their popularity.
- They pair well with all types of clothing, making them very versatile.
- They remain a bestseller after more than a half-century of production.
- Arch support could be a bit better.
Sometimes there’s no need to improve on an original, and the Adidas Stan Smith is a sneaker that remains as popular as ever.
- Excellent for casual wear
- Nice support and cushioning
- Breathable lining
Best sneakers for:
Men who prefer a casual design and feel
With a “low-key” design that’s still stylish, plus a comfortable fit and feel, the Toms Carlo Fashion shoes easily rank among the best casual sneakers for men.
Part of Toms’ Topanga Collection, the Fashion sneakers feature a canvas upper, traditional lace-up closure, and a well-cushioned insole that offers plenty of support and comfort.
There’s a lot else to like about these sneakers, from their breathable textile lining – that makes them ideal for summer wear – to faux-leather detailing on the heel and flexible construction.
They also come with an Orthlolite high-rebound cushioned insole that’s comfortable and supportive.
The men’s Carlo outsole is durable and features a herringbone tread pattern that provides a firm grip and plenty of traction. Reviewers also appreciated the shoe’s excellent arch support, while its cushioning ranked nicely in the middle between too-hard and too-soft.
They’re also stylish enough that you can wear them with a variety of clothes and not just summer wear – whether that’s with blue jeans, cuffed khakis, or paired with sweaters and scarves when the weather turns cold.
Meanwhile, they’re very lightweight and easy to bring along to your next travel destination. Plus, they won’t break your budget, thanks to their affordable price tag.
Last, but not least, there’s another good reason to buy these shoes: Toms will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need with every pair purchased by their customers.
- The canvas upper is breathable, looks good, and feels good on your feet.
- There’s excellent cushioning underneath, thanks to an Ortholite insole and support that’s not too stiff.
- The rubber sole with a herringbone tread pattern provides excellent support and traction.
- Sizing may run large
The Toms Carlo Topanga collection offers many quality shoes, and their ankle-high fashion sneaker is no exception.
- Great fit
- Iconic design
- Excellent traction
Best sneakers for:
Anyone looking for a throwback design that’s stood the test of time
Puma’s Suede Classic Plus Sneakers combine the best of both worlds, i.e., a classic old-school look with updated features and technology. The result is a shoe that’s stood the test of time while offering everything modern wearers prefer.
The design is, as mentioned, a throwback that dates to Puma’s beginnings many moons ago. It’s aged like fine wine and remains as popular, if not more, than ever.
The 100% suede upper offers plenty of comfort, as well, and many customers say that the shoe fits true to size. It has a foam-padded tongue and collar and a textured rubber midsole that delivers excellent traction on a variety of surfaces.
You can also get the Suede Classic in a variety of colors, but, no matter what color you choose, you’ll still rock that old-school look that never seems to grow old.
- The Classic remains one of Puma’s most recognizable and popular shoes.
- The lace-up vamp and padded collar and tongue provide excellent comfort.
- A cushioned midsole creates excellent support that helps prevent foot fatigue.
- Some reviewers say the sizing is a bit narrow.
You need to check out Puma’s Suede Classic if you’re a fan of throwback sneaker designs. It offers great design and all the comfort you need in a pair of cool men’s sneakers.
- Provide all-day comfort
- Great for low-impact skating and casual use
- Excellent grip and traction
Best sneakers for:
Men looking for a functional skate shoe that’s suitable for casual wear
The Etnies Jameson Vulc Skate Shoe has a minimalist design, but there’s nothing pared-down about its performance. It’s good for low-impact skating and looks great with almost any type of casual clothing.
This shoe has many cool features, including a lowered toe box that keeps its vamp closer to your foot, which helps keep you closer to the board for superior flick and feel.
Its Geo-Hex tread pattern supplies all the traction and grip you need when skateboarding – or even if you’re riding a BMX.
Comfort comes from a Foam Lite 1 insole and an egg-crate midsole construction that adds extra cushioning; your feet won’t feel fatigued or sore, even after wearing the Vulc Skate Shoe all day.
While it may take a little bit to break these shoes in fully, you’ll be surprised at how comfortable they become once they are.
- They have a soft and comfortable feel that lasts throughout the day.
- They come in a variety of colors and pair well with just about any wardrobe.
- It has a minimal design that offers all the comfort you need and is very durable.
- May wear out quickly if used for high-impact skateboarding.
The Vulc Skate Shoe is stylish, comfortable, and suitable for a variety of activities. You’ll like how it looks and feels.
- Removable orthotic insert
- Great foot support
- Lightweight and agile
Best sneakers for:
Men who love that retro look
Reebok has been around a long time, and they’ve learned a thing or two about designing sneakers. Their BB4500 Hi 2s are a case in point, with their throwback style and impressive comfort, all for a pretty damn affordable price.
Made from leather that is somehow both really light and totally durable, they feel fantastic to wear: the mesh upper is highly breathable and provides loads of support, while the removable EVA sock liner provides tons of cushioning and softens the impact.
There’s also plenty of support for your feet, with the tough rubber outsoles providing real responsiveness, which is great if you’re playing basketball.
Style-wise, they’re really a high-top with an old school mesh collar. There are a bunch of distinctive colors to choose from, so you’ll be able to match them with your personal aesthetic, too.
Of course, there are some drawbacks: some reviewers claim they fit a little narrow (though we’ve not found that) and they’re not really able to compete in terms of sporting quality.
However, at this price, these Reeboks really are worth serious consideration.
- They’re light and breathable, making them very comfortable for running
- The aesthetic is great and you have plenty of color options to choose from
- They’re very secure and great for your feet
- Some find them a little narrow
A throwback style that turns out to also have plenty of substance.
- Versatile enough to wear with many wardrobes
- Lightweight cushioning
- Classic design
Best sneakers for:
Men who want a sneaker that’s suitable for a variety of occasions
Another shoe that offers classic styling with modern features is the Nike Killshot 2 offered by J.Crew. It’s a shoe that looks and feels good and can enhance a variety of attire – whether it’s a jean and t-shirt ensemble or even for a casual business setting.
But it all starts with the design, which, if you know anything about sneakers and Nike, you’ll recognize instantly. It’s retro-inspired, no question, and if you looked at a 1970’s model Nike shoe you’d notice that nothing much has changed, which isn’t a bad thing in this case.
The Killshot 2 features updated production technology and materials to make it an exceptionally comfortable shoe. That includes a leather upper with suede overlays and a foam midsole that offers lightweight cushioning.
It also has a herringbone pattern on the outsole that helps provide superior traction.
The Killshot 2 comes in extended sizes – from 6 to 13 – which makes finding the right pair for you easier than ever.
- They’re comfortable, versatile, and will add a bit of street cred to your wardrobe.
- They come in a basic color scheme that makes them easy to pair with a variety of clothing.
- Superior comfort and traction make these sneakers suitable for all-day wear.
- Takes a bit of time to break them in.
The Nike Killshot 2 by J.Crew is comfortable, stylish, and a classy throwback design that adds a bit of attitude to any man’s wardrobe.
- Lightweight comfort
- Breathable design
- Laidback, sporty look
Best sneakers for:
Any man looking for a casual sneaker that offers plenty of comfort
The Skechers Delson-Camden is a lifestyle sneaker designed for all-day wear that looks good, feels good, and pairs nicely with a variety of clothing and styles. You can even wear these sneakers during a light workout.
What makes them so good? Plenty of features, including an air-cooled memory foam insole that’s very comfortable and lightweight mesh fabric – including a synthetic upper – that helps keep your feet cool and dry because of its excellent breathability.
The Delson-Camden also has an easy slip-on design that features bungee lacing, which makes it easy to adjust the fit to your foot’s unique shape. It also hugs the ankle snugly – but never too tight that it’s uncomfortable.
- It’s a men’s specific design that has a stylish look you’d expect from Skechers.
- The synthetic sole offers plenty of grip and is durable enough for light workouts.
- Your feet will stay cool, thanks to a breathable upper.
- Some say it’s not as durable as other sneakers.
It’s hard not to like a sneaker that offers such a laidback look and comfort as does the Skechers Delson-Camden. Many satisfied customers sing its praises.
- Breathable upper
- Unisex design
- Throwback look
Best sneakers for:
Anyone who wants to rock a vintage sneaker
Some things age like fine wine and never seem to go out of style – like the Converse Chuck Taylor line of sneakers, for instance.
The Chuck Taylor line represents a true original, and it’s a classic sneaker that’s comfortable and adaptable to ever-changing style trends. There’s nothing fancy about it, mind you, but who are we to argue when a shoe has this type of longevity?
The low-cut design features a lace-up front, a canvas upper, and a rubber sole. The upper is breathable and makes the sneaker ideal for wear during the warmer months – or at any time, for that matter – while the rubber sole delivers good traction and is durable.
While the shoe’s vulcanized sole is thick, it’s also very flexible and provides the kind of all-day comfort wearers demand.
Another thing to like about this iconic shoe is that it pairs well with a variety of clothing, whether it’s denim, gym shorts, Bermuda shorts, etc.
- Its classic design keeps on rocking and pairs well with practically anything you have in your closet.
- The canvas upper is durable and conforms well to the wearer’s feet.
- It has a traditional outsole tread design with plenty of grip and traction on any surface.
- Some reviewers say the sizing runs too narrow.
The Converse Chuck Taylor line of shoes is ageless and continues to sell in large numbers. It’s hard to go wrong with this sneaker.
- Excellent design
Best sneakers for:
Any man who needs his sneakers to serve many purposes
The Air Jordan series is a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing. There are many quality sneakers from which to choose within the Air Jordan line, including the Air Future low-top men’s sneaker.
The latter combines Air Jordan styling and a lightweight, comfortable fit in a shoe that’s suitable for everyday footwear, as well as for working out, if you so choose. In either case, you’ll love its performance and excellent cushioning.
The Air Future has a one-piece upper that’s woven to create a distinctive look that sets it apart from many other shoes in the Air Jordan series. It’s breathable, flexible, and comfortable right from the box.
The upper not only looks good, but it fits the foot nicely, i.e., it’s snug enough to keep your foot from moving around within it but not too snug that it feels constrictive. It also features an asymmetrical lace-up closure that enables you to adjust the fit with ease.
The Air Future low sneaker design features a simplistic aesthetic but offers plenty of style options. You can pair it with a pair of distressed jeans or even with chinos and a blazer for an upscale business casual look.
- It has an eye-catching design, thanks to its woven one-piece upper.
- The rubber sole provides plenty of grip, traction, and flexibility.
- It breaks in quickly, unlike some other sneakers and brands.
- Has a somewhat narrow build.
The Air Jordan Future low-top men’s sneakers feature a unique design combined with everything you’d expect from an iconic brand of shoes.
- Straightforward design pairs well with many types of clothes
- OrthoLite Float sockliner
- Fits true to size
Best sneakers for:
Adidas enthusiasts who appreciate a simplistic, classic design
Adidas has a knack for designing sneakers that don’t have a lot of frills – at least regarding their design – but still appeal to many, many wearers.
Their Originals Men’s Daily 2.0 is just that: a quality shoe made by a great company that features a straightforward-yet-appealing design.
The 2.0 features a denim upper with synthetic leather detailing and, of course, Adidas’s instantly-recognizable three-stripe design. The branding is subtle yet clearly identifies as an Adidas product.
It’s a design that works well with all types of attire, from casual to even business casual. The 2.0 design’s roots extend to the original Adidas basketball shoe of many decades ago.
The 2.0 offers plenty of comfort, as well, thanks to an OrthoLite Float sockliner and a gum-rubber sole that delivers more than enough cushioning and traction. Moreover, many reviewers confirm that it’s a lightweight shoe that’s comfortable enough for all-day wear.
It also comes with a lace closure and fits to size, which always is nice.
- You can buy the Adidas 2.0 in a variety of colors, and it pairs well with many types of clothing.
- It’s a lightweight shoe that never feels bulky, but it’s also very durable.
- The denim upper with synthetic detailing creates a subtle design that’s still striking.
- The toe box is a bit narrow.
The Adidas Originals 2.0 features a throwback design that offers everything you’d want in a modern sneaker, including excellent comfort.
- Sleek, modern design
- Excellent support
Best sneakers for:
Anyone seeking a shoe that strikes a nice balance between casual and business casual
You’ve probably heard of Crocs clogs and sandals, but that’s not all they make. They design and produce footwear of all kinds, including their men’s Santa Cruz Playa Lace-Up Sneaker.
The latter upholds Crocs’ reputation for superior comfort while featuring a design that’s neither too casual nor too dressy, offering a nice balance in between.
The Santa Cruz features Crocs’ closed-cell resin Croslite construction that’s lightweight, soft, and comfortable, as well as superior gripping, non-marking soles.
Plus, they’re odor-resistant, and you can get them in a variety of colors to match them with practically every item in your wardrobe.
They certainly rank among the most comfortable sneakers while offering all-day support that may make you forget you’re wearing them.
- Croslite construction represents an excellent innovation in footwear that helps make the Santa Cruz Playa a superior shoe.
- Canvas upper protects feet from the elements but is lightweight and comfortable.
- They feature a slip-on design that also includes laces.
- Sizing may run wide.
The Crocs Santa Cruz Playa combines comfort and style into a sneaker that looks and feels good.
- Soft leather upper
- Classic design
- Versatile enough for a variety of uses
Best sneakers for:
Men who appreciate the classic Reebok design
Reebok is another brand that’s been around a while, adding plenty of innovations and changes to their products, but still keeps things rocking with a classic design.
The Reebok Men’s Club C 85 Sneaker features the familiar Reebok original design but offers all of the technology and sophistication that helps keep it in style for the modern man.
You can wear them for sporting activities and leisure, and they’re stylish and comfortable enough to wear every day.
Comfort comes from a soft leather upper that feels great and provides excellent support and from an EVA midsole and a removable sockliner that allows wearers to accommodate orthotics. Of course, you also get Reebok’s stitched logo that adds a nice touch of detail.
Wearers get plenty of support from the Club C 85’s durable, high-abrasion outsole, while its low-cut design delivers all of the mobility and freedom of motion you need. Also, the lightweight die-cut EVA midsole absorbs shock nicely.
The Club C 85 is great for walking and spending long hours on your feet, and it works well in casual settings and with a variety of clothing types.
- The shoe’s molded sockliner provides an additional level of comfort.
- You won’t break the bank paying for them, because they’re very affordable.
- The Club C 85 represents another classic design that’s still going strong after all these years.
- Some wearers say the arch support could be firmer.
The Club C 85 offers durability and comfort with an iconic design that never seems to go out of style.
- Very breathable
- Strong shock absorption
- Very versatile
Best sneakers for:
A variety of things – they’re great for HIIT training but also just to chill in!
Under Armour is such a well-known and respected brand for sportswear and clothing that it’s often easy to overlook their footwear. But with the Charged Commit 2.0 Cross Trainer, they have proved they can produce really great, versatile sneakers too.
With a lightweight mesh upper that is wonderfully breathable and a leather mid-foot saddle that provides lots of support, these are super comfortable and allow your feet to feel totally free. Plus they are incredibly secure: the sockliner actually moulds to the shape of your foot, and the dual-external heel counter hugs your foot for increased stability.
If you are wanting to go running, the Charged Commit 2.0 Cross Trainers are also great for that: their charged cushioning midsole absorbs impact and actually converts it into a responsive burst to give you a little extra push. And the rubber outsole has perfect grip and traction, allowing you plenty of freedom and flexibility if you’re wanting to play sports.
Sizing wise, most seem to find them a great fit, although they do offer quite a bit of extra room upfront, so anyone who dislikes that may want to consider looking elsewhere.
- Incredibly comfortable and secure
- Very low-maintenance and easy to slip on and off
- They don’t only absorb shock – they actually turn it into fuel!
- They’re not as durable as some other sneakers on this list
Overall, a really strong sneaker from a really strong brand. They are great for a variety of activities, as well as just to relax in and feel comfortable. Great!
9 Tips for wearing sneakers
As we mentioned in our intro, sneakers have come a long way in the past several years. They’re no longer only suitable to wear with tracksuits and other athletic apparel – far from it. Instead, they’re an indispensable part of a man’s wardrobe.
But, like any footwear or type of clothing, there are right and wrong ways to wear sneakers, which we’ll explore here.
1. Pair them with the right pants
Your pants and sneakers should work together to enhance your style, instead of detracting from it. The wrong pair of pants with a certain sneaker style can, well, make you stand out in ways that you don’t want.
An important factor to consider is the cuff width of your pants. You don’t want a cuff that’s so wide that it covers too much of your sneaker, nor do you want a cuff that’s too narrow. Striking the right balance between cuff width and size of your sneakers is essential.
2. Be wary of wearing sneakers with business outfits
For the most part, sneakers and business suits and outfits don’t pair together very well, unless it’s the right occasion. You don’t want to wear sneakers with your suit when everyone else is in dress shoes. Again, you’ll stand out in a way you’d probably rather not.
There are occasions when wearing sneakers with a suit is acceptable, like at a very casual wedding, in which other men wear suits but no one is too hung up about it.
3. Give some thought to your socks
Some would argue that socks can make or break an outfit. The wrong socks with the wrong shoes represent a fashion faux pas that may stand out like a sunbather in the Siberian winter, so be careful.
Ankle socks look great with tennis shoes, for example, while multi-colored socks pair well with skateboarder shoes.
4. Make sure your jeans are worthy of your socks
No matter how nice your sneakers look, they won’t look their best when paired with a shoddy pair of jeans. Certain sneakers work better with certain jeans, but none work with a horrific chunk of denim.
5. Wear sneakers for the casual look
Nothing screams “out-of-touch Dad” more than one wearing a pair of old man jeans with running shoes. We’re talking about sneakers, for the most part, in this article, and not a pair of Nike’s latest running shoe or the Asics Gel series.
Great shoes, mind you, but best saved for your workout.
If you want to look sporty, then a simple non-athletic sneaker pairs well with many types of clothes.
6. Sneakers for the season
While it’s true that a man can wear sneakers any time of the year, there’s a best time to wear them.
For instance, canvas low-tops in white or bright colors work well in the summer. In the spring, canvas high tops in lighter colors look great, while leather or suede slip-ons are excellent for the autumn months.
Leather or suede lace-ups are best reserved for winter wear, meanwhile.
7. Know your wardrobe
Perhaps the simplest rule to keep in mind is that your sneakers need to mesh with your current wardrobe.
While there’s always the temptation to plop down a serious amount of cash for the latest trending sneaker, there’s no need to hop on the hype train if it doesn’t look good with your preferred style of clothing.
As mentioned, the occasion matters, too. While sneakers are versatile and, in most cases, look fantastic, don’t substitute them for a classy pair of dress shoes when the occasion (and your wardrobe) calls for the latter.
It’s always better to be a bit over-dressed than under-dressed.
8. Keep them clean
Back in the day, sneakers were what kids – and men – wore to play sports, to run around on the grass and dirt, to wear while tromping through the woods. “Dirty” was almost a badge of honor.
Ah, those were the days, but those days are gone, and walking around in a scuffed, dirt-laden pair of sneakers won’t earn you a single style point.
So, wash the laces, replace them when they’re worn, brush dust and grime off of the outsoles, and use shoe trees to help them to maintain their original shape.
9. Wear skateboard sneakers if you skateboard
OK, sounds completely obvious, but it comes down to this: don’t wear skate shoes if you’re not a skateboarder.
True, there’s no way for most people to tell if you skate or not, but don’t try to be the “cool” dad when the closest you’ve come to a skateboard is tripping over one that belongs to your son or daughter.
10 Types of sneakers you should be aware of
Not all sneakers are the same, and the type you choose depends on many factors. Moreover, it’s often a case of semantics, i.e., a sneaker of a different name may be the same as a sneaker you label differently.
Here’s a list of various sneaker types and some basic info about each:
1. Classic sports sneakers
Credit for the current sneaker revolution often extends to classic sports sneakers, such as Air Jordans. Originally marketed as athletic shoes, they soon became street-going, everyday shoes that often make an emphatic fashion statement.
2. Low-top sneakers
Also known as plimsoll sneakers, low-tops stop just below the ankle. They pair well with low-cut or no-show socks and skinny jeans and also jeans that stop just below the ankle.
3. Basic sneakers
Many men rock “basic” sneakers – such as Converse and Vans – that may come in leather but often consist of canvas and other synthetic materials. They’re usually affordable and easy to maintain.
4. High-top sneakers
Basketballers appreciate high-top sneakers for many reasons, including that they offer excellent ankle support. Like classic sports sneakers, they’re also stylish for everyday wear and pair well with tight-fitting jeans.
5. Slip-on sneakers
Slip-on sneakers have made a comeback in recent years and are ideal for easy, casual wear. Even better, they often come in interesting patterns and colors.
6. Leather sneakers
While they typically cost more than sneakers made from other materials, leather sneakers offer a classy look that’s suitable for a variety of clothing styles, including business casual.
They’re also comfortable and become softer the longer you wear them. Plus, it’s always hard to beat the look of leather.
7. Designer sneakers
Designer sneakers, made by companies that specialize in designer brands – such as Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy – are classy enough to wear with even more formal types of clothing.
They’re as comfortable as regular sneakers but with a touch of class that helps set them apart. Keep in mind that you’ll pay more for designer sneakers.
8. Blended sneakers
Some sneakers consist of a blend of materials, whether it’s a leather-textile blend, plastic-leather, and more. Choose a blend that enables your feet to breathe.
9. Knit sneakers
Knit sneakers offer plenty of benefits, including that they tend to be more breathable, lightweight, and comfortable than shoes with traditional uppers. They feel like a glove or sock around your feet and come in a variety of fiber choices.
10. Velcro sneakers
Believe it or not, Velcro sneakers have made a comeback, and not just because they offer the convenience of no laces. Many Velcro brands look good, too, although you wouldn’t want to wear them to a more formal occasion.
How we chose these sneakers for our reviews
The world of modern sneakers represents a crowded field. Many options, styles, and uses for them, abound, and choosing the best among the best requires thinning out some quality candidates.
But, in the end, we factored several things into our decision-making. Popularity counts for something, of course, but just because a shoe is popular and selling like crazy doesn’t always mean it’s a quality shoe.
Versatility also matters, because many sneakers serve a variety of functions – from everyday casual use to even gym workouts.
We also took style into account; there’s no reason for owning sneakers that don’t look good or don’t fit your individualized fashion sense. We also realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though.
Other features we examined included design, craftsmanship, and, as always, comfort. If it doesn’t feel good on your foot, why bother?
We also gauge a product’s quality according to the reviews of others, especially the reviews of customers. Finally, we take price into account while striving to provide a list of shoes that fit a variety of budgets.
Frequently asked questions
How to wash sneakers
You can wash sneakers in a variety of ways, from putting them into a washing machine to hand-washing them (with laundry detergent) or cleaning them with baking soda and a toothbrush.
How to clean white sneakers
You can put your white sneakers in the washer by placing them in a mesh laundry bag and washing them in cold water. Prep them with a mixture of baking soda and laundry detergent which you scrub into the sneaker with a toothbrush.
How to clean suede sneakers
Suede often attracts stains that make them difficult to wear for daily use. Keep them in tip-top shape by brushing off dirt and mud with a suede brush. An eraser, meanwhile, will help you to rub away dark stains.
How to stretch sneakers
There are many ways to stretch sneakers, including with water-filled bags placed inside of the shoes before sticking them in the freezer overnight. Also, you can heat them with a hairdryer for 30 seconds (with your feet inside them).
How to lace sneakers
How you lace your shoes often matters style-wise and, let’s face it, every detail counts when you’re trying to look your best. There are many, many ways to lace shoes – from criss-cross to over-under – and you’ll find many of the methods here.
What are sneakers?
The term “sneakers” most often refers to a type of shoe – particularly athletic shoes – with a rubber sole and an upper made of canvas, leather, or blend of materials. However, as we’ve discussed above, sneakers aren’t just for sports.
How to resell sneakers
How should sneakers fit?
Sneakers, like most shoes, should fit comfortably snug without having to tighten the laces excessively. Different lacing styles can help provide a better fit for shoes that are too loose or tight at the midsole.
How to dry sneakers
The best way to dry sneakers is to put an absorbent material, such as newspaper or paper towels, to the inside of your shoe. You can also use a hairdryer, but only as a last resort and never on leather sneakers.
How to wear sneakers
We discuss the right way to wear sneakers in our “Tips” section above, but, in general, sneakers work best with casual clothing, such as jeans and shorts, though they may be appropriate for some dressier occasions.
How to wear white sneakers
You can wear white sneakers with shorts, especially without socks, or with black jeans, chinos, and skinny jeans. White sneakers look great with denim, while another great look is white sneakers paired with chinos and a casual jacket.
Why are sneakers called sneakers?
Some experts say that sneakers got their name from an American advertising agent who emphasized their stealthy rubber sole. Even before that, however, references to sneakers – in particular relation to tennis shoes – weren’t uncommon.
How to clean white leather sneakers
White sneakers can attract dust and grime like a magnet, but that’s no reason to panic.
Cleaning them starts with wiping away loose debris with a dry cloth then applying liquid soap (or even small dabs of toothpaste) to the stains. Wipe off the cleaning solution and let them air dry.
How to wear sneakers with jeans
Sneakers pair well with jeans, and there are many ways in which you can enhance the sneakers-jeans look.
For instance, you may pair black jeans with black sneakers, or mix it up and wear a different color sneaker from your jeans. Athletic sneakers paired with regular or slim-fit jeans are a nice look, as well.
How to clean mesh sneakers
Use a soft shoe brush to wipe away dirt and grime on your mesh sneakers gently. Then, use a soft cloth to apply a cleaning solution of warm water and gentle laundry detergent – avoid bleaching agents – while wiping stains and embedded dirt away.
Finally, wipe off the cleaning solution and let your sneakers air dry.
How long should sneakers last?
The lifespan of sneakers depends on how you use them, how often you wear them, and how well you maintain them. They can last up to several years, depending on all of those factors.
How to customize sneakers
Customizing your sneakers is a great way to show off your personality and style. Before you start, however, sketch your design on a piece of paper for reference. You can use paint markers – found in most art stores – or you may choose spray paint.
How to stop sneakers from squeaking
There are several things you can do, depending on the source of the squeak. For instance, you can sprinkle baby powder and coconut oil under your insoles, rub dryer sheets over the bottoms of the shoes, or use super glue to reattach an outsole that’s come loose.
When were sneakers invented?
Sneaker history dates to at least the 18th century, when people wore rubber-soled shoes called plimsolls – poorer people, that is. The first mass-produced sneakers arrived on the scene a couple of hundred years later.
How to wear sneakers with skinny jeans
The best type of sneakers to wear with skinny jeans are those with thinner soles, because bulkier soles can detract from the overall look. Larger shoes make your feet appear overly big when wearing skinny jeans.
Who invented sneakers?
While no one quite knows who invented sneakers, the U.S. Rubber Company developed its popular Keds brand in the late 19th century. The mass production of Keds began in 1917.
What to wear with red sneakers
Almost everything goes with red sneakers – everything except business suits and tuxedos, that is. They pair well with blue jeans, black jeans, khakis, and even camo pants. Red sneakers with a white long-sleeve shirt and black shorts helps create a casual, stylish look.
How to wear black sneakers
An important rule for wearing black sneakers is that you shouldn’t be afraid to pair them with items of black clothing. Black sneakers paired with a black blazer and chinos creates a slick, suave look.
How to deodorize sneakers
Baking powder is your ally in fighting foot odor within your sneakers. Remove the insoles from your shoes and let them air out before evenly spreading a layer of baking soda. Baking soda works great for absorbing odors.
How to wear high-top sneakers
High-top sneakers help create a stylish casual outfit, including when worn with wide-leg, cropped pants. They also pair well with slim jeans and a textured jacket, or you can wear them with a pair of dress pants and a blazer for a more professional look.
What are the most comfortable sneakers?
All of the sneakers listed in our reviews above provide excellent comfort, with some feeling “broken in” right from the box. The Nike Killshot 2 is a very comfortable sneaker, for starters.
How to break in sneakers
There are many methods for breaking in sneakers, including bending the shoe with one hand on the heel and the other on toe, you can use a stretch spray, or walk around in your home with them on while wearing thick athletic socks.
What are the best sneakers for plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis sufferers have to be especially careful in choosing shoes that won’t aggravate their painful foot condition. Under Armour is one brand that offers consistent arch support, including the Men’s Charged Commit 2.0 Cross Trainer, which we reviewed above.
Why are some sneakers so expensive?
There are many reasons for the high price of sneakers, including the incredible demand for them, but the price also is influenced by status, celebrity collaboration, and savvy, ever-evolving designs.
How to waterproof sneakers
A quality waterproofing spray, such as the Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent, will protect your sneakers from water and stains. Kiwi’s spray is versatile enough for many other uses, as well. Make sure to clean your shoes first before applying the spray.
How to dress up sneakers
We talk about how to wear sneakers in a section above, but some basic tips to include buying sneakers that fit your wardrobe, wearing them to the right occasion, and always keeping them clean.
A lot has been said and written about the popularity of sneakers, i.e., they mirror social change, they reflect a more casual lifestyle, and so on.
The bottom line is that they represent a part of modern culture, and any man who wants to keep his fashion sense current needs to have a great pair of sneakers in his wardrobe.
We’d love to hear from you. What sneakers do you wear? What do you like best about them? As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.