When seeking out the best sneakers for men, it’s important to define what you mean by “the best.”
Sneakers are more than just shoes you wear when being active. These shoes are a staple of fashion as much as any other article of clothing. When it comes to sneakers there is an abundance of riches to choose from. In fact, you can choose from any number of styles and brands made specifically for one activity or another. Even if you simply want an all-around shoe for everything from playing an impromptu basketball game to going for a nightly jog, there are specific designs for that. So, when we talk about the best sneakers for men, we’re talking exclusively about style.
What Are Luxury Sneakers?
Imagine you recently commissioned a master woodworker to build you a custom luxury table. When the piece finally arrives it’s gorgeous, polished to a brilliant shine. Would you then use that table as a workbench in your garage? Probably not.
Sure, sneakers began as shoes used for playing sports and exercising. But just like our hypothetical table is both art and a piece of furniture, so are certain styles of high fashion sneakers. Fashion is wearable art, and it would be almost as inappropriate to play football in these shoes as it would be an evening gown.
The thing is, sneakers are really comfortable. If you can get away with it, why wear anything else? Even the best sneakers for men may not be able to pass by unnoticed in the boardroom, but they can in almost any other situation.
Where Can You Wear Luxury Sneakers?
For the most part, dress codes are mere societal suggestions rather than hard and fast rules. So, you may not be able to wear them at work or in some restaurants, but you’re clear to give it a shot anywhere else. On this list of the best sneakers for men, one of pair looks almost indistinguishable from a pair of regular wing tips.
Yes, they are sneakers, but these shoes are made of high quality materials that rival dress shoes. They’re both mostly made from leather and rubber, they just happen to look completely different. So, wear these luxury sneakers in places where you want to break with tradition while still remaining stylish.
What Makes These the Best Sneakers for Men?
When you’re choosing sneakers for functional reasons, what they look like is often secondary to how well they work. You could give a guy the prettiest running shoes on the planet, but if his feet hurt before the end of the first mile, he’s throwing them away. When it comes to luxury sneakers, comfort still plays a role, but style is just as important.
The best sneakers for men are those who are able to combine the two in a way that excites the wearer. Certain brands and styles work for some looks, and some would look disastrous unless paired with specific items. The trick is to figure out how your personal style blends with the sneaker options listed below.
The 16 Best Sneakers for Men of Leisure and Luxury
So, we’ve discussed why this list of the best sneakers for men has little to do with function, fitness, or anything like that. These sneakers are comfortable and look great. They should be considered as much an item of high fashion as your favorite pair of dress shoes or Chelsea boots. Whether you want to wear them to work out, to chill out, or to show off, these are the sneakers for you. They are listed in no particular order.
1. Ted Baker Men’s Shindl Sneaker
Ted Baker of London may be best known for being a luxury clothing line for well-to-do Brits, but they also make one of the best sneakers for men. The Shindl sneaker is a modern twist on a classic shoe design. It’s technically a running shoe, but its design has been out of style for serious runners for nearly four decades. Of course, given the soft suede material of the shoe, you wouldn’t want to risk scuffing them anyway. They come in a number of colors, but the smoothest and slickest one is the tri-tone blue pair pictured above. This is a sneaker that blends comfort and style, with enough of the latter to get away with wearing them in places where sneakers are usually frowned upon.
2. Maison Margiela Cracked Metallic Bronze Low Top
Founded in 1988, Maison Margiela is a fashion house that has been around long enough to have a legacy. This means that they may take fewer chances than a younger brand, especially since they are already known for making some of the best sneakers for men. So, even though they brought in John Galliano, he either doesn’t dare or doesn’t care to change the legacy sneaker designs. Still, they find other ways to update their look to make the sort of statement fashionable sneaker types like to make. Leather on the outside, calf skin on the inside, the sneaker shines with a cracked metallic finish. These sneakers make a bold statement with any appear from a casual blazer and jeans look to athletic wear.
3. Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneaker
As sneaker fashion exploded into its current cultural niche of crazy designs and limited runs, one fashion brand in New York decided to go in the opposite direction. Common Projects makes the Achilles sneaker is the antithesis of sneaker fashion on the cutting edge. Plain colors, minimalist design, and a simple, clean look that will look stylish on everyone from kids to grandparents. They look good with almost everything, even a tuxedo if you’re the “wear sneakers with a tuxedo type.” The Achilles isn’t just one of the best sneakers for men (or women), but it’s on its way to becoming as timeless a classic as Chuck Taylors.
4. Frye Chambers Low-Top
Frye is a company whose origins date back to the heart of the Civil War and are best known for cowboy boots. However, the company now makes footwear of all kinds from dress shoes to biker boots to sneakers. The design looks and feels familiar, though the rawhide laces give it that rustic, original touch. The oil stain accented leather and rubber soles of the Chambers make for a comfortable leisure shoe, though one that doesn’t offer much in the way of support. They come in a number of dark colors, though the richest is the red version of the show in the above photo.
5. Adidas Y-3 Ayero
As mentioned above, when we talk about the best sneakers for men, we are strictly talking about style. However, fashion powerhouse and master tailor Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas teamed up for his Y-3 line. Thus, these are a pair of luxury sneakers that can handle the rigors of running, exercising, or playing sports. However, it would be shame to bang up these sneakers with too much tough stuff. The angular sole design, chunky and with imposing lines, makes this shoe more like a work of art than a cross trainer. There are different color options, but the Black, Core Black, White combination is the most stunning combo.
6. Zanzara Men’s Buttero Sneaker
The Tuscan leather shop Buttero is known for it’s fine quality materials more so than their skill with design. Their sneakers are as simple as you can get, while carrying a steep luxury price tag. In a straight competition the Buttero sneaker will lose to the Fyre low-top listed above. However, if you like Tuscan leather and a little flair for the fancy, consider the Zanzara Buttero-style sneaker. In fact, this would be a dress shoe were it not for the white rubber sole. Still, if you want the comfort of a sneaker with some high class style, this is the shoe for you.
7. Gucci GG Guccissima High Tops
Gucci is one of the biggest brands in fashion, so it should be no surprise that they make one of the best sneakers for men. This shoe strikes a balance between the mostly minimalist style we’ve seen so far and the trendier looks in shoe fashion. With a style that evokes comparisons to Air Force Ones by Nike, these are made with leather and Guccissima light nylon. Of course, the fabric is emblazoned with the classic double “G” design. The leather backstrap also has the designer’s name stitched on it for all to see. They come in single colors, but go with blue or red to make the boldest statement.
8. Lanvin Black Leather Mid Top
Lanvin is yet another fashion brand with more than a century of experience to appear on this list of the best sneakers for men. While they are currently recovering from Alber Elbaz’s sudden departure, Lucas Ossendrijver maintains his place at the head of the menswear collection, including their shoes. While Lanvin is mostly known for its cap toe sneaker, there are others on this list who do that style better. However, their black leather mid top shoe is a great luxury sneaker choice. It features the high quality design of other Lanvin shoes, with a plain but sharp take on the mid top. These shoes aren’t going to scream for attention, but will round out your leisure ensemble nicely.
9. Maison Margiela Future Low Sneaker
Maison Margiela is the one of three brands to make two appearances on our best sneakers for men list, but the Future Low Top is a special case. It is a unique design that’s been seen on the feet of celebrities like Kanye West and others. The key feature of this design are the concealed laces, covered by two flaps that fold over. The leather versions of this design can pair with dressier clothes, but the fabric versions of the shoe are the real winners. They look like a comfortable slipper, meant mostly for relaxation and leisure. The feature Maison Margiela’s signature white stitch at the heel and an embossed suede tongue patch. These sneakers are slick and make a statement.
10. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Multicolor Suede High Top
Golden Goose is the passion project of Francesca and Alessandro Gallo, a husband and wife team who love art and sneakers. Founded in 2000, GGDB has made a name for itself, though not one without controversy. They get a lot of criticism for how the shoes are purchased looking like a scuffed and well worn pair of trusty sneaks. Of course, the concept of pre-distressed fabric in clothes, such as denim, is both tried and true in the world of fashion. So, it only makes sense that at least one high end brand plays to that crowd. While most of the design on many of their shoes is the distressing, the Multicolor Suede High Top stands out. It looks like a pair of your father’s shoes lost under the bed in the 1970s and only recently fished out. This keen retro style will work well with modern looks or even better if you fully embrace the retro 1970s look. These shoes also come with a zipper on the side.
11. Grenson 1 Handpainted Low Top
Grenson is not the oldest company on this list of the best sneakers for men, but for a company founded in 1866 the above photo is their first sneaker. Best known for luxury boots, the Grenson company supplied boots for British soldiers in both World Wars. They faced some trouble in the years since, but ten years ago they opened their first boutique store. Today, Grenson is going stronger than ever and they’ve even decided to try their hands at sneakers. Known simply as the Grenson 1, this show looks like something Tom Buchannan and Jay Gatsby might have worn on their tennis courts in between drinking and wanting the same woman. Made from handpainted calf leather, this is a valiant first effort by a legacy brand.
12. Givenchy Military Grade Canvas Star High Top
When it comes to the Givenchy Military Grade Canvas Star High Top it’s less one of the best sneakers for men than it is a comfy pair of combat boots. The olive drab canvas boot is supportive and breathable, making this a shoe you can use for long walks or when you are going to be on your feet all day. It features a unique lace up heel counter and the signature Givenchy star on the side. The sole is a tougher quality rubber than you might expect, but it doesn’t sacrifice comfort. This heavy duty footwear can bring out the rock and roll in anyone.
13. Filling Pieces Steel Low Top
Filling Pieces is a luxury shoe brand known for making some of the best sneakers for men. Designer Guillaume Philibert founded the brand in Amsterdam in 2009 after he was unsatisfied with the quality of luxury sneakers available. He also wanted to design fashionable kicks for people in all price ranges. So, even though they market to the masses via partnerships like with Barney’s New York, they still make a high quality luxury shoe. The Steel Low Top is one such shoe, with a design that is both classic and fresh at the same time. This shoe looks good with almost anything, and it will keep you comfortable all day or all night.
14. Lanvin Graffiti Sole Derby Sneaker
Lanvin’s second appearance on our best sneakers for men list is a shoe more in line with it’s iconic cap toe design. However, the Graffiti Sole Derby Sneaker eschews the cap, but keeps the minimalist style. What makes this shoe pop, however, is the black graffiti designs lining the sole and up the back of the heel. The designs catch the eye without looking sloppy or distracting. This is a smart way to blend the idea of the “dressy” sneaker with a more relaxed, cool fashion sense.
15. Adidas by RAF Simons Ozweego III
Adidas’s second appearance on this list is for its partnership with another iconic designer, RAF Simons, and their shoe the Ozweego III. While Simons is currently working as the chief creative officer for Calvin Klein, the Ozweego shoe line is going strong. Again, this is a shoe that could be used for working out, running, or playing sports. This is because Simons gave this show a thick, chunky sole that creates a unique look while providing lots of cushion. The rest of the shoe is a two-layer leather and canvas design with clear “windows” on the side of the shoe. They come in bright colors like red and blue, but the Optic White, Khaki, and Core Black design shown above is the default look for them.
16. Saint Laurent Punched Accent High Tops
The final entry on our list of the best sneakers for men comes from Yves Saint Laurent. Their punched accent high tops have both a classic profile while also maintaining a futuristic appeal. The metallic silver accents on the toe, one side of the shoe, and along the back of the heel make this style shine, both literally and figuratively. The interior of the shoe is cushioned, and the tongue and sole are embossed with Saint Laurent name. A beautiful pair of sneakers to round out our list.
Remember, the best sneakers for men are those that make you feel good.
Fashion is an expression just like painting or drama. Each day, we paint a picture over ourselves and step out into the world. The right pair of luxury sneakers can make you feel comfortable and confident. The shoes you choose to wear can make a big statement, and these luxury sneakers can help you say a lot. A good pair of shoes is more than just an article of clothing. Treat them well, and these shoes could be a part of your fashion expression forever.
What do you think of our list of the best sneakers for men? Do you agree with our choices? Let us know if we left any off in the comments below. Feel free to rank these styles from best to worst when you share the article on social media, to see if your friends agree!
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