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These are the sneakers you should have in your wardrobe

Ensure you stay in style with the best sneakers on this list

Man wearing Nike sneakers with other shoes nearby
Samuel Lopes / Unsplash

Sneakers are some of the most iconic kinds of men’s shoes. From PF Flyers and Converse to Air Jordans and Vans, the right pair of sneakers can become more than the perfect completion of an outfit; they can become a personality. The versatility of sneakers is one of their biggest perks. They can be bright colors and make any outfit stand out, expressing your personality. Or they can be hybrids with dress shoes to make wearing a suit more comfortable. Needless to say, there are a handful of sneakers for men you should have in your closet

With the literal hundreds of options you have as a man loving a good pair of kicks, it can easily get overwhelming when trying to find the best men’s sneakers.

Converse hanging
Thuan Pham / Unsplash

How did we end up loving sneakers?

Technically, the first sneakers were way back in the 1700s when people wore the first rubber-soled shoes called plimsolls. They were crude and didn’t even differentiate between the left foot and the right, but they started our love affair for rubber soles and sneakers. In the early 1890s, the world was blessed with Keds, and the world was never the same.

Of course, that isn’t why they became popular. They gained most of their popularity due to the adoption of sneakers in sports, and most iconically, on the basketball court. Sure, there have been plenty of athletes who have had their own shoes named after them, but none as famous or as legendary as His Airness, himself, Michael Jordan. We idolize athletes as the modern-day gladiators, so it isn’t hard to understand why we would start to love what they do battle in.

adidas sneakers
Daniel Storek / Unsplash

Athletic sneakers vs. style sneakers

Sneakers are some of the most versatile shoes you will have in your wardrobe. You can wear them to hit the gym and stay in shape, or if done right, you can even wear them with a suit. The trick with this versatility is to choose the right sneakers for your life. Wearing them with intention is the difference between your “Dad New Balance” and stylish comfort.

When it comes to fitness or function, there is more focus on the soles. They will have more support for your feet and more solid construction to allow you to exercise without injury. Style sneakers are going to have lighter soles with less support but will come in a much wider variety of styles to pair with as many outfits as you can think of.

Air Jordan 1 Mid
Nike

Air Jordan 1 Mid

Speaking of His Royal Airness, Michael Jordan and Nike revolutionized the shoe industry when they came out with the Air Jordans. While it may have been a risk to put so much on the back of an unproven player, I think it worked out fairly well for both parties, as they created what is, still today, the most iconic sneaker line in history. Your sneaker collection isn’t complete without a pair of the shoes that made Jordan fly.

PF Flyers Center Hi
PF Flyers

PF Flyers Center Hi

We know you’ve seen *The Sandlot* … we all have. And we remember when Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez outran The Beast in his wicked cool PF Flyers. Now you can own your own pair of these classic pieces of Americana. And not only will you be able to outrun The Beast in your own life, but you’ll get a ton of compliments while you do it.

Vans Old Skool in black
Vans

Vans Old Skool

You can’t go wrong with a classic, particularly Vans’ versatile skate shoes that pair perfectly with almost any outfit. These are the ultimate in casual wear that can pair wonderfully with jeans or chinos, and are comfortable enough to wear all day.

Cariuma Catiba Pro men's skate shoes
Cariuma

Cariuma Catiba Pro

Cariuma makes a variety of highly sustainable, durable, and cool-as-can-be sneakers, including this skate-inspired pair. Wear them with slim black jeans for a complete look that will make you the focus of any group.

KOIO Capri sneakers in white leather
KOIO

KOIO Capri Sneakers in White Leather

KOIO specializes in luxury footwear at prices that won’t break the bank, at least compared to luxury brands like Common Projects. Think of them as the perfect brand to shop for if you want relatively affordable, premium leather sneakers. These will fulfill that need for a clean pair of white sneakers just as well as all the luxury brands at twice the price.

New Republic Kurt Leather Sneakers
New Republic

New Republic Kurt Leather Sneakers

There is a reason the Menlo Club chose New Republic as its shoe brand, because there is no comparison to the quality. Clean and classic is the name of the game with these super crisp, super sharp, and super affordable white leather sneakers. Dress ’em up or dress ’em down as you please.

Beckett Siminon Geller Trainers
Becket Simonon

Beckett Siminon Geller Trainers

Beckett Simonon’s luxury leather sneakers combine style, comfort, durability, and sustainability to give you a product that will have you ready for any event on your calendar without thought. With the perfect blend of elegance and comfort, these shoes are sure to become a reliable staple for every season. Each shoe is handmade in Colombia by artisans that take more than 150 steps to complete, giving you the highest quality in your closet.

Rothy's RS01 Sneakers
Rothy's

Rothy’s RS01 Sneakers

Rothy’s has been a celebrity favorite for years, and its men’s shoes are about as popular as its much-loved women’s line. These lightweight white sneakers are stylish, supremely comfortable, and highly versatile.

Adidas Superstar shoes
Adidas

Adidas Superstar Shoes

Pay homage to hip-hop’s early days with these sneakers that helped shape the genre of music beloved by many and helped form sneaker culture as we know it. These sneakers are famous for coming in nearly every color to help you make a statement.

Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneakers
Axel Arigato

Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneakers

Minimal design with a vintage twist makes these sneakers the perfect on-trend shoes of the season. You don’t have to overthink the sneaker game. Sometimes they are the statement, and sometimes, they are the base for a great look.

Sneakers are one of the bedrocks of the American shoe industry. There are hundreds of styles, patterns, brands, and looks to combine to give you an unlimited amount of looks you can throw on to either punch up an outfit or become the centerpiece of an ensemble. Whether you are a sneakerhead with a room for your shoes or just a guy looking to find a great casual look to complement your tailored wardrobe, there is a shoe on this list for you.

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Mark McKee
Contributor
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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