15 Types of Sneakers For Men: Best Styles and Brands For 2023

Style

From designer high-tops and suede lace-ups to running shoes and everyday beaters, there are many types of sneakers out there. And guess what? The already-enormous sneaker sphere is only getting bigger. Which leaves us with a bit of a dilemma. Where the hell do you start?

To help you wade your way through the sea of seriously cool styles, I’ve pulled together a list of every sneaker worth your consideration. Whether you’re pounding the pavement, hanging with friends, or working in the office, there’s something here for everyone.

My goal is to make your sneaker-shopping experience as easy as possible. So keep reading for the lowdown on the best types of sneakers for men.

Key Takeaways

Style, comfort, and function. Sneakers have it all. Which is why every guy owns a pair (or ten). But with so many options readily available, how do you separate the good different types of sneakers from the bad? This is where I come in.

I’m going to be taking you through the many different types of sneakers on the market and highlighting particular pairs that deserve a special mention. From Axel Arigato’s Area Hi to Converse’s Chuck 70s, you’ll find a wide range of recommendations for every imaginable event (and budget).

matching a varsity jacket with a pair of Dice Lo sneakers
runitreggy / instagram

Axel Arigato Area Hi

While it’s not entirely possible (to my knowledge) to trace high-tops back to the very first pair, it’s believed that they started to gain traction in 1917 when Converse released the Chuck Taylor All Star. Today, they’re an essential part of any successful sneaker collection—offering ultimate versatility and the kind of all-round awesomeness that’s only found on kicks that graze the ankle.

If you’re after a pair that will take you from lunches to late-night drinks, Axel Arigato’s Area Hi sneakers are a great place to start. Looking a little like something Marty McFly would rock with his jeans and gilet, they look just as good with cargos and an oversized hoodie.

Uniform Standard Series 2 Almond Suede

Laces? Who’s got time for them anymore? In an age where there’s a million and one things to remember, it can be a nice treat to slip on your kicks and go. Easy to style and forever stylish, slip-on sneakers can be worn whenever (and with whatever) you want. Not only great for summer, these types of sneakers look equally cool in the colder months too.

For clean lines and the perfect dose of minimalism, I always turn to Uniform Standard. The label’s Series 2 sneakers are handcrafted from soft Italian suede and finish off your everyday looks with a laidback edge that wouldn’t look out of place on the French Riviera.

Loci Nine

There’s no denying it, everything we do can have an impact on the environment. From the food we buy to the clothes on our backs, it all has the potential to damage the world we call home. Which is why synthetic sneakers can be a fantastic eco-friendly addition to our collection.

One of the leaders in sustainable footwear is Løci. The forward-thinking label utilizes recycled ocean plastics to craft a collection of super impressive sneakers, including the Loci Nine. The lightweight, water-resistant black sneaker, will be your go-to for all of your smart-casual outings—from date nights to weekend brunches.

Crown Northampton Harlestone Derby

It’s not that formalwear is out of fashion. Hell no. The lines between casual and dressy are now just blurrier than ever. And because of this, it’s totally acceptable to wear sneakers with your fancy get-up. But before you go reaching for any pair, you need to understand they need to be smart.

If you’re unsure what this looks like, take a peek at Crown Northampton’s Harlestone Derby—which are so smart, they could also pass for a shoe. Handmade from the finest leather, they’ll work with tailoring as well as your everyday jeans and shorts.

Valesca Spelafil

If you’ve not already noticed, the athleisure trend is huge. What was once kept for the gym has now become an everyday clothing choice for men of all occupations and sporting preferences. And it’s the same for sneakers—making them an essential addition to any wardrobe, whether you’re a gym goer or couch sitter.

Perfectly combining form and function, athletic kicks will not only keep your feet protected but also help you be your very best (sporting and sartorially speaking). Better yet, they can handle all kinds of weather and look just as good with jeans as they do sweatpants. My favorite pair comes from Velasca. Made from nubuck leather with a Vibram rubber outsole, they’ll accompany you on weekend runs, lunches, and everything in between.

Nike Tanjun

Thanks to the lightweight, breathable uppers, textile sneakers make the perfect gym shoe. Whether you’re hitting the treadmill or pumping iron, they’re a fine option for keeping your feet happy.

And would it surprise you if I said that Nike offers some of the best? The Tanjun brings you a simple yet stylish design that can take you from working out to walks in the park. It would make sense if you teamed them with sportswear, but they won’t look out of place with jeans and a crew neck tee.

Adidas Gazelle

Fashions are constantly changing, with new sneakers hitting the market on a daily basis. But while some kicks are a flash in the pan, retro styles (that your dad will probably claim he made cool) never go away. Which is why it makes total sense to invest in a pair.

The Adidas Gazelle was first launched onto the scene in 1968 and is just as popular now as it was back then—worn by everyone from Brad Pitt to Kate Moss and Liam Gallagher. It probably feels most at home with skinny jeans and a polo shirt but will lend a dash of timeless style to just about any outfit.

Vans Sk8 Hi

You don’t need to know how to land a kick-flip to wear skate sneakers. Nor do you have to know how to wear skate clothes like the memorable Thrasher hoodie. In fact, they’ve now become the perfect everyday option for any guy (regardless of how he gets from A to B). And while I was trying not to be overly predictable, there’s no way I couldn’t recommend Vans.

The iconic Sk8 Hi offers the perfect amount of ankle support (which is crucial for skaters), plus bundles of style for the mere mortal. It’ll work perfectly with cargo shorts and a graphic tee, but you can also wear it with jeans and an Oxford shirt.

VEJA Campo Suede Trimmed

When it comes to the different types of men’s sneakers, there’s one particular style that never fails to rise to the occasion. Tough, reliable, and easy to clean, leather kicks can be dressed up or down, and should only get more comfortable with age.

As you’d expect, the designs out there are plentiful, but there’s one brand that continues to pump out some of the finest footwear on the market. Who am I talking about? Veja. The Parisian brand has become a major player in the sneaker game, producing a range of sustainable styles that have been worn by the likes of Meghan Markle and Eddie Redmayne. They’ll be your go-to for casual days in the office, as well as weekends in the city.

Converse Chuck 70

As far as summer sneakers go, the casual canvas style is about as good as it gets. From backyard barbecues to festivals and beach parties, the warm-weather staple is suitable for just about any event on your social calendar.

But which pair should you be investing in? Breathable, versatile, and effortlessly cool, Converse’s Chuck 70s are a no-brainer. Not only will they outlive any other sneaker in your wardrobe, but you can wear them with just about anything. From sweatpants and a long-sleeve tee to slacks and a fine knit sweater.

Acne Studios Suede Nubuck Leather

For those serious about their sneakers, a designer pair is a must. But seeing as they cost considerably more than your average lace-up, it’s important to put a little more thought into what you’re buying. Take into account how often you’ll be able to wear them, and what you have in your wardrobe that you can team them with.

Acne Studios’ basketball-inspired kicks will maximize your styling options. They’ll feel right at home with cuffed sweats and a graphic tee but will look just as good with dad jeans and your favorite flannel shirt. The suede and leather construction (and reinforced toggle fastenings) will ensure they’re still on hand for years to come.

New Balance 993 Core

It’s kinda funny, isn’t it? We spent our younger years mocking dad for his old-fashioned style, only to end up wearing the kind of sneakers he would insist were the bees knees. I guess the old man was right after all.

As comfortable as they are stylish, dad sneakers are officially cool, with New Balance proudly leading the renaissance. The Made in US 993 is top of the pile, featuring responsive cushioning and a chunky silhouette that looks best with loose-fitting denim and long-sleeved tees.

Balenciaga Speed Sock

What was once ridiculed for resembling the kind of thing you’d wear scuba diving has quickly turned into one of the types of men’s sneakers that every footwear fanatic wants to own. With its stretch-knit fabric and insanely comfortable uppers, the fashion-forward kicks are quite literally as cozy as a pair of socks.

Balenciaga’s sock sneakers are probably the pair that pop into your head first (and for good reason). They were one of the first styles to hit the scene back in 2016 and have since found their way onto the feet of every man and his dog. They’re a fairly versatile option but generally look best with your finest streetwear and smart-casual essentials.

All Saints Mem Low

One minute I was wearing them to school, the next I’m rocking a pair in my 30s. Fashion’s a funny old game, eh? Plimsoll sneakers are ideal for those smart-casual occasions when you’re looking to give your outfit a touch of old-school charm. They’re available in slip-on and lace-up styles, as well as more complex designs like the espadrille-plimsoll hybrid.

AllSaints has a pretty cool pair, inspired by styles worn by the military—but there’s no doubt they’ll be a hit as you watch your favorite band. They’re a match made in heaven for khakis and a Breton striped tee, whether you’re getting your groove on or sipping cocktails at a poolside bar.

Veja Recife

Free of laces with an ever so satisfying crunch, velcro sneakers offer no-nonsense style, and comfort for guys wanting to channel their childhood. They also come in pretty handy if you’re fed up with trying to achieve the perfectly-tied bow.

Sleek, hassle-free, and like walking on clouds, Veja’s pair draws inspiration from tennis but look best in the city with khakis and a crew neck tee. Lined with breathable organic cotton, they’re also an excellent option for the summer months—whether you’re dressing for a backyard party or tropical vacation.

man in casual clothing with white sneakers
the.undercut / instagram

Final Verdict

Whether you’re a certified sneakerhead or simply have a fondness for footwear, it’s a pretty damn good time to be alive. With endless types of sneakers for men ready for your feet, you really are spoilt for choice. But when all is said and done, no one does it quite like Axel Arigato and the label’s leather high-tops.

Not just a pretty face, they’re tough, comfortable, and super easy to style. Whether you wear them to backyard parties or city breaks, you can pair them with everything from khakis to cargos and jeans.

FAQ

    • This one’s down for debate, but athletic or sportswear sneakers and casual sneakers tend to top the charts. A versatile addition to any collection, you can’t beat a fresh white pair of kicks.

      • While they’ll offer ample comfort and durability, fashion sneakers are designed more for style than function. They’re the kind you’d want to wear with your weekend fits, but not while running or at the gym.

        • While sneaker trends can change like the wind, some styles will always remain classics. These types of sneakers are the ones we turn to time and time again. The best-selling kicks of all time are Nike’s coveted Air Jordans and Converse’s Chuck Taylor.

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