15 Best Leather Sneakers for Men to Upgrade in 2023

Style

Check you out, Mr. fashion killa. You’re on the hunt for some stylish new kicks, and you’ve decided on a pair of the best leather sneakers for men. Bravo.

When it comes to casual footwear, you’ll struggle to find anything better. And if you were in any doubt about their importance to a guy’s wardrobe, a quick glance to the ground will show you just how essential they are. From bankers to media execs, everyone’s pounding the pavement in their favorite men’s leather sneakers.

But with so many new styles on the market, finding the ones worth your time (and money) can take a little longer than you may have hoped. Thankfully, my guide will take you straight to the good stuff—introducing you to the must-have styles available for every budget.

Without further ado, keep reading for a detailed round-up of the flyest footwear you need on your shoe rack this year.

Key Takeaways

Whether you’re hanging with friends, weekend brunching, or off to date night, a fresh pair of men’s leather sneakers are the perfect complement for any ensemble. Their importance is unrivaled, which is why I’ve done my homework to find the cream of the crop.

From Axel Arigato’s Clean 90s to Reebok’s affordable Club C, these stylish sneaks will help you put your best foot forward this year and beyond. You’ll also find answers to important sneaker-related questions, plus tips on how to choose the perfect pair.

Our Top Picks

90s Inspired White Leather Sneakers
View More Styles on Axel Arigato

Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneakers

What’s not to love about white sneakers? Clean, fuss-free, and ridiculously versatile, they’re the perfect shoe for any look—be it a navy suit, all-black fit, or a simple jeans and tee combination. They have the knack of bringing everything together and very rarely look out of place. Which is why this pair from Axel Arigato is my overall top pick.

Handmade from smooth leather with a slightly chunky rubber cup-sole, they’ll take you from work lunches to everyday outings and summer vacations. Not just a pretty face, they come with a cushioned footbed and arch support to make them just as comfortable as they are stylish.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 7-14.5 | Colors: 10+

Reebok Club C Sneakers

Kitting yourself out with the latest creps isn’t cheap. Even the biggest bank accounts can find it difficult to keep up with the never-ending sneaker drops. Thankfully, some of the most timeless styles can be picked up without leaving you bankrupt. Better yet, they’re also some of the most wearable.

Case in point is the Club C sneakers from Reebok. Yours for a little over $70, they can be worn with everything from sweatpants to khakis and jeans. Complete with the label’s iconic logo and a rubber outsole, they’ll give your outfit a classic look that feels mature yet bang on trend.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 4-15 | Colors: 10+

Clae Bradley Essentials

I may have mentioned it already, but when it comes to versatility, white sneakers are the most adaptable footwear in the game. They literally pair well with every outfit you can think of, looking just as good with tailoring as they do with sportswear. What’s not to love?

Clae take on this staple is handcrafted in Italy from naturally tanned leather. They’re super simple but will add a touch of effortless luxury to any outfit. Inside, you’ll find medium arch support and an antibacterial removable insole, so you don’t have to worry about sore or whiffy feet.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 4-14 | Colors: White

Oliver Cabell GAT Sneakers

You may think you have a great footwear collection, but if you don’t own a pair of black sneakers, I’m afraid to say you’re selling yourself short. Offering ultimate versatility for semi-formal or casual occasions, they’ll be your go-to, whatever the weather.

Inspired by heritage sports styles, this pair from Oliver Cabell is made from calfskin leather with suede accents. The contrast rubber soles give a subtle pop of color that looks particularly great with dark denim and a button-down shirt.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 5-13 | Colors: 4

Crown Northampton Harlestone Derby Sneakers

There’s no debating the importance of brown shoes, but what do you turn to when you want to take the formality down a notch? Brown sneakers are your saving grace—offering just enough smartness without feeling too dressy.

Crown Northampton’s Harlestone sneakers have hit the nail on the head. The perfect smart-casual staple, they’re handmade in England from leather with the classic silhouette of a Derby and the comfort of your everyday beaters. Pair them with slacks and fine knitwear for the office, or go for jeans and a plain white tee at the weekend.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 4-15 | Colors: 10+

Axel Arigato Area Hi Sneakers

There’s something about high-top sneakers that allow your outfits to (excuse the pun) reach new heights. And the good thing is, you don’t have to be an NBA All-star to wear them. As durable as they are versatile, they’ll feel at home with just about any ensemble.

Axel Arigato’s Area Hi is certainly one of the best leather sneakers for men. It’s been handmade from a leather and recycled polyester combination, cleverly making use of recycled PET bottles. The rubber soles are as comfortable as they are tough, and discreet branding shows sneakerheads exactly where your loyalties lie.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 7-13 | Colors: 6

Neutrale Saye ’89 Vegan Sneakers

It’s no secret that the fashion industry plays its part in harming the environment, but thankfully a growing number of brands are now producing eco-friendly footwear. And just like your favorite vegan dish, you really can’t tell the difference.

Neutrale’s Saye ’89 is made with bio-based vegan napa, with a recycled insole and organic cotton laces. Better yet, they’ll arrive at your door in biodegradable packaging. You can team them with all of your weekend essentials—from jeans and flannel shirts to shorts and graphic tees.

Material: Vegan Napa | Sizes: 7-13 | Colors: 6

Crown Northampton Abington Toe Cap Sneakers

You know what they say about men with wide feet, right? They need wide shoes. Honestly, it’s really important. Pick the wrong pair, and you’ll be on the sore end of blisters, sweaty soles, and possibly even long-term damage to your tootsies.

If you fall into the wider-than-average foot category, you can’t go far wrong with Crown Northampton. Add any pair of their men’s leather sneakers to your basket (my favorite is the Abington), and simply add ‘G fitting’ into the checkout notes box before you pay. This will then be passed onto the guys at the factory, who will specially make your shoes to fit. Once they’re delivered, you pop them on with your go-to jeans and plain crew neck tee.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 5-14 | Colors: 3

Myrqvist Oaxen Sneakers

Casual kicks are becoming an increasingly popular choice for the office; you can wear them with slacks and a shirt or khakis and a fine knit jumper. But before you get ahead of yourself, remember not every pair is appropriate.

To avoid a stern telling-off from your boss, you need to choose some dress sneakers that don’t actually look much like sneakers. Confused? Let Myrqvist help. The Oaxen is a dressed-up version that, without your glasses, could definitely pass for some lace-up Oxfords. They’re handcrafted in Portugal from full-grain leather, with a thick rubber sole and leather board heel caps.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 6.5-12.5 | Colors: 2

Uniform Standard Series 1 Sneakers

Everyone needs a pair of minimalist sneakers. Boasting understated design, clean silhouettes, and subtle details (if any), they’re one of the most versatile treads a guy can own. Pick your dream pair, and they’ll go with everything from casual tailoring to sportswear and off-duty staples.

My recommendation comes from Uniform Standard. The label’s Series 1 sneakers are about as minimal as you can get. Crafted from fresh white leather, they’re built on custom recycled rubber cup soles, with only a small heel patch in a different color. I think they look best with a bomber jacket, tee, and slim-fitting denim.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 7-14 | Colors: 10+

Nike Air Force 1 Sneakers

Introduced to the world in 1982, the Air Force 1 was the first ever basketball shoe to feature Nike Air technology. Since then, it has found its way onto the feet of artists, athletes, and street style icons alike.

Taking the above into account, it’s clear this style needs no introduction. But if you haven’t got a pair, I must ask why? Stylish, versatile, and tough enough for the streets, every sneaker collection would be better with an Air Force 1. My favorite is the all-white—looking equally as good with sweatpants as they do with jeans or shorts.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 4-15 | Colors: 10

Amiri Skel-Top Sneakers

It can be tricky deciding on whether a pair of designer sneakers are worth the splurge. But I’m here to tell you they are. If you can manage to stretch your budget, you’ll certainly reap the benefits in years to come. Not only will they look the part, but they should take you seamlessly through the seasons—plus endless events on your social calendar.

My go-to pair is from Amiri. Featuring hand-cut skeleton appliqués along the sides, they offer the kind of flair you only get with kicks costing you a pretty penny. Team them with dad jeans and a hoodie for weekend get-togethers or with shorts and a graphic tee during the summer.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 7-12 | Colors: 6

Common Projects Original Achilles Sneakers

If you’re worried about white sneaks getting dirty and black feeling a little too dull, there’s a perfect middle ground that you may not have considered. Gray isn’t quite as versatile as its monochrome siblings, but it’s a clever choice that’ll help set your shoes apart from the rest.

The Original Achilles sneakers from Common Projects are some of the best in the business. Loved for their clean, streamlined exterior and all-day comfort, they go with everything from khakis to jeans and cargos. Wear yours at the weekend with black sweatpants and a long-sleeved tee.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 2.5-14 | Colors: 8

 Reebok Workout Sneakers

Fashions change quickly. It’s just the way it is (you don’t have to follow them if you don’t want to, mind). But one thing you can always rely on being relevant is retro sneakers. Instantly recognizable and ever stylish, they’re a fine footwear choice for a whole bunch of smart-casual occasions.

The Reebok Workout is the ultimate classic. Originally designed in the 80s as a multi-purpose athletic shoe, the style very quickly became a bestseller. Just as suitable for the gym as they are for garden parties, they offer the ideal blend of form and function. Wear them to work with khakis and an Oxford shirt, or chill at the weekend with sweats and a hoodie.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 2.5-14 | Colors: 8

Vans Perforated Slip On Sneakers

Laces? Who has time for them? Treat yourself to a pair of leather slip-on sneakers, and you’ll wonder why you spent your childhood learning the bunny-ear technique. But it’s not just convenience that makes them a fantastic footwear choice, they’re also the kind of shoes you can wear whenever (and with whatever) you want.

This iconic version from Vans will take you from backyard BBQs to dress-down Fridays and everything in between. Featuring perforated detailing and the brand’s original waffle outsoles, they’re breathable as well as super tough. The styling opportunities are endless, but I think they look especially great with rolled khakis and a long-sleeved tee.

Material: Leather | Sizes: 6.5-13 | Colors: 11

Strolling along the hillside
flywithjohnnythai / instagram

What to Look For in Leather Sneakers for Men

Color

The color of the sneakers you choose should not only be determined by what you like but also by how and when you plan to wear them. You may be obsessed with those colorful high-tops, but will your boss share your enthusiasm? Alternatively, you can invest in a few pairs to suit a number of occasions.

Style

There are many different styles of men’s leather sneakers. You need a pair that’s versatile and suits your personal style. Think about where you can wear them and what you can wear them with. The more opportunities you have, the more bang you’ll get for your buck.

Comfort

We all look for different things in our sneakers. Some may require the latest tech, while others are all about them looking smart. Something we can all agree on is they need to be comfortable. They should be secure without being tight—featuring suitable support and ample cushioning. If your feet are on the wide side, pick a pair that accommodates this.

Standing in front of a pillar in Rome
_thio.s__ / instagram

Final Verdict

So there you have it. You’re now fully in the loop on the best leather sneakers for men. But will you go for something sleek and minimal, or perhaps you prefer your kicks a bit sportier? If you’re yet to make up your mind, don’t forget about Axel Arigato’s Clean 90. Suitable for work or weekend, they perfectly juggle style and comfort—leaving you with the perfect all-rounder for endless occasions and outfits.

FAQ

    • In terms of luxury, durability, and support, leather sneakers are hard to beat. Not only great to look at, but they also get more comfortable over time. There are arguments for canvas styles being better suited to summer, but leather is also a breathable material.

      • We all want our footwear to be comfortable, which is exactly what the best leather sneakers for men provide. Better yet, the leather will stretch and become more flexible as you wear them more—making your sneakers a joy to wear.

        • The best leather sneakers for men are available in a range of styles—from high-tops to chunky designer kicks. Some of the most popular options are the versatile designs you can wear with formalwear as well as casual. Think all-black and box-fresh white.

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