When it comes to shopping for sneakers, we imagine many of you will veer towards white or black for colour – unless of course, you’re after something particularly outlandish for using in the gym. But we’d like to point your attention to the oft-forgotten blue next time you consider investing in a fresh pair of kicks.
Why blue you might ask? Well, not only does it offer something a little different (who really likes to conform, anyway?) but blue sneakers can help accentuate many of your established go-to outfits. Think of the effect a midnight blue dinner jacket has for evening wear, instead of the traditional black, and you should start to see what we mean.
Navy sneakers will obviously be the easiest shade to pair with your current wardrobe, and certain super-minimalist pairs can even lend themselves to being worn with suits (as long as you get it right), making them truly versatile. But for casual and streetwear, any shade of blue will send your style credentials skyrocketing.
We’ve scoured the web looking for some of the very best pairs of blue sneakers, and our selection includes brands you may already live and breathe, along with a few others you’ve either never heard of, or ones you wouldn’t have expected to produce a pair of esteemed quality. What they all share, however, is the ability to make you really stand out from the crowd.
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This pair of Lyon sneakers rock a navy canvas upper with a white rubber sole. That sole is both glued and stitched for reliability and durability, and everything is handmade in Portugal.
The company's Tree Dasher is the flagship pair and take a similar approach to running footwear as some other big-names. To that degree, they feature a knitted upper layer that is both breathable and ultra-lightweight, with an incredibly well-cushioned sole that absorbs every stride. All materials used in their build are sustainably-sourced.
The Low 1 is the sneaker that has catapulted Oliver Cabell into the style-focused minds of guys everywhere thanks its combination of excellent build quality, gorgeous silhouette and use of premium materials. Seen here in navy (which we're actually starting to prefer over the classic white) the Low 1 has hand stitched and lasted in Marche, Italy, which is also where it sources the full grain calfskin leather used for the upper. A Margom sole – a brand of leather cup sole that is glued and stitched to the upper – completes the look. For luxury, minimalist sneakers, Oliver Cabell is one of the very best.
If blue is your thing then Koio has this pair of Capri sneakers that are well worth your consideration. They offer something slightly different to some other pairs on this listing, contrasting a blue upper with a gum sole, as opposed to the often-favoured white rubber sole. It gives them a decidedly more retro look, but one that can comfortably be paired with chino shorts and a crisp white t-shirt when summer hits.
The Star Master is the company's most iconic sneaker, thanks in no small part to its chunky and vulcanised rubber sole, which is made by hand. The combination of navy and white sole (along with a hint of neon yellow on the inside) make the Star Master the perfect sneaker to pair with casual outfits.
The Chuck Taylor low-top is without doubt the most iconic pair (along with its high-top counterpart) in Converse's repertoire, known for its slimline silhouette and contrasting stitching, topped off with large branding. They're comfortable and hardwearing, and the shade of navy used lend them to being the perfect partner with blue or white jeans, chinos or practically any pair of shorts you'll already own.
But rather than conform and buy the black and white pair, consider opting for this dark navy pair instead. Virtually indistinguishable from black at a quick glance, this dark navy pair will add an incredibly subtle pop to any outfit. Of course, they're still the Old Skool, so will be incredibly comfortable and will last you countless wears.
The Royal is JAK's signature design and easily the most minimal in its approach. With only a hint of branding on the right heel, the Royal lets its materials do the talking. Leather is sourced from Italy and handcrafted into a shoe that JAK itself describes as "perfect". It's certainly versatile, as the clean design means they can easily be worn with a suit.
The Court Vintage may be inspired by 70s tennis shoe designs, but you're far more likely to wear these down the street than on the court. With Nike's usual big-tick branding scaled back into a much cleaner look, the Court Vintage become an incredibly handsome pair of sneakers, and we think the navy white combination is pure perfection.
The Gazelle is an absolute classic in Adidas' lineup, having first been introduced in 1991. In the years since, not much about the Gazelle has changed, and this very latest iteration continues to use the same materials and proportions as its ancestor. The navy suede Nubuck works perfectly against the white detailing – which includes the famous Three Stripes – and use of synthetic materials makes them incredibly lightweight.
This 'National Class' pair of New Balance kicks employs an incredibly 70s preppy design scheme, not only in terms of the proportions, but in the contrasting suede and nylon fabrics. This particular pair are made in England too, so you know you're going to get something of real quality, which includes New Balance's original – tried and tested – EVA midsole.
The SRU-RT sneakers are similar to the pair from New Balance in their approach to retro design, but a much more ethical approach to their production. Much of the upper is made from a mesh fabric to make them super-breathable and ideal for running in, and elsewhere you'll find ethically-sourced rubber and faux suede. The contrasting shades of blue mixed with white branding make them an incredibly stylish pair of sneakers that has super sustainable credentials.
The Toe Cap sneakers are anything but, employing a much more minimalist design compared to some of its styles. They're made in Portugal using grained leather for the upper, and a smooth leather on the toe to provide the right amount of contrast. A white rubber cupsole gives them a versatile look that can be paired with a (right type of) suit, or of course, more casual outfits.
The Sneaker 1 is the spearhead of Grenson's sneaker range, with its design taking inspiration from 1970s tennis shoes. This particular made is made from a "deep blue, smooth Italian nubuck" which exudes premium quality thanks to its slightly faded and distressed finish. Grenson's own signature white sole finishes them off, which sport 'The Good Shoe' logo underneath.
Naturally, we could have selected a pair of dark navy leather sneakers, but there are already plenty of them featuring on this list. Suede was an option too, but instead, we went for something a little more flamboyant in this blue pair. Admittedly a little harder to style with some outfits, those who dare will reap the rewards. Visually, they're still incredibly clean and are made from fine Italian leather. In true CP style, the colour, size and style can be found branded in gold on the heel.
These New Monaco sneakers utilise an incredibly similar low-cut design to many other pairs on this list, but give them the quintessential Moncler makeover in their use of the company's white and red branding (with the blue obviously being taken care of).
This pair of navy suede sneakers are every bit as luxurious as you would expect from the American fashion house, being crafted in Italy from a navy suede for the upper – with small smooth leather patches – and sport subtle pink side stripes for that extra high-end designer touch. Team them with a pair of rolled up chinos and a well-fitting crisp white t-shirt and you'll be the epitome of modern style.