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 for men, 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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Price: From $105
Material: Premium ZQ merino wool
Allbirds is a footwear brand from New Zealand that sets out to develop sneakers that can perform at the highest level (it puts a particular focus on running sneakers) yet are made from sustainable materials that do more good for the planet than harm.
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.
Material: Recycled polyester, recycled EVA
Created to fill a gap of versatility present within the men’s sneaker market, Tropicfeel are dedicated to creating travel gear that is lightweight and sustainable, and above all can be worn for almost any and every situation or adventure.
The Canyon is an all-terrain sneaker; it’s waterproof and features the same benefits of aqua shoes, sport shoes, and hiking boots, all in the one sneaker. Did we mention it’s also incredibly stylish? Well, it is. Say hello to ultimate style, function, and comfort.
Price: From $79
Material: Natural Rubber, organic cotton
Brazilian footwear brand Cariuma has quickly become one of the hottest names around. Not only do their shoes look great and mimic on-trend styles, but the production process used is incredibly sustainable. Recycled materials are used wherever possible, and other materials such as bamboo are also included. Better still, they’re incredibly comfortable to wear and come in a range of colours.
The OCA Low is Cariuma’s signature shoe, and can be had in a few shades of blue, whether it be a darker navy or a lighter blue as pictured here. The shoes are made from predominantly canvas or suede, with the material you go for influencing the overall aesthetic and use. Whatever pair you buy, you can be assured of the utmost quality.
Price: From $292
Material: Italian Calf-skin leather, Italian cotton
Oliver Cabell was only founded in 2016 but has quickly become one of the biggest names in footwear. The brainchild of a single entrepreneur, Oliver Cabell is a brand that provides a luxury product but without the luxury price tag, thanks to its strong relationships with trusted suppliers.
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.
Price: From $295
Material: LWG Bronze-certified Italian suede, rubber, cotton
American-run footwear brand Koio produces its entire range of sneakers and boots by hand in Italy, as a commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Every pair has been designed to be the perfect accessory for transitioning from day through to night, with silhouettes and colours being carefully curated.
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.
Price: From $180
Material: Canvas, rubber
This Australian brand has made it its mission from day one to produce sustainably-made footwear that meets its incredibly high standards of quality. Many of its shoes follow a similar design path to most other manufactures (think low cut minimal) but the company does inject some fun and design for those who want something a little different.
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.
Price: From $65
Material: Canvas, rubber
Slovakian footwear brand Novesta could be one you haven’t heard off too often before, and if that is the case, it’s one you really want to add to your radar. It’s committed to producing shoes that use organic and recycled materials, and morph them into styles you’d actually want to wear.
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.
Price: From $60
Material: Rubber, woven fabric, ortholite insole
If you’re in the market for a Converse sneaker but don’t invest in Novesta, Converse is the brand you can fall back on. The footwear brand has a long-running history with sportswear, most notably professional basketball, but has since found its calling in the lifestyle, becoming one of the absolute must-own brands.
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.
Price: From $50
Material: Suede and canvas
Vans is without question the most famous skateboarding brand in the world right now. What was once a company reserved for those who dedicate their lives to kickflips and grinding stair rails has since exploded into a lifestyle brand that has taken the world by storm. Look down at the feet of those around you and you’re virtually guaranteed to see a pair of Old Skool sneakers.
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.
Price: From $181
Material: Suede calf leather, rubber
JAK is a relatively young Portuguese footwear brand, being founded in 2014, that is committed to taking classic sneaker silhouettes and remaking them using sustainable yet high-quality materials.
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.
Price: From $75
Material: Real and synthetic leather, rubber
It goes without saying that sports behemoth Nike has footwear styles for every discipline under the sun. No matter which you take, Nike will feature near the top as one of the most popular brands. However its the lifestyle sector we’re focusing for this particular pair.
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.
Price: From $75
Material: Suede, adripene, geoflex outsole
Following behind in a close second in the sportswear arena is German brand Adidas. It too has multiple styles for multiple disciplines, but its Originals collection is the one that really hits home for many streetwear enthusiasts.
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.
Price: From $119
Material: Leather, EVA & ENCAP, rubber
Another heavy-hitter in the sports industry is New Balance. Founded in Boston in 1906, the company initially produced arch supports for its customers, before taking that knowledge and applying it to its own range of footwear. The result was an extensive range of well-styled, comfortable and functional footwear that has become incredibly popular with the streetwear kids.
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.
Price: From $165
Material: Suede, rubber
French footwear brand Veja has been in the sneaker business since 2004, but only in recent years has it seen real global expansion as consumers become more environmentally conscious. Veja is one of the world’s most ethical brands: it doesn’t use advertising and it doesn’t employ the use of sweatshops to produce its shoes. While it does use materials such as rubber and leather for some pairs, everything is sustainably sourced and farmers are paid an incredibly fair wage.
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.
Price: From $280
Material: Nubuck and Italian leather, rubber
Swedish footwear brand Axel Arigato was founded in 2014, and upon launch, would release a new pair of sneakers each week in order to generate publicity (and income, naturally). In the years since it has become a staple among the savvy sneaker consumer, known for its premium materials, highly competitive prices and occasional eccentric pair of sneakers.
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.
Price: From $320
Material: Eco-suede/leather, rubber
Grenson has been in the footwear game for over 150 years, so it’s fair to say the British brand knows how to put together a quality pair. What was once a supplier to soldiers of The Great War has evolved into a luxury brand adored by those who appreciate quality craftsmanship with on-trend style.
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.
Price: From $449
Material: Suede, leather, rubber
Another brand that will no doubt come to mind when you think of minimalist sneakers is Common Projects. The company is one of the real champions of the minimal white sneaker, so it makes sense for it to transition not only into other footwear styles to rule the roost there (just check out its boots range) but into other colours too.
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.
Price: From $495
Material: Neoprene, leather, rubber
Italian luxury clothing brand Moncler may be associated with all things skiing and snow, but it is just as much a lifestyle brand for those who really enjoy showing off not only their wealth, but their knowledge of fashion labels. While hiking boots are more likely to be the Moncler footwear of choice, it should come as no surprise that it has a comprehensive sneaker range, to boot.
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).
Price: From $947
Material: Leather, fabric, rubber
Yep, Tom Ford is on this list of best blue sneakers. Not just a sartorial genius or master of fragrances, Tom Ford is a designer that caters to every modern man’s style whim.
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.