The Playbook For The Modern Man

20 Luxury Sneaker Brands That Will Take Your Style To The Next Level

Lace up and look damn fine.

Sneakers have foregone the realm of function and now proudly sit at the peak of contemporary streetwear. Much of this can be credited to creatives and designers like Kanye, Virgil Abloh, Yohji Yamamoto and Pharrell who have jumped on board the sneaker game to add their own distinct take on the humble footwear staple.

The result? Premium materials, luxury detailing, superior craftsmanship and signature design. It’s a no expenses spared approach and it’s not for everyone, but for those who want to elevate their personal style with a decent pair of kicks, you can look no further than the ones from our luxury sneaker brands here.

Before we get into it though, a bit of leg work for your extracurricular learning.

What Makes Luxury Sneakers Expensive

  • Use of expensive high grade leathers – pebble leather which doesn’t crack as much over time
  • Thicker leather – this ensures the shoe retains its shape and looks newer for longer
  • Tumbled leather – some mid-range shoe brands use this to achieve a balance between quality and affordability

How To Pick High Quality Sneakers

  • Leathers are the easiest to determine in terms of shoe quality but for performance shoes like Flyknits it’s a bit harder
  • For materials like suede and leather, test how flexible it is by bending the shoe
  • Smell is also a sign – you can smell the inside of a shoe and if it smells like glue you know it’s been made on the cheap
  • A good quality shoe needs to smell like good quality leather – as long as they are new, smell away
  • If they are lightweight they will be using more expensive soles which are generally better quality
  • If it doesn’t look like it has a lot of manufacturing hours put in then the manufacturing costs shouldn’t be that high – think Converse

Where Luxury Sneakers Are Made

Plenty of luxury sneakers still pride themselves on being made in Italy but this is not the only country of origin for good quality kicks. These days China has surpassed the Italians when it comes to sneaker construction technology and according to Sneakerboy founder Chris Kyvetos, it’s a defining reason why Balenciaga moved their operations from Italy to China for their popular Triple S line.

“Even with this move to China, Balenciagas aren’t being made in a sneaker factory – they’re still making them in a women’s shoe making factory in China which has the tools to create a stitched and turned upper that is applied to a sneaker midsole – a process which can’t be achieved in Italy,” he told us.

Beyond Italy brands like New Balance continue to manufacture their flagship 990 sneaker in the USA using proven methods that date back decades. So the question really shouldn’t be which country luxury sneakers are made in, but what kind of factory or workshop they come from.

A prime example of this is Adidas’ 4D technology sneakers which require special 3D printing machines to construct the intricate sole. As a result, all Adidas FutureCraft 4D sneakers are made in Germany with materials primarily sourced in Germany.

Cost Of Luxury Sneaker Design

Look at any sneaker blog and you’ll be dazzled by the array of premium designs on offer implementing some of the most innovative materials. Gore-Tex, Flyknit, React, Boost, Primeknit…the list goes on.

You would think that design plays a huge role in driving up costs of any sneaker, but you’d be wrong, Chris Kyvetos told us.

“A lot of these technologies aren’t developed by the sneaker brands for your running pleasure,” he says. Instead the cost is usually factored into manufacturing, marketing, branding and profits.

Now that you know what you’re after in a decent sneaker, take a look at our pick of the best grey sneakers, blue sneakers, white sneakers and black sneakers.

Read Next

Oliver Cabell

Oliver Cabell is a newcomer to the sneaker game and offers sneakers built to the highest of standards in Europe without breaking the bank. They offer a range of styles; the minimalistic ‘Low 1’ is our favourite.

Oliver Cabell Slate Low 1 Sneakers
Slate Low 1 Sneakers $178


Veja is a French sneaker label that produces ethically conscious shoes from organic materials and recycled plastic bottles. Their designs are equally as modern as their approach to sustainability. The perfect casual sneaker doesn’t need to hurt the planet.

RELATED: The Best French Menswear Brands To Own Right Now

Veja Black V Sneakers
Black V Sneakers $204


Since 1866 this British cobler has been producing beautiful, high quality dress shoes. In recent times they have evolved into making some of the best looking sneakers available whilst maintaining traditional manufacturing processes and quality.

Grenson Sneaker 1 Off White Nubuck
Sneaker 1 Off White Nubuck $269

Axel Arrigato

Axel Arrigato is a Swedish footwear label that is at the forefront the of the international sneaker movement. Their designs are minimalistic and clean with some featuring their signature bird embroidery. Their shoes are high quality and reasonably priced in comparison to other competitors.

Axel Arigato Clean 90 Birds Sneaker
Clean 90 Birds Sneaker $285

Adidas Consortium

The Adidas Consortium is a series of collaborations between Adidas and various top tier retailers across the world to produce limited quantity, unique designs. If you love Adidas’ shoes but would love something a little more unique, their Consortium collections have you covered.

Adidas Ultraboost 19 EQT
Ultraboost 19 EQT $309

Golden Goose

This Italian footwear label has been producing sneakers with an edge since 2000. Their most famous design cues are ‘scuffs’, bold colours and interesting materials that are displayed across their range of low and high top sneakers.

Golden Goose White & Silver Superstar Sneakers
White & Silver Superstar Sneakers $495


Lanvin is the oldest French fashion house in operation today and makes their sneakers to the highest of qualities in Italy. Their ‘Toe-capped’ sneakers are our pick of the bunch.

Lanvin Toe-Capped Sneakers
Toe-Capped Sneakers $500


Gucci sneakers cover all ends of the sneaker spectrum. On one hand they offer on trend chunky sneakers in an array of bright and bold colours whilst simultaneously offering their paired back, traditional leather sneaker. No matter your taste in sneakers, Gucci will have a pair for you.

Gucci White Tiger Ace Sneakers
White Tiger Ace Sneakers $670

Common Projects

Arguably one of the most simple lines of luxury sneakers. American-Italian designs, CP is your go to for sneakers that work for smart casual and even suits.

Common Projects Original Achilles Low
Original Achilles Low $695


Not traditionally famous for their sneakers, Church’s has been famed for making dress shoes since 1873, they have even been worn by Daniel Craig in the most recent Bond movies. Their sneakers are clean cut and high quality.

Church's Lace Up Trainers
Lace Up Trainers $726


Unlike Ferragamo’s dress shoes, their sneakers are modern and contemporary. Their designs combine modern silhouettes and styles with the brands traditional logos and patterns.

Salvatore Ferragamo Lace-Up Low Sneakers
Lace-Up Low Sneakers $769

Saint Laurent

French made, this mega brand is your goto for classic white sneakers. Each shoe is made from the finest materials and feature typical, sleek, French design. Be warned, they’re not cheap.

Saint Laurent Court SL/06 Sneakers Embroidered with Saint Laurent, in White Worn-Look Fabric and Leather
Court SL/06 Sneakers Embroidered with Saint Laurent, in White Worn-Look Fabric and Leather $780


Balenciaga has been at the forefront of sneaker design in recent times and has started style movements like ‘chunky sneakers’ with their ‘Triple S’ model. Their approach to design is strictly modern and is at the forefront of the industry.

Balenciaga Black & Red Speed Sneakers
Black & Red Speed Sneakers $780

Christian Louboutin

That oh so famous red sole of Christian Louboutin is also available on mens sneakers. Their models feature this iconic design feature as well as other iconic design features of Louboutin’s such as their ‘spikes’. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, look no further.

Christian Louboutin Blue Louis Junior Sneakers
Blue Louis Junior Sneakers $795

Guiseppe Zanotti

Guiseppe Zanotti has been producing sneakers since 1981 and has become famous for including zippers on the sides of all of his sneakers. This design has since become synonymous with the brand and is an icon of luxury sneakers.

Giuseppe Zanotti Double-Zip Python Leather Low Sneaker
Double Zip Python Leather Low Sneaker $799


Valentino’s deigns are polished yet exuberant, featuring a combination of bold and refined designs. Their most famous models feature their iconic ‘Rockstuds’ which made their way into mens sneakers from their offering of womens heels.

Valentino VLTN Open Sneaker
VLTN Open Sneaker $940

Tom Ford

Tom Ford has quickly become one of the brands in mens fashion today. His designs focus on details that in combination produce a great final product and his sneakers are no excuse.

Tom Ford Warwick Perforated Leather Sneakers
Warwick Perforated Leather Sneakers $1,039

Shop later when you're at home or on your desktop computer by clicking the button below.


Show More



The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again