Men’s sneakers are, without a doubt, the most popular footwear style worldwide. While boots and dress shoes are must-haves in any man’s wardrobe, men’s sneakers have earned their number one status in the realm of footwear because they come in a huge number of styles, colours, and materials that all allow us to show off our individual personalities. And, because of their ubiquitous nature, pretty much every fashion brand under the sun has its own pairs for you to buy.
This means that all budgets are catered for. Whether you want something cheap and cheerful that you don’t mind giving a beating to, or something on the more luxurious end of the scale – including the likes of rare and collectible sneaker models that hypebeasts go gaga for – that only make an appearance for special occasions, there is a sneaker brand out there for everyone.
But what sneaker brands exactly should you be looking out for? While it may be true that no matter what physical shop or online store you turn to will have various options demanding your attention, there are some key features to look out for if you’re after the best sneakers for men.
Features to look out for if you want the best sneaker
- Use of expensive high-grade leathers e.g. 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 determine whether a pair of men’s sneakers is high-quality
- If the men’s sneakers are made out of suede or leather, test how flexible it is by bending the shoe; you should be able to move it quite easily if it’s high-quality. If you find the shoe is rather stiff, it’s cheaper quality leather.
- 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.
- If the men’s sneakers are lightweight when you pick them up they will be using more expensive soles which are generally better quality.
Best Sneakers For Men FAQs
Does it matter what country sneakers are made in?
Plenty of luxury sneaker brands 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 matched the Italians when it comes to sneaker construction technology – 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, Balenciaga’s aren’t being made in a sneaker factory – they’re still making them in a women’s shoemaking 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 sneakers like their flagship 990 ‘dad shoe’ in the USA, using proven methods that date back decades.
Likewise, Adidas’ 4D technology sneakers, which require special 3D printing machines to construct the intricate sole, are all made in Germany with materials primarily sourced in Germany.
In short, it doesn’t matter which country sneakers are made in, but rather what kind of factory or workshop they were crafted in.
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Now that you know what you’re after in a decent sneaker, check out the best sneaker brands to shop from below. The majority of brands and pairs featured fall into the affordable category, but we’ve also included a few luxury options for those who want to splash a little more cash on new men’s sneakers.
Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cariuma is a brand that knows all about sustainable fashion. With the Amazon rainforest practically on its doorstep, the company understands the necessity to look after our planet. It’s with that in mind that all pairs of men’s sneakers are made in sustainable ways and from sustainable materials such as bamboo or recycled plastics.
They look great too, and they’re incredibly comfortable. With a huge range of styles and colours on the books, you’re guaranteed to find a pair to suit your style. FYI – These are some of the best selling sneakers on the web right now.
Created to fill a gap of versatility present within the men’s sneaker market, Tropicfeel is dedicated to creating travel gear that is lightweight and sustainable, and above all can be worn for almost any and every situation or adventure.
All of Tropicfeel’s men’s sneakers are completely water-friendly, lightweight, quick-drying, comfortable, and ever so stylish. Tropicfeel’s sneakers are perfect for city-dwellers who love adventuring in the great outdoors on the weekends, as they’ll effortlessly elevate any outfit but are high-performance enough for hiking etc.
Oliver Cabell is committed to fair pricing for top quality and design, and strongly advocates against unethical manufacturing and inflating prices. The result? Hand-crafted, European-made, and affordable premium men’s sneakers that are designed to last.
If you’re after a luxurious sneaker but are hesitant about spending a lot of money, Oliver Cabell is the brand for you, as their sneakers are all made in Italy with the finest leathers and materials, and because they’re a direct to consumer brand, their prices are extremely cheap.
Canadian footwear brand Casca was founded by a duo with expertise in both design and business, and the brand offers every single one of their customers customised footwear by way of 3D-modelled insoles.
This means you will get the absolute perfect fit, and it will prevent any friends from borrowing (and/or ruining) them. The company has a few different sneaker styles available in both knit and leather options, and come in a variety of colours.
If sustainability and being environmentally conscious are issues you resonate with, then Allbirds is the sneaker brand for you. Every single pair of sneakers is made from renewable materials, such as merino wool and fibres crafted from trees.
That doesn’t mean design or style has been sacrificed though, as all of Allbirds’ men’s sneakers are rather handsome and fully functional. The brand offers men’s sneakers perfect for everyday wear, waterproof sneakers for those adventurous types, as well as sneakers designed specifically for running.
It’s always good when you can find a product that is versatile; suitable for a variety of uses. If you wanted a pair of all-day men’s sneakers that were incredibly comfortable, yet could also be used as runners, then you have to check out On Running.
The Swiss shoemaker produces some of the most technically advanced running sneakers out there, which make use of their bespoke CloudFoam technology. While most pairs do look and act as runners, the brand has some models that are incredibly good-looking and can be worn throughout the day with casual outfits.
For a slice of affordable luxury, you can count on Hugo Boss. The German brand caters to guys who prefer a slightly more reserved style, as well as those who are happy to let their personality shine through with some eclectic designs.
What you can be sure of in any respect is a penchant for quality, with only high-quality materials being used throughout. Think 100% genuine leathers and even materials such as bamboo, which the brand uses for insoles to aid with airflow and moisture-wicking.
Cole Haan’s men’s sneakers are certainly distinctive and can be spotted a mile away with their rather chunky soles on select pairs. Every pair of sneakers the American brand makes uses high-quality materials and with all the usual silhouettes being taken care of.
The brand has even created a dress shoe sneaker hybrid, combining the smart-casual looks of an Oxford with the comfort and practicality of a sneaker. There’s plenty more to rave about, such as the brand’s commitment to comfort, with lightweight builds and plenty of foam cushioning featuring throughout the collections.
It’s a well-known fact that if you want a pair of luxury men’s sneakers, the first place you have to look to is Italy. The region of Marche, in particular, is famed for its quality of leathers and craftsmanship, two qualities that makes Scarosso a brand you need to know.
Not only do they source their leather from and handcraft their shoes in Italy, but they sell them on without the middle man, making them incredibly affordable. It’s a win-win.
Duke & Dexter
While it’s true that Italy is home to some exquisite craftsmanship and luxurious leathers, the English follow close behind when it comes to outright quality and heritage.
These qualities shine through in the Duke & Dexter brand. A label still in its infancy, D&D designs and makes all its shoes in England and has earned itself a global reputation. The brand’s men’s sneakers can even be found on the feet of several high-profile celebrities.
Since 1866 this British cobbler has been producing beautiful, high-quality dress shoes. However, in recent times Grenson has evolved into making some of the best looking men’s sneakers available, whilst maintaining their traditional manufacturing processes and quality.
With a design that’s a little different from most sneaker brands, Grenson’s sneakers will add a dash of sophistication to any outfit you pair them with.
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.
While you can get classic all-white sneakers from Veja, we recommend going for one of the many pairs of white men’s sneakers that have a cool pop of colour; something the brand is known for. The perfect casual sneaker that doesn’t hurt the planet? Yes, please.
Luxury fashion house Coach may be best known for its range of leather handbags and accessories, but it also has clothing and footwear collections for you to peruse.
As you’d expect, quality is of the highest degree, both in terms of materials used and overall design. With proprietary features and technologies such as CitySole to provide the ultimate in comfort, you can not only look good when walking around – rocking one of the biggest names in global fashion – but you’ll feel good too.
Koio is an American footwear brand that has a distinctively European style. The two “sneakerhead” founders started the company to create sneakers they would feel comfortable wearing both to work and to after-work drinks.
All pairs are handmade in Italy in a factory that was carefully selected from a broad range, as it best matched Koio’s style and vision; men’s sneakers withs minimal design that are crafted from premium materials to the highest quality.
Axel Arigato is a Swedish footwear label that is at the forefront of the international sneaker movement. Their designs are minimalistic and clean with some featuring their signature bird embroidery. All of Axel Arigato’s shoes are reasonably priced in comparison to other competitors but still of the highest quality.
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.
If you’re looking for men’s sneakers that’ll give you some serious street style credit, Golden Goose is the brand for you.
Founded in 1921, Gucci is one of the most iconic brands renowned worldwide for its contemporary approach to fashion. More importantly, the iconic brand has men’s sneakers that cover all ends of the sneaker spectrum.
On the one hand, they offer on-trend chunky sneakers in an array of bright and bold colours but they also offer paired back traditional leather men’s sneakers. No matter your taste in sneakers, Gucci will have a pair for you.
Arguably one of the most simple lines of luxury men’s sneakers, and a bonafide streetwear phenomenon, Common Projects is the go-to brand for sneakers that work with everything, from smart casual dress codes to even formal.
Available in a wide variety of styles and colours, no matter your sneaker preference, Common Projects will have a sophisticated option for you.
Founded in 1961, French luxury fashion house Saint Laurent is renowned globally for its opulent clothing, footwear, and accessories. This mega-brand is your go-to for classic white sneakers.
Each sneaker is made from the finest materials and features a typical, sleek, French design. However, be warned, these luxurious men’s sneakers do not come cheap.
Not traditionally famous for their sneakers, Church’s has been famed for making high-quality dress shoes since 1873. Their dress shoes have even been worn by Daniel Craig in the most recent Bond movies.
However, the brand does also have a large range of men’s sneakers that are just as good. Their men’s sneakers are clean-cut and of high quality. What more can you ask for?
Lanvin is the oldest French fashion house in operation today and makes their sneakers to the highest of qualities in Italy. The brand takes classic Parisian style and updates it, and the result is extremely wearable sneakers that are modern yet timeless.
While the brand has a few different sneaker styles on offer, our favourite is the ‘toe-capped’ sneaker.
Famous for its Haute couture that merges streetwear and high fashion, Balenciaga has been at the forefront of sneaker design in recent times and has fuelled style movements; most notably the chunky men’s sneakers trend with their ‘Triple S’ model.
Their approach to design is strictly modern and any pair of their sneakers will give you a King of fashion crown.
That oh-so-famous red sole of Christian Louboutin is also available on men’s 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, Christian Louboutin is the brand for you.
Renowned for fusing Italian craftsmanship with contemporary touches, Guiseppe Zanotti has been producing sneakers since 1981. The brand has become famous for including zippers on the sides of all of its sneakers, which give the shoes a cool edgy look.
After launching his eponymous brand in 2005, Tom Ford has quickly cemented himself and his brand as one of the best. With a unique flair for combining modern with classic, Tom Ford’s collections are extremely cool and high-quality.
The range of sneakers Tom Ford has to offer are the same; timeless sneakers that are versatile enough to be worn to a number of different occasions but adorned with contemporary touches that give the sneakers a hit of cool.
Founded in 2014, TAFT is a men’s footwear brand specialising in unique, bold shoe designs. TAFT shoes are produced in Spain and Portugal with premium textiles ranging from suiting wool, to woven upholstery fabric, to Charles F. Stead leather. Meticulous in their work, intentional in their designs, and obsessive over what makes the cut, TAFT has become well-known for their extremely well-made unique men’s shoes.
TAFT has a huge range of extremely well-crafted sneakers, all made with premium materials, in a variety of unique styles that’ll make you stand out in a crowd.
Beckett Simonon, founded in 2011, believes in the power of well-made products which make you look and feel your best; products you can wear year after year, and repair rather than replace. This is why they produce stylish high-quality shoes, available for unrivalled prices and made with responsible manufacturing processes.
Their range of sneakers are stylish and versatile; all crafted from either premium full-grain leather or water repellent suede, Beckett Simonon’s sneakers are durable and will keep you comfortable in style.
Swedish fashion brand, Björn Borg, was founded in 1984, and believes that ‘being active and making a difference is far more attractive than playing it safe’. This is the attitude the Björn Borg brand has at its core and employs when creating their garments.
Björn Borg has a great range of sneakers that are all made with premium leathers and suedes. With a variety of different styles and colours, all of Björn Borg’s sneakers are uniquely cool and will keep your feet comfortable.