What are the best sneakers for men? Well, it depends on what kind of sneakers you are looking for. Today’s sneaker landscape is a bit like the MCU: vast, expansive, full of unexpected cameos, and likely to incite confusing levels of scrutiny from millions of adults who probably should know more. (Characters may vary, but for sneaker fans with first-hand experience of the internal dynamics of the aftermarket, there’s no shortage of villains.)
And just like Marvel’s multi-billion dollar baby, the already vast sneaker galaxy is only getting bigger. Today, it encompasses everything from suede high-tops to canvas lace-ups, training shoes, running shoes, and basketball shoes needed. Figuring out where to start can be as exhausting as gorging on a quartet of avengers movies at once. So we did it for you.
Below, you’ll find a thankfully succinct overview of every sneaker style worth your time right now, all pulled from the digital pages of our extensive sneaker coverage. Because no matter what the critics (or, uh, trend forecasters) say, the best men’s sneakers are still among the best men’s shoes, period. Sneakerheads, assemble!
More than just wardrobe staples, white sneakers are the base of the menswear food pyramid, the pair of shoes you’ll likely reach for more than any other in your closet. Which explains why there are a mind-blowing amount of them, from all-time classics to wild flexes. Over the years we’ve looked at hundreds of options, testing the creme de la creme every step of the way. (Looking for the best white sneakers you can buy with just a hundred bucks? We’ve got you covered, too.)
Black sneakers make a compelling argument for the dark side, the equivalent of Emperor Palpatine’s shoes whispering sweet nothings in a young Padawan’s ear. It turns out that black shoes are the perfect low-maintenance alternative for all the serial puddle diverters, and engaging in illegal activities isn’t a prerequisite for wearing them. (Most of the time.)
Walking is good for you, like, really good for you, but walking shoes didn’t always scream “sex appeal.” Until now. Given the explosion of interest in running’s less strenuous cousin over the past year, walking shoes have, uh, stepped up their game. They’re still packed with all the cushioned outsoles, breathable uppers and the vital arch support you need for a long day on your feet, but now they’ve got the style to match.
If you plan to hit the track or the trails this year, investing in a reliable pair of running shoes is a must. The right pair should offer cushioning, durability and energy return in spades – in other words, the opportunity to feel like Eliud Kipchoge, whether you’re an avid amateur looking for a new trainer daily or a hardcore half marathoner in the market for a runner that will help you break your last PB. From trail-ready runners to everyday beaters you can wear while jogging around the neighborhood, there’s no better shoe to start your journey to Olympic (or near-Olympic) glory.
Focusing on the best Nike shoes is worth the hard work. Since opening its boutique in the mid-’60s, the Portland-based juggernaut has churned out one bestselling sneaker after another, expanding into lifestyle footwear while maintaining its commitment to athletic excellence with every step of the way. Today, the Swoosh sells just about anything tangentially related to the athletic life, but its sneakers remain the crown jewel of the company. The best Nike shoes prove why the brand is still miles – and many, many dollars – ahead of the competition.
If you’re Team Stripes through and through, there are plenty of options to choose from. Adidas remains a trusted source for classic sneakers (think Sambas, Superstars and Stan Smiths), the type of perennial bestsellers that still inspire countless imitations today. More recently, the German sportswear giant has stepped on the accelerator, rolling out successful collaborations with powerhouse designers like Prada, cult brands like Wales Bonner and globally adored megastars like Bad Bunny. All of which means there’s no better time to take stock of the company’s men’s sneaker slate.
The industry has changed a lot since Nike introduced the Air Jordan 1 in 1984, but the company hasn’t stopped coming with the heat ever since. Today, Jordan Brand has a list of sneakerhead-approved styles to its name, but the AJ1 remains its flagship, a perennial favorite of the biggest names in the design world and the perfect canvas for their wildest interpretations. Jordan Brand effectively gave birth to modern sneaker culture, and there are still few labels as influential, and none with the same cachet.
Over the past few years, the artist formerly known as Kanye West has transformed Yeezy into a multi-billion dollar brand and a major part of Adidas’ sneaker business. To say that Ye manifested the brand’s success through willpower is only half true – sure, the man speaks a big game, but under his leadership, Yeezy has developed a reputation for innovative designs that are pushing the industry in exciting new directions. And as he’ll be the first to tell you, it’s worth acknowledging.
Luxury sneakers were once an oxymoron. Not anymore. Over the past decade, blockbuster designer brands like Gucci and Balenciaga have capitalized on the sneaker craze with flying colors, churning out hit after hit like Lil Baby in the middle of a long night in the studio. Today, every fashion house worth its salt in free champagne has a massive selection of sneakers, some of which are pretty good. (But be warned: they tend to come with an exorbitant price tag).
The sneakers we loved the most in 2021
In 2021, many elements that once defined the routine of normal life have come to a halt, but the sneaker release cycle was not one of them. Since the turn of the year at least, there’s been a steady stream of fast-selling kicks hitting the proverbial shelves every week, and more than a few of them are worth revisiting. From blockbuster collaborations with the biggest names in the industry, to up-and-coming classics, to smaller shoe designers, there’s never been a better time to start growing your collection or filling in the gaps with whatever you’re looking for. you missed the first one. time around.