The Perfect Sneakers for Every Occasion

Modern hipster wedding, groom wearing sneakers, suit

Source: iStock

The sneaker has morphed into comfortable everyday wear thanks to one of the biggest fashion trends of the moment: the athleisure trend. In fact, Forbes reports that not only is this trend continuing to rise, but research from the NPD Group found that U.S. consumers spent $323 billion on apparel, footwear, and accessories in 2014, which was a 1% increase since 2013. That 1% might not seem like much, but it represents about $2 billion in sales, driven mostly by consumer spending on athletic wear and related accessories.

The trend is thanks to the designers who have made sportswear the central theme to their collections. Not only is the athleisure look comfortable, but it does not require you to be an athlete in order to master the look. Many men have rejoiced over the fact that the sneaker, a big part of this trend, has been integrated into formal attire. But you still need to tread carefully when pairing sneakers with a dressier outfit — because if it’s not coordinated properly, it can really downgrade an outfit. To fully capitalize on the athleisure trend, here’s how you can properly pair your sneakers with any outfit. Remember, a sleek and modern sneaker is welcome almost anywhere. Here are some of our favorites.

1. The leather high-top sneaker

These are an instant upgrade from your canvas Converses. Get them in black leather with a white rubber sole for a sophisticated cool look. These are best worn out on a Friday night with a pair of dark fitted jeans and a motorcycle leather jacket. Try the Falmouth Leather Hi-Top by Cole Haan.

2. The bold standout pair

We’re not talking a pair that is utterly outrageous in neon or with angel air wings sticking out on the sides, rather, opt for ones in a bold color like red that are sure to make heads turn. Just make sure you pair them with an otherwise neutral outfit (think: jeans, tee, bomber, or varsity jacket), so they’ll be staring at you for all the right reasons. Consider this your off-duty uniform. Try the Nikelab Dunk Lux High by Nike.

3. The hybrid pair

Source: Nordstrom

Source: Nordstrom

Think of this as sneaker meets wingtip loafer. Wear them with a pair of slim-fit trousers and a blazer to dress them up or wear them with a casual outfit: It doesn’t matter! Try the “Lambert” Wingtip Sneaker by Ben Minkoff.

4. The slip-on sneaker

This easy-breezy style is always great for when you’re on the go and don’t have that extra minute to sit and tie your shoes. Every man needs a good slip-on sneaker, if not for practicality. Wear them in white with a pair of dark denim for a killer looking outfit. Try the “Capo” Slip-On Sneaker by Creative Recreation.

5. The re-imagined classic

Source: J. Crew

Source: J. Crew

These are your modernized vintage-inspired pair of kicks. Think of them as newer, cooler vintage New Balances, ones you wouldn’t hesitate to pair with a leather jacket for when you’re out running errands or going to brunch on Sunday. They’re bold but so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing them. Try this red pair by Brooks or this cranberry suede pair by New Balance.

6. The texturized sneaker

Add a dose of interesting to your outfit by wearing a pair of texturized kicks, from interesting tweed fabrics to suede snakeskin or fish-scale texture fabric. This pair is easy to dress up or down. Try these blue embossed kicks that are an interesting combination of a sneaker and boot (and similar to a Chukka) that sure to liven up your day, your outfit, and of course your shoe collection. Try this blue embossed Chukka Sneaker by Axel Arigato.

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