From Gucci to Tom Ford and Balenciaga, luxury sneakers have become an essential element of every man’s casual wardrobe. You can now wear a fresh pair of designer sneakers from the gym to the office. Match them with a pair of jeans for an elegant casual look or dress them up with a suit for a business casual style. Sneakers offer a level of style, versatility, and comfort that other casual shoes just can’t match.
With luxury sneakers, you’re getting premium fabrics and materials from high-end designers and luxury brands.
They are expensive, yes. But you’re getting a level of attention to details and craftsmanship that mass-market brands can’t deliver.
It doesn’t mean that you have to pay a fortune for your designer shoes, however. For each luxury sneaker listed below, our stylists hand-picked a budget-friendly high-quality alternative from brands such as Adidas, Nike, and New Balance. Traditional sports and athletic wear brands have branched out to design classic streetwear shoes that can also look elegant.
Every sneaker featured on our list can become your go-to shoes for most days of the week. Men’s premium casual shoes are versatile, stylish, and functional. We think it’s money well spent.
In a rush? Here’s our editorial selection of the top three best sneakers available right now:
The best sneakers of 2021: Top 25 most popular sneakers for men
Here’s our ultimate list of the best sneakers of 2021 for men. You can easily navigate to the category you’re most interested in.
|1||Oliver Cabell Low 1||Best minimalist|
|2||Nike Air Max 270||Best selling|
|3||Koio Capri Castagna||Best casual|
|4||Axel Arigato||Most stylish|
|5||Adidas Originals||Best classic|
|6||Lanvin Black||Best dressed up|
|7||Celine Triomphe Gold||Most extravagant|
|8||Adidas UltraBoost 21||Most comfortable|
|9||Adidas Yeezy Boost||Most sought-after|
|10||Balmain B-Court||Best black and white|
|11||Koio Gavia Bianco||Best white|
|12||Balenciaga Black Speed||Best all black|
|13||Koio Tempo Bianco||Best tennis|
|14||Nike Air Force 1 GTX||Most durable|
|15||Nike Air Jordan||Best high-top|
|16||Nike x Supreme||Best collaboration|
|17||Gucci Screener||Best vintage|
|18||Nike Zoom Vaporfly||Best runners|
|19||Tom Ford Warwick||Most versatile|
|20||Salomon XT-6||Best for long walks|
|21||Balenciaga Track 2||Best Dad Sneakers|
|22||Nike Air Force 1||Best value|
|23||Nike GTS ‘16 TXT||Best under $100|
|24||Vans Low Top||Best under $50|
|25||Maison Margiela Fusion||Most expensive|
All the shoes featured on our list of the best sneakers of 2021 are independently selected by our team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
1. Oliver Cabell Low 1 Frost: Best minimalist men’s sneakers
Oliver Cabell is making a name for itself, delivering consistently high-quality premium sneakers with simple minimalist design. This sublime pair of all-white sneakers Low 1 is discrete and minimalist yet very stylish. The brand handcrafts all their shoes using ethical factories and materials.
Axel Arigato is another brand that excels at producing minimalist luxury sneakers with a premium casual look. This pair of white leather sneakers with a discreet golden logo is one of our favourites.
Clean 90 White Sneakers
2. Nike Air Max 270: Bestselling sneakers of the year
The Nike Air Max 270 is quite simply the most popular men’s sneaker of 2021. This low-top pair comes in a range of colours, shown here in simple black and white. The woven fabric on the upper gives you a lightweight fit and airy feel while Nike’s signature lightweight React rubber sole makes it also one of the most comfortable sneakers to wear all day long.
No wonder the Nike Air Max 270 are the single best-rated sneakers online.
This alternative Nike Air Max 270 in all-white with a black logo is the most reviewed version on Amazon and can be snatched at a discount.
Men’s Air Max 270 white
3. Koio Capri Castagna: Best casual shoes to wear with jeans
We absolutely love the Capri Castagna by Koio as our every day sneakers. These simple yet elegant brown leather sneakers are perfect to match with jeans when dressing casually. Koio is a fast-growing online sneaker brand created by two passionate sneakerheads. They design their shoes in the USA and produce them in Italy.
Another excellent casual sneaker option to wear daily are these classic Adidas Campus in blue suede. Many other colour combinations are available, including timeless white and black.
Men Campus Originals
4. Axel Arigato Clean 90: Most stylish sneakers
Nothing beats a pair of swish white men’s sneakers and our favourites have to be these suede beauties by street-smart Swedish label, Axel Arigato. Offering pure understated minimalism, they would go with almost any casual get up and are the perfect addition to your weekend warrior wardrobe.
Axel Arigato’s Clean 90 Sneaker collection is a real game-changer and we’re definitely tempted to buy multiple pairs. There are heaps of styles available, featuring everything from 3D embroidered birds to zebra print heel tabs. But we appreciate the unfussy sophistication of this white suede pair.
This cool update of the Clean 90 Sneaker classic is handmade from premium suede with a luxurious texture you can’t help but stroke. The black tab in smooth leather offers an aesthetically satisfying contrast.
With a slightly higher heel, cushioned footbed, and arch support, these Axel Arigato sneakers will provide ultimate comfort from morning until evening, and wherever you end up in between.
If you’re looking for something edgier, check instead these distressed sneakers by Golden Goose. The Italian luxury shoemaker combines luxury materials, true craftsmanship, and edgy design to the world of men sneakers. The results are some of the most trendy men sneakers of the year with a sought after distressed leather look.
Stylish Distressed Sneakers
5. Adidas Originals Superstar: Best classic sneakers
Every man should have a pair of Adidas Original Superstar in his sneakers collection. Their design is timeless. Some even call them the best sneakers of all time. The shoes come in a variety of colours, but if we have to pick just one, we would recommend the classic white leather with black stripes.
If you close your eyes and picture one of the most classic sneakers in history, chances are that the Converse Black Chuck 70 will pop into your head. They make for another great choice.
Black Chuck 70 Low Sneakers
6. Lanvin suede and patent-leather: Best dressed up sneakers
If you’re after a nice pair of sneakers to dress up for a business casual look, or even a black-tie party, check this pair of black Lanvin cap-toe in suede and patent-leather. It’s the best sneakers to wear in the office or match with a suit.
Looking for an all-black sneaker instead, Oliver Cabell has exactly what you need with this Jet Black version of their best-selling Low 1 shoe. The pair is crafted in Italy with calfskin leather and Margom outsoles.
Low 1 Jet Black
7. Celine Triomphe Gold High-Top: Most extravagant
This pair of gold high-top sneakers by French luxury designer Céline is exclusive to 24S, the LVMH-owned online store. It’s a limited-edition sneaker that’s simple, comfortable, and highly desirable. You won’t go unnoticed walking down the street with these on your feet.
If you’re after shoes with a little bit more peps, check these very red sneakers by Off-White with the brand’s instantly-recognisable tag.
Red Off Court Sneakers
8. Adidas UltraBoost 21: Most comfortable sneakers
When Adidas first introduced the UltraBoost, the shoe received rave reviews online for its build quality and comfort. Put the sneakers on your feet, and you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds! The latest version, the Adidas UltraBoost 21, is excellent for running as well. And best of all, the UltraBoost are made from recyclable materials, so they are friendly to our planet.
The Ultraboost are now available in a large range of colours and style. The breathable mesh top is particularly comfortable during the summer to keep your feet cool. It’s also one of the only pair of shoes on our list with true athletic capabilities. You can use them on the track, at the gym, or as your go-to pair on the weekend.
Pssst: you can snatch a brand new pair of UltraBoost at a discount if you purchase the previous version, the UltraBoost 5.0 DNA, from Adidas here. They are still available in multiple sizes and colours.
For comfort, we really like the Salomon Black Limited Edition XT-6 ADV too. The French shoe manufacturer is seeing a massive increase in their sneaker sales since it became a fashion statement. Even Ralph Lauren and Rihanna started wearing them.
Black Limited Edition XT-6 ADV
9. Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Yecheil: 2021 most sought-after
The Yeezy, born from a collaboration between Kanye West and Adidas, also make for a great sneaker investment if you plan on selling them back. Their aftermarket price increased by 27% since they first went on sale. They remain one of the hottest sneakers of the year. Hipsters love them for their unique look, sneakers heads love them for their investment value on aftermarket websites.
We give an honourable mention for this alternative: the Air Jordan 1 Retro High North Carolina to Chicago released in 2021. The classic high-top silhouette remains a timeless hit.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High
10. Balmain B-Court: Best black and white sneakers
With its clean and trendy design, the Balmain White & Black logo B-Court sneakers will keep you comfortable. The shoe is made with high-quality leather and extra padding. The back of the sole features a glossy rubberized trip with the luxury house logo embossed at the heel.
For a low-key and affordable alternative, check these black and white Puma Roma sneakers. With their timeless design and great value for money, it’s no surprise that they have over 5,500 positive reviews on Amazon.
Roma Black & White Leather
11. Koio Gavia Bianco: Pure white sneakers
Every man should own a pair of pure white sneakers. They are easy to wear with nearly everything, and will instantly freshen up your look. White sneakers don’t have to be boring, however. To be on-trend, check this pair of Gavia Bianco by Koio. Their design is elevated by the addition of rose gold accents on the mountaineering eyelets. The shoe is also very comfortable even after a long day of walking.
Another great option are the Oliver Cabell Low 1 sneakers in all-white. It’s a great value alternative if you want simple yet stylish white sneakers made with high-quality materials.
Low 1 White
12. Balenciaga Black Speed: All black sneakers
No list of the best designer sneakers would be completed without a pair of Balenciaga Black Speed. The luxury designer is one of the first to embrace premium sneakers at its fashion show. The high-top stretch knit sneakers in black with black sole features a Memory Sole technology for added comfort and the perfect fit.
If you want something a little more subtle, try these black leather and black sole Common Projects sneakers. These low-top buffed leather sneakers even come with matching black lace-up closure. Only a discrete serial number stamp in gold-tone is present on the outer side for a touch of style. Yes, you can wear black on black sneakers and still be trendy.
Black Original Achilles Low Sneakers
13. Koio Tempo Bianco: Best tennis sneakers
The retro-athletic inspired Koio Tempo Bianco has an air of classic tennis shoes with a modern interpretation. The sneakers are indeed built to sustain an entire day of walking around town. They are handcrafted in Italy with premium materials. There is something about the colour matching and edgy yet straightforward design that gives them a great personality. These sneakers would look great with any pair of jeans.
For a modern take on the tennis sneaker, check this Breeze Knit tennis shoes by American designer Robert Graham. Made with the brand’s signature Breeze technology, the features a rubber cup-sole and EVA midsole. It’s also water-friendly, lightweight and very comfortable.
Breeze Knit Tennis Sneaker
14. Nike Air Force 1 GTX: Most durable sneakers
Made with Gore-Tex, a high tech material that ensures a high level of water resistance, the Nike Air Force 1 GTX are one of the most durable sneakers on the market today. We especially love them in this green khakis colour for a military look. A great reinterpretation of the classic Air Force with modern design details.
This pair of high-top Converse is another excellent option if you want to invest in sneakers that will stay with you for years. Their design is both durable and timeless.
Black Lucky Star High-Top Sneakers
15. Nike Air Jordan New Beginnings: Best high-top sneakers
This 2021 reedition of the 1985 Nike Air Jordan is an absolute gem. It’s sold as part of a pack, combining this Jordan New Beginnings with the Nike Air Ship 1984 reedition. You can’t buy the sneakers online with Nike, but you can snatch a pair on premium resale marketplace StockX. They are currently selling for over ten times their original price!
Check also this superb collaboration between Converse and Comme des Garçons reinterpreting the classic high-top Chuck 70. This special edition comes with premium materials and a more comfortable sole.
COMME DES GARÇONS PLAY
Black Converse Edition Half Heart Chuck 70 High
16. Nike x Supreme SB Dunk Low Jewel Swoosh Red: Best collaboration
The collaboration between Nike and Supreme has produced many shoes over the years. But one of our all-time favourites is this SB Dunk Low Jewel Swoosh sneaker in red and white. It’s very wearable with just enough street attitude and exciting elements to make people stop and notice. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get them on premium secondhand market StockX.
Honourable mention for the Nike x Off-White collaboration on this beautiful pine green and orange accent sneaker. Virgil Abloh pays homage to skate culture of the 1980’s with his signature Off-White text on the sides. The Nike Dunk Low Off-White Pine Green is in high-demand in the aftermarket space.
NIKE X OFF-WHITE
Dunk Low Pine Green
17. Gucci Screener: Best vintage sneakers
Gucci nailed the sneakers throwback design with this retro-inspired shoe. Influenced by classic runners from the ’70s, this pair of Gucci Screener sneakers are carefully distressed to look like authentic vintage sports shoes. They are made in Italy and feature an enamelled GG logo at the front.
Before Under Armor, there was Reebok. The British sports brand defined the 1980s with its classic sneakers. Reebok embodies the ultimate athletic shoes in the 80s. This Reebok Club C Revenge in white and blue leather with a red accent colour is a cool and affordable retro sneaker.
Club C Revenge Leather Sneakers
18. Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% Flyknit: Best sneakers to run with
Our absolute favourite running shoes at the moment are the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit. They are hands down the best athletic sneakers on the market today. In fact, they are so good at helping you run faster than the International Association of Athletics Federations is examining if they provide an unfair advantage to athletes who wear them.
For long-distance running, check the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 21 instead. These sports shoes were built from the ground up to provide support, comfort, and excellent traction for runners. They are available in a range of colours on Amazon here.
Men Gel-Nimbus 21
19. Tom Ford Midnight Blue Warwick Suede: Most versatile sneakers
If you could only wear one pair of sneakers, this beautiful pair from Tom Ford would be our pick. It comes in a variety of colours, but we particularly like this midnight blue suede. It’s easy to wear with everything for a casual to business casual look. Made in Italy from premium materials, this pair of Tom Ford Warwick sneakers is finished with discreet branding, including perforated ‘T’s and gold designer stamps.
For a good alternative at an affordable price, check these Black OG Old School Vans. Their design is virtually remaining the same year over year, and they can be easily dressed up or down.
Black OG Old Skool LX
20. Salomon Edition XT-6 Trekking: Best sneakers for long walks
Born out of a collaboration between Salomon and Fumito Ganryu, these cool sneakers are our favourite for walking through town all day. They are very versatile too. You could easily wear them for a mountain trek or to go to a club, now that they’ve acquired a high-fashion status symbol. This limited edition makes them even more stylish.
We also love the New Balance 608v5 trainers. They have a bit of a retro sneakers look to them that makes them both very comfortable to walk all day and easy to pair with your jeans for a casual look. These shoes are New Balance’s best sellers on Amazon for men.
608v5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer
21. Balenciaga Track 2: Best Dad Sneakers
French luxury designer Balenciaga offers some of the most daring sneakers look. This pair of Beige & Blue Track 2 Sneakers is no exception. They are the epitome of dad sneakers come back. Made from 176 different pieces, the shoe combines nylon and mesh with generous rubber soles. The brand’s logo is featured on the sides. They are also available in combinations of all-black, black and red, and black and green.
If you’re after a (slightly) less conspicuous look, Gucci has exactly what you need. Check the White Ultrapace Sneakers in white, green, blue and red combination. The trainers are also available in a mix of other colours.
White Ultrapace Sneakers
22. Nike Air Force 1: Best value sneakers
On-trend with a retro yet timeless look and legitimate street credibility, the Nike Air Force 1 ’07 are the best value sneakers of 2021, selling for less than $100. We love this particular all-white iteration with durably stitched overlays, clean finishes and the perfect amount of flash to make you shine.
The Air Force 1 has defined shoe culture since the moment it stepped onto the court. And it continues to be a fashion staple thanks to clean lines, a strong midsole, and new and classic colourways in low, mid and high-top styles.
You can also fully customise your own Air Force 1 design with the Nike By You program. Create your own sneaker by selecting the colours and materials for every component of the shoe.
We also like these Cole Haan Grandpro Tennis Stitchlite sneakers that offer great value for the money. The shoes are available in a range of colours, but we particularly love this light blue tone for a fresh summery look.
Grandpro Tennis Stitchlite
23. Nike GTS ‘16 TXT: Best sneakers under $100
On-trend with the retro look and dad sneakers inspiration, we love these simple yet stylish trainers. The Nike Killshot 2 have legitimate street credibility and cost less than $100. They are hard to get, however, and tend to sell out as quickly as they’re restocked. We love this particular iteration with midnight navy’ swooshes on white leather and light-grey suede trims. The abrasion-resistant gum rubber soles complete the look for a classic tennis sneaker.
Another great option under $100 are the timeless Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers. They’ve been around forever and will last you just as long.
Originals Stan Smith
24. Vans Low Top: Best sneakers under $50
If you’re on a really tight budget, your options are limited, but you can still find cool sneakers under $50. Our favourite are the Vans low top. Their timeless design and excellent build quality make them the perfect affordable sneaker. They are available in a range of colours.
And if you want something really inexpensive but durable and comfortable, check these Skechers Go Max-Athletic available in a range of colours. We found the best deals on Amazon for these sneakers under $30.
25. Maison Margiela Black Fusion: The single most expensive sneakers
This one certainly isn’t for everyone. You need a certain affinity with art to truly appreciate these luxury sneakers. The Maison Margiela Black Fusion are simply the most expensive sneakers on the market today. The shoe is made with premium materials, of course, but then undergoes a unique and handcrafted process to produce this particular look. The brand emphasizes that variations in colour or details are the result of the handcrafted nature of sneakers. Slight imperfections are not to be considered defects but add to its value and unique character.
On the resale market, the most expensive sneakers on sale today are the limited edition Nike MAG Back To The Future. They sell for over $30,000 on StockX at the moment.
MAG Back To The Future
2021 men sneaker trends: 5 trends you should know
Our editorial team reviewed hundreds of sneakers while compiling this list of the absolute best for 2021. This gives us a unique position to observe the trends that are shaping the world of designer sneakers this year.
Here are the 5 most important trends of the year:
- Bulky silhouettes: luxury brands are experimenting with bigger sneaker design this year. A throwback to the large skate shoes of the 90’. Check, for example, the Gucci Rhyton or the Balenciaga Black Triple S.
- Minimalism: clean and simple design continue to sell, thankfully. Common Projects’ Achilles and Koio Gavia Bianco are perfect examples of minimalism with style.
- New tech: big sneaker manufacturers continue to push new boundaries to make you run faster (see the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% Flyknit) or protect your shoes better (see the Nike Air Force 1 GTX).
- Sustainability: likewise, big manufacturers are also embracing sustainability sneaker productions with reusable materials (see the Adidas UltraBoost 20).
- High-fashion collaboration: it’s hard to keep track of all the collaborations going on at the moment. Virtually every luxury fashion brand has a sneaker model in collaboration with a streetwear brand at the moment. The latest are Dior x Nike and Prada x Adidas.
Best sneaker brands: The brands that define the sneaker culture
Athletic brands invented sneakers. But today, you can now buy sneakers from virtually any fashion brand on the planet. From entry-level to high-end luxury fashion statements, there are sneakers available for every budget.
Some brands really define the sneaker culture, however. They created something new and established themselves as true shapers and visionaries.
Here are the 6 brands that are critical to the world of men’s sneakers:
No list of the best sneakers brands would be credible without Nike at the top. The American sports brand continues to renew itself every year with new technology and design. Nike’s capacity to push its sneakers in every direction at the same time is absolutely delightful.
Adidas has successfully completed a comeback over the past few years, diving deep into the streetwear culture with collaborations with Fear Of God by Jerry Lorenzo and Yeezy by Kayne West, for example, while staying true and authentic to their core value.
The Italian luxury brand Gucci was among the first big names to embrace the casual and sportier men shoe look. Gucci’s design really took over the streetwear fashion world with iconic models.
French luxury brand Balenciaga came late to the sneakers game. But they came big. The designer is revisiting classics from the 80s and 90s with a modern twist.
5. Tom Ford
High-end designer Tom Ford is known for his use of premium materials and attention to details. The Tom Ford sneaker collection is absolutely top-notch. They provide superb style with long-lasting quality.
6. Common Projects
While less known than the other luxury brands in our list, Common Projects has been making a case for luxury sneakers for a decade. Working with premium materials and thoughtful designs, Common Projects earned street credibility among its fans and offers excellent value for money.
Sneakers culture: Frequently asked questions
The Nike Air Jordan New Beginnings Pack, that includes a Nike Air Ship and a Nike Air Jordan 1 are the hottest sneakers out right now. Their official retail price is $350 but they are sold for over ten times that amount on premium resale marketplace StockX.
The Nike Air Max 270 is the most popular men’s sneaker at the moment. Nike’s signature lightweight React rubber sole makes it also one of the most comfortable sneakers to wear all day long.
Super-fashionable Golden Goose Superstar are the coolest sneakers of 2021. The Italian luxury shoemaker combines luxury materials, trustworthy craftsmanship, and edgy design to the world of men sneakers. The results are some of the most trendy men sneakers of the year with a sought after distressed leather look.
Men can wear sneakers as part of a casual outfit, or dress them up for a business casual day in the office. You just need to pick the right pair of sneakers for the job. The Koio Capri Castagna sneakers are the best casual shoes to wear with jeans.