In this guide, we’re going to show 10 of our top picks for the best casual sneakers for men. These include budget options as well as sneakers from some of the top luxury brands. If you’re looking for white luxury sneakers you should check out our Best White Sneaker for Men guide.
Defining Casual Sneakers
But before we get into the list let’s clearly define a casual sneaker for this article. To put it bluntly, you’re not going to be doing any serious training in any of these shoes. At one point they may have been a serious trainer. But no longer. The primary qualities of these shoes are styling, comfort, and accessibility.
So what do the best casual sneakers for men have in common? They all have a combination of style, history, and quality.
Casual Sneaker Styling
A Great casual sneaker has to have great styling. Not just great styling but dare I say iconic styling. Some shoe companies put out a ton of different shoe styles every year. Maybe one or two every reach iconic status and stick around for years if not decades. Other companies focus on just a handful of styles. And create an iconic brand based on simplicity and quality. Whichever the case, the style needs to be long-lasting to make it in this guide.
The History of Casual Sneakers
A rich history is also important. Some of the shoes on this list are decades old. But they’ve withstood the test of time. New Balance introduced the 574s in 1988. The German Army Trainer (GAT) silhouette replicated by Maison Margiela first came on the scene in the 1970s. And the iconic Tailwind retro runner by Nike first dropped in 1978. Not all the shoes on the list are decades old. If they’re not, they utilized a known silhouette (like the GAT) or create a new category.
The Best Casual Sneaker Brands
There is no best casual sneaker brand. All of the big brands have classic silhouettes that have stood the test of time. Some of my favorites include New Balance 574s, Adidas Yung 1s, and Nike Air Max 97s. Looking for more of a luxury shoe? Then I would check out Common Projects, Maison Margiela, and Balenciaga.
What to wear with casual sneakers?
The great thing about casual sneakers is that you can pretty much wear them with anything. From super casual gear like sweats or chinos to a blazer and jeans or even a suit.
Nike Air Max 97 Casual Sneakers for Men
I love the Nike Air Max 97 Sneakers ($170). They go great with any outfit, but especially a street smart workout fit. Think high socks, sweat pants or joggers, and a nice hoodie. These kicks feature the shoe’s famous water-ripple lines. Cool reflective piping and full-length Max Air cushioning. They come in a multitude of colorways, my favorite being the triple black or the black on white.
Oliver Cabell Renne Ash Casual Sneakers for Men
I personally own a pair of Oliver Cabell Renne Ash Kicks ($216). If you’re looking for a stylish pair of sneakers to wear around town, these are a great option. The Renne Ash features a black suede toe and back. With a lighter suede in grey on the heel, middle, and lacing. The entire kit sits on a white midsole with a black outsole. Construction is excellent. I wear these with black jeans and black or grey chinos. You can also get these in a lighter colorway that also looks great.
New Balance 574 Core Casual Sneakers for Men
New Balance has been around for decades. One of their most popular silhouettes is the New Balance 574 Core Sneakers ($80). The 574s are the ultimate casual sneakers. They go with everything and are extremely affordable. And because the price point is so low you never worry about wearing them all the time. These are one of my favorite everyday wear kicks. My three favorite colorways are grey, navy, and black.
Adidas Yung 1 Casual Sneakers for Men
The Adidas Yung 1 Sneakers ($100) are a great way to achieve the chunky dad sneaker look on a budget. I usually wear these with shorts, chinos, or my favorite joggers. They’re also great for everyday wear. Adidas made the uppers from a combination of suede and mesh. So I would probably keep these out of the rain. Many colorways are available. My favorites are the all-white and the triple black.
Balenciaga Triple Sole White Casual Sneakers for Men
Most of the shoes on the list are affordable. But I would be negligent if I didn’t include the shoe that started the triple sole trend. The Balenciaga Triple Sole Sneaker ($995) isn’t for the squeamish or the budget-minded. Coming in at close to a grand only the wealthy or true sneakerheads need to apply. The sole is the main attraction of this shoe. It’s a complex 3-layered sole. It features a clear sole injected with TPU. This creates a lighter more comfortable shoe with excellent shock absorption. The upper comprises a soft calf and lambskin layered on a polyester mesh.
Common Projects B-Ball Low Casual Sneaker for Men
The Common Projects B-Ball Sneakers ($455) are the more casual brother to the brand’s iconic Achilles Lows. The shoe is a stripped-down version of a classic low top basketball shoe. It features an all-leather upper clean upper that sits on an all-white sole. And of course, the shoe wouldn’t be a Common Project without the gold foil numbering on the heel. More features include a leather lining and rubber outsole. Handmade in Italy.
Nike Air Tailwind
The Nike Air Tailwind Sneakers ($95) is an excellent spring and summer shoe. The Tailwind was Nike’s first shoe to feature its now-famous Air cushion technology. And many years later it’s still going strong. They offer a huge number of colorways, but this pair with the white upper and black accents is one of my favorites. The mesh uppers feature suede overlays, a foam tongue, and swoosh branding. While the soles have air cushioning, foam midsole and rubber outsole. Another great everyday wear shoe.
Nike Day Break
The Nike Air Tailwind and the Nike Day Break Sneaker ($105) are very similar shoes. Choosing between them is pretty much up to which details you prefer. The Tailwind has a longer foam tongue. While the Daybreak has a more pronounced suede nap and waffle pattern on the outsole. The Tailwind is a retro runner with a lightweight upper. The upper features mesh overlayed with premium suede. The upper sits on a responsive EVA midsole with a rubber waffled outsole.
Soho Grit Brewer
Soho Grit is a newcomer on the sneaker scene. The brand started in London in 2019. Its shoes feature a strong silhouette that takes the chunky sneaker look to the extreme. One of my favorite offers from them is the Soho Grit Brewer ($295). This shoe is a perfect example of the raw energy and eclectic styling Soho is going for. They made the upper from calfskin and paced it on a gigantic sole. This look isn’t for everyone, but if you can pull it off many props. Soho Grit designs The Brewer in London and builds it in Italy.
Maison Margiela 22 Classic Replica Sneaker
The Maison Margiela 22 Classic Replica Sneaker ($425) is the luxury brand’s take on the 1970s German Army Trainer (GAT). Maison took this basic sneaker and reimagined it as a luxury sneaker. The upper features calfskin overlayed with soft suede. It has detailed signature stitching and a gum rubber outsole. Maison builds this shoe in Italy. Not an everyday wear shoe, but definitely worth a spot in your collection.