Once reserved for leisurely fitness or hitting it hard at gym, the best thing about sneakers nowadays it that there's no wrong way to wear them—they work with casual jeans and t-shirts, but also look chic with tailored pants and even full-blown suits.
In luxurious leathers and dress shoe silhouettes, there are sophisticated trainers—made by high-end brands—on the market right now, which are sneaking their way under tailoring; so men can suit up and walk stylishly in their favourite kicks, and feel good doing it.
From plimsolls to high-tops, here are 10 luxury sneakers that bridge the gap between sporty and formal, so they’re a shoe-in for casual tailoring this season. Just suit up and sneaker-on out.
Look lush in velvet. These Gianvito Rossi lace-ups are a plush, vintage take on the court plimsoll in deep navy velour. Featuring a leather heel collar for textural contrast, the Italian-made sneakers sit swell with earthy tailoring. Think light, blending in beige, white or sand.
Tough-luxe is hardening up menswear this season. So, give a hardware hit to your next summer suit with these Valentino Garavani sneakers. Crafted in monochrome black, metal studs stamp over the smooth leather hide, lining the brand’s unique partial lace-less design to the tongue. Pair these with a lean black suit for a mod-rock kick.
Dolce & Gabbana
Stepping out in a suit with something to say, this bold red and white sneaker by Dolce & Gabbana is made from a melange of patent and smooth leather. In a low-cut shape that hugs the foot, the Sicilian duo recruited an Italian artisan to paint the kicks in black lettering. The left foot reads 'Dolce', the right 'Gabbana'. And together that makes…
Christian Louboutin has upped the ante with the Roller-Boat Flat spike trainers. Much like a slipper, these suede black slip-ons are perfect for a pared-back tuxedo look. Featuring a round toe, elasticated sides, an all-over spike embellishment and brand’s signature raging-red sole, just be sure to play nice with these sharp guys.
Get suited and booted in Bottega Veneta. These Italian snakeskin-printed high-tops are the hybrid sneaker-boot of the season in iridescent soft leather, not real python (for the animal advocates). In a blue-hue and a flat white rubber sole, the sneakers come crafted with signature Chelsea boot accents: lace-less with elasticised gores and a round toe shape for a bogus-boot footing that’s easy to slip into with your next suit.
An update on McQueen’s classic low-cut leather sneaker, this oversized version in white offers an extended rubber sole for cushy comfort – and a bit of extra height if you’re on the shorter side. Italian-made, the retro round toe, lace-up front and perforated sides point to the tennis heritage of the shoe, but it’s the blue suede heel tab and gorgeous gold logo that make this luxe enough with trousers. Not the court.
Common Project’s 'Original Achilles' model combines utilitarian design (note the signature gold-stamped serial number) with Italian quality, resulting in a sleek, clean-lined aesthetic. In anything-goes beige leather, the tonal laces and midsoles create a streamlined look, that won’t take away from your dapper duds.
Part of Ermenegildo Zegna's couture collection, these slip-on trainers are a celebration of luxurious simplicity, so they’re absolutely made for off-duty tailoring. In chestnut and white contrast rubber heel, the Italian brand goes for an almost tonal colour palette, tapping its trademark 'Pelle Tessuta' technique and elasticated crossover straps for an understated final touch.
Gucci high-tops elevate any casual suit look. Crafted from luxurious grained-leather and web detailing, the Coda walks with a chunky rubber sole embossed with the Gucci text. The shaft of the shoe is neat enough to sit snugly at the ankle, allowing the brand's distinctive red and green stripes to peep through at the trouser break. Details count.
Nobody does sneaker elegance better than Buscemi. This slip-on pair is constructed from rich Italian calf leather and boasts the signature lock and key hardware in luxurious 18kt gold. White velvet licks across the front, backed but a padded tongue and a rubber sole for durable traction. “Obnoxiously high quality,” as Jon Buscemi phrases it.
Text by: Benjamin Fitzgerald
Also read: 5 Ways To Rock Velvet For All The Dapper Man