As someone who wears sneakers several times a week, finding the right pair was a process. I needed sneakers that would get me through my 15-minute walk from the subway each morning but that didn’t look like I was getting ready for eighth grade P.E. class.
Sneakers don’t have to just be the “I want to be comfortable” option. They can take a dressy look and make it more fashionably-casual. They can streamline your outfit into something that feels more you. But not all sneakers are created the same. When it comes to upgrading your sneakers, look for ones that are made from high-quality materials like leather and cotton, and don’t be afraid to break them in.
The Perforated Royale, $179 from Greats: I love my Greats Royales. Every time I wear them, I get compliments. They’re versatile but still statement-making. It took a little while to break them in, but now I find them incredibly comfortable and easy to pair with anything, from jeans to dresses. They’re made from Italian leather and will keep your feet looking fresh every time you wear them.
Common Projects Achilles, $415 from Barney’s New York: There’s a reason that the Common Projects Achilles is one of the most-worn shoes right now. The Italian leather, padded tongue, rubber sole, and minimalist style combines into the perfect go-anywhere, do-anything sneaker. They look good with trousers to help liven up a suit but can be paired with jeans to have a great weekend look, too.
Veja V-10 Sneakers, $150 from Madewell: These Parisian sneakers have a sustainable backbone, including an organic cotton lining and soles crafted from wild Amazonian rubber. The leather will soften and you’ll be left with a sneaker that feels custom-fit to your foot while still looking sleek and light.
The Sempre, $198 from M.Gemi: The newest Sempre shoe is M.Gemi’s first unisex style. A soft, leather upper is sturdy but flexible enough to be packed in a carry-on. It comes in five different styles and its low profile allows you to pair it with any length pant. The monotone laces make this a sleek style that is an elevation from your everyday sneaker.
Saxon Leather Sneaker, $275 from Vince: Vince is all about “clean lines and uncomplicated silhouettes” and their sneakers show it. The Saxon Leather Sneakers give you a minimalist design, making them look more like a loafer than a true sneaker. It has a slightly pointed toe, adding a little bit more dressiness to an otherwise casual shoe.
Axel Arigato Platform Detailed Sneakers, $245 from Shopbop: These add a little bit of a platform into the mix, perfect for someone (like me) who could use any help they can get in the height department. The pop of red is a nice touch to allow you to pair them with simple outfits like a t-shirt and jeans. They’re made in Portugal and have a sturdy cowhide upper and suede lining to keep your feet comfortable all day.
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