Forget the days when sneakers in your locker, waiting for you at gym class. Casual everyday wear shoes, such as sneakers, have become acceptable to wear in many types of environments and with many types of fashion clothing.

Yes, the times of not being able to enter a dance club with sneakers are far, far behind. Today sneakers are a symbol of new street fashion and an essential item in your particular wardrobe. With jeans, chinos, dress pants, and sometimes even with a suit, sneakers can be versatile depending on the setting you are in.

The sneaker phenomenon has reached a point or in which each launch becomes an event to follow. There are shoes that, even before they go on sale, become objects of desire and myth.

Today, many kinds of shoes are produced as limited editions in short manufacture runs; these models fulfill a requirement for the fashion world: to have something that few can have. Thus, sneakers in unique colors, signed by celebrities or born from the collaboration between two big names in the business, often grab the industry’s attention. While this phenomenon has made many such limited-edition sneakers over-priced compared to other cheaper shoes that can serve the same function, by extension, these campaigns have made shoe brand logos become status symbols. A decade ago, did anyone ever think that a name like Gucci or Chanel would look huge in sneakers? Well, now they do.

This article is our definitive list of casual shoes men should have in their wardrobe. Since there are so many models and so many styles (the number of sneakers that are put on sale every month is crazy) it is necessary to organize the ideas a bit. Here is a small guide to the main types of shoes you can find and some tricks to wear them as you play.

Minimalist Sneakers

Minimalist sneakers are shoes with a light, flat sole flat. These are sometimes called ‘barefoot sneakers’ due to how thin the soles are. Minimalist sneakers are a style evolution of the traditional tennis shoe, and its strength lies precisely in its simplicity: it goes with practically everything.

Sports brands are the ones that marked the line to follow, especially Adidas, since their Stan Smiths was the clearest example of this type of simple and accessible shoe. They were relaunched in 2014 after several years without being produced, and the fashion community welcomed them fully.

Another reissue has also become popular, the Adidas Originals Continental 80. These shoes are good with jeans and chinos but even better with dress pants, a concept that designer Phoebe Philo promoted by wearing them regularly with men’s tailored pants.

Other sneakers of this type, such as the Lacoste Lerond were popularized on the tennis courts by René Lacoste. Its style has captivated the most classics, taking into account its comfort and the elegance provided by the white, black, or blue outer leather. The minimalist style of these ‘sneakers’ stands out while preserving their sporting heritage.

Of course, there are hundreds of minimal shoe versions, preferably in white, not to lose versatility.

Maximalist Running Shoes

The opposite of a minimalist sneaker, the maximalist running shoes are built for more extreme sports usage, with more sole and more volume. These running shoes are functional for track sports and also popular with the recent rise of streetwear fashion, including new ways of wearing a sneaker and sneaker collecting. Many of them are objects of desire that end up in the window of the bedroom of an insider wanting to spend money.

The classic models from the 90s (Reebok Fury, Air Max 97) are the ones that have recovered due to this trend, although it is the designer sneakers that are setting the tone.

It should go without saying that the main value of running shoes is a functional one, since they are made for fitness purposes. But they are also popular as items of fashion, especially when worn with jeans and other sportswear. Running shoes are versatile enough that you can burn calories by running with them in the park and then later wear them when going out for a drink with friends. This makes running shoes probably the most versatile type of shoe for men.

What kind of clothes are best for a man to wear with maximalist sneakers? Their natural fit is a tracksuit and bomber jacket, but fashionistas wear them with absolutely everything.

Dress Shoes

Should you as a man wear sneakers with a suit? You can, but you’ll often stand out and can be assumed as being too poor to afford nice dress shoes — and you never want to look poor as a modern millennial gentleman.

I recommend that all men have at least one pair of dress that can be worn with a suit or business casual attire. This makes the shoes have versatility in your wardrobe, as the shoes become something you can wear for both formal events and business meetings.

Ideally, you want dress shoes made of leather and a smooth texture, as this provides an elegant touch to suits.

Slip-On Shoes

Slip-On Shoes for men can be many different types of clothing. Sometimes these are nicknamed as ‘Vans’, but Vans is a specific brand; yet Van’s constant presence in all trends slip on shoes trends continues to make it a reference.

Whatever the brand name, with slip-on men’s shoes are talking about lightweight shoes, without laces or closures, which are worn by sliding your foot into the shoes.

Slip one shoes are an icon of the skater fashion style and represent a more informal and relaxed side of men’s sports fashion. These are great for wearing on the weekends, to wear without sock.

Of course, today, almost all major brands have their own slip-on model.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.