Yes, I said it, Sneakers are better than OK! They are encouraged, as far as I’m concerned. I’m tired of people looking down on them.
No matter what your age, you should be able to wear sneakers without feeling the judgmental eyes of other people thinking you want to look younger than you actually are. The answer is easy, it’s all about what you pair them with.
Growing up going to Catholic schools where we had to wear a uniform, sneakers were the only way to set yourself apart from the other kids in your class. Luckily, my birthday is August 30th, which fell almost exactly in line with the first day of school every year so I got just about any pair of shoes I wanted (which I’m extremely thankful for, I will forever blame my Mom for my shoe addiction).
Ever since, I’ve been an enthusiast and I want to share my four different types of sneakers and the occasions for which they’re best suited.
|Shoes: Jordan VI Black/Red, Jeans: Levi’s Made & Crafted, Blazer: Zara (Altered), Tank: BDG, Watch: Timex|
When I say Jordans, I’m including all basketball-type sneakers (Dunks, Lebrons, AF1’s, etc). Mainly hi-tops and shoes that are generally going to be a bit bulkier. I’ve been a Jordan freak since day 1 of my sneaker obsession. I love them, not only for their appearance but for the nostalgia they can create. I see a guy wearing a pair of J’s that I haven’t seen in awhile and it takes me back to a time in my own past, it’s fun.
Stylistically, Jordans aren’t something you want to be wearing with any old outfit. Personally, I like to break out my J’s when I’m heading someplace that I can be slightly dressy but I know won’t enforce a dress code. I think they pair best with nice jeans and a blazer or a denim jacket. Wearing them with shorts or something more casual is what sends the vibe that you’re 27 going on 19.
|Shoes: Nike Cortez Forrest Gump, Jeans: Levis 511, Shirt: Vintage, Watch: Timex|
“Lo-Pro” is short for Low Profile. These shoes are best served casual. They go great with cuffed jeans or khakis as well as shorts. Lo-Pro’s have really taken off in the past several years with the hipster movement and vintage revival taking over. I love this type of shoe for daily errands or hanging with friends when I don’t need to worry about looking my best or dressing for an occasion. If you don’t consider yourself a Jordan guy, lo-pro’s are the way to go.
|Shoes: Nike Lunarsoft Moc, Jeans Levis 511|
Runners have recently started becoming some of my favorite shoes. Most of the mainstream brands have started developing their runners to be just as fashionable as functional and I love it. These will always be your most comfortable shoe for active wear. I think they go great with jeans and can be worn in similar occasions to lo-pro’s or in times when you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking (which I love to do).
|Shoes: Vans Authentic, Jeans: Levis 511|
“Got my Vans on but they look like sneakers!” Plimsolls are one of the OG’s when it comes to casual shoes. As you can see, I wear the hell out of these bad boys. They go with everything, jeans, khakis, shorts. I’ve even worn these with a casual suit and totally looked the part. Lo-Pro’s and Plimsolls are very similar in style, yet lo-pro’s will often hold up a bit better for a longer, more comfortable wear. A Plimsoll like my Vans will eventually fall apart (case and point) but the journey of wearing them down sure is fun. I like to dress these up like my Jordans because they pose a nice juxtaposition to the formality of the outfit.
*5) Grown-Man/Hi-Fashion Sneakers
I didn’t include these because I’ve yet to dive into the pool of high fashion sneakers that are currently flooding the market. I’m seeing more and more Prada, Margiela, Gucci sneakers than ever before and I, personally, am not a fan. One brand that is killing it, however, is Clae.
So that’s my (somewhat lengthy) take on why sneakers are better than fine, whether you’re a 21 year old guy trying to look a bit older or a 65 year old guy reminiscing on what it was like watching MJ drop 55 on the Knicks.