On occasions that call for a suit, there’s no reason you need to dress like your dad.
If you’re going to tackle a formal look with sneakers, it’s important to pay attention to silhouettes, colors, and materials when picking the kicks you want to pair with your slacks. The right sneakers can potentially elevate a ’fit, but throwing gym-weathered beaters into the mix will impress precisely no one.
Before we get into our curated selection, you can always rely on three truisms to inform which sneakers will match well with your suit.
1.Black leather low-tops with a white midsole will compliment mostly any suit.
2. Usually, the simpler the better. A sneaker with less adornments is a good place to start, before you move on to more advanced maneuvers.
3. Carefully consider the length of your pants, and get them hemmed if needed.
Formalwear is becoming something you no longer just pull out of your closet whenever there’s a wedding on the horizon, but even if you want to dabble in more formal looks, that shouldn’t mean turning in your sneakerhead credentials. Whether you’re embarking on the annual anguish of wedding season or you’re looking to make a suit part of your wardrobe rotation, these are the sneaker styles that will help you nail the suit with sneakers look.
adidas Stan Smith
The adidas Stan Smith is a court shoe hero, simple yet elegant and available in any number of colors. This low-profile cup sole style would pair nicely with most suiting options, particularly the perennially trendy OG colorway in white and green, or even the Raf Simons version if you’re looking to splash out. In the same canon of classic low-t0p adidas, the Gazelle and Samba are also strong contenders.
Vans’ skate shoes have transcended their roots as simple deck shoes and later skateboarding go-tos, to become everyday style icons. Whether you opt for an Old Skool, Authentic, Era, or you prefer to ditch laces altogether and wear a Slip-On, Vans classic California footwear provides a nice contrast to tailored suiting.
Is there anything a pair of canvas Chucks doesn’t go with? If you’re new to sneakers with a suit, a pair of classic Chuck Taylors shouldn’t push you too far beyond your comfort zone. For those more familiar, Chuck 70s offer that little something extra with their premium finishing. Of course, it’s up to you whether you go high-top or low.
Nike Tennis Classic
In case you didn’t spot the pattern, white tennis-inspired low tops are a strong place to start. The Nike Tennis Classic is Nike’s counterpart to the adidas Stan Smith, and as both silhouettes are firmly based in on-court aesthetics, it all depends on your preference of brands; Swoosh or Three Stripes.
For those more concerned with comfort, New Balance is a great starting point. Models such as the 574, 997, and 420 all fit the bill when pairing a suit with sneakers. They’re not chunky nor overly technical and are available in a number of accessible colorways sure to match your garms. If you want to go more high-end, models from the 990 range or collabs with the likes of Aimé Leon Dore will have you covered.
Nike Air Max 1
Nike’s Air Max 1 is a reliable example of timeless design. A street-style stalwart, this silhouette pairs easily with a suit thanks to its sleek upper and shallow toe box (now that they’re being manufactured with their old last shape once again). While we would certainly recommend the original “White/Red” and “White/Blue” colorways, the great thing about the Air Max 1 is that it’s been made up in so many materials and colorways over the years.
Nike Air Jordan 1 High
The undisputed style icon of basketball shoes, the Air Jordan 1 High is a fine match for a suit. With so much history and heritage behind it, it hardly matters which Jordan 1 you choose. Whether you’re rocking Virgil Abloh’s “The Ten” collabs with matching suit pants (shout out to DJ Khaled) or the classic OG “Chicago” colorway, it’s hard to go wrong with “The One That Started It All.”
An entirely unpredictable new trend has seen mountaineering footwear become popular in fashion conversations, in part thanks to retailers like The Broken Arm and Soto who took a chance on stocking their shelves with outdoor brands. Salomon S/Lab kicks come in a number of types (e.g. Speedcross, XT-4, XT-6), with each an option in the right circumstances. Hyper-technical, with very visible branding and performance laces, Salomon shoes are ready to come off the mountain and into a more formal setting.
Maison Margiela Replica
The clue is in the name. Margiela’s Replica sneaker makes no secrets of the inspirational cues taken from the German Army Trainer, a fundamental low-top that was later elevated by Margiela. The Replica sneaker is now one of the most beloved high fashion sneakers, and a style which has proven itself as impervious to changing trends.
Rick Owens Ramones
Essentially a Rick-ified Converse Chuck Taylor, the Ramones won’t take all the shine away from your suit on the special day, but these are still bonafide statement sneakers. Depending on your taste, the Ramones sneaker also comes in low-top and high-top variations, just like Chucks.
Prada America’s Cup
It’s been jokingly said its the only sneaker to wear to a wedding, funeral – to shoot hoops in and address beef on sight. Named for a prestigious, annual sailing tournament that started in 1851, Prada’s America’s Cup was created at the request of Miuccia Prada herself. While the patent black leather version is the go-to, this sneaker comes in a variety of colors, plus a version with a Velcro closure instead of laces.
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