Now, you wouldn’t normally compare sneakers to beer. But these two cornerstones of American life bear a stark similarity—and it’s got nothing to do with the word foam. In the 1990s, there were more or less only three brands on the market: Coors and Nike, Miller and Adidas, Budweiser and New Balance. But today, we’re in the midst of a sneaker boom on par with the craft beer surge we’ve seen sweep the country. Just look at Cole Haan—yes, the same Cole Haan that stocks your uncle’s shoe closet—for proof. This week, they launched the slickest sneaker we’ve seen in ages. Seriously. Read on, and see why we can’t get enough of that shoe and five other pairs (including some kicks from retailers you know make a solid sneaker). And of course, if you’re looking for something on the higher end, be sure to check out these impressive dress shoes.
Cole Haan Grandmotion Saddle Knit Sneaker
$180, Buy now at colehaan.com
With Cole Haan, you’re bound to get an appealing, über-stylish pair of kicks. But these sneakers are simply above and beyond: the premium comfort—these boast a fully padded sock lining—and unparalleled athleticism make these an essential for any man’s closet. Plus, you can never go wrong with a classic black and white. And for more sweet kicks, check out these 5 options here.
ECCO Men’s Soft 7 Premium Tie
$180, Buy now at ecco.com
Once upon a time, you wouldn’t dare of wearing sneakers to any place that required formality: the office, a nice dinner, a—gasp—gala. But these burnished leather kicks from ECCO simply ooze luxury. Wear them with your sharpest suit, and you’ll own any room you walk into. Don’t have any sharp suits? Don’t worry: We have you covered.
Nike Cortez Jewel “Rare Ruby”
$100, Buy at nike.com
Since 1972, the Nike Cortez has been a staple in the closets of sneakerheads, and for good reason: The iconic design has aged with a graceful beauty. Though they’re available in a variety of vivacious colors, we love the “rare ruby,” a vibrant red that’s reminiscent of one’s college days. And if, for you, those college days are from a liberal arts school, be sure to check out these perfect sneakers for creative stylish men.
Cole Haan Grandmotion Sport Sneaker
$200, Buy now at colehaan.com
If the pair up top didn’t convince, these babies will. Cole Haan’s nubuck leather Grandmother Sport is the ideal summertime shoe. Light, breezy, ventilated, and sleek as hell—check out that slate gray—keep this shoe glued to your feet this summer.
ECCO Men’s Kinhin Low
$170, Buy now at ecco.com
Another addition from ECCO, these lace-up shoes feature a very polished design to create a lavish but casual everyday shoe—with a highly futuristic twist. Be ware: this is a super snug fit, but adjustable laces and a thick soul provide light, breathable comfort. Now, if you’re looking for something that will help you train for a marathon, ignore this and instead check out these great running shoes.
Stan Smith Leather Sock Shoes
$130, Buy now at adidas.com
The Stan Smiths are one of Adidas’s signature models. And in all-white, they still shine—more than 30 years later. You can’t go wrong with a classic.
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