Sneaker trends for 2019 are nothing new — it’s just a renewal and resurgence of past styles — after all style and fashion is a cyclical beast.
While trends in the menswear space seemingly come and go by the seasons, it’s no surprise that sneaker culture changes just as quickly.
If you’ve followed Gentleman Within for a while now then you know that I like to preach timeless style and simplicity—leaning on the verge of minimalism.
I’m not huge on what’s trending out there, but I do feel it’s important to stay abreast of what’s going on because there’s inspiration to be had by keeping an eye on the trends of today.
In this article I’m going to touch on trending sneakers for the fall and winter seasons 2018-2019, specifically the good, the bad, and yes the ugly.
Let’s get started.
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THE GOOD SNEAKER TRENDS
These are the sneaker trends that I’m fully endorsing for 2019. There will be lots more good shoes than bad and ugly on this list.
1) SNEAKER MINIMALISM
The clean and classic minimalist sneaker trend is currently a fan favorite, versatile enough to dress up with high end tailoring or dress down with athleisure or casual jeans. This makes white sneakers a must have in all men’s wardrobes.
In addition to white, brown suede is another, classic and versatile option. Furthermore, you could opt for an all white or beige canvas pair of low-top sneakers also known as skate shoes for a bit more of a casual vibe.
A drawback of white sneakers is that they get dirty easily, and I don’t recommend wearing them in rainy weather or grimy places.
SHOP MINIMALIST SNEAKERS
- New Republic Kurt Leather Sneaker – $40
- Superga 2750 Cotu Classic White Sneakers – $65
- Converse Chuck 70 Low Top Sneakers – $80
- Reebok Club C85 White Sneakers – $70
- Adidas Stan Smith Leather Sneakers – $75
- Koio Capri Perla Low Top Canvas Sneakers – $178
- Koio Capri Triple White Low Top Leather Sneakers – $248
- Common Projects Original Achilles Low – $336
- Greats The Royale Blanco – $179
2) BACK TO THE CLASSICS
You can never go wrong with the classics. A majority of the trends in this article will fall in and out of style over time, but it’s these classics that will continue to endure. Brands like Vans, Converse and Nike have been offering classic silhouettes for decades now.
A black and white pair like the Converse One Star or Vans Old Skool are affordably priced classics, prime for everyday casual wear. Alternatively, a pair of casual lace up running sneakers pairs exceptionally well with sweatpants, light or dark blue jeans.
One of my favorite timeless silhouettes comes from Nike, specifically their ‘Internationalist‘ sneaker that’s sleek and stylish, and designed in a myriad of colorways for extreme versatility. Another great pick is the ever popular, often sold out, Nike Killshot 2 with the gumsole.
Whatever the case, whether you’re rocking a pair of suede slip-ons or casual lace-up sneaks, you’re sure to keep things cool and comfortable.
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SHOP “THE CLASSICS” SNEAKERS
- Vans For J.Crew Canvas Sneakers – $60
- Vans Old Skool Classic Skate Shoe – $60
- Reebok Classic Leather Pre-School White Sneakers – $50
- PF Flyers Center Hi-Top Sneakers – $60
- Nike for J.Crew Killshot 2 – $90
- Nike Internationalist Low ID Sneaker – $110
- Converse One Star Pro Low Top Skateboarding Shoe – $75
- Nike Air Max 1 Retro Suede, Nubuck, Mesh Sneakers – $150
3) TECH RUNNERS
In 2016, sneaker tech took a leap forward when Nike released the HyperAdapt 1.0 which are essentially self-lacing sneakers for a whopping $750.
According to Nike, “The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 is the first fully-functioning athletic shoe that electronically adjusts to the contours of your foot via adaptive lacing technology—providing a personal, customized fit that makes it feel like an extension of your body.”
It’s this kind of boundary pushing technology that makes this sneaker trend more than just a trend, but instead, a model that is going to shape the footwear industry in the years and decades moving forward. In fact, the HyperAdapt’s successor the Nike Adapt BB (released Feb. 14, 2019) improves upon its predecessor while coming in at a lower price point of $350 and a much sleeker silhouette. Imagine lacing up your sneakers with an app. Well now you can.
As of today brands are introducing cool sneakers with built-in waterproofing and ripstop fabrics. And these shoes aren’t just for runners or athletes either. They’re ideal sneakers to complement the ever popular athleisure style with their sleek silhouettes and knitted uppers.
With brands like Nike and Adidas pushing sneaker tech forward, technology enabled and enhanced sneakers are merely in its infancy.
SHOP TECH RUNNERS SHOES
- Nike Shox Gravity Running Shoes – $50
- Nike Epic React Flyknit Running Shoe – $150
- APL Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Running Sneakers – $200
- APL Athletic Propulsion Labs Phamtom Mesh Sneakers – $165
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo Mesh Sneaker – $180
- Adidas Speedfactory AM4LDN Running Shoe – $129
- Adidas Originals Ultraboost – $130
4) SUEDED OUT SILHOUETTES
Take all of the popular sneaker trends above, then throw in a little suede and we have our next sneaker trend for 2019.
We’re talking neutral, versatile ‘pops of color’ suede colorways. This season you can go for a light navy blue or light olive. They’re still neutral colors, but have more visual interest than a plain brown.
If you want to go bolder, opt for a darker olive, though not quite forest green. Or you can take things to the next level with a burnt orange or ochre pair of casual sneakers.
These are all more exciting to wear than plain black or brown suede, at the same time they’re subdued enough to be versatile, standout pieces.
SHOP SUEDE SHOES
- PUMA Sueded Classic Shoes – $33.95
- Converse One Star Ox Suede Sneakers – $85
- Maison Margiela Repblica Suede Sneakers – $580
- Vans OG 59 Suede Slip-On Sneakers – $75
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this article on the latest sneaker trends for men, then you’ll probably find my other writing on all things men’s style useful. Each week, I share updates, style tips and other things not shared on the blog through my free email newsletter.
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THE BAD SNEAKER TRENDS
We’ve talked about the good sneaker trends for fall/winter 2018-2019, but now it’s time for some of the bad. These aren’t the best shoes, although it’s not all that bad if we take a closer look.
5) CHUNKY SOLE SNEAKERS
It was only a matter of time before they reared their ugly heads back into the sneaker scene. They’ve been trending heavily all year among sneaker heads and fashion influencers and will only pick up steam going into fall/winter and beyond.
The maximalist bulky or chunky sneakers also known as dad trainers or ugly sneakers are a direct response to the minimalist sneaker trend. Brands like Balenciaga and Gucci to Nike and New Balance are rocking this trend hard right now. They’re not pretty with the worst of them introducing crazy colors to elevate these brick-like silhouettes into obnoxiously loud territory.
But with all the things wrong with this trend, there are a few bright spots. If you’re down to experiment with the bulky sole sneaker trend, then opt for a shoe with a sleek silhouette upper and a solid or neutral colors. It will help to tone down the chunky sole and ground the overall look.
SHOP CHUNKY SOLE SNEAKERS
THE UGLY SNEAKER TRENDS
Fashion is a cyclical beast that gives way to new trends on a seasonal basis. Before the wide leg trouser trend we had skinny jeans. And naturally, years of Vans and Common Projects have led us here.
6) UGLY TRAINERS
These things are utterly hideous. Living up to their name, ugly sneakers combine a bulky soled shoe with unnecessary embellishments, Ed Hardy-esque paint splatters, hand sketched art, and bold logos which is a category unto itself.
Do yourself a favor and avoid the ugly dad sneaker trend in 2019. Sure a tiny subset of fashion dudes (hypebeasters) are going to rock these unsightly horrors, but at least you won’t be looking back in 10 years thinking WTF was I wearing?
7) BOLD LOGOS
Regular Gentleman Within readers know that I’m not a fan of logos obnoxiously plastered on products. Leave it to high fashion to shout their brand name to the rooftops with bold logos emblazoned across the front of their shoes. It’s a status thing I guess. To them these are the coolest shoes ever.
If you’re going to rock this trend, go with some New Balances, it’ll run you 10x less than a pair of Gucci or Prada sneakers and it’s a tried and true classic.
8) A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
Finally to conclude this list of latest sneaker trends for 2019, it’s time to throw in the kitchen sink.
This trend takes a little bit of everything and blends it into a single, unified sneaker trend that can actually work.
Take a sleek leather, mesh and suede upper in neutral colors and pair it with a slimmed down chunky sole and you’ve got a great looking shoe that stands out without screaming out.
Sometimes throwing a ton of crap at the wall and hoping that it sticks can work out after all.
SHOP THE KITCHEN SINK
WRAPPING THINGS UP
There you have it, men’s sneaker trends 2019, the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope that this article helped to provide insight on what’s currently hot and what you can potentially experiment with moving forward into 2019.
WHICH OF THESE SNEAKER TRENDS ARE YOU A FAN OF?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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