8 Sneaker Trends For 2021 (You Need To Know)13 min read


Sneaker trends in 2021 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. 

Best Sneaker Trends for Men 2020 | GENTLEMAN WITHIN

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 style & fashion trends of today.

In this article I’m going to touch on trending sneakers for men in 2021, specifically the good, the bad, and yes the ugly. I personally like the Mr. Porter Sneaker Store to stay up-to-date on the freshest kicks of today. 

For my recommendations, let’s dive in.

WHAT’S THE LATEST TREND IN SNEAKERS?

So what are the trendy men’s shoes as we head into a new decade? That is the question we answer with this comprehensive article featuring 8 men’s sneaker trends that cover the gamut of what’s trending for men right now.

BEST MINIMALIST SNEAKERS Under $250 (Greats, Veja, Oliver Cabell, Nothing New, Koio & More)

Subscribe to the Gentleman Within YouTube channel.

Best Casual Sneakers For Men (The Good)

These are the best casual sneakers for men, aka the good sneaker trends that I’m fully endorsing for 2021 and beyond. In this article, we will feature plenty more sneaker styles that you can rock and then provide examples of what you should look to avoid.

Let’s begin with minimalist men’s sneakers.

1. MINIMALIST SNEAKERS

Two words. Common Projects (in tan, gray or my favorite, off-white). The all-white trainer has been having a moment for a while now. The wildly popular shoes has given rise to a minimalist sneaker movement.

Minimialist Sneakers
White sneakers, forever a classic.

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. The Greats Royale, classic Vans or Grand Crosscourt II are a quite popular, yet affordable options if you’re in the market for a pair. 

Check out my list of white trainers below, from budget to more premium and grail worthy options.

SHOP MINIMALIST SNEAKERS

Under $100

  1. New Republic Kurt Leather Sneaker – $89
  2. Cole Haan Grand Crosscourt II Sneaker – $90 (on sale $49.99)
  3. Superga 2750 Cotu Classic White Sneakers – $65
  4. Converse Chuck 70 Low Top Sneakers – $80
  5. H&M Premium White Sneaker – $69.99 (on sale $55.99)
  6. Reebok Club C85 White Sneakers – $70
  7. Adidas Originals Continental Vulc – $60
  8. Adidas Continental 80 Shoes – $50
  9. Adidas Supercourt Shoes – $40
  10. Adidas Stan Smith Leather Sneakers – $85
  11. Converse Jack Purcell Leather Sneaker – $70
  12. Vans Authentic True White Sneaker – $50
  13. Everlane Court Sneaker – $98
  14. Everlane Forever Sneaker – $58
  15. Veja Esplar Leather Sneakers – $120 (Amazon)
  16. SeaVees Hermosa Sneaker Classic – $75
  17. Allbirds Tree Pipers – $95

$100-$200

  1. Koio Capri Triple White Low Tops – $268
  2. Greats Royale Blanco – $179
  3. Greats Royale Knit – $119
  4. Greats Royale Eco Mesh – $119
  5. Ace Marks Duke Sneaker – $224
  6. Oliver Cabell Low 1 White – $225 (on sale $189)
  7. Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneaker – $297
  8. Beckett Simonon Reid Sneaker – $159
  9. Nisolo Diego Low Top Sneaker – $150
  10. Polo Ralph Lauren Heritage Court Logo-Print Sneaker – $140 (on sale $84)

$300+

  1. Common Projects Original Achilles Low – $335+
  2. Common Projects White BBall Leather Sneakers – $480
  3. Stone Island Rubber-Trimmed Leather Sneakers – $450
  4. Saint Laurent Court Classic Sneakers – $575
  5. Tom Ford Cambridge Leather Sneakers – $890
  6. Tom Ford Warwick Perforated Full-Grain Leather Sneaker – $890
  7. Tom Ford Bannister Leather Sneakers – $890

At this point, solid white leather sneakers are ubiquitous in the world of menswear — a smart casual staple that’s going to be around for a while.

In addition to white, brown suede is another, classic and versatile option. The made in Italy, Koio Capri is currently one of my favorite minimalist sneakers to wear.

They even have minimalist high-tops like the Primo Roccia in suede. 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.

Whether you’re on a budget or have a bit more to spend, I’ll provide my minimalist white sneaker recommendations below as well as some suede sneaker options.


 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Khoi N. | Style for Men (@thegentwithin) on

The Ace Marks Duke Sneaker (seen above) is a high-quality, luxury white sneaker with a middle-tier price tag. Definitely worth taking a look. Check out the Ace Marks review of the Duke Sneaker and Troy Chelsea Boots.

Minimalist Sneaker Trend 1 Minimalist Sneaker Trend 2

2. BACK TO THE CLASSICS

You can never go wrong with the classics aka essential shoes for men. A majority of the shoe 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, Nike, and Adidas have been offering classic silhouettes for decades now.

Classic Internationalist Sneakers
One of my favorite kicks at the moment. The Internationalist. And here are 2 popular alternatives, Tailwind & Daybreak.

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. And then there’s the tried and true, classic Adidas Stan Smith (currently on sale for $48).

SHOP “THE CLASSICS” SNEAKERS

Under $90

  1. Huckberry SeaVees 08/63 Hermosa Plimsoll Standard – $78
  2. Vans for J.Crew Canvas Sneakers – $60
  3. Vans Old Skool Classic Skate Shoe – $60
  4. Reebok Classic Leather Pre-School White Sneakers – $55
  5. Reebok Club C Revenge Sneaker – $70 ($23.61 on sale)
  6. PF Flyers Center Hi-Top Sneakers – $54
  7. Nike Tailwind 79 Shell, Suede & Leather Sneaker – $90 ($63 on sale)


$90-$150

  1. Adidas Stan Smith Shoes – $80
  2. Allbirds Dasher Runners – $125-$145 
  3. Nike J.Crew Killshot 2 – $90 (via Nike) (via Amazon)
  4. Nike Internationalist Low By You Sneaker – $110
  5. Nike Daybreak Leather, Suede, Mesh Sneaker – $100
  6. Converse One Star Pro Low Top Skateboarding Shoe – $75
  7. Converse Chuck 70 Canvas High-Tops – $80
  8. Maison Margiela Vandal Tabi Painted Canvas Sneaker – $640


One of my favorite timeless silhouettes comes from Nike, specifically their Nike Internationalist Low 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.

Best No Show Socks For Men | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might like this hands-on guide featuring some of the Best No-Show Socks for men.

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.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Khoi N. | Style for Men (@thegentwithin) on

Back To Classic Sneaker Trend 1 Back To Classic Sneaker Trend 4Back To Classic Sneaker Trend 2Back To Classic Sneaker Trend 3

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Khoi N. | Style for Men (@thegentwithin) on

NIKE KILLSHOT 2 REVIEW & LOOKBOOK | Casual Outfit Inspiration | Men's Fashion 2020

Check out the Nike Killshot 2 lookbook video where I styled 5 casual outfits for men that you can get inspiration from or copy yourself.

3. TECH RUNNERS

In 2016, sneaker technology took a leap forward when Nike released the HyperAdapt 1.0 which are essentially self-lacing sneakers for a whopping $750. We’re talking Back to the Future type stuff.

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. Many tech runner silhouettes are dress casual appropriate, like these Brunello Cucinelli leather-trimmed, stretch-knit sneakers.

SHOP TECH RUNNERS SHOES

  1. Allbirds Dasher Runners – $125-$145 
  2. Allbirds Wool Runners – $95 
  3. Huckberry Saola Mindo Casual Sustainable Sneakers – $110 
  4. Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 Running Shoe – $150 ($102.97 on sale)
  5. Nike Shox Gravity Running Shoes – $90
  6. Nike Zoom Runners – $120+
  7. Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 – $160
  8. visvim FKT Runner in Suede, Leather, Nylon – $1,065
  9. Adidas Speedfactory AM4LDN Running Shoe – $129
  10. Adidas Originals Ultraboost – $130
  11. APL Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Running Sneakers – $165+
  12. Moncler Emilien Leather-Trimmed Stretch-Knit Sneakers – $495


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 men’s sneaker tech forward, technology enabled and enhanced sneakers are merely in its infancy.

Tech Runners Sneaker Trend 1 Tech Runners Sneaker Trend 3 Tech Runners Sneaker Trend 2

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 2021.

Suede Shoes
Who said suede isn’t stylish?

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.

SHOP SUEDE SHOES

  1. PUMA Sueded Classic Shoes – $33.95 
  2. Adidas Originals Campus 80s Suede Sneakers – $100 ($70 on sale)
  3. Mr Porter Suede Sneakers Collection – $85+
  4. Mr P. Larry Suede Sneakers – $295
  5. Veja V-10 Leather, Suede, Mesh Sneaker – $140 ($98 on sale)
  6. Brunello Cucinelli Leather-Trimmed Suede Sneakers – $745
  7. Visvim Off-White FKT Suede Runner – $1065


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. 

Additionally, suede adds texture and visual interest to simple yet stylish outfits. I actually prefer a little bit of suede on my sneakers, especially when it’s blended together with leather and a nice gumsole for example.

Suede Sneaker Trend 1 Suede Sneaker Trend 2 Suede Sneaker Trend 3 Suede Sneaker Trend 4

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.

To join now, just enter your email address below and click “Get Updates!”

BEST SNEAKER TRENDS for Fall/Winter 2018-2019 | Good, Bad & Ugly

Subscribe to the Gentleman Within YouTube channel.

Coolest Men’s Shoes (The Bad)

We’ve talked about the good sneaker trends for 2021, 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. 

The following trending sneakers are considered the “cool shoes” for men for the past couple of years and only look to be gaining steam as we head into 2021 and beyond.

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 in 2021. Although a shoe like this doesn’t have staying power and so it will probably fade away sooner than we think. This New Balance x Snow Peak sneaker from Bodega is pretty badass though.

Dad Sneakers
Dad sneakers will be huge (literally) in the early part of the 2020s.
Chunky Sole Fila Disruptor Sneakers
Looks like something I wore in the 90s.

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.

A great current example of the chunky sole, dad trainer trend is the new Everlane Tread Trainer. The shoe launched in late-April 2019 to much fanfare. It’s a chunky soled sneaker that is actually wearable for most men. I was lucky enough that they sent me an early pair before launch and so I’ve been wearing them for the better part of this year. You can check out the full review and comparison of Greats vs Everlane. Everlane also has a new sneaker called the Court that’s more minimal than the original Tread.

Tread By Everlane Chunky Sneaker Colorways
The chunky sneaker done right. Tread By Everlane gets it. | Available for $98 in a myriad of versatile colorways.

Chunky Sole Sneaker Trend 1 Chunky Sole Sneaker Trend 4 Chunky Sole Sneaker Trend 3 Chunky Sole Sneaker Trend 2

SHOP CHUNKY SOLE SNEAKERS


Fashionable Shoes For Men (The Ugly)

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.

These are the so called fashionable men’s sneakers right now in late-2019. To each his own, but these are trends that I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in. I’d avoid these ugly, trending sneakers at all costs.

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 2021. 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?

Ugly Trainers Trend 1 Ugly Trainers Trend 2 Ugly Trainers Trend 3

7. BOLD LOGO SNEAKERS

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 men’s 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, Prada or Givenchy sneakers and it’s a tried and true classic. Another excellent options that I’m diggin’ these days is Golden Goose and the ultra casual, skateboard inspired style sneaker.

Bold Logo Sneaker Trend 1 Bold Logo Sneaker Trend 2 Bold Logo Sneaker Trend 3 Bold Logo Sneaker Trend 4

8. A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING SHOE TREND

Finally to conclude this list of latest shoe trends for 2021, 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. Take this Tom Ford Jago Neoprene, Mesh and Nylon Sneaker or Brunello Cucinelli Suede-Trimmed Mesh and leather Sneaker for example. Quite the price tags, but look great, IMO.

Sometimes throwing a ton of crap at the wall and hoping that it sticks can work out after all. I’m personally a big fan of mixing and matching textures when it comes to putting stylish and visually interesting outfits together. It works just as well with trendy sneakers.

Kitchen Sink Trend 1 Kitchen Sink Trend 2

SHOP THE KITCHEN SINK

BEST SNEAKERS FOR MEN 2019 | Nike, Adidas, Vans, Koio, Everlane, Beckett Simonon + More

Subscribe to the Gentleman Within YouTube channel.

WRAPPING THINGS UP

There you have it, men’s sneaker trends 2021, 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 2021 and beyond.

Sneaker Trends 2019 Instagram Poll Results
About what I expected from my Instagram followers.

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.

 

LIKE WHAT YOU READ?

Get more posts like this plus style tips & advice delivered straight to your inbox.

100% privacy. No spam. Unsubscribe at anytime. Powered by ConvertKit

  • 26.7K
    Shares

Comments

  1. Stella Mary says

    Just an awesome collection. So many varieties and they are just lovable. Thank you for the data shared.

  2. Madhav P says

    Hey mate I stumbled upon your website today and I’m hooked. Started following you on Instagram and I’m commenting now to say keep up the great work!

    • Khoi Nguyen says

      Hey Madhav, thanks for following along! Appreciate the support.

  3. Akshit Sharma says

    Nice collection. Have you missed the dmodot sneaker. They have also amazing sneaker collection you have the visit it once.

Drop a Line!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: