Ah, sneakers with suits. Once a fashion faux pas, now a strong sartorial move. Over the past few years, sneakers with a suit combo have moved from being associated with office commuters and Forrest Gump, to an insouciant expression of style. Though now an acceptable footwear move, not all sneakers pair well with suits. It’s essential to consider the silhouette, colourway, and materials of your sneakers when selecting the best sneakers to wear with a suit.
If done correctly, the right pair of sneakers can elevate a suit, inject some personality into your look, and provide your feet with the comfort that just can’t be matched by a pair of oxford or derby shoes. To help you nail this juxtaposed duo, we’ve put together a guide on how to wear sneakers with a suit.
How to Wear Sneakers With a Suit
Choosing the right suit is paramount in pulling off a suit with sneakers look. When pairing a suit with sneakers, it’s best to opt for a slim cut that has tapered trousers with no break (i.e. your trouser leg shouldn’t sit over the top of your shoe).
Do This When Pairing Sneakers With Suit
- Wear a slim straight cut suit without a pant break.
- Opt for white or black sneakers with few colours.
- Choose low cut leather sneakers over chunky models.
- Find retro sneakers and comfort-driven models from Jordan, Nike and New Balance.
Don’t When Pairing Sneakers With Suit
- Wear baggy, ill-fitting suits with long legs.
- Choose bright coloured sneakers, avoid colours such as red and blue all together outside the classics.
- Opt for ‘cheap’ sneakers e.g. Dunlop Volleys.
- Wear dirty sneakers under any circumstance.
- NEVER attempt to wear sneakers with a tuxedo.
The Best Sneakers to Wear with a Suit
1. Oliver Cabell Low 1
These quintessential low top Italian sneakers from Oliver Cabell are an ideal accompaniment to a suit due to their clean silhouette and leather composition. White Low 1 sneakers pair nicely with pretty much anything; try a slim-fitting suit in navy or grey, lose the tie and opt for a t-shirt or button-down instead – it’s commonplace in the office these days.
Material: full-grain calfskin leather, Margom Italian outsoles, Italian cotton laces
Style: Leather lace-up low sneakers
2. Nike Cortez ‘Forest Gump’
A list of the best sneaker’s with suits wouldn’t be complete without the Nike Cortez in the classic red, white and blue ‘Forest Gump’ colourway. While we wouldn’t recommend turning up to the office wearing these anytime soon, they actually pair remarkably well with a straight cut linen suit. Choose natural linen colours or lighter tans and a matching button-up underneath to pull these ones off.
Material: Rubber outsole with herringbone pattern.
Style: Leather lace-up low sneakers with Swoosh design underlays and reflective details.
Price: from AU$117
3. Common Projects Original Achilles Full-Grain Leather Sneakers
Classic. There’s a reason the Common Projects Achilles low have remained a feature sneaker in the men’s style books for years – they pair well with everything from suits to jeans and everything in between. In the case of suits, choose slimmer cut trousers with a shorter break and some dark coloured socks when rocking these. It’s best to pair the colour of your shoe with a matching suit, e.g. Black Suit, Black Shoes.
Material: Full-grain Leather
Style: Lace-up leather sneaker
4. AXEL ARIGATO Clean 90
A quality alternative to the Common Projects Achilles, the Axel Arigato Clean 90 sits at the top of the ranks when it comes to pairing sneakers with a suit thanks to their all-over smooth leather finish and rubber outsole. Like any other black leather sneaker on this list, we recommend pairing this one with a slim suit in Navy or Black. The suede hit on the heel adds a few extra style points to this classic silhouette.
Material: Leather, rubber outsole.
Style: Classic leather lace-up sneaker with gold logo detailing.
5. MYRQVIST Oaxen Black Country Calf
A new member of the family when it comes to shoe brands but one we love nonetheless. MYRQVIST looks to cut out the middleman and provide the customer with quality shoes at a comfortable price point. We’ve tried the Stenhammer Loafers from the brand and the quality is easily on par with pairs two or even three times the price. In the case of the Oaxen, these sneakers are perfectly designed to pair with a suit. A rubber outsole and textured black leather upper will sit comfortably under any suit pant you can throw at them.
Material: Handcrafted in Portugal, 100 % Leather, Leather lining, Rubber soles incorporating 20% recycled rubber
Style: Leather lace-up sneakers.
6. adidas Stan Smith
When looking to pair a casual pair of sneakers with a suit we highly recommend sticking to the classics. That means looking for options such as the adidas Stan Smith, a style staple for decades we choose to pair this one with a Navy or Lighter Tan coloured linen suit. In all cases, this option is better suited to a boat party than a daily piece of office attire. Just make sure they clean, please!
Material: 50% of the upper is recycled content. No virgin polyester.
Style: Recycled leather lace-up tennis shoe
7. Ermenegildo Zenga Siracusa Calfskin Sneakers
Athletic shoes with a definitively luxurious look pair well with a casual suit, and Zenga’s Siracusa sneakers strike the perfect balance between city and sporty. These shoes blend leather with mesh to create a unique option for the modern man. Try these with a camel, tan, or grey suit.
Material: Smooth calfskin, mesh
Style: Lace-up calfskin leather contemporary running sneaker.
8. Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Shadow’
While Jordan himself chose to wear a pair of 11’s when he rocked sneakers with a suit on the red carpet, we recommend pairing a more traditional and on-trend pair such as the Jordan 1, especially in this ‘Shadow’ colourway. One of the most famous Jordan 1 colourways thanks to a strong influence from Travis Scott, the sneakers muted tones match perfectly with a straight cut black suit.
Style: Lace-up leather retro basketball sneaker.
Price: from AU$651
9. Prada America’s Cup Sneakers in Black
One of the Italian luxury fashion house’s most iconic silhouettes, the America’s Cup sneakers are versatile, yet make a statement. Team these with a black, charcoal, or light grey suit and an oxford shirt.
Material: Patent leather and technical fabric
Style: Lace-up leather sports sneakers.
10. Valentino One Stud
Choosing a pair of designer sneakers to match with your favourite suit is always a sartorial win in our books. Valentino comes through once again with a pair of uber-luxe leather shoes that are made for wearing with a suit. We love the rubber outsole, stud detailing and hit of classy Valentino logos on the tongue and heel. Pair these in white with any colour suit of your choice.
Material: Rubber sole with low-relief maxi stud detail, rubber tread with maxi stud design.
Style: Leather sneaker with Valentino Garavani logo printed on the tongue and heel.
11. Salomon XT-6
Good ol’ raisins and peanuts aye? The Salomon XT-6 is one of our favourite sneakers, and voila, they also happen to pair well with your favourite suit. While Salomon regularly releases these in bright and daring colourways made for the outdoors we suggest choosing a muted colour such as the triple black option above when pairing with a suit.
Material: TPU film welded on a high abrasion-resistant mesh.
Is it OK to wear sneakers with a suit?
Sneakers add personality to tailored suits. Ensure your suit is slim fitting and your sneakers have a sleek, minimalist silhouette.
How do you wear Jordans with a suit?
The iconic Air Jordan 1 look's great with slim fitting suits; try black and shadow grey colourway with tan, charcoal or grey suits, or the white colourway with any colour.
Can we wear sneakers with formals?
Stick to oxford shoes for black or white tie events. However, you can wear classic leather sneakers in white, brown, black, or navy for semi-formal and smart casual events.
What shoes do I wear with a suit?
Leather low top sneakers always look good with a suit, just ensure your trousers are tapered, slim fitting, and sit above the top of your shoe without a break.