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Best sneakers for men

10 Best Sneakers for Men to Wear Right Now

The best men’s sneakers have evolved from pieces of functional footwear to iconic fashion statements. Today’s sneaker landscape focuses heavily on limited edition and exclusive collabs, but trending styles such as the adidas Samba and ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14 have gained popularity by diving back into the archives. Of course, innovation remains a strong suit for any of the top brands, and it’s something that Nike, New Balance, and ASICS have focused on in what is considered to be a drying global market. Releasing shoes like the Nike Air Max Dn certainly helps their case, and we’re looking at that shoe and more in our round-up below.

Best Sneakers for Men at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following options:

Now you’ve read our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

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Nike air force 1 07 fresh
Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Fresh | Image: Nike

1. Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Fresh

Price: from AUD$210

  • Pros: There’s nothing better than a crispy pair of white-on-white Air Force 1’s. They go with every outfit, work across various occasions, and are timeless and classic. Grab yourself the premium ‘Fresh’ pair listed here, and you don’t have to worry much about creases!
  • Cons: While they work with nearly every outfit, you’re limited to perfect weather days due to the triple white colour that stains easily in the rain.

The classic white-on-white Air Force 1 is the most iconic sneaker ever and remains in fashion today thanks to its unmatched wearability, comfort, and retro-modern design. Nike often updates this silhouette with new materials, but when they released the ’07 Fresh, it ushered in a new era for the sneaker. This ‘Fresh’ model uses softer, plusher leather on the upper compared to the basic AF1 or ’07, which helps reduce creases (a bug-bear of owners).

Comfort-wise, it’s infinitely more comfortable than the adidas Samba OG with Nike Air cushioning in all the foot strike points: forefoot and heel. The leather used in constructing the upper moulds to the shape of your foot over time, but the perforated sock liner doesn’t really do much to aid breathability.

You pay more money for this model than the standard ’07 pair, but we recommend investing in this durable classic because you’ll get your money’s worth. It’s effortlessly wearable, and you can pair them with everything from denim shorts to suit trousers, chinos, double-knee pants, carpenters, and denim jeans. If there’s one sneaker to rule them all, it’s the Air Force 1.

Adidas samba og
adidas Samba OG in Cloud White | Image: adidas

2. adidas Samba OG

Price: from AUD$180

  • Pros: Good-looking and pragmatic, we struggle to take the adidas Samba off our feet at times because it works so well with casual outfits. A clean pair can even be dressed up for smart-casual occasions.
  • Cons: With a flat bottom, minimal cushion, and thick rubber midsole, they’re not comfortable enough for all-day wear.

The adidas Samba OG quickly became one of the most popular sneakers on the planet last year, but with restocks now a thing of the past, that traction has slowed down as they’ve become easier to purchase. Even still, it’s a great time to be a Samba-lover with plenty of colourways to choose from, including several tasty gum-bottom and suede variants hitting the market recently. That said, we always return to the classic ‘Black’ or ‘Cloud white’ colourways, saving the premium ‘Decon’ model for semi-formal occasions.

While you’d have no issues wearing this sneaker for men and women every day, it’s not the most comfortable option on our list. You’re quickly reminded how uncomfortable this shoe is when you revert to a New Balance 990v6 or ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14. There’s no cushion technology in the Samba at all; as such, it relies heavily on a leather upper that moulds to the shape of your foot over time.

Wearability is the key feature of the adidas Samba, and you can pair it with everything from shorts to cargo pants, carpenters, trousers, chinos, and more. You can dress it up or down for all occasions, and although we have more pairs of sneakers than you’ll need in a lifetime, it’s the one we always reach for.

Common projects achilles low in white
Common Projects Achilles Low in White | Image: Common Projects

3. Common Projects Achilles Low

Price: from AUD$670

  • Pros: The Air Force 1 of semi-formal sneakers, the Common Projects Achilles Low remains the ultimate do-everything sneaker with a premium leather construction and timeless design.
  • Cons: Somehow, even with a premium price tag, these are very uncomfortable. We don’t recommend wearing them if you’re on your feet all day.

The Common Projects Achilles Low remains our go-to sneaker for semi-formal occasions and for wearing to the office. It’s available in several colours, but we often rotate through our triple white and black and white colourways, depending on our mood. We recommend wearing your CPs with denim jeans for a casual look or suit trousers for semi-formal outings, but we wouldn’t recommend wearing them if you work in retail or hospitality and spend a lot of time on your feet because they aren’t very comfortable.

Construction is top-quality, with a supple leather upper that moulds to your foot over time. However, while durable, the outsoles are completely flat and lack any cushion or internal arch support for comfort.

We picked up our pairs more than five years ago, and while the shoe has proven to be durable, we paid around AUD$400 at retail. The price has increased over time as the brand has gained notoriety and built itself into a true designer alternative. Still, it’s a fantastic shoe that’s smart for all occasions.

Asics gel kayano 14
ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14 in Cloud and Clay Grey | Image: ASICS


Price: from AUD$230

  • Pros: The sneaker that’s solely responsible for re-birthing the Y2K sneaker trend that we’re in the midst of right now. Comfortable, meshed-out, and shiny as ever, the ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14 is a modern classic.
  • Cons: Tough to style, and if you work an office job, you’ll have to wear them on weekends only.

ASICS is in the middle of its big sneaker moment, diving back into the archives, bringing back classic Y2K styles, and referencing them in its new silhouettes. Our favourite sneaker in the line-up is the ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14, which brings all the early-2000s mesh and reflective accoutrements that you could ask for to a comfortable, fashionable shoe that goes with everything.

Comfort is paramount here, with a midsole that mirrors the original Toshikazu Kayano design and adds GEL cushioning technology for all-day comfort. It’s a close match to the New Balance 990v6 that we’ve also listed below, but we’d probably give the edge to the NB in this regard. The upper, meanwhile, is a combination of layered leather and mesh that gives a nob to the 2008 model line-up. It’s lightweight and comfortable.

These are a little trickier to wear than your adidas Samba’s and Nike Air Force’s. You’ll want to pair them with wider-legged pants, e.g. carpenters, cargos, parachutes, or double knees pants.

New balance 990v6
New Balance 990v6 in Grey | Image: New Balance

5. New Balance 990v6

Price: from AUD$330

  • Pros: The NB 990 remains a do-everything sneaker that adds high-quality construction and comfort to your everyday routine. Keep a pair by the door, and your feet will thank you every time you’re out and about running errands. MADE in the USA.
  • Cons: Not a jump in comfort over the 990v5 it replaces.

The latest generation of the classic New Balance 990 is sleeker and faster than the model it replaces. However, that hasn’t detracted from any of the dad-shoe-style this shoe offers. We recommend keeping them near the front door because you’ll want to wear them at any opportunity, given their comfort levels. Perfect for casual outings, we typically wear these when running errands or heading to a cafe for brunch.

Regarding comfort, the 990v6 isn’t as comfortable as the 990v5 it replaces because New Balance has skewed this one more heavily towards the performance side of the equation. The previous model’s ENCAP and ABZORB cushioning technology is replaced by a REVlite midsole, which is more responsive but firmer underfoot. That being said, these are still some of the most comfortable male sneakers on our list.

We’d avoid wearing these with jorts, joggers, denim jeans, or any of the dad-style stereotypes because these can look daggy if worn incorrectly. Look at chinos, cargos, or anything from the Aime Leon Dore catalogue.

Converse chuck taylor 70 high
Converse Chuck Taylor 70 High in Black | Image: Converse

6. Converse Chuck Taylor 70 High

Price: from AUD$150

  • Pros: Timeless, classic, etc. What other words can we use? These Chucks have stood the test of time for a reason. They go with nearly every article of clothing in your wardrobe. No sneaker collection is complete without a pair.
  • Cons: This is a flat-bottomed silhouette with a high collar and limited structural support. It’s not very comfortable for all-day wear.

Like the Nike Air Force 1, the Converse Chuck Taylor has remained a sneaker icon since it was first launched as a basketball sneaker in 1917 and then redesigned by Chuck Taylor in 1922 (where it wore the infamous badge for the first time). Today, the pick of the bunch is the Chuck Taylor 70, which stays truest to the original design with a higher midsole, thicker, higher-quality canvas, and richer colours.

Comfort is also improved with the ’70’ model due to this thicker midsole, but it still lacks compared to the New Balance and ASICS options on our list. You have to remember that we’re talking about a sneaker designed in 1922. That being said, it’s better than the adidas Samba, which also has a very flat bottom, and overall traction, stability, and support are very good. We wouldn’t recommend them for people who spend most of their working day on their feet, but they’re perfect for uni-students and office workers.

Like the Samba and Air Force 1, you can wear the Converse Chuck 70 with just about anything, but they look particularly good with raw denim and white t-shirts. Greaser-vibes.

Adidas campus 2
adidas Campus in Black | Image: adidas

7. adidas Campus 00s

Price: from AUD$170

  • Pros: Thick, chunky alternative to sneakers like the Samba and Gazelle that offers more comfort and a more on-trend Y2K design.
  • Cons: Some more sought-after colourways are hard to find at retailers.

The adidas Campus picked up where the Samba left off, bringing back serious Y2K vibes with a larger silhouette featuring an oversized tongue, thicker midsole, laces, stripes, and collar. It was originally released alongside the Samba and Gazelle in the 1980s and became a fan-favourite due to its simpler design. Today, it’s even thicker than before, with a wider stance, stripes, and tongue. It plays in the lifestyle space, and we love the overall design.

Thanks to the size of the midsole and cushy upper, it’s more comfortable than the Samba and Gazelle, but the outsole remains flat to cater for skaters. As such, pair these with a skater-like outfit, and you’ll be on the right track. Loose-fitting cargo pants and a white T-shirt would do the trick.

Nike air max dn
Nike Air Max Dn in Dark Obsidian | Image: Nike

8. Nike Air Max Dn

Price: from AUD$230

  • Pros: The next generation of Nike Air looks futuristic and is very comfortable. Well priced, considering the technology and scarcity of the silhouette.
  • Cons: After the OG colourways sold out on Air Max Day 2024, we’ve struggled to find a colourway we like. Need better colours, Swoosh!

Nike released the Air Max Dn on Air Max Day in 2024, and it resonated with sneakerheads immediately due to its extra-large bubbles and sleek silhouette. Take one look, and you’ll realise it’s one of the most revolutionary designs from the brand in years. It debuts ‘Dynamic Air’ in a new dual-chamber, four-tubed Nike Air unit that the brand says is “designed for unreal comfort, a smooth stride and max bounce.” We’d strongly agree.

We’ve been wearing these since we bought a pair at release for review, and the shoe has been breaking necks and keeping our feet comfortable ever since. The back two tubes are specifically tuned with higher pressure (15 psi), while the front has a lower pressure (5 psi) for a natural transition between the heel and forefoot. Reggie Hunter, Product Director for Nike Lifestyle Footwear. calls this ‘dynamic motion,’ but we’d just call it supreme comfort.

Even with a love-it or hate-it design, we think these are easy to wear with various outfits. You could go down the casual route and wear them with a Nike Tech Fleece set or pair them with wide-leg jeans for a Y2K vibe.

Puma palermo 2
Puma Palermo in White | Image: Puma

9. Puma Palermo

Price: from AUD$150

  • Pros: Perfect blend of an indoor soccer shape with a German Army Trainer (GAT) design. A thicker midsole means these are a touch comfier than other low-cut minimalist sneakers on the market.
  • Cons: We would love to see a collaborative pair with a unique colourway beyond the blue and pink.

One of the newest additions to the best sneakers for men, we recently put the Puma Palermo on our feet and haven’t taken them off since. There are obvious nods here to German Army Trainers of the past, e.g. Maison Margiela and the adidas BW Army Shoes. However, we find these better balance the middle ground between Samba and a traditional GAT with added features like the hanging PUMA logo and black ‘No. 1 Logo’.

You’ll notice a thicker midsole around the heel section, which aids with comfort. They’re a level above the adidas Samba in this regard, but they’re still not at New Balance or ASICS comfort levels. The sneaker’s upper combines 80 per cent real leather and 20 per cent synthetic, but we found them comfortable enough to wear for a full day, making them a great travel shoe. If you want to channel your inner Lewis Hamilton, buy the pink pair.

Air jordan 3 white midnight navy 1
Air Jordan 3 in White and Midnight Navy | Image: Air Jordan

10. Air Jordan 3

Price: from AUD$280

  • Pros: Michael Jordan dunked from the free throw line in a pair of these, so do we need to say more?
  • Cons: Chunky and clunky, the AJ3 is a retro basketball shoe, so don’t expect them to glide underfoot. The quality of the leather varies from colourway to colourway.

We didn’t expect this year to be the year of the Air Jordan III, but here we are. The brand ended last year on a high note with a string of successful collaborations, and they’ve carried that momentum across to the new year with a handful of great general release colourways for their Jordan III and IV models, including the White and Midnight Navy pair we’ve selected above.

Yes, they’re a bit clunky compared to the adidas Samba and even the ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14. However, we’re talking about a basketball sneaker in which Michael Jordan jumped for the free-throw line and beat Dominique Wilkins in the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, so we’ll give them a pass. They’re stable, provide plenty of balance, and have a visible Nike Air bubble in the heel for comfort and a natural transition underfoot.

Alternatives to These Sneakers for Men

The sneakers that we’ve included on our list have been hand-selected after extensive hands-on testing by our in-house sneaker expert, Ben McKimm. He’s spent over 10 years collecting shoes; in that time, he’s owned and worn every pair of sneakers on this list (sometimes in multiple colourways). However, it would be wrong for him to dismiss some of the most popular sneakers on the market right now, so he’s recommending a handful of alternatives to give you a few more options. They include the following:

  • adidas Gazelle (from AU$200): If the adidas Samba and Campus 00s aren’t your vibe, check out another 1908s re-release in the adidas Gazelle. Think of this as a stripped-down Campus with a thinner midsole and uppers for an all-around sleeker silhouette. At one point in time, these were a sleeper pick for the Samba-adjacent crowd, but they’ve also been adopted by the Tiktokers… sadly.
  • New Balance 1906r (from AU$230): The ASICS GEL-KAYANO 14 of New Balance sneakers, the 1906r has all the Y2K vibes you could ask for, including mesh uppers and silver colours. This is packaged in a comfortable shoe with effective cushioning technology for all-day comfort.
  • Nike Dunk Low (from AU$160): There’s no nice way to say it, but the adidas Samba killed the Nike Dunk Low. Once upon a time, the Panda colourway was the most popular sneaker in the world, but these faded quickly after social media users started sharing links to fakes, killing the market. Still, they’re comfortable shoes for all-day wear and still look great with a pair of double-knee pants.

If you think there’s a sneaker we should test for a spot on this list, please contact us via our contact form.

Why You Should Trust Our List

When it comes to our list of the best sneakers for men, it goes without saying that expertise is key. This list was written and curated by Ben McKimm, who has gone hands-on and tested these shoes throughout his 10 years of collecting. For this article, he’s chosen to rank these shoes based on their popularity in the market, as well as the quality, comfort, and value for money they offer. Finally, his opinion has been influenced by the wider editorial team here at Man of Many. He ignored the opinions of individuals on user-generated forums such as Reddit, as they could not compare and contrast competing products.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your New Sneakers

Whether you’re collecting watches, whisky, cars, or sneakers, one thing remains consistent across the board: you have to take proper care of your stuff if you want it to stay in good condition. Don’t just throw your new kicks in the corner of a closet and assume they’ll stay in top shape because, at the very least, they’ll take on layers of dust over time.

If you’ve chosen a pair to beat up, great. However, taking care of your sneakers doesn’t require a lot of money or time. In fact, scoring a trusty storage box or stackable display case might be the beginning and end of your journey. Not only will it protect your sneakers from dust, but it also helps you organise your overall collection in an accessible fashion.

More Sneaker Articles to Help You Decide

We live in a time where formal dress codes are loosening whilst casual dress codes are taking on more style-conscious dimensions. The best men’s sneakers cut a direct path through these evolving trends and become all the more versatile as a result. Consumers are no longer looking for sneakers to wear during pick-up basketball games and tennis matches but to dinner dates and work meetings. Every detail counts, but let’s start with the most obvious one: colour. Consider the following options and click accordingly to find additional coverage.

The best white sneakers for men pull triple duty in that they’re functional and fashionable but also something of a blank slate upon which one can build his ensemble. Exhibiting a timeless allure, this hue never goes out of style as much as it does explore new modes of expression with each new decade. The same can be said about the best black sneakers for men, which deliver effortless versatility and timeless appeal. No one argues with black, after all, and that’s as true now as ever before. Famously adept at concealing signs of wear, this is the logical colour of choice when you’re looking for long-lasting athletic footwear. It’s also a boldly stylish base colour on minimalist silhouettes. Of course, we’ve also put together a great selection of brown sneakers for men if you want something that bridges the gap between formal and semi-formal.

You can also break it down by style. Men’s sneakers are surging in popularity around the globe, and there’s no shortage of new styles, uses, and designs. Having tracked this fashion category for over a decade, we’ve definitely seen some wild concepts emerge and take fire amongst avid sneakerheads. The minimalist sneaker category hasn’t emerged over the last decade as much as it has exploded worldwide. These shoes combine premium materials with stripped-down aesthetics and lend themselves to various adjoining dress codes and ensembles. Some of these sneakers also make it onto our list of the best sneakers you can wear to work, so if you’re confused about these blurred fashion lines, check out that article, too.