There was a time when I knew for sure that the casual footwear hill I would die on was, “white sneakers or bust.” In my mind, no matter what a guy wears, a white sneaker is always a sleek finishing touch. They can dress down a fancy look and dress up an everyday one. However, there’s something to be said for a finishing touch that’s…unexpected? Fresh! A little funky, even! Which is why I’ve come around to the idea that a pair of colorful kicks is actually just as essential (especially in your spring wardrobe) as your go-to classics.
From ’90s-revival icons to on-trend “puffy” sneakers (aka dad sneakers, aka those exaggerated, extremely expensive sneakers you see everywhere and maybe don’t quite understand), our team rounded up six pairs of SG-approved sneakers that will majorly punch up your warm weather wardrobe. And as part of SG’s collab this month with The Inventory’s Jolie Kerr, don’t forget to read up on how to actually keep your favorite kicks clean all spring and summer long.
Nike Air Max 90, $110
While this iconic sneaker comes in a ton of cool colorways, the all-around favorite for this season incorporates an extremely pleasing combination of purple, turquoise and white. It’s a little bit ’90s in all the right ways, like the sneaker version of this amazing ’90s Utah Jazz T-shirt. It would be great to see a guy rock these in 2019 on a date (really!) with black jeans, a chambray shirt, and a bomber jacket.
Vans Classic Slip-On, $60
I swear to you, SG is not being paid under the table to push the Vans agenda. We’re just a loose confederation of free agents who all happen to be in love with the modern surfer dude aesthetic, okay?
Also, tie-dye is shaping up to be one of the biggest trends of the summer. I know! I can’t quite believe it myself, but go with me for a sec on this. These are a fun pair of sneakers you can wear with your most lazy boi fits (they’d be perfect paired with Lululemon shorts and a white T-shirt, honestly!). Think: kicking around the backyard or going to the beach.
New Balance 997 Sport, $139
A sporty update to New Balance’s classic 997 sneaker, you can actually do fitness in these kicks if you really want. Or, you can make them the star of your weekend warrior ’fits—with slim chinos and a crewneck sweatshirt or jeans and an OCBD, they won’t fail you. Also, is that bright peach and sky blue color combo not the best unexpected pairing you’ve ever seen on a shoe? It’s like that time I tried a dollop of goat cheese on a square of dark chocolate. It was not the dessert I asked for, but it was absolutely the dessert I needed.
Listen, our whole vibe is not about bullying you into spending many, many hundreds of dollars on a pair of OG Balenciaga “puffy” sneakers. My conscience wouldn’t allow it, honestly, because you can get that same over-the-top and on-trend look for a lot less, from brands whose whole ethos revolves around sneakers.
I always appreciate an aesthetically pleasing color palette, and these Adidas Originals really do it for me. The beige paired with cherry red, violet and little hints of blue is summer-y and fun. Noted ’90s enthusiast Jonah Hill was spotted in these last year before they were available to buy, which feels exactly right.
It’s worth noting that a colorful sneaker doesn’t have to make a loud, “Hey! Down here!” statement. It can be unexpected while still being chill. Exhibit A: this pair of olive green Jack Purcell kicks.
Just like your other olive green pieces, these sneakers will add a nice layer of neutral color to any of your spring and summer ’fits. They’d look superb with a tan linen suit for a wedding, or with jeans and a breezy sweater on the weekend. Or…honestly, literally anything else! They’re that versatile! Like a military jacket for your feet! I could go on!
It took me a moment to realize why I’m so drawn to these luxe sneakers from Tuscan menswear brand President’s—and when I did, I may or may not have salivated slightly. The cream and light pink pairing reminds me of my favorite summer popsicle growing up, Strawberry Shortcake. Similarly, these low-tops look so good they’ll be the first thing you reach for on a hot summer day (because they’ll look great with shorts and a short-sleeve button down). Since these bad boys are made with genuine Italian suede, you’re really going to want to read Jolie’s cleaning tips so you can maximize your cost-per-wear.