Do you remember that scene in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda Priestley looks at two nearly identical turquoise belts and the assistant holding them murmurs, “I know, they’re so different,” only for Andy to laugh and that sets off the whole monologue about cerulean?
Well, that’s how I feel about men’s warm weather and cold weather footwear. Half the time you don’t even need to swap out your shoes. You just have to start wearing socks with whatever’s been on your feet once the temperature starts dropping.
Which means that it’s up to you to change things up when the seasons are a-changing. One easy-breezy way to cool weather-ize your shoes? Suede. Especially when it comes to sneakers, swapping your straight-leather sneaks for a pair in suede or suede cut-outs, really telegraphs, “It’s time to peep some leaves, people!”
Below, eight #SGapproved suede sneakers, perfect for fall.
This sneaker feels like what someone who used to skateboard, and then grew up to own a very successful skateboard company when he realized he was bad on wheels but good at sales, would wear to investor meetings. The suede upper with a gum sole gives the style a modern, fresh feel that looks totally (casual) office-appropriate without being boring.
Just a heads up: the Ellington, like all of Clae’s styles, fits slightly narrow, so consider going up by a half-size when ordering.
Vans suede slip-on, $60
Yes, you can wear slip-on sneakers after summer’s over. Especially when the casual style comes in dark colors and cold weather-ready cozy suede. At SG HQ, we love a tall sock with a classic slip-on like these Vans, paired with shorts and a long-sleeve pocket tee or sweatshirt to get you over the summer-to-fall weather hump.
Toms Arroyo, $88
The poorly named “Drizzle Grey Shaggy Suede/Nubuck/Leather Mix” colorway is a surprisingly stylish and fashion-forward turn from Toms. Don’t overthink it! Worn with jeans, chinos, or twill pants, I can see these becoming a solid go-to for any guy’s fall wardrobe.
There’s nothing I like better than a good story behind a piece of apparel or accessory. And these shoes have a good one. The ‘Air Tailwind’ made its first appearance way back in 1978 at the Honolulu Marathon, of all places, where it first revolutionized the concept of cushioning in athletic footwear. And as someone who has run two half-marathons which is BASICALLY ONE WHOLE MARATHON, I can tell you that cushioning is, like, very important.
The style’s 2019 return is as close to the original as possible, with the benefit of a few modern tweaks, like lightweight mesh and soft suede uppers, and a waffled rubber outsole.
I know I usually think of Tretorn as a summer shoe (I call my Tretorns my “camp counselor” sneakers), but they’ve got styles that can go all year-long, baby! Moreover, the Rawlins 8s combine two of my favorite fall vibes: suede, and the color yellow. These would look oh-so-cool with a pair of black jeans and a pocket tee. Apple cider doughnut in hand optional (but encouraged).
This shoe is the sneaker equivalent of the friend you can always bring to a party even if they’re only going to know two people there, because they get along with anyone. Dress it up, dress it down. Wear it all over town.
If you haven’t yet boarded the Veja train, there’s no better time. Inspired by 1970s sportswear, the Riobranco Hexa sneaker looks like a fancy New Balance sneaker, in the best possible way.
M.Gemi Tuono, $278
If you’re looking to ball out a l’il bit, consider DTC footwear company M.Gemi’s fall sneaker entrant. The Tuono somehow looks like a throwback and ultra-modern style all at once, like something Joaquin Phoenix’s character would have worn in Her.
Fit tip: this sneaker style only comes in full sizes, so if you usually wear a half size, go down to the next full size for the best fit.