I got this great question from a reader: What sneakers should I wear to be dapper?
First starting point
The starting point is that there are sneakers out there that are simply terrible.
We saw this in a previous post ‘Be better than the Gap‘.
In Crazy, Stupid, Love, Ryan Gosling’s character questions why Steve Carell’s character thinks he can wear Asics running shoes with jeans.
‘Are you Steve Jobs?’
Key takeaway: not all sneakers are created equally. (especially not the Asics 407s)
Second starting point
The second starting point is that sneakers are not inherently dapper.
And definitely as inherently dapper as a pair of beautiful brogues (see here).
So we’re really looking for the sneakers that don’t detract too much from the overall dapperness of your outfit.
Cool sneakers vs dapper sneakers
The next distinction to be made is between cool sneakers vs dapper sneakers
Cool sneakers are a definite step up from Asics-type sneakers.
If you’re young, that’s all you want: cool sneakers.
I remember when I was a student, blowing £100 of newly arrived student loan (a lot of money in 1999!) on a pair of ridiculously lairy, Nike Air Max Deluxes, with a huge bubble sole.
These types of sneakers are cool but not necessarily dapper.
I still like them today.
At the moment, Adidas NMDs are pretty cool.
I always ask myself though, what could I wear these with?
Smart, slim-fit slacks?
Not really. In which case, they’re not dapper.
The only dapper sneaker choice
The only sneakers that look good with slim-fit slacks and skinny jeans are simple, minimal-types.
If you think ‘Simple and minimal’ when sneaker shopping, then you won’t go far wrong.
Generally, these will have little to no frills.
The best known are Converse All-Stars.
But I don’t recommend you wear these. They look a bit studenty.
They also become grubby really quickly because of the canvas uppers which absorb muck.
For longer-lasting colour and condition, I recommend leather or synthetic uppers, like a WHITE Jack Purcell.
I also favour a classic like an Adidas Court Vantage which I wrote about here.
Also, slip-ons like Vans but in a leather and in a neutral colour.
Let me know what you think and how you got on in the comments below!