20 Smart-Casual Sneakers You Can Wear Anywhere
The kicks that are smart enough to be dressed up with your tailoring but still work with jeans and a tee.
The sneaker industry is an ever-changing tapestry of colourways, silhouettes and trends. But one aesthetic that will always remain timeless are smart-casual sneakers.
Just like the dress code of the same name, these types of shoes completely blur the line between being formal and being informal. This essentially means that you can wear them with absolutely anything and still look good. Whether that’s an oversized hoodie and cargo pants combo or unstructured tailoring, they will bookend any fit (and look good doing it).
Here are 20 pairs of smart-casual kicks you’ll definitely get your money’s worth from.
Axel Arigato Dice Lo
You just can’t talk about the best smart-casual sneakers for men without giving Axel Arigato’s Dice Lo a special shoutout.
The masters of the ‘Japandi’ aesthetic (which is made clear by the brand’s East meets West name), this silhouette is the perfect blend of the past and the present, borrowing classic elements from the 90s and fusing them with contemporary Italian leather and suede.
What’s more, the sole is made partly from recycled rubber and the inner lining is responsibly produced using recycled PET bottles and recycled plastic. Couple with how often you’ll wear them, it means you can purchase without the environmental guilt.
Are you really into sneakers if you don’t know about the Nike Cortez? Without going into too much detail, this is one of the most iconic trainers of all-time. The first track shoe ever produced by the Oregon sportswear company, its design has pretty much remained exactly the same over the past five decades.
Retaining its clean and simple looks, it’s been re-engineered with leather that’s even more luxurious. The midsole has also been slightly updated for an extra comfy experience, and it’s all finished off with Nike’s signature Swoosh that elegantly glides across the lateral and medial sidewalls.
Searching for a smart-casual shoe that’s 100% vegan? Then the Bradley by Clae should definitely be on your radar.
Primarily made using the Californian company’s new bio-based material, Appleskin, it’s combined with GRS-certified recycled mesh, laces and foam insoles, and a GOTS-certified organic cotton lining. It sounds like a bunch of very complicated acronyms, but they all come together to form one of the most earth-friendly kicks on the planet.
It’s also available in a range of other colourways, so you’re bound to find one that will slot seamlessly into your wardrobe.
Veja V-10 CWL
Taking inspiration from old-school tennis shoes, the Veja V-10 CWL combines this classic aesthetic with sustainable materials.
One of the first sneakers ever to be made from CWL (which is short for ‘Cotton Worked as Leather’), this innovative new material is vegan-friendly and very similar in appearance to leather.
The rubber used for the insole and midsole is ethically-sourced from the Amazon, so not only will you look good, you’ll actually be doing some good too.
Oliver Cabell Low 1
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense smart-casual sneaker, Oliver Cabell has exactly what you’ve been searching for with the Low 1.
Crafted in the Marche region of Italy from buttery calfskin leather, it sits on top of a bed of lightweight rubber that makes this sneaker extremely comfortable.
While these are a little on the punchy side, the US brand is very transparent with their pricing. When you really take a second to look at the numbers, it all makes a whole lot of sense.
Adidas Samba OG
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or two, you’d know that the Adidas Samba OG is currently one of the most hyped silhouettes in menswear.
Originally made in 1949, this sneaker was designed so that football players could train on icy, hard ground, which is why the gum sole is decorated with a unique suction design.
Now, seven decades later, the Samba OG is the go-to shoe for absolutely everyone thanks to its versatile design. If for whatever reason you still don’t have a pair in your daily rotation, you’re honestly missing out.
And with so many awesome colourways and collaborations to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Zespà ZSP4 VH APLA
Every single time Zespà restocks the ZSP4 VH APLA, it sells out in all sizes almost immediately. Are we surprised? Well, not really. One of the most luxurious sneakers in the history of mankind, this model is made from full grain nappa-style calfskin that’s sourced from Italy.
Even the organic cotton laces are individually combed to perfection, and all of this comes packed in a very special shoe box, complete with an exclusive dust bag to keep your kicks nice and safe.
It’s all in the details, people.
New Balance 550
When the New Balance 550 first debuted back in the 80s, it was the basketball shoe that you’d go for if you couldn’t afford a pair of Jordans. Fast forward almost four decades later, and even if you can afford a pair of Jordans, it’s now the basketball shoe that you’d go for anyway.
Boasting a low-cut design, it’s the perfect balance between retro and minimal. Crafted from perforated leather throughout, it’s combined with short-haired suede across the toebox and collar for an even more high-end vibe.
It really is the ultimate sneaker to wear with anything, whether you’re rocking a tracksuit, an actual suit, or even your birthday suit.
Crown Northampton Overstone Hi
Crown Northampton has literally been around for over 100 years, so you can trust that the company knows a thing or two about creating great footwear.
While the British shoemaker is more famous for its Derbies and Desert boots, you shouldn’t overlook its smart-casual sneaker collection. Take the Overstone Hi, for example. Clean and pristine, it’s outfitted in full-grain calf leather and tied together with wax cotton laces.
Every single little aspect and detail has been handmade to order in Northampton, so you can pretty much guarantee that these kicks are built to last.
JAK Shoes S03
Want a pair of chunky sneakers that you can actually wear everywhere? If so, then the S03 from JAK Shoes is the answer.
Designed and crafted with care in Portugal, the upper is made from nubuck leather and lined with ultra-soft calfskin. Shift your focus underfoot and you’ll spot a hefty midsole that’s infused with Vibram tech for unbeatable comfort, whether you’re climbing mountain peaks or hitting city streets.
The S03 also comes with a pair of shock-absorbing insoles for even more cushioning with every step. Ideal for those on the move all day.
If you know what vintage running trainers look like, then you’ll be quite familiar with the Velasca Ròdich. Inspired by old-school track shoes from the days of yore, it’s been redesigned from the ground up for a more lifestyle-ready aesthetic.
Boasting a mixed material construction that elegantly combines leather, suede and canvas, it sits on top of an industry-leading Vibram outsole that will get you from Point A to Point B with no dramas attached.
Vans Lowland ComfyCush
We get it. When you think of Vans, you automatically think of kickflips and ollies and drop-ins, but the Lowland ComfyCush isn’t about that skater life. Unlike its halfpipe-ready counterparts, this smart-casual sneaker has been made with the everyday in mind.
Constructed from a mixture of leather and suede, it’s a love letter to tennis shoes from the 80s. Perforations make their way throughout for better air flow while you’re on the go, and the sole is lined with gum rubber for extra grip.
The Lowland is also one of the only Vans shoes to feature the ‘Flying V’ logo across the sides, which is very cool in itself.
Stepney Workers Club Amiel S-Strike
Based in East London, Stepney Workers Club is an independent label that pays homage to the inclusive culture of traditional sports clubs. Founded in 2018, it’s already gained itself a dedicated following that adore each and every one of its silhouettes, including the Amiel S-Strike that has just been revealed.
While the design looks like it might fall more in line with the chunky dad shoe trend, the versatile materials, premium construction and neutral palette tick all the boxes where smart-casual trainers are concerned.
It’s also available in a range of clean colour schemes.
Morjas The Trainer
For Morjas’ The Trainer, it’s all about going back to basics. From the actual design through to the name itself (come on, it’s literally called ‘The Trainer’), this shoe is all about the simple things in life, and that’s why we love it so much.
Embracing contemporary design with timeless style, it marries soft calf leather with suede and is built with plush padding around the ankle for endless support.
It’s also fitted with a gum rubber outsole so you’ll stand firmly on the ground from morning to night.
Dior has come a very long way over the past couple of years. Once a brand that was known for its rather drab handbags, the luxury Italian label is now a streetwear powerhouse that’s extremely popular among the sneakerhead community.
While a lot of its designs are quite in-your-face, the B27 is actually incredibly minimal with a calfskin construction that’s soft and smooth to the touch.
The brand’s logo features across the sidewalls, and all of this is packed in a special shoe box that comes complete with an exclusive dust bag to keep your kicks nice and safe.
It’s a little on the expensive side, but it’s Dior for goodness’ sake. You know the game.
Uniform Standard Series 5
Not bringing up Uniform Standard in an article about smart-casual sneaker would be considered blasphemous by many, especially to the London’s brand devoted following.
Since 2018, the label has been the maker of some of the cleanest kicks that the world has ever seen, and the Series 5 is the one that everyone keeps talking about.
Inspired by the vintage tennis shoes from the 90s, it’s completely covered in Italian full-grain calf leather that’s sourced from a LWG Gold-certified tannery.
Not just ethically sound, Uniform Standard has also done its best to be as eco-friendly as possible. From the insole and the footbed, all the way to the dust bag and shoe box, they’re all made from 100% recyclable materials.
If there’s one brand that all the celebs and influencers are raving about these days, it’s Løci. Even though it’s only been around for a few years, it’s done more in this short space of time than most do in their entire lifetimes.
Why? Because of sneakers like the Atom. Clearly a nod to retro skate shoes, it’s painted in a pristine palette that will literally work with anything you throw on. It’s also crafted from a special leather that’s made from non-food-grade corn waste, while the inner lining is bamboo and the insoles are cork.
The result is a guilt-free sneaker that’s 100% vegan.
What do you get when you cross an Oxford shoe with a sneaker? The Aurélien Voyager, of course.
Inspired by the Mediterranean, the upper is crafted from high-end nappa leather and stitched onto the midsole using a special technique. This results in a sleek and seamless aesthetic that will turn heads wherever you go.
It even comes with an exclusive Aurélien-branded dust bag that’s the perfect travelling companion, hence why these are named ‘Voyager’.
You might have heard of Church’s very fancy Derby shoes, Oxfords and loafers, but the shoemaker’s sneaker game is also on another level.
Take the Longsight, for instance. One of the British heritage label’s latest models, it’s the epitome of smart-casual. Inspired by traditional boating shoes, they’re outfitted in soft nubuck and lined with premium leather. A padded heel and flexible rubber sole make these even more comfortable, and they’re stamped with Church’s prestigious crest across the sides.
They’re at the higher end of the price scale, but that’s because they’re genuinely made to last a lifetime.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather
Although Converse is better known for its hardwood and halfpipe offerings, the brand’s Leather line is its attempt to bring this aesthetic to smart-casual lifestyles.
Has it worked? 1,000%. The Chuck Taylor All Star Leather has quickly become one of the company’s most successful silhouettes. Thanks to its genuinely timeless silhouette and premium materials, it has spawned countless colourways and even platform versions too.
This one even comes with the legendary All Star patch, which old-school Con fans will definitely appreciate.