The Coolest Men’s Sneaker Boots For 2023
Offering style, protection and utility in equal measure, the sneaker boot offers streetwear fanatics a chance to wear kicks all year round. Our edit features 10 of the best versions, each of which balances fashion and function.
Sneakers have become the de facto shoe of choice for modern men, but let’s be real – they’re not exactly built for cold, wet weather (as anyone who has worn canvas Converse in the rain will attest). That’s where sneaker boots come in. These stylish hybrids offer all the comfort and ease of a sneaker, with the added benefit of extra height and protection from the elements.
Whether you’re hitting the streets or hitting the trails, a sneaker boot will keep you sure footed and looking sharp. Below we take a closer look at some of the best models available right now, as well as how to wear them in a contemporary way.
What is a sneaker boot?
The term ‘sneaker boot’ is pretty self-explanatory: it references a relatively new product category, which sees a sneaker crossed with – drum roll – a boot. The boot in question usually being a hiking silhouette.
This Frankenstein footwear was an evolution of the ‘gorpcore’ trend – a ridiculous name that essentially means dressing in functional, outdoors-inspired gear. (‘Gorp’ comes from the colloquial term for trail mix – ‘Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts’ – referencing the trend’s ties to hiking.)
It’s an aesthetic that took off during early pandemic lockdowns, when the majority of us spent a lot more time in the great outdoors, hiking, exploring and generally trying to stay away from other humans. Many quickly realised that this utilitarian clothing had multiple benefits when it came to dealing with day-to-day life – whether it be increased comfort, practicality or weatherproofing – so swiftly adopted it into our everyday wardrobes.
The sneaker boot therefore is for those guys who want to be able to wear kicks all year round. You’ll typically find silhouettes that resemble high-tops, but with a number of practical additions in the form of padded ankle collars, waterproof uppers and thick rubber soles that are lugged for additional grip. The best versions look more like sneakers than clunky hiking boots, and typically come in stealthy all-black colourways that will slot seamlessly into casual, streetwear heavy wardrobes.
In the end, if you’re going to pick a sneaker boot over an actual pair of boots (which offer all the same comfort and protection), you want it to look and feel like a sneaker, otherwise you might as well just buy the latter. Below are a number of models that get the balance between fashion and function right.
The best men’s sneaker boots for 2023
Nike SFB 6″ Leather Sneaker Boot
Nike’s SFB takes inspiration from tactical field boots, complete with a slightly higher collar and more aggressive-looking traction pattern. The uppers are made from weather-resistant nubuck, bringing a luxury feel to the sneaker without sacrificing practicality, while comfort comes as standard thanks to the plush sockliner and injected Phylon midsole.
When styling these sneaker boots, avoid the obvious military references lest it look like you’re playing dress up. Instead, seeing as they have more than a little ‘Yeezy’ to them, the SFB is begging to be teamed with streetwear pieces – think cargo pants, sweats, stacked denim, hoodies and puffer jackets – or monochrome techwear.
adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2 Sneaker Boot
Adidas’ outdoors-focused TERREX line has produced a number of excellent sneaker hybrids, but our favourite is the Free Hiker 2, which, as you probably guessed, sees a hiking boot silhouette fused with the Three Stripes’ popular Ultraboost model.
It’s a shoe packed full of technology, including a sock-like fit which hugs your foot, a Continental rubber outsole for extra traction when you need it and signature BOOST cushioning that adds a literal spring to your step.
Available in eight contemporary colourways, from blacked out to bold multicoloured designs, this is a shoe that delivers on style and practicality – whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or traversing an urban jungle.
Chuck Taylor All Star Lugged 2.0 Counter Climate Sneaker Boot
The majority of you reading this will have owned a pair of Chuck Taylors. It’s a hall of fame sneaker beloved the world over. But what makes them so great for nine months of the year – sturdy flat rubber sole, lightweight canvas upper – are the same reasons why they just don’t work in winter. Unless you love soggy feet and slipping over regularly, that is.
So, it was only natural that Converse released a weatherproof version of its iconic shoe. And this is it: the All Star Lugged 2.0 Counter Climate. It features waterproof leather uppers, a rubber overlay around the sidewalls and back, and a huge lugged rubber outsole with chevron tread to keep you firmly on your feet. OrthoLite cushioning and a soft fleece lining up the all-day comfort factor.
New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro Sneaker Boot
Hierro is New Balance’s trail running collection, designed for people who love adventure and the great outdoors. Of course, it probably helps that trail runners are a huge sneaker trend right now too.
But whether driven by a genuine desire to produce functional, all-terrain shoes for its suburban dad fan base, or pure capitalism (don’t be so cynical), the Fresh Foam X Hierro delivers style and substance. Although the US brand has taken a classic low-top trail silhouette and transformed it into something more substantial, the design remains sleek and streamlined, cementing them firmly on the sneaker side of the sneaker boot spectrum.
Practicality comes in the form of synthetic, weather-resistant uppers, a substantial Vibram Megagrip sole, cushioned Fresh Foam X midsole and a reinforced toe box to protect against rocks, roots and debris (or, more likely, uneven sidewalks).
The North Face VECTIV Taraval Peak Street Shoes
The North Face has long been a go-to brand for everyone from skiers and snowboarders to adventurists and polar explorers. So you can rest assured that any footwear it produces will be able to stand up to anything daily life can throw at it.
With this type of background you may expect chunky hikers and snow-ready ski boots, but the brand’s adoption by hypebeasts and streetwear fanatics in recent years has led to the release of a number of contemporary sneaker boot hybrids, including the excellently named Taraval Peak Street Shoes. For a label so revered for its utility and functionality, the design is decidedly high fashion – it looks like something that could slot straight into a Balenciaga collection.
But this sneaker boot isn’t all beauty and no brains. Practical features include a breathable, temperature-regulating rip stop upper; Surface Control rubber outsole with 4mm lugs for grip across every type of terrain; an OrthoLite footbed for all-day comfort; a 3D TPU plate and rockered midsole for shock absorption and forward propulsion; plus a unique lacing system which allows you to customise your fit (whatever, it just looks cool).
Vans UltraRange Exo Hi Gore-Tex MTE-3
Vans’ UltraRange Exo Hi Gore-Tex MTE-3 is probably the most faithful reproduction of a current sneaker model on this list. Essentially, it’s the Californian brand’s iconic Sk8-Hi on steroids, bulked up by the addition of a chunky padded collar and lugged rubber sole.
Built on the back of decades of snowboard boot development, it is fully wrapped in Gore-Tex, making it completely waterproof. Not only that, it features a Thinsulate lining for exceptional warmth, an OrthoLite sock-liner for a secure fit and UltraCush performance foam for enhanced comfort without the weight.
Yet the best thing about this sneaker boot is how easy they are to style – just sub them straight in for your black high-tops whenever the weather takes a turn.
Sorel Mac Hill Lite Trace Waterproof Sneaker Boot
Based in Switzerland, where they know a thing or two about dealing with cold climates and mountainous terrain, Sorel has been creating all-weather, go-anywhere footwear since 1962.
Another outdoors brand that benefitted greatly from the gorpcore trend, it has recently released a line of functional sneakers to capitalise on its popularity with fashion insiders. And its Mac Hill Lite model is the pick of the bunch.
Available in three colourways, the black-on-black version is the most sneaker-like and would slot seamlessly into your casual rotation. The upper is a mix of waterproof textile and suede, giving them a premium feel, with a further waterproof membrane keeping your feet dry come rain or snow.
Meanwhile the Livelyfoam midsole, moulded EVA footbed and lugged rubber outsole work together to ensure comfort and traction, whether you’re bagging snowcapped peaks or braving a downpour on your commute.
MM6 Maison Margiela Salomon Cross High Sneaker Boot
What do you get when you cross a directional Belgium fashion house with a practical outdoors brand? The most futuristic sneaker boot on this list, that’s what. A slightly left-field collab between Maison Margiela and Salomon, the Cross High is a sleek, fashion-forward sneaker boot that looks like the love child of Balenciaga’s iconic Triple S and Speed 2.0 models.
Functionality has not been sacrificed for aesthetics however. A nylon ripstop upper keeps the shoe weatherproof, while the unique Sensifit drawstring lacing system ensures a secure fit and maximum stability. Elsewhere, giant rubber lugs on the sole and back of the boot guarantee traction on every surface, whether you’re pounding the pavements or scaling a mountainside.
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa Mid GTX Sneaker Boot
Designed primarily for hikers, the HOKA ONE ONE M Kaha 2 GTX Sneaker Boot is built to handle any weather or adventure. They feature a leather and waterproof Gore-Tex upper that will ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable no matter how many puddles you decide to jump in. The high-traction Vibram outsole meanwhile provides excellent grip on any surface, making these boots as suitable for trekking mountainous terrains as they are dealing with slippy sidewalks.
You can forget all thoughts of your dad’s clunky hiking shoes too. The sleek silhouette and tonal grey colourway makes this sneaker boot extremely versatile, allowing them to be paired with everything from tailored wool trousers and hardy corduroys to rugged jeans and carpenter pants.
Timberland Lincoln Peak Sneaker Boot
There aren’t many boots better for dealing with wet weather than Timberland’s iconic 6-inch design. However, if there’s one downside to this classic work boot, it’s the weight, which makes every day you wear it feel like leg day.
The Lincoln Peak retains all the best elements of its 6-inch cousin – tan colourway, waterproof exterior, premium build quality – but reduces the bulk, lowering the ankle height slightly and strapping a lightweight, grippy rubber sole to the bottom to make them feel a lot more comfortable over extended wear.
How to wear sneaker boots
If you pick the right design, a sneaker boot will sub straight in for your current high-top rotation when dressing for winter or inclement weather. Of course, such a practical and utilitarian shoe looks its best dressed down, particularly when teamed outdoors or workwear attire like fleece jackets, chore coats, down vests, flannel shirts and cargo pants.
They also look at home with streetwear pieces – particularly the more fashion-forward, all-black designs – combining well with loose-fitting twill chinos, relaxed denim, hoodies and puffer jackets.
We’d advise not wearing sneaker boots with tailoring or smarter pieces – there are far better options that won’t jar in formality, such as commando sole Derbies or chunky Chelsea boots.