Good to know
Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.
LeatherLeather is considered by some as an upgrade over canvas. This is the kind of material that gives sneakers more durability, protection, and sophistication. Many of the most popular leather shoes are variations of the original models that were previously made of mesh or canvas. See *leather sneakers*
CanvasThe material that is originally designed for sneakers. Back then, canvas was sought after as it was durable, flexible, and extremely lightweight. Today, sneakers made of canvas are wide-ranging as they are normally affordable with plenty of options where style and versatility go. See *canvas sneakers*
SuedeSuede kicks are covered with a fibrous version of animal leather giving its users shoes with a softer and more luxurious finish. These footwear provide more durability but considered disadvantageous as it attracts water and dirt easily. Suede sneakers are typically worn during Spring and Winter as many found this modish while providing warmth for the chilly days. See *suede sneakers*
MeshThe most common of all materials used in sneakers or shoes of all kinds. Whether it's a performance shoe or a lifestyle shoe, mesh is a most coveted material. It is durable, breathable, and is one of the reasons why a shoe is reasonably-priced.
KnitAt the forefront of technological innovation is knit. It offers breathability, sophistication, durability, and lightness that is not found in other materials. It is arguably the best material found in the upper of a sneaker.
Rubber SoleThe tried and tested outsole material of practically all shoes. It brings a nice mix of cushioning, durability, and impact protection.
Vulc SoleThe skaters' bestfriend is known for its flexible and soft nature for better board feel. Sneakers with vulcanized sole are ideal for skating for just a casual walk around town.
Gum SoleAlso known as crepe soles, gum soles are sought by sneaker fans for their hot or edgy look while bringing in a ton of grip on slippery conditions. It is also more durable than regular rubber soles.
Cup SoleCup soles are basically the regular rubber variety but with more height on the side walls that allow the rubber to "cup" the upper part of the shoe. The design offers better support during movement.
Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.
Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.
Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.
Good to know
Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.
BreathableAlthough breathability is subjective, it is safe to say that shoes that are mainly made of mesh or has perfortations are particularly superb in providing optimum ventilation. Breathable shoes are sought after as they help prevent users from developing blisters or having a slipper feet. Sneakers with good ventilation also enable sneaker fans from using their shoes sockless without fear of having a smelly feet. See *breathable sneakers*
Orthotic-friendlyFit is highly personal and a shoe that is Orthotic-friendly raises this feature to a different level. Sneakers with removable insoles allow the user to be more comfortable and also give a more "customized" support based on usage. Across all brands, Orthotic-friendly shoes are found at an affordable price and in stylish designs. See *orthotic-friendly sneakers*
VeganVegan sneakers are generally produced using methods and materials that do not involve experimentation on animals, which make them technically cruelty-free. Ideally, all sections of a vegan sneaker – from its upper down to its sole composition, including the ingredients used in the assembly of the shoe, such as adhesives -- are free of any traces of animal parts and animal by-products. See *vegan sneakers*
WaterproofStyle never goes out even during the rainy season. Sneakers made of waterproof material is quickly becoming a must-have, particularly for people on the go. Waterproof sneakers prevent water from seeping into the shoe and help keep the foot warm and dry.
ReflectiveSneakers with reflective materials are now sought by many. Although shoes of this type are not as important as those used for running, these kind of sneakers are also needed by sneaker fans for safety, particularly while going out at night.
DadAlso dubbed as ugly shoes or turbo trainers, dad sneakers are chunky footwear inspired by the rubber shoes our fathers strutted in the 80s and 90s. These kicks feature massive soles adding few inches to the wearers' heights, with a thick and well-padded upper for ultra-comfortable strides, and often finished with curvy lines, patterns, and striking colors for flashier charm. See *Dad sneakers*
ClassicIn the sneaker world, classic is the name of the game. The older the shoe is, the more it is sought-after by sneaker fans. Classic sneakers are basically the original models with very little or almost no changes since they were released years ago. Fans of classic sneakers can have their fill as the choices are so many and they vary in price, style, and design. See *classic sneakers*
PlatformOversized and thick soles best describe platform sneakers. Specifically, sneakers within this category are outfitted with at least 1” sole. *Puma Thunder Spectra* and *Balenciaga Triple S Trainers* are the widely popular models of this category. The trend started and continues to be a hit among women, but has recently caught the attention of men as well. See *platform sneakers*
RetroThese are sneakers that are initially released in the past, preferably a decade ago, and eventually resurrected due to its popularity. These re-released sneakers are now assembled with modern materials though their constructions lie close to the original model. Some of the most famous lines capitalizing on this trend come from the Jordan series as well as the Air Max, New Balance 990, Adidas EQT lines to name a few. See *retro sneakers*
BoostAdidas' most popular cushioning technology, BOOST utilizes the TPU(thermoplastic polyurethane) in the midsole that offers superior energy return and impact absorption to wearers. Many of Adidas' classic sneakers are now featuring this sophisticated midsole tech.
PrimeknitAdidas fuses its own technology on ordinary fabric to create a flexible, yet long lasting upper. This material is renowned for enhancing the comfort and and fit of sneakers in Adidas collection.
AdipreneA midsole cushioning tech that provides efficient shock absorption in the forefoot and heel. An enhanced version is also available, called the AdiPRENE+.
JoyrideThe Nike Joyride is a cushioning technology that uses thousands of strategically positioned small TPE beads in the midsole. These beads arrange themselves around the foot for a unique underfoot experience. As the foot strikes the ground, the beads experience multi-directional displacement to absorb the impact while maximizing the energy return.
LunarlonThe Nike Lunarlon is a lightweight cushioning technology that was inspired by the manner on how astronauts bounce on the moon. This tech provides spring-like cushioning to its wearers and distributes impact across the foot. This shock-absorbing technology is used in many of Nike's performance sneakers, such as basketball, tennis, skateboarding, running, and training.
FlyknitThe top of the line upper material of Nike that is made of micro-engineered knit for lightweight, durable, and form-fitting fit. Sneakers with Flyknit uppers are some of the most comfortable shoes around.
ComfyCushOne of Vans' latest tech that is launched to improve the comfort and support of the old classics. Most of Vans' iconic shoes now offer this midsole and outsole tech for an even better sneaker experience.
UltraCushVans' DNA as a skating brand is not lost despite their classics being used as a lifestyle wear than usual skating. For loyal Vans fans, the UltraCush HD for sockliners brings more protection without sacrificing board feel from the brand's top of the line sneakers.
SpingThese are sneakers that are normally durable, versatile, and are usually stylish due to the spring-like vibrant colors. There's a wide variety of options for those who wish to travel in Spring as the choices for breathable and comfortable sneakers are just as easily available. Considering that Spring sneakers are some of the most affordable and versatile on the market, it's no wonder they are a dime dozen for everyone. See *spring sneakers*
SummerThese must-cop kicks for the warm season are typically made of durable, lightweight, and breathable materials that will lessen its wearer's chance of having smelly or sweaty feet. Generally covered with brightly colored hues, these heat-busting footwear will surely suit the intense heat of the sun while keeping the user's overall ensemble on-point for the summer. See *summer sneakers*
WinterStill retaining its street-style look, these winter-ready sneakers will undoubtedly keep its wearers feeling comfortable and toasty even when the temperature is way below the freezing point. These kicks are commonly loaded with innovative fabrics, lining, and right technologies designed to retain heat aiding its wearers to survive the sub-zero temperature. Also, some brands add grippy lugs on its flexible outsole for wearers to endure the slushy, slippery terrains. See *winter sneakers*
Slip-onSneakers that can be quickly put on or removed and usually possess an upper with a fused tongue with matching elastic accents to keep the shoe in place. Some shoes with straps, toggle laces, and waterproofed iterations in a bootie construction exclude them almost naturally from being called slip-ons. Most major brands contain at least one slip-on in their catalog while a few like Vans and Keds capitalize on the trend.
Lace-upEasily the most common and popular type of closure in sneakers. The use of laces allow the user a more customized fit and hold. It is for this reason that lace-up shoes are extremely popular and versatile.
StrapSneaker fans who value convenience find these shoes perfect for their needs. For those who are always on the go, sneakers with straps as closure are a must have. Previously coming almost exclusively in white, different brands now offer this kind of shoes in a multitude of colorways for versatility when it comes to style.
Good to know
A masterful team-up between two or more entities, usually between brands and artists, pro-athletes, designers, and boutique labels. Limited Releases are very popular and are normally sold out in just hours or minutes upon release despite the hefty price tag. Collaborative works for General Release regularly come with a decent price tag, but can sometimes cost an arm and a leg because of hype, social media anticipation, or marketing strategy. Kanye's collab with Adidas is one such example.
- Inspired from
Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
Good to know
Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
- Number of reviews
Among a variety of materials used to produce a shoe, leather is one of the most popular and oldest ones. Leather sneakers give off a luxurious vibe while keeping a fashionable look. It is a kind of sneaker that does not only pleases the eye but also provides excellent feels on foot.
Leather versus synthetic leather
Many are confused between leather and synthetic leather, but their fundamental difference is what is used to make them.
- Genuine leather is made from animal skins and hides.
- Real leather is unique because there are no two hides that are the same due to its stretch marks, scars, and pores.
- Since it is authentic, it is more durable, which adds up to its value, making it more expensive compared to synthetic leather.
- Faux leather has plastic as its base and is then treated with wax, dye, or polyurethane for its color and texture.
- Synthetic leathers are uniform.
- Less expensive but does not live as long as genuine leathers.
- It is environmentally safer since it does not use animal skins and hides, thus being able to cater to those who are concerned about animal welfare.
- It uses fewer chemicals compared to genuine leather. These chemicals are necessary for genuine leather since it undergoes an extreme process to ensure its quality.
- These chemicals are found to be harmful to the environment, and it takes away the biodegradability of real leather.
What's to like about leather sneakers?
Leather shoes give off a sleek yet stylish look, and despite being a little bit expensive, sneakers with leather material are still peoples' favorite. Leather sneakers are known to be :
- Comfortable - It offers ample amount of support on the feet, making it comfortable to wear.
- Durable - Unlike other materials, leather sneakers can withstand tear and wear better and lasts longer.
- Breathable - Air passes through the material, allowing the feet to breathe and stop it from smelling.
- Good-fitting - The leather material molds to the shape of the foot, which is good since not all feet are similar in shape.
- Stylish - Leather sneakers give off a luxurious vibe because of its sleek material and shiny finish.
- Easy to clean - Wiping the shoes off with a dry, clean cloth is enough to keep the shoes clean. Due to its breathable feature, it is also easy to dry.
So what's not to like? Is it its high price? When one thinks about it hard enough, though, one will realize that buying leather sneakers is a wise choice since it outlives synthetic shoes. A sneaker fan will not be grabbing another pair so soon if he or she grabs leather sneakers over sneakers made of other materials.
Best leather sneakers
RunRepeat has reviewed plenty of sneakers, and below are some of the best leather sneakers in the market.
Nike Air Force 1 07
The Air Force 1 07 received plenty of praise for its durability and versatility. It kept the clean and timeless look of the AF1, thus retaining the people's favorite classic look. One of the noticeable improvements from the original shoe is its composition; it is made up of leather attached to an Air sole unit.
Ever since it was released in 2007, this low top AF1 07 acquired recognition and became a top-rated Nike sneaker. It has also already come out in a number of variations, and some members of the Air Force 1 07's line are AF 1 07 LXX, Nike Air Force 1 07 QS, and Air Force 1 07 Essential.
Adidas Continental 80
With a leather upper and perforations along the rounded toe, the Adidas Continental 80 is among the perfect shoes for the summer season. The Continental 80 is a tennis shoe-inspired sneaker that was initially released in 1980.
This sneaker was applauded for being an excellent remake of the classic from the Original Series. Despite having a retro silhouette, it has a touch of modern style that allows users to wear it on a casual day. This model is among the most recognized Adidas sneakers.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus
This lifestyle model was released in 2018 to pay homage to the 20th anniversary of the Air Max Plus. It is a mixture of its classic Nike TN silhouette for the upper attached to an advanced Air Max sole. Compared to its predecessor, it offers more stability due to the support the uppers provide. The Nike Air VaporMax Plus was seen on the feet of some famous people like J Balvin, Neymar, and A$AP Rocky.
Fila Disruptor 2
Dad shoes are trending, and riding this trend, Fila released the new Disruptor 2 in 2018. The Disruptor 2 is an upgraded and playful model of a basic white shoe. Shoes with a 'loud' image, something that one can ignore even from afar, is on hype.
Among these bold sneakers, the Fila Disruptor 2 one of the most popular. From its original silhouette, the Fila Disruptor 1, the noticeable differences are its colorways and the materials used. Successfully riding the trend, it released Disruptor 2 Premium, Disruptor 2 Premium Patent, and Disruptor 2 Premium Metallic.
Adidas Stan Smith
This sneaker has a rich history, and it has continued to be popular ever since it was released. It is among the most iconic sneakers which loyal fanatics saluted for successfully taking after the original.
The Adidas Stan Smith is the primary model used in its line, and some that belong to its collection are Stan Smith Boost, Stan Smith Primeknit, and Stan Smith GTX. Being among the best sneakers, popular icons like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Raf Simons were seen wearing the Stan Smith.
Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
This is considered as the most iconic sneaker of Onitsuka Tiger. The Tiger Mexico 66's popularity has already been tested with time as it was first released in 1966 as a running sneaker. However, it took some break and was not seen until the early 2000s.
But despite a long hiatus, this sneaker still received plenty of recognition. Personalities like Emma Watson, Alex Meraz, and even Prince William of Wales acknowledged the shoes and are seen frequently wearing them.
Frequently asked questions
How to care for leather sneakers?
Leather sneakers are known to be durable; however, if it is not well-taken care, it will undoubtedly wear out quickly. Here's how to make your leather shoes last:
- Clean and apply conditioner on the shoes at least once a month to keep them looking new.
- Every three to six months, apply water protection on the sneakers after conditioning it.
- When not wearing them, store it on a cloth shoe bag to keep it from being dusty.
- To dry a leather sneaker, simply air-dry them since exposing it to sunlight will only damage the shoe.
- If shoe trees are available, insert them on the shoe to keep it in shape.
How to clean leather sneakers?
There are a number of tips on how to clean a leather sneaker and here are some of the essential ways to keep it presentable:
- Remove surface dirt by knocking the soles together or by using a soft-bristled brush or any dry cloth.
- For the upper: After removing the debris, pour cleaning solution on the brush and gently scrub in a circular motion. If there are tough stains, apply pressure when brushing. Wipe the shoe with a towel to remove excess soaps.
- For the midsole: Magic Eraser can be used to remove stains; scrub lightly to remove stains. Wipe it with a towel and set it aside to dry afterward.
- Apply conditioner to protect it from stains and to add shine to the sneaker. Applying weatherproof spray can also add extra protection.
How to remove stains from leather?
Aside from the dirt, it is possible to have stains on the shoes. Below are tips on how to take care of them:
- Grease or Oil: Sprinkle baking soda or starch on it and use a damp cloth to rub it gently. Let it sit overnight or for a few hours so that the baking soda or starch can absorb the grease or oil then wipe it off with a dry, soft cloth.
- Ink: Dip cotton on an alcohol or nail polish remover and lightly dab it on the stain until it is gone. Remember not to rub it as it will only cause the stain to spread. Wipe it with a dry, clean towel afterward.
- Light to moderate dark stains: Mix a mild dish soap to cold water until it gets bubbly when agitated. Dip a clean cloth on the solution and rub it on the stain with a circular motion until gone. Air-dry the shoe afterward.
- Severe dark stains: Spray aerosol hairspray directly on the stain and let it sit for a while. Rub the stain with a clean cloth using a circular motion until gone. Apply aerosol as needed. Air-dry the spot after.
How to stretch leather sneakers?
Before getting the glove-like fit, some sneakers need some breaking in. The easiest way to stretch a leather sneaker is by wearing it around the house for an hour. It can also be expanded by putting on the sneaker while wearing a thick sock and applying heat using a hairdryer since the heat will soften the shoe and help to form it to your foot. Do not forget to apply a leather conditioner after heating.
How to dye leather sneakers?
To begin, rub the sneakers thoroughly with a leather preparer and deglazer to remove the factory finish. Dampen it evenly after removing the factory finish but do not oversaturate.
Using a soft cloth, dye the leather by applying thin coats and build up the color consistently. Allow it to air-dry afterward. Apply a second coat if necessary.
How to wear leather sneakers?
Leather sneakers for women: The most typical casual leather sneaker outfit for women is a slip-on shoe paired with a plain black or white top and jeans or leggings. For a street style, a combination of a white shirt and ripped jeans on a brown leather shoe looks well. Putting on a cardigan will put an additional character to this ensemble.
Leather shoes for men: Dressing men's leather sneakers are easy. For a casual look, it almost works well with anything, from t-shirts to hoodies and shorts to sweatpants. Wearing it with a coat or blazer and a chino will give off a more sophisticated look.
15 best leather sneakers
- Nike Air Max 270 Bowfin
- Adidas Stan Smith
- Adidas Continental 80
- Nike Shox R4
- Adidas Samba OG
- Adidas City Cup
- Reebok Workout Plus
- Osiris D3 2001
- Nike Air Force 1 07
- Adidas Seeley
- Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
- Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG
- Supra Skytop
- Nike Air Max 720
- Asics Gel Lyte III