Put the fresh in professional with smart casual sneakers for men that are appropriate for work. The days of suit and tie are long gone and brogues or loafers for work often just feel a little outdated. But looking like you’re a silicon valley bro in beaten-down Converse isn’t ideal either. So what’s a man to do? You find yourself a fresh pair of sneakers, that will smarten up your casual look as well as make your on-duty office outfit a little more casual-cool.
How to find the perfect smart-casual sneakers
1. Stick to the classics
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with just sticking to the casual classics! Brands like Converse, Adidas and Vans all of the iconic shoe staples that could work for a more professional setting. Low top Converse Chuck Taylors in black or white work perfectly under a pair of slightly cropped tailored pants with just a hint of colour courtesy of your socks. Vans Old Skool adds a subtle skater edge and you simply can’t go wrong with the classic appeal of Adidas Stan Smiths. With these iconic brands, I would say to watch out for looking too gimmicky. If the rest of your outfit is a bit more casual, e.g unwashed, dark jeans and a simple white button-down shirt, then these would work fine. But if your outfit is more polished, a suit or tailored pants and a blazer these sneakers will look a bit too much like you’re trying too hard!
2. Leather will always work
Leather sneakers will fit right in at the office, they won’t look too much like your make a bold style move but stand out enough to make you look fresh and fashionable. Unlike classic shoes like Vans or trending streetwear staples, these will actually work with a suit to give it just a touch of nonchalance. You’ll find sneakers crafted from the finest Italian leather, with the same amount of detail and work put into as the more classic shoe staples. Luxury leather takes the sporty out of the shoe and turns it into something more dapper.
3. Opt for a minimal design
One way to make sure you’re always on the right path to finding the perfect smart-casual sneakers is if you’re looking at simple silhouettes and designs. Nothing too flashy, just a minimal amount of details and a maximal amount of stylish sophistication. If there’s one brand that defines this style at its purest form then that would have to be Common Projects. Common Projects sneakers are sleek and understated with very subtle branding, the Achilles Sneaker is the sneaker of all smart-casual sneakers if you’d ask us. Not quite in your price range? Use it as a template for the kind of shoe you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of similar versions at a lower price.
4. Rebel a little
Ok, now forget everything I just said. Kidding… In some cases, it’s safe to explore a little outside of the realms of Common Projects sneakers and look-alikes. If your style is a little bit more outside of the box but you still want to step into a meeting looking professional then there’s no harm in trying out different types of fashion-forward footwear. Here it gets a bit blurry as to what is appropriate and what is not so I’ve made a selection of smart casual sneakers that could work for your outfit. As a rule of thumb there should only be one thing that stands out from the shoe, so either it's a subtle pop of colour a funky design detail or unique silhouette, but never everything at once.
Smart casual sneakers are a great way to show your sense of style when you step into the office, hopefully, you’ve found a pair that suits you here. Of course, most of what makes you look tidy and professional is in how you style things, so don’t think that by buying a pair of smart casual sneakers will make it okay to rock up in your baggy jeans and sports T-shirt…