Dress sneakers are the most versatile shoe any man can add to their wardrobe.
When you’re planning an outfit, what piece do you start with? A favorite pair of jeans, or maybe a particularly well-fitting
While there are strengths to either of these approaches, I often recommend starting with your shoes. Because when you think about it, the shoes you choose really give the strongest indicator of how dressy your outfit will be.
It’s All About The Shoes
Starting with shoes also gives you the most room to dress up or dress down to match the occasion.
Case in point: Dress sneakers. Pair them with slacks and a
Basically, dress sneakers are the one shoe that no man’s wardrobe should be without. So today, we’re gonna cover all the bases on how and when to wear dress sneakers, including a recommendation for one of our favorite brands to get started with.
How Are Dress Sneakers For Men Different From Regular Ol’ Sneakers?
The biggest difference between regular sneakers and dress sneakers is the latter’s attention to detail.
Standard issue sneakers are often made of cheap synthetic materials — good for casual outdoor activities, but not very durable. The more you wear them, the worse they’re going to look, until you have to replace them altogether.
Dress sneakers pay a lot closer attention to every aspect of their design and construction. They most often have leather uppers, meaning you can take care of them and make them last for years. The stitching is better, the soles are more durable, and they can often be resoled.
You’ll probably notice the shape of a dress sneaker more than anything, though. They’re designed more carefully, with an eye towards pairing well with the cut of dress pants. Standard sneakers will look bulky and out of place in comparison.
For example: Think about the sort of activities you’d wear a regular sneaker for. In almost every case, they’re made for a specific sport — basketball shoes for basketball, running shoes for running, and so on. That means they’re designed more for function than for looks.
Classic dress sneaker styles, on the other hand, lead with their good looks. They’re an understated shoe option, with general everyday use in mind.
And since they don’t need to be sport-ready, they can cut back on the bulky look of athletic shoes.
Why Are Dress Sneakers So Versatile?
Think of an outfit. Any outfit.
Got one in mind? Good!
You can wear dress sneakers with it. Seriously.
A good pair of dress sneakers are versatile because it combines a designer’s attention to detail with the walkability of a casual sneaker.
For example: Dress shoes would look out of place with board shorts (duh). But why? Because it doesn’t really make any sense to wear shorts made for athletic activities with shoes that aren’t.
But dress sneakers? Their leather construction and fine lines blend in with dressy clothes — but you could just as easily break into a run while you’re wearing them.
Basically, dress sneakers are a perfect blend of classy good looks and sporty utility.
When Is It Okay to Wear Dress Sneakers?
When can you wear dress sneakers? Whenever the heck you want, that’s when.
Going for a morning walk to the coffee shop? Wear your dress sneakers to look great and be comfortable.
Heading in for a day at work? Give your dress sneakers a quick polish, and they’re office-ready.
Planning for a night out this weekend? You guessed it — dress sneakers.
Seriously, it’s okay to wear dress sneakers pretty much any time, anywhere. They work in a variety of everyday situations, with just a few exceptions that we’ll discuss in the next section.
When Should You Not Wear Dress Sneakers?
You know when I don’t wear dress sneakers? Whenever I’m doing something that would get them unreasonably dirty.
Dress sneakers are hella versatile, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean that you can beat them up by going on an impromptu hike, and then expect them to look good with your chinos the next day.
Also, if you’re going for a full-on dressy look, maybe leave the dress sneakers at home. For truly formal occasions, it’s also best to break out the polished dress shoes (or boots, depending on the time of year).
How Can You Look Dressed Up While Wearing Sneakers?
Looking dressed up while wearing sneakers starts with — you guessed it — getting the right sneakers. It’s not enough to throw some slacks over your beat-up pair of Chucks.
When I think of sneakers that can perfectly complement a dressed-up outfit, I think of the Duke sneakers from Ace Marks. They’re designed to be versatile and timeless enough to fit any wardrobe while being both comfortable and built to last.
Basically, these Ace Marks sneakers are in a classic style made to fit any wardrobe. You can dress them up or wear them casually, thanks to the calfskin lined and shock-absorbing insoles that make them comfortable and breathable even after all-day wear.
And with their high-quality stitched outsoles, you can expect comfort and longevity making sure your shoe stays looking great for years to come. Pair that with slacks and a
Oh yeah — if you’re digging the look of these shoes, use the code “GENT” for a special limited-time discount of $25 off your pair.
Can You Wear Dress Sneakers With A Suit?
You definitely can wear dress sneakers with a suit. Keep in mind, though, that it’s always going to look more casual than if you’re wearing full-on dress shoes.
This means that if you’re looking to dress down a suit by a notch or two, dress sneakers might be perfect. That’ll give you the nonchalant, rock star cool look that helps you to stand out from a crowd.
Dos and Don’ts For Wearing Dress Sneakers
Alright, so to recap:
Dress Sneaker Dos
- Wear them with almost any outfit you want
- Invest in a quality pair that will last for years
- Keep them clean and polished
Dress Sneaker Don’ts
- Wear them where they’re likely to get dirty, rained on, etc.
- Try to wear them to a genuinely formal event (black tie)
Add a Pair Of Dress Sneakers To Your WArdrobe
Bottom line: every guy should have a pair of dress sneakers in his closet. We’re huge fans of The Duke sneakers from Ace Marks, and they’re an incredible option if you’re looking for your first (or second, or third) pair of men’s dress sneakers.