11 of the Best Sneakers for Work & Office Dress Codes
As more and more offices adopt smart-casual dress codes, it can be hard to tell which garments are office-appropriate and which aren’t. Sneakers were traditionally strictly forbidden from the boardroom, but these days more flexible workplaces means they’re perfectly acceptable.
DECIPHERING the dress codes of some contemporary business sectors can be something of a headache. Attitudes are changing and relaxing, choices have considerably broadened in recent years, but the best advice is to take a balance approach. Try these 11 of the best sneakers for work — they’re a notch up from functional footwear, but not so casual that you’d be frowned on in the boardroom.
1. ECCO ‘Ennio’
These sneakers from the European shoe company ECCO are a reflection of all the values that have keep the brand to the fore in the fashion and leisure footwear sector for more than a half-century. This ‘Ennio’ retro fashion sneaker is a vintage-inspired classic, complete with the latest design technology (including a unique airflow system to keep your feet cool and dry), to give you everything you could possibly require in a shoe that covers all your requirements. Definitely one of the best sneakers for work.
2. Versace Leather Low-Tops
These Versace snakeskin embossed leather low-top sneakers are subtly multi-textural—leather and suede—in a beautifully rich shade of navy. With their leather upper and leather linings, and their stainless steel ‘Medusa’ logo, these sneakers are a byword for quality leisurewear, suitable for all occasions. With the Versace brand, there is no doubt that these belong among the best sneakers for work.
3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars in Leather
The Converse sneaker is probably one of the most culturally significant shoes of all time, having gone through many iterations since its creation in 1920. This black leather reworking of the Chuck Taylor All Star gives the grungy shoe a grown-up feel, and the simple style and color scheme will go with nearly everything in your wardrobe, making them one of the best sneakers for work, and a staple of your smart casual sneakers collection.
4. Superga Black Suede Shoe
If you’re looking for a classy European take on Oxford-style smart casual sneakers, you’ll love Superga’s black suede sneakers. The black suede shoe from their premium collection is light, durable and soft to the touch, creating a shoe that will age gracefully. This shoe will look great with rolled-up cuffs in the summer, and a luxurious fabric like suede ensures that they are office-appropriate.
5. Vans in Leather
Loafers have always been a staple shoe for the office and these leather slip-ons by Vans reinvent the style perfectly for the modern, smart-casual workplace. This style will suit grown-up skaters down to the ground, while the conservative material and colour choice will keep you within office dress codes.
6. Nike Air Max Tavas
Minimal design is always best when choosing smart casual sneakers for the workplace, making the Nike Air Max Tavas and ideal choice. Designed in the classic Nike running shoe style, in a subtle black & anthracite colour combination, this shoe is both functional and unobtrusive, an ideal combination for dual purpose work/leisure use.
7. Puma Roma
Lots of people choose to wear sneakers to work due their comfort, so it makes sense to invest in a pair that will ensure your feet feel great all day. The Puma Roma sneaker were created with comfort in mind, with orthopaedic arch supports and a cushioned sole and tongue. They achieve this without sacrificing style, as the classic aesthetic and subtle colour accents keep things fashion-forward.
8. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
These sneakers took the Japanese Olympic Team to the 1968 Mexico Games, so you can be sure they’ll hold up during your morning commute! The monochrome colour scheme and simple design will look great with slim-fitting black trousers and the leather and suede construction make them office-appropriate.
9. Reebok Workout Lo Clean PN
For a dose of no-nonsense British style, take a look at Reebok’s Workout Lo Clean PN. Although these are inspired by Reebok’s 1980s glory days, there’s nothing garish about them, as the simple black and white design and leather upper create an aesthetic that looks as good in the boardroom as it does in the bar.
10. ASICS Gel Lyte III Leather
Although ASICS is associated with futuristic looking sneakers that definitely can’t be worn outside the gym, these classic Gel Lyte III Leather shoes are extremely subtle, with a tonal black layered exterior. The brand is renowned for the comfort and support their shoes provide, so you’re sure to make it through the day without foot pain.
These relaxed fit slip-on loafers from Skechers have a (removable) memory foam insole as well as flexible traction control outsole. Their comfort, versatility and smart stitched uppers make them one of the best leisure shoes for wear in the office setting.