Guide to Types of Sports Shoes & How To Style Them

If you love shoes, you already know that there are more than a dozen styles of sports shoes for men. You've got high-top sneakers, low-top sneakers, skater shoes, etc. These styles come with distinct features and need to be styled differently for the best effect. Read on for our breakdown of the most popular sports shoe styles and how to style them.

Low-Top Sneakers

Low-Top Sneakers are sports shoes for men characterized by a lightweight body and a lower collar that does not cover the entire ankle. The low-top style of casual shoes is perfect for pairing formal and dressier outfits. Unlike high-tops which look more like basketball shoes, low-top sneakers are easy to pass off with non-sporty outfits. You can pair your favourite low-top sneakers with skinny jeans that taper at the ankle or rolled-up capris. Keep in mind this style of sneaker does not work with high socks, and you need to get ankle-grazing socks to make this look work.

Slip-On Sneakers

As the name suggests, Slip-on sneakers are shoes designed to slip on and off easily. These sneakers come without laces and are the perfect pairing for more casual outfits. Slip-on sneakers come in a variety of prints, patterns, and surfaces. The versatility and ease of wearing make slip-on sneakers a perfect vacation shoe. Pair slip-on sneakers with light-coloured pants for drinks by the beach. Or wear them with cotton shorts for lounging by the pool. Women can style slip-on sneakers with wide-legged pants and an equally wide-brimmed hat for a laid-back look that is truly classic.

Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes, as the name suggests, are designed for heavy-duty sports. If you're a runner or tennis player or basketball fan, these are the shoes you'd be wearing. Athletic shoes come with laces and have a rubber sole for optimal comfort and support during intense physical activity. While many different brands sell sports shoes for men, traditional athletic shoe brands include Adidas, Nike, and Reebok. Pair your favourite athletic shoes with an athleisure outfit-tracksuit, sweatshirt, and sports bra. For men, they can be paired with running shorts and a sleeveless running tee for major style points.

High Top Basketball Sneakers

High Tops, sometimes called basketball sneakers, as the name suggests, have a high top that covers the ankle fully. These shoes provide full coverage and are ideal for wearing while playing sports. Another great aspect of high tops is that they are the best shoes to pair with long socks. High tops look great paired with long shorts or slim tracksuit bottoms for men. For women, leggings or rolled-up denim jeans look great when paired with this super cool sneaker style.

Leather Sneakers

Sneakers and leather might not be the most obvious pairing. But these dressier alternatives to casual shoes for men are a perfect work-to-party transition shoe. Pair your favourite pair of brown or black leather sneakers with a suit and tie or blazer and formal pants combo, and you are guaranteed to look like a sophisticated gent. Leather sneakers look great paired with baggy knee-length pants and a tailored blazer for women. For a more streamlined and professional look, make sure the socks you pair with leather sneakers are in a neutral shade and unless you're wearing pants, are ankle length and hidden from view.

Canvas Shoes

When people refer to canvas shoes, they usually refer to brands like Converse. Unlike sneakers built for motion control and high-quality support, canvas shoes are lightweight and not intended to be worn during intense physical activity like long hikes or playing sports. Canvas shoes are made of canvas, a less rigid and soft material than traditional sports shoes. The lightweight design of canvas shoes makes them ideal for pairing with casual summer outfits like dresses, shorts, and skirts.

Velcro Shoes

The super nerdy velcro shoe style is back in fashion in 2022. But don't confuse 2022 velcro shoes with your high school velcro pair. These are sports shoes and are much more stylish. Velcro shoes can feel a little too over the top for some people with their chunky design and broad straps. Therefore, when styling these sports shoes, make sure you keep the rest of your outfit fairly neutral. Consider pairing velcro shoes with an all-black outfit-black fitted, or a dress shirt, a black or white outfit, or other minimalist looks.

It’s All in the Details

If you're a true shoe lover, you already know this. But for those who are not as aware, there's a lot of care to maintain sneakers. You could buy the most expensive shoe from the best brand but completely ruin it by careless storage and cleaning. To ensure the longevity of your sports shoes, keep them away from direct sunlight, hand wash only, and use a sneaker protector to protect them from UV rays during everyday use.

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