The high-fashion-meets-streetwear wave is at a high tide right now, and the current abundance of luxury sneakers on both the runways and streets is evidence of this trend. While there have been footwear brands founded foremost on the luxury sneaker — ranging from the minimalist classic Common Projects to the more contentious Golden Goose Deluxe — today’s luxury sneaker is essentially the new designer jeans, prompting every high-end and heritage menswear label to push out their own take on the sportswear footwear category.
Although some people may find it ludicrous to spend top dollar on a pair of sneakers, others value the artisan craftsmanship, premium materials and reputable design eye of high-fashion designers. Whether it be the justification of cost-per-wear quality or the flexing rights of striking design, luxury sneakers are quickly becoming the top-selling footwear category in the menswear fashion scene.
Below is a selection, in no particular order, of some of this season’s most noteworthy luxury sneakers:
visvim Black Huron Moc Hi-Folk Boots
Japanese label visvim has produced several footwear models that fuse heritage naturalism with contemporary sneaker elements. This moc hi-folk boot sneaker boasts a black suede upper with tan leather lace-up closure and contrast stitching at the heel.
A rubber sole unit adds a modern edge while providing comfort and support.
Price: $809 USD
Rick Owens Black Geothrasher Low Sneakers
Rick Owen offers up a more modest version of his bold Geobasket sneaker with this low-top Geothrasher skater shoe. This model features a buffer calfskin upper in black with contrasting off-white linear side stripes that wrap around the heel counter.
A logo-embossed and texturized rubber sole unit rounds out the clean design.
Price: $957 USD
Prada Spazzolato Rois 2-Strap Sneaker
Prada‘s take on the casual velcro strap sneaker sees a modern two-strap design and a glossy patent white leather upper. Tonal topstitching, metallic-silver hardware, leather lining and bold red branding on the insoles and outsoles add some sharp contrast to the ultra-clean design.
Price: €520 EUR (approximately $605 USD)
Miharayasuhiro Black Hi-Cut High-Top Sneakers
Tokyo-based menswear label Miharayasuhiro‘s high-top sneaker sees a smooth, buffed leather upper and a bold yet simple silhouette.
This model features a rounded toe, tonal laces, a padded tongue, a thick, sculpted midsole in dark brown and contrasts white stitching at the welt.
Price: $655 USD
Maison Margiela Mixed Patchwork
Though there has been much controversy surrounding pre-distressed sneakers, some brands do it more delicately than others. Margiela‘s mid-top silhouette features distressed and perforated details on a leather and mesh panel upper.
Contrasting logo patches and topstitching throughout give added texture, while a padded tongue and black-stained gum sole give off a retro, worn-in look.
Price: $1,096 — $1,495 USD
Hender Scheme Black Manual Industrial 12
Hender Scheme‘s premium leather sneakers have been revered for bringing classic Japanese craftsmanship to iconic sneaker silhouettes. This model is inspired by the Nike Air Presto and features a buffed, grained cow and deer leather with subtle discolouration to bring out the intricate detailing. Tonal laces and stitching add to the stealth look, while a leather sole rounds out the luxurious design.
Price: ￥56,000 JPY (approximately $504 USD)
Givenchy Urban Street Mid-Top Suede Trainers
Givenchy‘s mid-top trainer comes in a sophisticated neutral palette that features a biscuit-beige suede upper, contrasting black and white smooth leather panels and a tan-brown rubber sole.
Knotted-tie details, black leather lining and insoles and gold hot-stamped branding at the tongue and heel tab add to the subtle luxury.
Price: $591 USD
Gucci X Donald Duck© Jacquard High-Top Trainers
The Gucci Ace sneaker was one of the pioneering models to put high-end sneakers on the radar. These past few seasons saw an emphasis on bold graphics, and this special edition Donal Duck high-top sneaker boasts a colourful jacquard print that fuses the iconic character with Asian motifs.
A bold sunflower-yellow rubber sole adds to the vibrant colourway, while a green and red heel panel brings in the signature Gucci stripe.
Price: $695 — $863 USD
Bottega Veneta Dodger Intrecciato Leather Slip-on Trainers
Known for its elegant, timeless designs, Bottega Veneta brings its famous Intrecciato leather weave to a simple slip-on model. The classic skate shoe boasts elastic panels for easy wear, butterfly detailing at the heel counter and no bold branding for low-key style.
The luxurious leather gets better with wear and adds subtle sophistication to the casual silhouette.
Price: $479 — $680 USD
Last but not least is Balenciaga‘s audacious Triple-S sneaker from Fall/Winter 2017. This chunky model boasts a multi-hued upper made up of mesh, calfskin leather and suede panels.
A sculptural sole unit featuring several layers of rubber add to the intricate design, guaranteed to turn heads this season.
Price: $795 USD