The only shoe more versatile than a white sneaker is a black sneaker. Read on to see our top picks for men’s black
They’re a safer bet for office casual Fridays, and you can pull them off more easily in a cocktail situation. I’ve definitely gotten away with sporting black Koios at occasions with technically anti-sneaker dress codes.
We’ve rounded up the eight best black
Table of Contents
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best black
Read on for more info and the complete list…
Best Men’s Black
Here they are in no particular order…
Koio Capri Nero
Koio sources full-grain leather from Marche, Italy, so the black Neros boast a luxurious feel and aesthetic. They’re also hand-constructed with painted finished edges.
They have the clean silhouette of a classic, low-profile dress sneaker, but with slightly more curve action. The toe box is wide, while the instep is narrow. Moreover, the eyelets on each side sit very close to each other. Visually, this further tapers the midsection and adds to the overall contour.
Other premium features include the margom outsoles and soft leather linings.The suede heel counters prevent chafing and slippage. These are especially useful when you’re wearing extra-low no-show socks.
Even if you’re team Common Projects when it comes to white
Unless you’re a designer-specific collector, it’s more wardrobe efficient to acquire from multiple brands based on each’s strengths. Not only are the Neros more high-value, but they’re perfectly monochromatic which makes them more versatile.
Pro tip for those with a sub-7 shoe size: The ladies version is literally the exact same shoe.
Beckett Simonon Morgen
The sectioned-off aesthetic has a vintage 70s sneaker vibe, but the full-grain black leather is chic and contemporary. This, along with the full black outsole and zero brand marks, make the Morgen perfect for an upscale streetwear look. The design template isn’t dressy, yet the leather construction is high-end.
The Italian leather comes from a tannery that’s been rated gold by the Leather Working Group. Basically, they employ environmental best practices in each stage of production, including chemical use management.
This means that the leather on these trainers are of all-natural, full-grain, patina-developing quality. Its rich color comes from a shea butter and carnauba wax treatment.
The lining is Vachetta leather, which is the same untreated material used in Louis Vuittion handbags. It’s breathable, temperature-absorbing, and comfortably supple once broken in.
Maybe it’s to give the shoe some substance, but most high-end fashion houses that dabble in dress
Thursday Boot Co. Low Top Premier
A work boot company serving up polished black leather
The uppers are full-grain Nappa leather, which is often used for the interiors of high-end sports cars. Out of the box, these shoes literally have that beautiful new car smell. Nappa is known for being extra soft and pliant, and you’ll definitely feel that with the cushion and bend of the uppers.
Meanwhile, the insole is Vachetta leather with a shock-absorbent footbed. The interior lining is sheepskin, which reduces friction and skin sheer, and even minimizes bacteria and pathogens.
The outsoles are made of true-blue sneaker rubber, with dual density for grip and comfort -perfect for impromptu basketball games.
Design-wise, this shoe is clean and classic, with a versatile, thin silhouette, and a padded tongue and collar. One convenient feature, perhaps a perk from its work boot ancestry, is the eyelet design. They’re fortified with solid rings, which makes lacing so much easier.
Oliver Cabell Low 1
The Oliver Cabell Low 1s are for those of you seeking the straightest silhouette out there. All of the lines are close to the foot, but they don’t accommodate curves making for a less bodycon shoe. The significant space between the eyelets on each side also adds to the flatness of the top of the sneaker.
The design seems to be a thoughtful assemblage of best practices from other iconic shoes. The gold
The shoes are hand-stitched and lasted in Marche, Italy, and have soft, padded collars and tongues.
Another insider tip? These shoes are often on sale right on the
Converse Chuck Taylor, Canvas or Leather
The go-to playground beaters since 1962, black Converse Chuck Taylors come as a versatile low top, or a true-to-original high top.
The white sole, white toe, canvas versions are always popular. They’ve been styled every which way, partnered with ripped jeans, peacoats, and skinny suits, depending on the era.
The all-blacks, however, give this retro design a modern and versatile edge, whether you’re going for the low tops or the high tops.
The soft leather versions cost just as much as the regular trainers and can easily be worn with dress pants. They even feature texturing, so it’s visually similar to the original canvas construction.
The classic canvas uppers are lighter in weight and, of course, more casual. They’re the most breathable option, perfect for summer and late spring.
Regardless of the construction or height you go for, these activity-friendly shoes all sport vulcanized rubber soles for extra traction. Also, like the Thursday Premiers, they all have medial eyelets for easy lacing and for increased airflow.
From the classic 60s-style Chucks to the quintessential sneaker of the 1980s. The Reeboks Classics boast an instant recognizability that spans decades. Yet their style icon status is just an extra bonus for their ultimate purpose as an affordable, practical, and comfortable running shoe.
The soft leather upper features a slightly more billowed shape than the rest of the entries, per 80s fashion decrees. They come with a soft, molded sockliner and lightweight EVA midsole cushioning.
The durable rubber outsole is meatier in the back and tapers off in the front, for a cushy heel-toe experience, whether you’re on a leisurely stroll or really pounding the pavement during a run.
In addition to giving the shoes a stylish urban chicness, opting for black Classics is the more practical option. After all, darker colors are more forgiving when it comes to grass stains and dirt.
Overall, the Classics are genuine trainers, meant to be worn athletically and casually over the weekends.
Nike Killshot OG
In the grand tradition of Nike, the Killshot OGs are built with purely athletic material, but are pieced together stylishly and creatively. Remember, before AllBirds was using mesh for practical fashion, Nike unwittingly was.
The design itself is based on the classic low-profile tennis shoe. However, the combination of mesh and textured leathers are materials taken directly from the basketball shoe toolbox. The result is a multi-surfaced black sneaker, complete with a generously-sized white leather swoosh.
The shoe may have a varied topography, but the overall visual experience is still minimalistic and modern because of the basic black and white palette.
A refreshing throwback, the rubber gum soles are a natural alternative to polyurethane which is more commonly used in modern
Nike also offers considerate men’s sizing, going as small as 4 and as large as 14.
If you’re looking for an athletic shoe that’s first and foremost breathable and comfortable right out of the box, the heritage-styled Killshot OGs are your guys.
As far as luxe dress
Since they’re full-grain, the leather will wear in before wearing out. They’ll age much better than the more athletic-forward shoes on the list.
If you’re leaning more into the leather dress sneaker aesthetic, I definitely recommend spending just a little more on the Royales over the soft-leather Reeboks or Converses (Of course if you’re leaning more into the athletic trainer or beater route, either of those shoes are excellent choices).
For breathability and odor-prevention, the antimicrobial leather lining is perforated on the side panels. Meanwhile, the ortholite insoles are especially cushiony after they’ve been broken in.
Another plus is that Greats focuses on sustainability. They never use virgin plastics, the packaging is 100% recycled, and the Royale’s uppers and lining are fully biodegradable.
If you’re looking for that one pair of versatile blacks, I recommend investing in monochromatic full-grain leathers.
While it isn’t necessary for your gym shoes to be black, keep in mind that the Nike and Reebok trainers on this list are tried-and-trues in any color, but won’t show wear as quickly as shoes in lighter shades.
There’s simply a lot of benefits to black