Should Gentlemen Wear Sneakers? – Trainers & Sport Shoes in Classic Menswear

Should Gentlemen Wear Sneakers? – Trainers & Sport Shoes in Classic Menswear


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
Today, we will be discussing sneakers and hybrid shoes and whether or not a
gentleman should even be wearing them. When you saw the title and clicked
on the video, I’m sure some of you were probably holding your breath, wondering
where in the world I was going be going with the topic of sneakers.
Well, don’t pass out! Stay with us, watch the video, and you might learn a few
things about sneakers and whether or not you should introduce them into your
wardrobe. Now first, let’s figure out what constitutes as a sneaker. Sneakers are
often called a number of different things, you may have heard them called
trainers, runners, gym shoes, or even tennis shoes. Now, sneakers typically refers
to a type of shoe that’s very flexible with a rubber sole, some kind of
a synthetic material with rubber or even leather on the upper portion of the shoe.
Depending on your location in the world, you may have heard sneakers referred to
some of the following different names. Here in the US, for slang, sometimes,
people might even call them kicks. Now, across the planet and the Great Britain,
you might hear them being called trainers. In Canada,
you might hear them called runners or gutties. On the warm land of South Africa,
you might hear them referred to as takkies. In Nigeria, as canvas shoes and
in Greece, sportex. Personally, I’m going to definitely start adapting gutties and
takkies. Now looking at the history of sneakers, we see that back in the 18th
century, people used to wear plimsolls. These were shoes with a rubber sole that
were not the greatest of design. They actually couldn’t even be differentiated
between left or right. Plimsolls were typically worn by students during their
physical education courses. The term “plimsoll” comes from the resemblance of
the plimsoll line on a ship’s hull. Around 1892, we see that the US Rubber
Company made a much more comfortable option, with rubber soles and a canvas
upper portion, these were Keds. The very first basketball shoes were
designed by Spalding in as early as 1907.
In 1917, Henry Nelson McKinney, an advertising agent was the very first
person we see using the term sneakers. The shoes grew in popularity
gaining the name sneakers because they were so quiet one couldn’t hear you
sneak up on them while you wore them. Now we see in 1917 when Converse was working
on a basketball shoe and then a redesign in 1922. Chuck Taylor then asked the
company to create something that offered more flexibility and a little bit more
support. They became known as Chuck Taylor All-stars. Sneakers continued to
grow in popularity and then went international in 1924. Adolph Adi Dassler
of Germany was one person who created some shoes which he named after himself,
Adidas. Adolph worked on his idea at his mother’s home in Bavaria. A fun little
side fact, Adi’s brother worked on and created another shoe brand which is
quite popular these days, Puma. Now, sneakers were primarily used
for sporting events up until the 1950s. This is when we started to see a shift
where people started to wear sneakers as a more fashionable statement. We see
James Dean wearing sneakers in the movie Rebel without a cause.
NBA legend, Michael Jordan, helped skyrocket sneakers to new heights. He
signed a contract to wear the most popular sneaker ever created, the Nike
Air Jordans. Over the years, brands have continued to push the rules of fashion
using different color combinations, designs, and functions in their shoes.
These days, we see sneakers being made for virtually any kind of occasion,
walking, skateboarding, running, many many others. We also are seeing a greater
amount of hybrid shoes being created. For example, the Cole Haan dress shoe that
happens to have a Nike rubber sole. Now should a gentleman even be wearing
sneakers? Well, as long as the shoes are being worn at the correct time and in
the correct place, it is acceptable to occasionally wear sneakers. Now, an
incorrect time to be wearing sneakers, for example, trying to wear running shoes
to a job interview or trying to wear basketball shoes with a suit. A better
way to use these shoes would be to wear the correct sporting shoe when you are
playing a particular sport. In a more casual setting, you could also wear some
low profile sneakers with shorts in the summer or perhaps with a pair of
chinos in the cooler months. Now should a gentleman even be trying to wear hybrid
shoes? Hybrid shoes tend to fall into the category of trendy. Now, of course, you
should feel comfortable going ahead and occasionally trying this type of shoe if
you would like but please note, it will not stand the test of time as much as a
classic shoe would. It will be a better use of your money to buy a few pair of
versatile sneakers which are going to serve you in a multitude of different
occasions. You might be wondering how do we properly pair sneakers with casual
attire? The one big thing you want to watch out for is to ensure that the
sneakers you’re choosing to wear match the style of clothing and the location
of which you might be going. For example, it will be best to make sure that you’re
not trying to take a multi mile hike across the mountain top in your
expensive leather sneakers. Instead, opt for something that’s going to be easy to
clean, offers great comfort and great support. So we all know that sneakers are
going to work wonderfully for a casual setting but what happens if you happen
to be in a more professional setting, could you also adapt sneaker wear? Now,
this can get a little bit tricky. Does your work environment allow you to be
able to wear sneakers? And if so, what’s the dress code like in terms of what
colors you can and can’t wear? When you are able to wear sneakers in the
workplace, the one thing you want to make sure of is that your sneakers are
complementing both you and your outfit but are not demanding all the attention.
For example, opt for a sleek low-profile design or have something that has a low
top style with neutral colors as opposed to a high-top shoe with a thick sole.
Ultimately, the cleaner the design, the better. Now, if you’ve ever been shoe
shopping, especially in the sneaker section, you know that there is a wide
array of different price points in what you can find sneakers. Now, are expensive
sneakers acceptable in all situations? The answer is no. The style and design
will be what dictates a shoes’ worthiness to be worn in various settings. It’s
important to remember that a high price point does not equate to a high variety
of different options for outfits. Now, some more moderately priced pointed and
even high priced pointed unconventional sneaker options include the following
brands, we have Yeezys, Nike Air Jordans, Y3, as well as the Ultra Boost by Adidas.
Extremely well known brands that people all over the world seem to like to shop
from are as follows, we have Reebok, K.Swiss, Adidas, New Balance, and many many
others. How do you decide what brand to wear and when to wear certain styles of
sneakers? For example, are you looking for a sneaker that’s going to allow you to wear
it for a multitude of different occasions? Or are you looking for
something that’s going to allow you to run track at your local gym?
Knowing the occasion and what you plan on wearing your sneakers will help you
decide which ones you should be wearing. We also see some different style options
depending on people’s personality, as well as their age. Men in an age group of
teens to early 20s often have a lot of
flexibility with what kind of shoes they choose to wear. They might still be in
school and they’re probably not super settled into their career choice yet.
These men can choose from a wide variety of sneaker options from the Nike
SB or something more sleek and professional, for example, a pair of
leather sneakers from Oliver Cabell or Greats the Royale. Depending on the
individual style preferences, men in their mid 20s into about age 35 might
want to try something like a clean classic pair from K-Swiss or something
more low-profile and comfortable like a pair of Vans for when you are out and
about around town. Both of these brands, for example, offer a great deal of
support without charging excessive amounts of money. Now, for men in their
mid 30s into mid 40s, a great shoe option that offers a lot of comfortability would be a sneaker from Saucony. For a more upscale approach to your
overall outfit, try wearing a leather sneaker option from a place like Hugo
Boss. Now, for men who are in the 45 and older crowd, let’s say you’re going out
for a good workout, try a pair of Nike trainers that are well structured and
offer a great deal of support when you’re at the gym. For someone who
likes to lift, go ahead and try the Converse Chuck Taylor as the flat bottom
helps keep you extremely structured and flat to the ground. If you enjoy a
lengthy run, go ahead and try Asics. These are just suggestions, please note that
any age group should feel comfortable trying any of these styles.
So just to recap, sneakers have been around for quite some time and ever
since they’ve arrived, we’ve seen that a wide array of different styles and
functions grow. Ultimately, it is appropriate for our gentlemen to wear
sneakers, it’s just important to remember when and where you choose to wear them.
Age, physical needs, and style preferences will guide you on what type of sneakers
you should be wearing. Now it’s best to always keep it classic and timeless when
selecting various sneaker styles in your wardrobe. Once you’ve got the foundation
down for your sneaker options in your wardrobe then you can start to add a
little bit of an oddball color or two into the mix and remember that in a
formal setting, a classic dress shoe is always going to serve you better than a
sneaker would. today I’m wearing a single breasted bright blue peak lapel of suit
jacket I have on a crisp white dress shirt and I have this wonderful tan
colored linen pocket square from Fort Belvedere the pocket square pairs
wonderfully since the pant I chose to wear which
have kind of a nice cream color to them as well and finishing off the look with
a navy blue leather pair of sneakers from an Italian brand called Velasca the
cream pants offer a nice way to break up the two different shades of blue between
the shoes and my jacket while still remaining in the smart casual category
because the Italian sneakers happen to be a neutral color of Navy and also
leather they work on a variety of different outfits including this one

100 thoughts on “Should Gentlemen Wear Sneakers? – Trainers & Sport Shoes in Classic Menswear

  1. A good pair of Adidas Stan Smith's or Superstars, white of course, ate always my go to. Doesn't get any better than that.

  2. Mr. Rogers wore some sort of vans sneakers. Michael J Fox as Marty McFly wore Nikes on Back To The Future. Michael Keaton as Batman wore some sort of Nikes or Jordans for his Boots on his BatSuit.

  3. Title was not misleading by any means, but I feel the content was obvious to basically everyone. From this channel, I was kind of hoping to get more information on quality leather sneakers, their hallmarks, and their brands.

  4. I like to wear classic high quality shoes, but it so difficult to wear them where I live here in Norway. The winter there is very snowy and wet, so I wear gore-tex and winter waterproof boots.

  5. Maybe I'm still living in the 80's: but for me it's got to be an understated, white leather, classic cut tennis shoe. No gross gimmicks like shock- absorbers, garish colours or massive logos. (Worn only with jeans and a casual/sports wear look of course).

  6. Sneakers are ther worst thing for your feet. The fast food of footwear. Bright, nifty colors, cheap and an endless supply. Treat yourself to some Red Wing Iron Rangers. They give your foot protection and stability. Not just comfort. And they look great with most wardrobes.

  7. This really doesn't seem appropriate for this channel, I've been watching for the last 5 years or so and this is just really doesn't work. Quite frankly non of you guys can do more modern casual styles, stick with classic style Simon crompton does this really well with permanent style, you can do it too you just have to focus more on styling of these items. A great example would be styling classic hats without looking like you're wearing a costume.

  8. I already put my feet and joints through a lot of strain during work and training. I'll wear sneakers every time it's appropriate.

  9. "People in the 18th Century used to wear Plimsolls". Haha. When I went to school in the 1960s we had to bring these sports shoes to school to wear in the gym. They were called "plimsolls". That was between the years of 1964 to 1969. As far as I'm concerned, they are stil plimsolls. "The 18th Century"? That's the most ridiculous claim I've heard all day.

  10. "People in the 18th Century used to wear Plimsolls". Yeah. Anyway, Wikipedia says they didn't exist until the late 19th century.

  11. I wear shoes known as Skechers for many occasions such as work (when I was working) going out for dinner etc, of course, the colours have to match the occasion and what is most important is the comfort of this brand of shoes plus they really are not that expensive to buy. Anyway, that is my preference over a dress shoe unless for special occasions you certainly would not wear them for formal occasions such as a formal dinner party.

  12. Can anyone tell me under what category walking and mountain shoes go? Because I do quite some walking and standing a day, I like the support they give me, and they are often more subdued than sneakers, like the Häglöfs and more traditional Meindl I am wearing most. A higher ankle also helps, as I have weaker ankles after spraining them a number of times. I would not wear them to a marriage, but they don't fee out of place in my (business casual) work place, even with a button up short and jacket.

  13. Thanks for adding this. I’m in my 40’s and I wear a similar outfit to Kyle’s in the summer. I started traveling to work to Los Angeles and started wearing sneakers with casual sport coats. I prefer Magnanni sneakers. I am surprised you didn’t mention the Common Projects style. Thanks again for pushing the envelope.

  14. As an older gentleman in my 50s with back problems I wear nothing but Brooks shoes when working out…best support and many style options

  15. Only when you have training days… or sport events .and if you travel for 12 hours in flight ( i know believe me.. you need good sneakers for that )

  16. No mention of the Nike Killshot, superga, Vans Era, Adidas Samba or Stan Smith which are all better looking than the ones shown!!!

  17. In a previous Gentleman’s Gazette video (How to Dress Your Age), Raphael states that sneakers “are not in line with a dapper outfit” and advises against regular wear, which I agree with.

    But this video seems to contradict the values of dressing well that GG is credited for.

    Pairing a jacket and trainers is hardly good advice. Since Kyle’s dress is more contemporary, GG has been veering more towards high/fast fashion concepts, deviating from what long-time viewers like myself have appreciated and read GG for, which is classic style. I know Raphael is stepping away from video production to make time for other matters, but I do value the credibility of his presence and wish he continually features in more videos as the host.

  18. I don’t know why I’m addicted to gentlemen’s gazette. But I am. Great vids! Also happy to see the black guy quota is been filled! 😂❤️

  19. I prefer to wear vintage Zeha Berlin sneakers, they look classy af but are made from very high quality materials! Recommend!

  20. Another way to look at this:

    Can a gentleman wear a White tie ensemble? Yes.
    Is it always appropriate? No

    Equally,
    Can a gentleman wear trainers? Yes
    Is it always appropriate? No

    Dress for yourself and the occasion. fashion-forward streetwear doesn't suit me, but can look great on a man in his 20's for a day out with his friends in the bar. Should he wear it to interview? Absolutely not.

  21. I like the video but I remember Raphael advising to stay away from leather sneakers and personally I consider vans and converse sneakers way to uncomfortable and bad for the structure of my feet.

  22. Can you guys do a greaser video? I just find that whole culture interesting and I’d like to know a little more about it

  23. Batman: I have utility belt with an assortment of gadgets that are too advanced for your comprehension.

    Me: I got a phone with internet connection and access to straight-up Knowledge from gentleman's Gazette.

    Batman: touche.

  24. I’m 25 and a doctoral student. For more formal events I wear brown oxfords or dress boots. For business casual I’ll rock minimalistic skate shoes, slip ons, and boat shoes with single colors or colors that compliment my clothing.
    For full casual – old beat up skate shoes, chucks, slip ons, etc.

  25. Shame that sneakers are often not eco-friendly and full of synthetic fibers/rubber. Try to get ones that aren't so wasteful.

    Also: I'm fed up with white soles and it annoys me that sneakers with dark soles are usually completely black.
    Also^2: go for Golden Goose or Maison Margiela if you have lots of money and no taste.

  26. Hybrid shoes with one or two stripes going down the side, made by companies you've never heard of, are all the rage in Europe right now. The older they get, the more they look like a beat-up pair of no-name sneakers.

    If you want to wear sneakers as something besides streetwear, they need to be minimalistic. Common Projects Achilles, and similar shoes, are great because the sneaker pattern is classic, the colors are conservative, and there's no extra stuff on the shoe that doesn't need to be there. Stan Smiths are another great option.

    The ones Kyle is wearing? No. Just no.

  27. I don’t think most people refer to shoes that are intentionally made for sports (running, basketball, etc) as sneakers. I don’t like that this video didn’t really make the distinction. I think referring to all non-dress shoes as sneakers is a trait of a much older generation.

  28. I don’t think most people refer to modern shoes that are intentionally made for sports (running, basketball, etc) as sneakers. I don’t like that this video didn’t really make the distinction. I think referring to all non-dress shoes as sneakers is a trait of a much older generation. I wouldn’t wear soccer cleats with a suit, I’m definitely not going to wear the Flyknit next% or a Nike Hyperdunk.

  29. Well presented. You're right, the answer was "no!" before even opening the video. I consider these shoes a fashion mistake, and am even hard pressed to wear them with jeans. With more respectable attire- Not even once!

  30. I see people saying they are in appropriate for work.
    I’m 20, so I might change my mind, and doing my bachelor’s in education. During internships, I dress appropriately (many teachers wear jeans and a t-shirt, so I wear dark wash jeans or chinos and a button up or polo) and I wear sneakers. They are affordable (I don’t buy hype sneakers), they are comfortable enough to stay up all day, and a brown pair and a black pair cover 99% of outfits. They are the only logical choice imo.

  31. Unless you are playing sports or going to Walmart, or a football game, or cannot afford real shoes, or are just sloppy…the answer is no.

  32. Great video! Much more nuanced than some of the other advice on this topic that I've read lately. However I think you overlooked the fact that not all shoes are physically appropriate for everyones feet. It's important to understand what you need. It does you no good to purchase a pair of shoes that look good only to require an appointment with the chiropractor after wearing them. It's a little outside of your wheelhouse but a video on this topic would provide much needed info that simply isn't available outside of the odd person at an athletic store that actually understands it.

  33. anyone in Canada call them gutties? Never heard that before. Google says Scottish origin so maybe Newfoundland calls them that?

  34. No no no no no … Air Jordans are not the most popular sneaker ever created. The black canvas/white vulcanized Converse/P.F.Flyers have been popular since the day they were invented. It is near impossible to watch a movie or sitcom or cop show or anything about the last 50 years without seeing at least one person wearing a pair of them. That particular style has been copied by so many other manufacturers that no other shoe period (not just sneaker) will ever be more popular. I have 4 pairs of them myself, black, red, white and checkered. But it is the black ones you see everywhere and they are always cool.

  35. White leather sneakers are just too versatile for young men not to wear. I absolutely love dressing up but I don’t have anything close to enough occasions to only wear dress shoes or even boots

    Even with jeans, going without sneakers and wearing nice shoes limits your top layers to dressier options. I really recommend a clean leather sneaker for every guy

  36. For anyone looking for smart casual affordable sneakers I would personally recommend Stan Smith's, Vans and Air force one's.
    They can all be dressed up a little bit however will always be best as smart casual or casual if they are in their classic colour ways such as all black or all white.
    Personally I would wear air force one's with a more straight cut trouser fit whereas the others a more slim cut fit.
    A pair of sneakers can make or break an outfit however you want them to fit into your outfit perfectly. At first use the classic plain colours and once you are more comfortable within mens fashion or streetwear culture they you could start to make the footwear they statement piece of the outfit.

  37. the word sportex comes from french shoe making company of the 70's-80's , the archetype of chuck tailors are called elvielas from the greek shoe company El.Vi.Ela

  38. I like my Cole Hannn Zero Grand hybrid shoes, “Business on the top, party on the bottom” I think they’re here to stay a little while; I’m a professor, have to walk a lot between meetings and classes, trying to look a bit trendy for the students when in front of the classes.

  39. thanks for this vid. small tip, the word takkies is not being pronounced correctly, the "ta" reads like "te" in "telephone" so more like "tekkies" but the correct spelling is "takkies"

  40. where are these wonderful prince-of-wales-check tassel loafers from, that we can see at the end? Would really appreciate an answer! Kind regards from Germany – and excuse my nickname

  41. 4:53 "a more professional setting". Not even the most eccentric head honchos come in wearing neckties, red cuff-links, Rolex out with a carefully matching pocket square. Unless it's 1950 and your workplace is the Mafia you'd fit in better wearing chino's and a dress shirt in 95% of the professional working environments around the world.

  42. I stopped wearing sneakers altogether a couple of years ago. These days, I wear Chelsea boots almost everywhere. They can easily be dressed up or down.

  43. How on earth did you find out that we call them "sportex" in Greece? It was actually very common during the 70's and 80's but there are still quite a few who call them by that name. I have to say that you've done your research!

  44. I love the way you guys give us the history of these items. If you are everything in Toronto to visit, by the way, you could drop in to the Bata shoe museum. You might like it!

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