A wise man once said a great outfit starts from the feet up. Sneakers are a billion dollar industry, guys have loved sneakers since eternity but not many have dove into the world of high-end designer sneakers, which I think is a shame.
The designer sneaker world is full of unique, luxurious, well constructed and even downright wacky shoes. They are given a lot more freedom to innovate and create. When you’re wearing a designer sneaker, that is your main piece your outfit will be based around – it sets the tone.
If I’m wearing a pair of Common Project sneakers my outfit will most likely be very minimal, if I’m wearing a pair of Rick Owens I’m going for a street goth look, if I’m wearing a pair of Ozweego’s I want you to appreciate the beautiful ugliness of them and I’ll want to base my outfit around that. This is why I love the world of designer sneakers.
Below is 12 different high-end sneakers that I absolutely love. I made sure to include many different styles so it’s a perfect starting place for someone new to designer sneakers to find something they like and delve deeper into that certain brand or style.
Priced at over $550, Balenciaga Arenas are perhaps the most well known Balenciaga sneakers. With a unique look you won’t find in many other high-top shoes, you can always tell them apart from the crinkled leather. They are made in Spain, made of lambskin, these shoes have a glossy outer appearance and are solid in color. Solid black, white, and blue are the colorways I’ve seen. These sneakers are perfect for a more minimal streetwear styled outfit.
Totaling around $400, the Achilles Low shoes made by the Common Projects brand are super popular in major cities with a lot of young guys that have disposable income and are somewhat into fashion. They work well for those with narrow feet thanks to their smaller design. These shoes are made in Italy, offering a leather upper sole. They look neat and well-kept, and work well for a minimalist wardrobe. Many of the options for this brand are uniform in color, with both the upper and lower sole the same shade. There are a few options though, which offer a white lower sole to help add some contrast to the shoe.
Maison Martin Margiela (A.K.A MMM)
MMM Replica Low-Top
Known as the MMM Replica Low Tops, these shoes are made with smooth leather and suede panels. They are very comfortable, yet durable. This model takes after German Army trainers, but they are worth far much more money thanks to their designer. The price tag averages $470.
MMM Future High-Tops
Made in Italy, the MMM Future High-Tops are highly fashionable sneakers worn by numerous celebrities. An ankle guard is built into the shoe, providing extra protection and added comfort. There is a lace closure rather than typical shoestrings, which saves time and offers a unique look. These shoes cost $900 on average. A glossy leather look is available with these shoes, with bright color options, such as red, available.
Raf Simons/Raf Simons x Adidas
Ozweego 2’s (x Adidas)
Raf Simons and Adidas partnered up in order to create the Ozweego 2s. These shoes are made to stand out thanks to their unique and colorful design. There are typically three colors chosen for one pair of shoes in order to offer an interesting color palette and provide shoes that can match to a specific outfit. They are made in China, and typically cost over $500. Mesh and polyester are the main materials used for this brand.
Raf Simons x Stan Smiths (x Adidas)
Averaging $450 in price, the Stan Smith sneakers are another collaboration between Raf Simons and Adidas. They are primarily solid in color, with the exception of a patch of color on the heel of the shoe. There is an R designed into the side of the shoe, with the Raf Simons name included, as well as the Adidas symbol. There are rubber soles and leather upper soles.
Raf Simons Velcro High Tops
With velcro straps in place of shoestrings, these High Tops by Raf Simons are an interesting find. The price tag totals over $1,000, which is well worth it for the quality design and true-to-size fit. The Raf Simons name is embossed on the shoe. There is a ribbed collar and tonal stitching. Black is the common option, with a glossy leather look.
Rick Owens / Rick Owens DRKSHDW
Rick Owens Geobasket
One of the most desired pairs of shoes in the high-end shoe industry, the Geobasket name from Rick Owens is beautifully designed. These two-toned high-top sneakers offer a street-goth look that many desire. They fit true to size, and are priced at over $1,300. These sneakers have a thick rubber sole and side zipper.
Rick Owens Ramones
The high-top sneakers by Rick Owens are known as the Ramones. The brand is inspired by Chuck Taylors. They also have a similar appearance to the Geobasket sneakers, with the same side zipper. This is a good everyday shoe, worth over $700. A black shoe with a white sole and shoestrings is the most commonly seen style for these sneakers. There is a slight curve to the front of the shoe so the toe goes upward, giving it a unique look.
Saint Laurent Paris
OK it’s not a sneaker but I just love these so much I couldn’t leave them out. Priced at over $850, the Chelsea boots by Saint Laurent Paris offer the classic ankle boot look. They offer a beautiful silhouette, and are one of the top names in shoe fashion. Luka Sabbat and Harry Styles have both been known to wear them.
SLP Court sneakers are high-tops. Their look was inspired by Air Jordan 1s. A Saint Laurent Paris embossing is included on these sneakers. There are also stripes on the side and a contrasting toe to help make the shoes stand out. They are priced at over $600. These shoes tend to run big, meaning those who purchase a pair should order one size down.
Y-3 Qasa High
Do you want to look like a ninja? Because these shoes will make you look like a ninja. Y-3 Qasa High sneakers come together with a number of different materials. The outsole is curved with rubber material, while the upper sole is made with tonal plastic and neoprene. There are elastane bindings and nylon and bovine materials incorporated. A performance cushioning sock liner is also found inside. Qasa Highs are available for $400.