The Best Sneaker Brands Never Fall Out of Favor
Say what you will about newness, consistent wardrobe staples are the true hero in the arena of wardrobe investments. A repertoire of tried-and-true staples lays the groundwork for building fresh and interesting outfits on a regular basis. And in the context of footwear, the best sneaker brands are a great place to begin.
Regardless if you’re athletic or if you’d include the term ‘athleisure’ when describing your personal style, a pair of classic kicks is a good idea across the board. The best sneaker brands bring together the spirit of movement with innovative design and versatile style (and if you’re a heritage brand, a historic storytelling component).
Ahead, shop through our guide to the best sneaker brands, with highlights ranging from iconic silhouettes like Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star to newer designers who are reimagining the category, including APL Athletic Propulsion Labs and eco-friendly Veja.
This American footwear giant was founded in 1964 (known as Blue Ribbon Sports until 1978) and is responsible for iconic sneaker silhouettes, including The Cortez, The Airmax, The Air Force 1, among several others. Wear on the weekend with athleisure or style with a floral dress for a casual meal, the Nike portfolio lends versatility and timelessness.
Based in Paris and sold around the world, VEJA is a conscious sneaker brand that’s produced in high-standard factories in Brazil. They design with Brazilian and Peruvian organic cotton for the canvas and laces, Amazonian rubber for the soles, and also incorporate other innovative fabrics like recycled plastic bottles.
Based in Los Angeles and founded by athletic twin brothers, this sneaker brand sits at the crossroads of luxury and performance and is a celebrity favorite (Chrissy Teigen, Emma Roberts, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been spotted in the label). Whether you’re a runner, basketball player, or simply want more support for your everyday stride, their innovative designs should be on your radar.
Fueled by a love of movement, this sneaker brand is known for its collection of running shoes but also has some high-profile collaborations under its belt with cult-favorite labels, like Outdoor Voices. Slightly chunky in silhouette and often designed in bold brights, these sneakers are the perfect statement pick.
It’s easy to see the appeal of Italian sneaker brand Superga—it’s a casual sportswear icon. The brand has been around in some variation or another for over 100 years, but its classic plimsoll continues to feel relevant and modern. They recently announced their partnership with Emily Ratajkowski, where the model collaborated on refreshing two of Superga’s styles, including a tennis shoe that’s perfect for summer.
These luxury hand-stitched sneakers are made in the Marche region of Italy, and the brand is a collaboration between designers Flavio Girolami and Prathan Poopat. A defining characteristic of these sneakers is a line of numbers along the heel, which indicates the style, size, and color.
Whether you’re a devout 574 Core wearer or a tried-and-true 327 fan, there’s a good chance New Balance’s stylish, versatile sneaker collection has found its way into your wardrobe. And with splashy collaborations with brands like STAUD, the 116-year-old company continues to feel fresh and of the moment.
An American footwear brand with deep roots in athletic performance, Reebok sneakers lend a stylish, slightly nostalgic aesthetic that’s perhaps best expressed through their Club C 85 silhouette. Pair with scrunched ankle socks and a pair of boxer shorts for a cute weekend look.
With its origins as a factory for football shoes in Germany, Puma has evolved over the years into a heritage athletic footwear company. The cat logo is instantly recognizable and modern styles like the Wild Rider (released in 2021) translate the brand to the 21st century with its bright colorways and bouncy silhouette.
The name ‘House of Vans; was coined by skateboarders in the ’70s in Anaheim, California and this ubiquitous skate label continues to be a footwear favorite thanks to its sticky sole and casual vibe, like the side stripe that was debuted in 1977. Wear this innately cool shoe with a white tee and jeans or dressed up with a white summer dress for a fun contrast.
Designed in New York and handcrafted in Le Marche, Italy, KOIO is a destination for sleek, simple leather sneakers. The brand sources leather from regeneratively grazed farms in the Alps and is working toward a goal of the entire collection being made from regenerative leather and other regeneratively sourced, natural materials by 2025
Founded in Massachusetts in 1908, Converse is best known for its basketball shoe that debuted in 1917: the Chuck Taylor All Star. Its diamond tread pattern and heel patch were defining characteristics and though Chucks have shifted away from their court associations, this canvas lace-up sneaker remains a bonafide classic.
A brand born in the Swiss Alps, On’s motto of ‘running on clouds’ nods to its emphasis on strong performance gear. It was founded by three friends and the prototypes won the ISPO BrandNew Award, an esteemed prize for innovation in sport. Their capsule collection with Loewe revamps On’s signature Cloudventure sneakers, with durable canvas woven with recycled yarns.
Stan Smith, Gazelle, Superstar—you know you’re doing something right when your sneakers are known on a first-name basis. Adidas was founded in the 1930s after World War I and shot to prominence after being worn by a track-and-field star at the Berlin Olympics. And in addition to beloved signature styles, the brand’s ongoing collection with designer Wales Bonner continues to be a highly anticipated and successful partnership.
Chalk it up to the chunky sneaker craze, Fila’s return to the spotlight has been a fascinating revival to witness. Beloved during the ’90s and with origins dating back to 1911, the brand’s Disruptor sneaker style is perhaps the most well-known silhouette, worn by women like Bella Hadid, Dakota Fanning, and Emily Ratajkowski.