White sneakers are lovely, but they’re a bitch to clean and keep white—which is why black sneakers are an easy choice for the low-maintenance guy. No need for complicated baking soda solutions or expensive sneaker-cleaning services; just grab some white toothpaste for the rubber sides and soles and you’re good to go. Plus, black goes with most colors, classes up a casual look, and is easy on the eyes. Here are a few foolproof options to jumpstart your collection.
The NMD_XR1 has never proclaimed itself to be a running shoe—what it isn’t afraid to say, though, is that its trademarked Boost cushioning technology will give back the same energy that you give it. If that’s the closest we can get to a Black Panther suit, then by God, we’ll take it.
Vans Old Skool
Cringe-worthy stylized spelling aside, the Vans Old Skool remains a classic for a reason: it’s deceptively casual, but it’s so versatile that it wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb when paired with a sharp suit. They come in all sorts of colors now, like pastel yellow and millennial pink, but the OG black will always be our first option.
Puma Roma Suede
The Puma Roma is kind of like the Greenwich of popular sneakers—not as popular as Jollibee or McDonald’s, yes, but pretty damn good when you want something different for once. The suede material might totally invalidate our black-sneakers-are-low-maintenance argument, so save this pair for those days when you’re not commuting.
Converse Chuck Taylors
We know 17-year-olds wear these things, but the beauty of Chuck Taylors are they look fantastic on every age and gender. They’re the great unifier. The common denominator. And you can allow them to age—the more broken-in and worn they become, the cooler they look.
Nike Air Max 97
The waves on these shoes were inspired by Japanese bullet trains, which explains its eclectic design. A modern take on the classic Air Max from two decades ago, this won’t let you down when you feel like standing out (but not too much).
New Balance 990
The 990 line has evolved over the years, but it’s kept its core elements intact: the collar foam, the suede details, the classic silhouette. We know it’s technically a running shoe, but it remains a staple in men’s casual closets the world over.
Pony x DBTK City Wings
Don’t Blame the Kids (DBTK) is a homegrown streetwear apparel company, and this shoe collaboration is like the marriage of two beautiful cities—New York and Manila—and an homage to the street culture that has thrived in both. Just look at that leather detail!
Nike Air Force 1 ‘07
We always come back to this '80s staple because it’s hella reliable—the Nike Air technology pretty much turned the basketball shoe industry on its head—but this ‘00s reinvention is a showstopper.
Saint Laurent Max Scratch Mid Top Sneaker in Black Leather
If you’re prepared to spend big money, YSL is a less conventional choice than Gucci, and it takes the high-top sneaker craze up a notch with that irresistible matte leather finish. Say goodbye to your hard-earned cash though.