The Best All-Black Men’s Sneakers to Wear All the Time
Published by Yoni Yardeni and Chris West
Apr 12, 2023
It’s a universal fact that black makes everything look better, and for most guys, an all-black wardrobe isn’t outside of the realm of possibility. You see, when you don’t have to worry about the collaboration of colors, life becomes recognizably simple, and that same rule applies to sneakers. While colors like red, green, blue, and yellow are difficult to couple with your favorite garments, black is always in style, so we’ve decided to create a guide to the space’s quintessential offerings. Check out our favorite picks below.
The Best Black Sneakers Across the Board
Converse Chuck 70 Classic Canvas Sneaker
The Safest Bet
New Balance BB550
Salomon XT-Wings 2
The Premium Pick
Maison Margiela Tabi Split-Toe Canvas Low-Top Sneakers
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What to Consider
Play It Cool
Wearing all black is cool and all, and we do it pretty often too, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t liven up your look a bit. In the same instances that people go all out with bizarrely colorful shoes with more toned-down outfits, the same can be said for your entire attire when rocking some all-black kicks. Even then, a touch of white, gray, or even gold on your footwear will go far, as opposed to keeping things as monochromatic as can be — not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it doesn’t hurt to live a little, and if that comes at the expense of another color, then so be it.
Converse Chuck 70 Classic Canvas Sneaker
- Can be worn with any pair of pants
- They’re bound to fall apart, but you probably know that by now
The Starter: Converse has been a mainstay within the footwear industry for many years, so it comes as no surprise that the company’s established collection isn’t devoid of at least a few all-black offerings. As you might expect, the Chuck 70 has been dressed in a number of colorways since its mid-century conception, from neon green and blue, all the way to subdued tonal examples like red and white. But the company’s well-rounded sneaker also comes with a shadowy, all-black silhouette, encompassing a durable, lightweight canvas upper, high-profile ankle support, and the subtle patch that helped to make the footwear famous.
nEW bALANCE bb550
- Smooth leather and suede upper
- You can’t go wrong with a gum sole
- OrthoLite insole is dependable, but not made for all-day wear
The Safest Bet: This archival, basketball-tailored design from New Balance practically became an overnight success after making its grand return a couple of years ago, serving as a must-have for everyone from Tik-Tok influencers to, uh, Instagram influencers. However, for the most part, you’ll see the white colorway appearing on your timeline rather than this starker palette. The revamped BB550’s upper is made using buttery pig suede and premium leather, then placed atop a grippy gum rubber sole, proving they’re as prepared for crunchtime as ever before.
sALOMON xt-wINGS 2
- In case you don’t want black, there are tons of other colors
- Re-designed Agile Chassis promotes extra stability
- Quick to crease
- Quality control has taken a hit
The Upgrade: Using an advanced blend of signature technologies and a fully-redesigned Agile Chassis, Salomon constructed a pair of lifestyle sneakers that arguably outdo the XT-6. The trail-ready silhouette’s most recent iteration is intended to keep your feet in place across any terrain and in any scenario, much in part to the specialized Contagrip outsole and EndoFit upper, the latter of which features an internal fit sleeve for a perfect fit. Plus, thanks to the Quicklace system, you don’t have to worry about bending over and tying loose strings.
Maison Margiela Low-top Tabi Sneaker
- An avant-garde fashion statement
- The split-toe design is not for everyone
- Tabi socks are an added cost
The Premium Pick: Surely, you’re most accustomed to seeing Martin Margiela’s polarizing design appear on boots, but here’s a way to attain that look and keep things casual. Of course, the renowned designer is not credited for inventing this split-toe design, as it is a reference to Japanese work shoes that date back as early as the 15th century. Nevertheless, these hoove-like steppers remain a significant fashion statement, featuring all the traditional elements you’d expect in some low-top sneakers, barring its toebox, obviously. And in case you do decide these are for you, just make sure to pick up the matching socks.
- The shell toe remains recognizable from a mile away
- Shell toe is bound to seperate from the leather
The Best Black adidas: The term “superstar” may be understating just how integral this pair from adidas is. The basketball-shoe-turned-RUN-DMC-cosigned-design-turned-sneaker-rotation-regular remains one of the most popular silhouettes in the three stripe’s extensive catalog, and it still features every element that made it so famous, to begin with. This includes the beloved shell toe for enhanced protection and full-grain leather construction that’s been instituted for over 50 years.
Nike Air max Terrascape Plus
- Sturdy, outdoor-inspired elements
- Made using 20% recycled materials
- The Air Max Plus is already great, now it’s eco-friendly
- Stiff insole leaves much to be desired
The Best Black Nikes: Made using at least 20% recycled materials, Nike’s Terrascape line offers a spin on the classic Air Max Plus that may not be as sustainable as they are comfortable, but that goes to show what it feels like to walk in them. The re-designed kicks garner inspiration from outdoor-geared footwear, implementing a reinforced toecap and durable plastic cage to ensure your feet are locked in whether you’re taking on the trails or city streets, while the brand’s timeless Air tech provides all the necessary cushion for all-day comfort. This is enhanced by a unique arch inspired by a whale’s tail that promotes proper structure and a durable rubber outsole that still offers traction for more unpredictable situations — that said, these are far from hiking shoes, and we still wouldn’t recommend doing so in these.
Air Jordan IV Retro ‘Black Cat’
- An integral piece of sneaker culture
- Even more expensive than they used to be
The Best Black Jordans: After hitting shelves (not apps) back in the mid-aughts, Jordan Brand’s ridiculously dark spin on one of its most iconic designs was adorned by sneakerheads — whether they could nab a pair or not. Over a decade removed from their original release in 2006, the ever-so-coveted Retro design garnered its own long-awaited Retro. Inspired by one of his many nicknames, the Black Cat 4s remains as expensive as it ever has, with resale listings for the latest release starting from as high as $815.
SAYE Modelo ’70 Vegan
- Made using an onslaught of sustainable materials
- Some people may not like those super chunky laces
The Best Sustainable Black Sneaker: If you want shoes that are as beneficial for the ground you walk on as they are for your feet, then look no further… because it’s Modelo time. Seriously, with an outsole made of a 70% recycled rubber blend, your footprint in SAYE’s sneakers will leave the best mark possible. Their vegan suede upper is constructed using elements of corn napa, which boasts over 65% bio-based mass content, while their plush bamboo lining and chunky, organic cotton-crafted laces work hand-in-hand to guarantee these eco-friendly steppers aren’t just comfortable but admirably sustainable.
Greats The Royale
- Handcrafted in Italy
- Minimalist design pulls no gimmicks
- Takes some time to break in
- Leather upper isn’t the smoothest
The Best Black Sneaker for the Office: GREATS’ Royale sneaker is a must-have staple for every guy’s collection. It’s the company’s best-selling shoe, and boasts an attractive, all-black colorway that helps it to round out every outfit with ease. Each example is handcrafted by master craftsmen in Italy and arrives outfitted with premium leather uppers, soft leather lining, and a custom outsole that’s adorned by GREATS’ famed branding. These minimalist sneakers offer top-of-the-line quality at an affordable price; and if you’re asking us, they’re one of the best-looking style essentials around.
Tom Ford Warwick Grained Leather Sneaker
- Grained leather finish
- Aside from the grained leather, they don’t look too different from The Royale
The Best Designer Black Sneaker: Many would argue that Tom Ford is the end all be all when it comes to high-end menswear, and while that would be bold to assume, these enviously smooth sneakers make a solid case for that statement. The esteemed fashion house’s Warwick silhouette is not unlike some of our more affordable favorites, but its construction is second to known. Crafted in Italy using nothing but supple, grained leather and a blacked-out rubber sole, the designer option is about as luxurious as it gets. They’ll cost you a pretty penny, you won’t regret it as soon as you step outside in them.
The Best Men’s White Sneakers
Tired of looking at the same color? Well, we’ve got another one for you, because everyone could use a pair of white sneakers.