We'd like to give a shout-out to Thursday Boots for believing in Primer's vision and collaborating with us on this post.
We can assume that if you are a man of a certain age, you have strong prejudices against high tops. It looks cool on other guys, but I just can't pull it off" "High tops are for kids" "High tops are too sporty" Which, I think you'll agree, is all rather silly when put into perspective.
These prejudices against high tops are not so much false as they are irrelevant at this point in time. Not in the sense of "fashion is fleeting," though that undoubtedly plays a role.
In particular, when we were younger, there was no other option, so these things were true. During the '90s, your high top options were limited to either the classic Chuck Taylor all-canvas style or thick, padded basketball high tops. Mister Screech Powers and others wore the former; he is not a fashion icon worth emulating. Although the latter were soft and easy to wear, we eventually wore them down to the dirt and the message was received: Boys wear high top sneakers. Men do not
Few things in the last 15 years of push-and-pull fashion have changed as dramatically as the acceptance of sneakers as men's everyday footwear.
The majority of non-artistic workplaces prior to 2005 would not have allowed men to regularly dress in sneakers. Even on "Casual Fridays," when employees were encouraged to dress casually, they were still expected to wear appropriate footwear. Sneakers, which were previously frowned upon, are now not only part of the dress code in some offices, but the CEO may even be seen in one.
This is due to two shifts: (1) the ever-increasing casualness of clothing, and (2) the emergence of a new type of sneaker. There was no such thing as the "smart casual" or "dressy" sneaker that has become so commonplace in the last few years. When I was growing up, it wasn't common to see people walking around in the kind of clean, minimalist sneaker that looks great with tailored chinos or dark denim or even dressier outfits. What was once a chasm between athletic sneakers and appropriate shoes for the rest of life has been bridged by the introduction of more high-end sneakers that can be worn on purpose and cost as much as a pair of well-made dress shoes.
It's true that classic sneakers like the Stan Smith (first released in 1963), the Blazer (1973), and the Chuck Taylor (1922) served as inspiration for the silhouettes and key design details of these sneakers. It's easy to forget in today's era of high-tech athletic footwear, but these shoes were actually made for athletic use. These and other styles, such as Reebok's Club C from 1985, became commonplace at first among children and later among adults on their casual weekends. Even into the 1990s, I regularly saw my dad wearing the Club C to barbecues and the movies, but never to anything more formal.
While men have embraced dressier iterations of low-top sneakers as a more comfortable, casual, and versatile alternative to traditional work and dress shoes, the high-top sneaker has so far been deemed a step too far. When you consider that the first sneakers were high tops worn by adults, it's ironic, or at least inconsistent, that the high top has yet to be generally accepted in many men's casual-professional or smart casual wardrobes.
To clarify, I'm not arguing that you should ditch your low-top sneakers in favor of a pair of high-tops because that's what the cultural fashion gods have ordained. There are times when high tops are a great way to complement an outfit or make a statement. Finally, more options are always appreciated in the realm of everyday men's fashion.
In the following, you will find five different ways in which a pair of high tops can be stylishly incorporated into an ensemble. Let me show you how an outfit can be transformed by high tops, and then I'll show you how it looks with low tops to compare. Save them to Pinterest for later use as outfit ideas!
This outfit is so well put together that a man could wear it to nearly all of his non-work activities and still look great. With the right pair of high tops, you can give your outfit that extra bit of edge, sportiness, playfulness, or streetwear that will help you stand out from the crowd while still looking like you. Smart casual high tops can be substituted for a boot or low top sneaker to tone down an outfit that leans too rugged, too preppy, or too dressed up for your taste or the occasion.
A replica of an outfit Ryan Reynolds wore in Rome that became viral online. He achieves a casual but very deliberate look by combining a bomber jacket, an "air tie," and tan suede high tops. (He wore it to events promoting movies; it would do for a first date or a laid-back business meeting.) )
Although white low-top sneakers are more common, the tan Thursday high-tops are my go-to because they instantly dress up any outfit. Black shirt and tan sneakers may not seem like they go together at first glance, but as Mr. As Reynolds has shown, it is effective.
It could be easiest to swap out your low top sneakers for some high tops when you're dressing in more relaxed athleisure. Though they both add a bit of brightness with the white at the bottom, it's the high tops that add depth and dimension to the otherwise bare aesthetic.
Luxury Nappa, Chromexcel, and Vachetta leathers (the latter of which is typically used in high-end handbags and luggage) make up Thursday's sneaker lineup. They are the most reasonably priced premium sneaker option on the market despite their high quality construction and plush interior lining. A logical choice for any average guy who wants to improve his appearance and save money.
The denim chore coat over the white tee makes for a classic look that would be at home with a pair of boots, but the addition of the brown sneakers adds a dash of contemporary flair. More "playful" without lowering the dress level are the high tops. High tops, in my opinion, help to strike a better balance between the looser-fitting tee and looser-cut chinos. Because of their similar silhouette to boots and chukkas, high tops can accomplish the same styling goals.
A pair of high tops, shorts, and striped socks is both delightfully retro and undeniably modern. The utility shorts' outside-seamed pockets and the hoodie's drapey knit construction add visual texture to an otherwise simple ensemble. With low tops, a low or no-show sock is preferred for a smart casual sneaker's aesthetic, but with high tops, a sock, even if it's just peeking out the top, is a must. High tops provide an alternative to wearing socks if you're a guy who doesn't dig that look.
We'd like to extend our gratitude to Thursday Boots for sharing Primer's vision and working with us on this post.