Style | September 27, 2021 1:29 pm

The Best Office-Friendly Sneakers to Get You Through Your Work Day

Pick up a pair of formal sneakers for the back-to-work charge.

A composite of office-appropriate sneakers from brands like Greats and Koio
You're going back to the office, but not in the same old shoes.
Greats, Koio

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You heard it here first – while the workday will never quite be the same, we’re inevitably headed back to the office. Whether or not you’re posted up in your cubical yet, fall is the time to refresh your work essentials, from cozy clothes to desk necessities. No item is more important for easing back into the in-person nine to five than an office-ready sneaker. A staple of everything from casual Friday to the inevitable can’t-bear-to-wear-brogues-again day, the dressed-up tennis shoes is a go-to style, especially after a yeah of slippers and slides.

Unfortunately, the formal sneaker has also been noticeably and unfairly pigeonholed into a truly terrible excuse for a sneaker. Far too often, the default “causal office kicks” is far to often a monstrous knit-derby-hybrid. Poorly constructed, throughly uncomfortable, and a general eye sore around the workplace, it’s time to put the faux-leather footwear to bed and grab an appropriate pair of sneakers for the office.

Unlike of the typical office abomination, the best work sneaks are concerned with craftsmanship as much as they are with comfort, with a soft-grain leather or high-quality suede benchmarks of the business-casual-bracket. Likewise, easy-pair colors— white, black, navy, and beige—are the name of the game when it comes to wearing casual kicks to work. Browse our picks below for the best pairs of office-friendly sneakers. Whichever pair you choose, your feet (and your co-workers) will thank you. 

A blue leather sneaker from greats.

Greats The Royale Sneaker

A Greats shoe at an affordable price, The Royale is about as low-key as you can go for an office sneaker, boasting full grain-leather and premium footbed for maximum comfort in a minimalist package.

A handsome brown leather sneaker

Koio Capri Castagna Sneaker

Draped with luscious, vegetable-tanned leather that shapes to your foot with each wear, Koio’s Capri Castagna looks right at home with some means-business tailoring, and maybe a tiny cup of espresso, too.

A white and gum soled sneaker.
Beckett Simmons

Beckett Simmons Rivera Trainers

A stylish homage to the golden-standard German Army Trainer, these gum sole trainers from Beckett Simmons combine a retro appeal with modern sensibilities.

A white sneaker with blue accents and a zebra on the back right corner.
Paul Smith

Paul Smith Leather Zebra Print “Rex” Sneakers

Sir Paul Smith wants you to embrace the zebra, as do we. The Rex sneakers, with just-right accents and a modern cut, add that little bit of flair to an otherwise boring button-down/slack combo.

a fun-shaped suede colored shoe with a crepe sole.

Clarks Suede Desert Treks

Clarks low-cut Desert Treks draw inspiration from the must have Desert Boot, while offering a more causal feel for the easy office days.

A very white sneaker with a gum sole.
J. Crew

J.Crew Eco Court Sneakers

Looking for a pair of sneaks that won’t break the bank? Look no further. J. Crew’s affordable option still looks great with everything from a well-made suit to a semi-causal sweater.

a tech-y lookin sneaker with red and blue trim.
On Running

On Running The Rodger Center Court Sneaker

Channel some Fed confidence with The Rodger sneaker, the king’s shoe collaboration with fellow Swiss performance brand On Running. Drawing from the court but ready for the office, you’ll ace workplace wear with a pair of these bad boys.

An all black leather sneaker.

Grenson Sneaker 1

For the super formal sneaker, Grenson should be your go-to. The Sneaker 1 looks right at home with some your Sunday best, without the fuss of a stuffy Oxford.

A suede grey sneaker with a white sole.
Filling Pieces

Filling Pieces Ripple Nubuck Sneaker

Though perhaps more causal that business, the Ripple Sneaker from Filling Pieces makes the cut for it’s on-trend deportment and plush cushioning.

A green suede sneaker with a white sole.
Mr. Porter

Mr. P Larry Suede Sneakers

The Mr. Porter in-house brand, gentlemen as they are, know that what make a formal sneaker great is attention to detail and a suave profile.

a all white sneaker with navy accents and a mule-style back.
Fear of God

Fear of God White Canvas 101 Backless Sneaker

In case you haven’t heard, mules are office-appropriate now, so take full advantage and slip on FoG’s backless sneaker.

A navy suede sneaker with a gum sole.
Anthony T

Yuketen Hermosa Sneaker

No one takes cobbling quite like leather artisans Yuketen, and it shows. Sourced from Crosta 104 suede and handmade in Italy, a pair for the office is an investment for a lifetime.

a white sneaker with a blue accent and gum sole.

Vince Prescott Sneaker

The Prescott just gets everything you could want in a workplace-ready shoe right – an easy-on-the-eyes look, contrast stitching, and genuine leather make it a top contender for any guy in the market.

An all grey sneaker.
Common Projects

Common Projects Classic Achilles Sneaker

Common Projects are generally considered the best formal kicks money can buy, and one look at the Achilles explains why.

 A dark brown leather and white soled sneaker.
Polo Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren Jermain Leather Sneaker

Dressed in a stunning shade of brown leather, the Jermain might look like a brogue or derby at quick glance, making them all the better for a Casual Friday at the not-so-causal office.