Fun fact: Champion used to be called "Knickerbocker Knitting Company." Whether it would still be around with a name like that, who knows? Fortunately, it decided to kick the Knickerbockers and give itself a rebranding in the 1930s. These days, it's the second largest brand under the Hanes Brands corporation, and a fine producer of causal and basic wear. It also makes some very wearable sneakers. If you fancy adding something stylish and comfortable to your footwear collection, take a look at our eight all-time favorite pairs of Champion Sneakers.
1. Champion Zone Mid- Century Edition
In the run up to its 100th birthday, Champion decided to give the sporty Zone Mid a very special makeover. Suffice to say, the star treatment worked a treat. What was already a very decent pair of kicks got elevated to superstar status with the addition of some very swanky materials and a throwback colorway. Expect a full-grain leather upper complemented by suede detailing, a flexible rubber sole, and a moisture wicking polyester lining. In case you forgot their provenance, the shiny metallic 'C' logo on the side and the embroidered Champion logo on the tongue should be enough to remind you. At $135.00 USD, they're not the cheapest Champion sneakers ever made, but they're certainly one of the best-looking.
2. Champion 919 Pro Low
If you like the tennis shoe aesthetic, you're going to love the 919 Pro Low. Champion's most premium tennis low top ever made delivers superb comfort, A* functionality, and a minimalist look that's perfect for people who prefer their feet to walk, not talk. The Microline interior delivers on the comfort front, while the 100% genuine leather uppers and rubber sole create a shoe that's as durable as it is stylish. Although the design is simple, the subtle addition of gold foil detailing and tonal Champion “C” logos keeps the shoe from falling into Yawnsville territory.
3. Champion Zone Low Trainers
If you remember the trainers of the 90s with longing, don't miss out on the Zone Low Trainers. Their 90s-inspired silhouette is guaranteed to satisfy your nostalgia cravings thanks to the throwback perforated ankle collar and classic low-cut design. Completing the look is a large C patch logo, a branded tongue, and a script logo on the heel. Function is accounted for by the upgraded heritage footbed, grip tread, and durable full-grain leather uppers.
4. Champion Zone High Top
Who doesn't love a high-top? With the Champion Zone High Top, Champion doffs its cap to the classic 90s design with a sneaker that takes its inspiration from the OG worn by Glenn Rice when he led the Heats to victory in the mid 90s. With a vintage print lining, suede inserts and speckled details on the midsole, it's a standout sneaker that's guaranteed to have all eyes on it. Created to mark the 100th Anniversary of Champion, it's a steal at $135.
5. Champion Atlanta Free Agent
At $422, the Atlanta Free Agent is no bargain-basement buy. But in defense of the price tag, it IS a beautiful shoe. Recommended by High Snobiety as one the best Champion sneakers of recent times, it's the result of the very successful CASBIA x CHAMPION collaboration. Designed in tribute to the retro court shoe, it features a throwback color pallet and a very 90s inspired stonewashed leather upper that's being carefully processed to give the look of a worn-out court shoe. The AWOL family signature details of double lacing, phylon-rubber soles, and YKK zips are well in play, while the iconic Champion logo on the quarter panel and sole add to the detailing. The gorgeously supple Italian calf leather and suede uppers, meanwhile, are plenty justification for that enormous price tag.
6. Champion Women's Rally Script Sneaker
Best Reviews consider the Champion Women's Rally Script Sneaker one of the best pairs of Champion sneakers available. We can see why. With their street sensibilities and high-performance features, they're the perfect combination of style and substance. A woven mesh lining keeps things fresh and breathable, while the logoed leather uppers ensure first rate resistance to the elements. A knit collar with front and rear pull-tabs makes it a breeze to pull the sneakers on and off. Grip is ensured via the multi-tread pattern on the durable rubber outsole. A rounded, reinforced toe for protection and a flexible cushioned footbed for comfort round off the list of great features.
7. Champion Men's 93 Eighteen Block Sneaker
This year seems to be the year of the throwback. With the Champion Men's 93 Eighteen Block Sneaker, Champion are again paying homage to 90s with a shoe that's more than worthy of a place in anyone's collection. Featuring the classic Champion mid-profile silhouette and some great little points of interest (including dyed-to-match laces, retro inspired chunky midsole, locker patched tongue and logoed heel), it's a good-looking sneaker with the performance to match. Expect excellent grip thanks to the multi-tread rubber outsole, easy access via the rear pull tab, and a lightly padded textile lining for comfort.
8. Champion Concur X-Cell Runner
According to Athlete Gearzone, the Concur X-Cell Runner is one of Champion's best endeavors yet. We don't disagree. Featuring anti-fatigue technology to keep you comfortable on your feet from dawn to dusk, a compressed cell in the heel and outsole to reserve and conserve energy with each footfall, a soft foam insole for added comfort, and a multi-tread outsole for superior grip, it's a shoe that's designed to put a spring in your step. It's not exactly bad-looking either.
9. Champion Lander Cage Script Logo Recycled Mesh Sneakers
The 1990s may have been the decade Champion hit its stride, but its glory days are by no means behind it - something that's more than evidenced by this fine pair of kicks from its current catalog. The Lander Cage Script Logo Recycled Mesh Sneaker has a graphic aesthetic, a contemporary vibe, and more great features than we've got room to list. Points of note include the chunky shock absorbent sole, the breathable mesh uppers, the abrasion resistant welded upper cage, easy fastening laces, TPU support for improved stability, and the statement script logo across the side. And of course, we couldn't not mention the recycled plastic bottle mesh lining. If you like your sneakers to come with eco-credentials, these are the pair for you.
10. Champion Rally Pro Navy Sneakers
If you like your feet to make a statement, the Champion Rally Pro Navy Sneakers are your perfect match. With their distinctive, bold aesthetic, there's no missing them in a crowd. But it's not just their looks that make them interesting. The multi tread pattern on the outsole keeps you standing regardless of how slippery the ground. The thick midsole delivers great impact protection, and the soft suede trims ensure outstanding comfort. A welded toe cap, meanwhile, offers excellent protection to both you and your shoes.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker