Remember the days when sneakers came in just a handful of colors and brands, and you could easily afford a pair without spending a week’s salary? Run of the mill tennis shoes are still around, but the luxury sneaker market is booming. What was once relegated to street wear and the gym, has become a fashion staple worn by people all over the world who are looking to make a style statement. Spikes, exotic materials, and high end logos have all made their way onto the humble sneaker, and the game is nothing like it used to be. With the advent of “athleisure” — the trend of bringing workout wear into social and formal settings — high dollar sneakers won’t be going away anytime soon.
These shoes, which have been made all the more popular by celebrities, fashion designers, and music stars, are in demand and popping up everywhere. Not all luxury sneakers are made equally, however– a high price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to a quality shoe. If you want to amp up your sneaker collection, here are the top 10 luxury sneakers of 2016.
1. Filling Pieces
If you’re not into fancy details and want a sneaker that’s plain but still very comfortable, excellently crafted, and will go with just about everything, consider Filling Pieces. The Amsterdam based company led by designer Guillaume Phillibert creates mid-top shoes with a minimalist style. Subdued is the key word to this brand, and Filling Pieces often uses quilted leather, neutral colors, and whites for their kicks. Owning a pair will cost you $200 to $250.
Lanvin has been a fashion powerhouse for well over a century — the French company was founded in 1889. Lanvin is known for their world class runway fashions and pieces donned by celebrity clients, but the brand also makes luxe sneakers. Lucas Ossendrijver is the designer behind Lanvin’s sneaker collection, and the most coveted is their signature cap toe style. This particular shoe manages to blend comfort, elegance, and casual style to create a look that’s distinctive and well worth the money it costs. The low-top sneakers are at the forefront of Lanvin’s collection, but the fashion house also has slip on, high top, and mid top athleisure shoes. Lanvin sneakers can typically be found for $490 to $700.
3. Raf Simons
You may have heard of Raf Simons and his collaboration with Adidas, but the Belgian designer has been shaking up the shoe world since 1995. He’s known for reinterpreting classic styles and incorporating art into his sneaker collections. Raf Simons sneakers range from $450 to $1,700.
4. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand (GGDB)
Golden Goose Deluxe Brand was launched in 2000 by Venetian couple Alessandro and Francesca Gallo. The husband and wife have long had a passion for athleisure sneakers and art, so they combined the two into a collection of fashion forward shoes. Here’s the twist, though: GGDB shoes are broken in. People routinely spend hundreds of dollars for distressed jeans, and these shoes share the same concept. If you want luxury sneakers that will feel like your comfy favorites right out of the box, this is the brand for you. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand sneaks cost between $525 and $620.
5. Maison Margiela
Maison Margiela has been around since 1988, but the Parisian designer’s shoes became a must-have when Kanye West sported a custom pair of Maison Margiela Future sneakers on tour. The Future has covered eyelets, a huge leather strap, and is a trendy favorite. The brand’s most well known model, however, is a trainer that features a gum sole and leather with suede accents. With John Galliano as the leading designer of this brand, it’s no wonder its sneakers have such impeccable style. Maison Margiela kicks cost between $470 and $1,200.
Designer Yohji Yamamoto is behind Y-3, a brand of sneakers that sports a unique profile. The collection is Yamamoto’s collaboration with Adidas, and the athleisure line has become quite popular. These shoes are perfect for anyone who wants a sneaker that is black, but still stands out for its design and structure. You can get Y-3 sneakers for $280 to $410.
Swedish fashion company Spalwart has launched a number of different sneaker collections, but one of its most sought after is the Marathon Trail. This track inspired shoe packs a ton of style, and it’s also very comfortable. Spalwart is a go-to everyday sneaker for guys who want a mix of fashion and function. The great thing about this company is that it insists on using mid-20th century machinery, which guarantees a bit of character and unique flair in each pair of shoes. Spalwart sneakers typically range from $300 to $495.
The philosophy behind ETQ is that high priced sneakers should be all about quality, not labels. This is the shoe to get if you like minimal styles that are well crafted and made of long lasting materials such as real suede and calf leather. Some celebs have even been seen wearing ETQ sneakers with suits — that’s how versatile and classic the profile of this line is. Owning a pair of ETQ sneaks costs between $120 and $380.
Buttero sneakers have been seen on celebrities including Ben Affleck and Usher, and the Italian brand has certainly made a name for itself. Buttero has created Tuscan leather shoes since 1974, and its sneaker line is perfect for those who appreciate fine details, superb craftsmanship, and a classic style. These shoes aren’t going to wear out in a year, and Buttero footwear is known for how well it ages. Buttero sneakers cost between $325 and $480.
10. Common Projects
Minimal-style luxury sneakers are the “in” thing right now, and Common Projects is a brand that’s leading the revolution. One of the New York based company’s most noted styles, the Achilles, has great cross cultural appeal and is awesomely modern. Common Projects’ Achilles sneaker looks good with just about any ensemble, and it’s sure to go into the fashion books as a timeless style. The company makes a range of low, mid, and high top sneakers that vary in price from $400 to $700.