Wearing sneakers every day (even to work) is normal for many guys by now. But not every guy is ready or willing to dip into the latest sneaker trends: fashionably ugly silhouettes, chunky soles and lots of color and pattern mixing. Monochrome sneakers, however (those with matching soles as well as those with classic white, black, or gum soles), go with everything you already own, making getting dressed everyday quick and easy.
But because they’re so minimal — like a simple white T-shirt or pair of chinos — the design has to be on point. That’s why we talked to a couple stylish experts about their favorite monochromatic shoes (and added a few of our own favorites).
The Best Monochrome Black Sneakers
Men’s Stylist Donnell Baldwin of Mr. Baldwin Style swears by classic Chuck Taylors for their versatility and for how they look better with wear. “I have all-black Chuck Taylors and they go with everything in my wardrobe. They’re one of the only sneakers that have remained relevant throughout the years, have never gone out of style, still go with everything and even when they get beat to hell, they’re even more amazing.”
For something a little sleeker these pale aqua leather low tops do the job of a traditional lace up derby shoe just much lighter and more comfortable.
The Best Monochrome Gray Sneakers
Jake Woolf, partner at Shop Seam (a new retail phone app) and former men’s style writer, prefers gray when it comes to buying monochrome sneakers. “Buy gray. Whether that’s light or dark gray, it’s a subtle difference that doesn’t put so much pressure on you to keep the shoes pristine.”
Woolf is also a longtime fan of all-gray Common Projects. “I own a gray pair of Common Projects Achilles sneakers that I’ve had for three years and will never get rid of. I wear them on every single first date. It’s only later I introduce weirder kicks into the mix.”
The Best Monochrome Brown Sneakers
Baldwin is pro neutral-tone sneakers for their talent at hiding dirt. “For guys looking to play it a little safer, a new pair of monochrome sneakers in taupe, tan, or even all brown. They’ll show less dirt and depending on the shoe, could look more elevated that an all white trainer.”
But if you’re looking for brown sneakers with matching brown gum soles — or not into worrying about scuffs on white soles — these caramel-colored suede low tops are great for fall and much more budget-friendly. Bonus: gum soles are Woolf’s preference “Gum, if it’s available, otherwise white.”