How many times have you lamented having to shell out $200 or more for a pair of shoes, only to watch as they slowly deteriorate beneath your tread, becoming a shell of their former unblemished, display window purity? Putting down that kind of money, only to step in gum – or worse – can dig right into your sole.
Some suggest that sneaker quality only begins at the $150 price point, and the rest won’t endure. But there are plenty of diamonds on the discount rack, plenty of worthy sneakers hidden among the piles of cheap plastic knock offs. We’ve done the leg work for you, by compiling a veritable horde of affordable kicks for you to choose from, none of which sacrifice quality – or style – for a cheaper price tag. Break into spring with a crisp new pair of sneaks.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top
Converse are staple for any sneaker-stable. Since they were made obsolete as basketball shoes by brands like Nike and Adidas, who surpassed the canvas-swathed kicks in function, Converse has become a lifestyle shoe with unmistakable style. Spring time is here, and that mean’s all-white shoes are back in season. The Converse Chuck Taylor low tops offer a bright, laid back look that is perfect for shorts and T-Shirt weather.
Adidas Men’s Samba Classic
Designed as an indoor soccer shoe, the Adidas Samba Classic doubles as a lifestyle sneaker and an athletic shoe. I’s duality tells the world: I’m laid back, but if pushes comes to shove, I’m always ready to battle it out on the indoor pitch. The second highest selling Adidas model of all time at 35 million pairs sold worldwide, the Samba Classic has been rocked far and wide since it was created in 1950, and its iconic style ensures that it will survive for many years to come.
Tretorn Men’s CAMDEN2 Sneaker
Tretorn is Swedish shoe manufacturer whose history is deeply intertwined with tennis. Known for their tennis shoes and rubber boots, Tretorn was purchased by Puma in 2002. In 2015, it became independent again, and the company returned to its roots, by crafting an old school tennis shoe. The Camden casts a Wimbledon vibe with its crisp, clean white look. With its Nordic origins, you can emulate Björn Borg by sporting these tennis kicks.
Superga 2750 Cotu
Superga is an Italian shoe brand that has been around since 1911. Any company that survives for over 100 years must have quality products. The model 2750 is proof of that theory, in a clean, gum-soled design. Superga invented the first ever shoes with vulcanized rubber soles, called the model 2750. Their invention changed the sneaker industry forever, and though their name doesn’t carry the same weight as the giants of the industry, their historical impact is unquestionable. Own a piece of history by copping these Superga 2750 Cotus.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi-top
At one point, the Chuck Taylor Hi Tops were the pinnacle of athletic footwear. The all-canvas, cream-colored sneakers were declared by former basketball player turned sneaker televangelist Chuck Taylor as the footwear for future NBA stars. Though they have been left behind by Nike’s synthetic-fabric hi-tech basketball shoes, the Chuck Taylor Hi-Tops are still silhouettes redolent of traditional coolness.
PUMA Suede Classic Shoe
Puma doesn’t quite sit at the same table as the sneaker stalwarts like Nike, or Adidas. But there is no denying that Puma makes a fine sneaker, and their classic suede sneaker is evidence of that. These sneaks offer cushy comfort and a clean look, for a price that undercuts its bigger brothers.
New Balance Men’s 574
New Balance has transformed from a Dad-shoe brand to a company that produces some of the coolest, laid-back lifestyle shoes, none more attractive than the 574. The Airmax of New Balance’s catalogue, the 574 is an iconic silhouette with a plenitude of colorways.
Keds Pro Royal Lo
Keds released the first all-canvas sneaker for mass production 102 years ago, in 1916. Since then, they have remained in the forefront of the sneaker world, and stayed loyal to their material of choice. The Keds Pro Royal Lo is the culmination of that loyalty. It’s an affordable and clean design, with a bit of panache, thanks to the M3-style stripes on the rubber sole.
Reebok Classic Nylon
The Reebok Classic Nylon is famous for its comfort. The sculpted EVA midsole and a padded foam sockliner cushions the foot, and suede accents on the outer material make it an all-over luxurious and comfy shoe. Plus, the all-black look is never not stylish. Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Travi$ Scott and Kid Ink all rep the Reebok classics.
Vans Old Skool Lo Top
Founded in 1966, Vans have been a skater staple – and people who generally appreciate a comfortable, classic shoe. The low-top Old Skools have been rocked for years, all the way back since the days of the Z-Boys. A versatile sneaker, you can wear these vans with a torn-up tee shirt or a button-down..
Saucony Originals Jazz Sneaker
Saucony’s original shoe boxes used to bear their instructive slogan “sock a knee,” in order to explain how to pronounce the company name properly. However, pronunciation aside, the original Jazz Sneakers are saucy, and their pizazz makes them their highest-selling sneaker throughout their 120 years of existence.
PF Flyers Center Hi Top
P.F. Flyers mean the same thing to people of a certain generation. They were the deus ex machina, the magical propulsion devices that rocketed Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez to score the game winning run in The Sandlot. P.F. Flyers did claim that their shoes allowed you to “run faster! jump higher!” But nowadays, they aim for a less athletic appeal. And we don’t blame them, because their Hi Tops are casually very cool, and even at $60, I wouldn’t want to muddy them by sliding into home plate.
Vans Sk8 Hi Top
Another old school staple, the Vans Sk8 Hi Tops have been around for some time. The Hi Tops make for a great skate shoe thanks to the ankle support they lend. They have plenty of padding and cushion for a smooth ride, and they stay snug on your feet.
Seavees Monterey Standard
Monterey, the city on which John Steinbeck based his immortal novel Cannery Row, also lends its name to a sneaker of considerable clout. Maybe not Nobel-Prize winning clout, but a pretty decent level of respectability. These perfect casual sneakers come in a variety of nice colors, making them the perfect professional and casual two-in-one sneak.
Greats The Rosen
The Rosen is Greats’ staple running shoe, but they have converted it to an upscale lifestyle kick for a cushy, comfortable wear. With an extra-durable dual density EVA midsole and a circular-lugged FreeRide outsole forged from Vibram, these shoes are built to last. And their timeless look is guaranteed to endure, too.
Nike Classic Cortez
The first track shoe created by Nike, in 1972, the Nike Cortez attained classic status through its place in the sports history books, due to its prominence in the 1972 Olympic Games. Designed Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, an Olympic-class track coach who was coaching Track & Field at Oregon University when he first met Phil Knight. Being its first major success, many attribute Nike’s subsequent prosperity to the Cortez.
Pony Topstar Pe Sneakers
The Pony Topstars are called Pe Sneakers, and they definitely resemble gymnasium footwear during the times of short shorts and Farrah hair in Phys. Ed. This return to 1975 is a collaboration between Pony Sneakers and rapper Joey Bada$$. They feature the iconic side detailing in textured pony hair for which Pony is known.
People Footwear The Phillips Classic
The Phillips Classic is made from a durable and breathable patented Skylite outsole, giving it that dimpled texture that is comfy and nice to look at. The Yeti white colorway is far from abominable, and the light blue accents on the outsole sews up this clean sneaker silhouette from People Footwear.
New Balance For J. Crew 791
New Balance and J. Crew are two of the biggest names in men’s fashion today. The 791 is not a new design, but in partnering with J.Crew, it received a sweet redux. Don’t call them Stans! These newbies are a fresh take on old-school.
Adidas Stan Smith
Stan Smith sits somewhere between Chuck Taylor and Michael Jordan as athletes whose athletic prowess warranted their own sneakers. Smith was selected as the icon for Adidas line of sneakers in the mid sixties, and went on to win two Grand Slam Titles and become the World #1. Now, the Adidas Stan Smiths – colloquially just called “Stans” are among their top sellers, and have achieved an fashion icon status of their own.
The 15 Best Men's Sneakers Under $150
If you’re in the market for affordable sneakers, but are looking to spend more than $75, take a look at this list of the 15 Best Men’s Sneakers Under $150, and upgrade your shoe collection at a slightly steeper price.