Modern work culture is weird. Some businesses boast the fact that their employees (and in some cases, executives) are welcome to show up in whatever outfit they please, while others have managed to retain a degree of formality. Most of us, however, work in offices that land somewhere in-between those two poles.
We are both expected to show up well dressed but have no dress code to consult. Some celebrate this degree of freedom, while others get caught up by it with questions like; can I wear shorts? is it alright to ditch the polo for a t-shirt? are sneakers ok to wear? We can’t provide a lot of guidance on the first two questions, but we have the perfect hack for the latter. Feel unsure about whether or not you can wear sneakers into your office? There are a whole host of sneakers made with top quality leather – making them ideal for the semi-formal nature of the modern office. Take a scroll through and see for yourself which pair you’ll be donning between Monday and Friday.
Adidas Stan Smith Shoes
It is hard to come across a more classic silhouette than the Adidas Stan Smith. Originally released in the early 1970s, the sneaker has endured for decades and seen countless iterations. This particular one features an all-black treatment on the full grain leather upper, the midsole, laces, and outsole. An altogether solid pick.
COS Leather Sneakers
Featuring a polished leather upper topped off with a matte finish toe, these blacked-out sneakers from COS boast a kind of classic feel without necessarily looking like an old-school shoe. In addition to just looking great, these kicks from the label have a super comfortable fit and a long-lasting sturdy build that’ll without a doubt last into next season.
Saturdays NYC Mike Nubuck Sneakers
When it comes to men’s basics, one of the truly best brands out there is Saturdays NYC. They have a low-key feel to them that is both welcoming and sophisticated. Much of the brand’s ethos can be found in this pair of low-tops. Made from a high-quality Nubuck leather upper and a white outsole they have an almost nostalgic feel to them that’ll help you remain chill while prepping for that next meeting.
A.P.C. Louis Tennis Sneaker
Styled after old-school tennis trainers, these sneakers from A.P.C. look as if they escaped from a 1980s gym locker and got a dual degree in architecture and business at some college in Manhattan. Or, put another way, they’re retro yet refined. The sneakers feature a polished leather upper, a vulcanized sole unit, and a comfortable leather insole.
Aprix Leather Trimmed Suede Sneakers
These sneakers from Aprix, a label started by a former design director at Supreme, feature a classic look and high-quality material without necessarily coming off as self-serious. Thanks in part to the suede upper, white midsole, and low-profile silhouette the sneakers don’t entirely ditch the informal feel that so many others on this list seem eager to shuck.
M.Gemi Netto Due
For those who think that plain-old leather just isn’t enough – this pair from M.Gemi is worth a look. Made from a special hand-painted buffalo leather upper (there are several colorways available) and boasting a Mec-Val stitching construction these Italian shoes are classy enough to stroll into any office.
Moncler La Monaco Striped Leather Sneakers
Moncler applied much of the same attention to detail and stylistic approach to these sneakers as they do their outerwear. The black leather upper and rubber soles of these shoes contrast against the tricolor stripe along the midfoot – making them a great pair to wear with black pants.
Acne Studios Adrian Full-Grain Leather Sneakers
When you’re trying to class it up – it is generally wise to try and avoid brash patterns or colors. But that isn’t to say you can’t have some fun with your outfit. Case in point, Acne Studios’ Adrian sneakers. These blacked-out kicks crafted in Italy feature a full grain leather upper with a pebbled appearance. The shoes are subtle, but they have more than enough character to stand out.
Common Projects Achilles Retro Leather Sneakers
While we wouldn’t say that Common Projects was the first to ever combine high-quality leather uppers with classic sneaker construction – they’re most definitely among the best to do it. The silhouettes they produce have an uncanny resemblance to classic kicks yet at the same time have their own distinct look and feel. These particular office sneakers pair well with denim jeans.
Harrys Of London Mr Jones Bolt Leather Panelled Suede Sneakers
These formal trainers from Harrys of London feature a fun combination of suede upper material with a leather panel along the midfoot. The result is a sporty, but refined look that is just as good for wearing during the 9-5 grind as it is for jolting out to go bar-hopping after a day behind the desk.
Feit Hand Sewn Low
Looking more like what a cobbler from the 1700s would produce after being shown a photo of the shoes of the future, these lace-ups from FEIT only barely qualify as sneakers. This, in large part, is their appeal. But don’t mistake any of this for poor workmanship. These are expertly made from a high-quality semi-cordovan leather, suede and boast a Goodyear welt construction.
Santoni Apache Lace-Up Sneaker
Made by hand in Italy, these shoes from Santoni hide luxury materials in a common sneaker form. Perfect for walking around the city or clocking in at work.
Gucci Falacer Embroidered Textured Leather Sneakers
Despite the opulent reputation that Gucci enjoys, these sneakers from the high-end fashion brand have a kind of simplicity to them. Made in Italy, the sneakers feature an upper made from a textured leather and a trio of stripes leading to a bumblebee embroidery at the heel. This simple construction paired with the shoe’s slim midsole make them an ideal pair of minimalist sneakers for the office.
John Lobb Levah Cap-Toe Leather Sneakers
While a lot of these sneakers end up being cobbled together with a black, brown, or white leather – this pair from John Lobb boast an attractive, deep navy. Made in Italy they boast world-class construction and a super comfortable black rubber crepe outsole. Ideal for wearing with chinos.
Loro Piana Freetime Full-Grain Leather Sneakers
One of the appeals of using leather as a material is the character it ends up displaying over time. To accentuate that quality in the leather used for these sneakers, Loro Piana first got their Italian artisans to tumble it – and only then stitched it together into this classic silhouette.
20 Best Classic Sneakers For Men
Looking for something classic but not quite as formal as these leather sneakers? We rounded up a list of what we think are the best classic sneakers for men.