We get it; the search for affordable footwear is neverending. But part of the allure of finding a low-priced pair of sneakers is its ability to make us feel like we were truly lucky — like we stumbled upon a top-tier model, for a fraction of the price. While many of the footwear industry’s most popular variants are undoubtedly expensive, you’ll be surprised to hear that there are a handful of models that dwell within the sub-$50 price point, and today, we’re going to prove it to you.
Now, many of you might be apprehensive. We completely understand that, in the world of low-priced products, the sub-50-dollar standard can be a bit daunting. Often, it’s a sign of corners that have been cut, materials that have been acquired at wholesale prices, and synthetic mixtures that will break down in a fraction of the time of their more refined counterparts. While this might be true for the vast majority of the shoe market, there are a limited number of offerings that have defined the affordable footwear range for years, decades, and sometimes, over half a century. Below, we’ll dive into the most affordable shoes to round out your stylish wardrobe, focusing on quality, comfort, aesthetics, and of course, affordability. So sit back and let those toes fly free, we’re about to dive right into your guide on the best men’s sneakers under $50.
PUMA Select Men’s Suede Classic Plus
PUMA has built its athletic reputation on the backs of some of the most iconic shoes of all time, and while the brand’s multitudinous models are certainly top-end, some of its more retro silhouettes regularly dip below the $50 price point. The Select Men’s Suede Classic Plus is one such example, boasting a soft, 100% suede exterior, a grippy, textured rubber sole, and a padded collar and tongue to promote optimum comfort. As with the rest of PUMA’s shoes, simplicity is key — a subtle, but attractive Formstrip overlay has been integrated to define the sneaker’s exterior, and give it additional character.
PF Flyers Men’s Center Lo
These days, the PF Flyer name might not be as popular as it once was; but that doesn’t mean that the brand’s footwear has suffered a drastic blow. Not only does the vast majority of the company’s catalog still boast its timeless design principles, but the footwear has actually gotten more affordable, thanks to improvements and optimizations in its manufacturing process. The Men’s Center Lo, for example, takes on a durable canvas upper, a contrasting stitch detailing, and a recognizable lace-up front, complementing the shoe’s trademark rubber toe cap, pop-color midsole stripes, and vulcanized construction. But that’s not all. Wearers will also be able to take part in some modern integrations, like a genuine Posture Foundation insole.
Adidas Performance Samba Classic
Adidas’ reputation definitely proceeds it, and with such a dominating presence in the market, you’d expect that most of the brand’s shoes are well into the upper-echelons of pricing. Surprisingly enough, one of the company’s most iconic sneakers — the Samba Classic — is a sub-$50 offering, bringing all of the company’s lauded style to the table for more frugal buyers. Here, you’ll find a classic soccer silhouette, a full-grain leather upper, removable sock liners, and an EVA insole, complemented by the ever-popular Adidas tri-stripe. For additional reinforcement and abrasion resistance, the shoe’s upper has even taken on a subtle suede overlay, helping to protect it from adverse wear over time.
Saucony Jazz Low Pro Vegan
If you’re all about sustainability, you’ll be glad to hear that Saucony has your back with one of the most affordable vegan options available. The brand’s Jazz Low Pro is a conscious option that won’t drain your funds, while still providing you with a stylish and durable canvas silhouette, a padded collar, and tongue, and a cushioned textile lining for a pleasurable on-foot experience. To round things out, the shoe’s traction-approved rubber outsole has been paired with an ultra-comfortable (and shock-absorbent) footbed, allowing you to take on long urban jaunts without having to worry about fatigue.
PUMA RS 9.8 Space
PUMA is gracing our list, once again, but this time, it’s thanks to the brand’s RS 9.8 Space shoe. While this variant might not be fit for interstellar travel, it’s surely futuristic, calling upon a galaxy-inspired design, space-faring spheres, and a mesh/synthetic upper that’s been outfitted with a healthy portion of suede. Below, a lightweight midsole complements the shoe’s attractive full-lace closure, offering buyers an homage that’s both rooted in the past and focused on the future. There’s even a reference to the “approximate” speed of gravitational acceleration while near the Earth’s surface, and for those who aren’t physics majors, we’ll give you a tell-tale hint: it’s got something to do with the sneaker’s ingenious name.
Everlane might not have been a standout name for footwear a decade ago, but these days, the brand’s affordable offerings have become a bit more prolific. Not only are they among the most attractive in the industry, but they’re also inherently adept, thanks to the company’s ongoing commitment to the preservation of men’s basics. Each example of Everlane’s “Trainer” features a sustainable, low-impact construction, thanks to the utilization of 54% less virgin plastic. This means that there’s less waste, less energy, and more synergy while creating each shoe. That aside, the Trainer takes on a healthy mixture of conscious, full-grain leather from Saigon’s Gold-Certified tanneries, as well as a natural/recycled blend of rubber that’s resulted in an outsole 94.2% free of virgin plastic.
Superga 2750 COTU Classic
If you’ve never heard of Superga, you’ve been living under a rock. The company’s flagship shoe, the 2750 COTU Classic, has blessed many a shoe aficionado’s tier list, and as a variant that clocks in at just under $50, it’s an essential piece for every guy’s footwear facade. Since the signature shoe was first introduced, it’s become a standardized offering for many different areas of the world, and over time, the surefire recommendation has hit legendary heights, thanks to its cotton canvas upper, recognizable round-toe, abrasion-free internals, and cushioned, non-removable footbed, which helps wearers to take on the urban environment without the need for additional cushioning. To round out the sneaker’s aesthetic, the brand has introduced a natural rubber, crepe-textured outsole, giving it the perfect splash of well-defined traction. If you’re looking for an alternative to Vans and Converse, these are highly likely to fill that niche.
Arbor is a brand that not a lot of people might know about. Interestingly enough, they’ve existed under our radar for quite a while, so it’s no surprise that when we first caught wind of the sub-$50 shoes, we were yearning to learn more. As it turns out, the brand’s Legacy sneaker is just as interesting as it is aesthetically-pleasing, thanks to its locally-sourced canvas and premium suede upper, 100% recycled collar linings, and a recycled polyurethane sock liner, which has been accented with micro-denier top sheets for increased durability and comfort. As a result, we’ve been gifted with yet another sustainable shoe that’s a derivative of the industry’s vulcanized mainstays, without all of the additional upfront costs.
ASICS Gel-Vickka TRS
It wouldn’t be a sneaker list without the inclusion of ASICS. The brand’s Gel-Vickka TRS is a substantial model that’s been giving guys the gumption and confidence needed to achieve their daily tasks since the 1980s, and now, it’s more popular than ever. Although the shoe has been usurped by a handful of the company’s other offerings, it still retains its iconic silhouette, which reminisces the retro “trainer” style that was so popular during its era. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been updated for the modern-day wearer, however. It adopts a handful of contemporary traits, including reproduced tooling, additional stability, and ASICS’ GEL technology, which reduces heel impact for a more decisive stride over time.
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Core Ox
Converse’s Chuck Taylor is a legendary shoe that transcends the boundaries of time and space. Regardless of the generation, this sleek, well-designed shoe has remained as popular as it’s ever been, and it’s still only halfway there. While the original is already undeniably enticing, the All-Star’s Core Ox variant brings its durable canvas upper, lace-up front, and cushioned footbed to the table for buyer’s who are interested in something a bit more “dialed down,” thanks to its low-profile demeanor, rubber toe box/guard, and tonal sidewall trim. But what’s a Converse shoe without some branding? On its heel, wearers will find an iconic All-Star patch, giving others a glimpse of true stylistic taste.
Keds Champion-Canvas CVO
Like the look of Vans and Converse, but don’t want to buy into the hype of high-profile brands? Keds’ Champion-Canvas CVO is the shoe for you. Not only does this unique shoe hybridize the feel (and aesthetic) of both brands, but funnily enough, the Keds model has been around for far longer, providing a firm basis for those companies’ greatest strengths. With over 100 years of experience in the world of footwear, it’s no surprise that the Canvas CVO has served as the inspiration behind some of the industry’s most renowned shoes, thanks to its appealing low-top design, ultra-breathable fabric lining, and a cushioned Ortholite insole for inherent wearability. Break the mold with his all-original classic.
Vans Authentic Core Classic
Speaking of Vans, we’ve decided to round out our list with the Authentic Core Classic. Not only has this shoe served on the frontline of many a man’s wardrobes for well over half a century, but it’s also as timeless as they come, thanks to a subtle, low-profile silhouette, cotton drill lining, and a die-cut EVA insert for added comfort. Because of its prolific nature, it’s become a permanent fixture of West Coast culture since its debut, expanding and spreading to other areas of the world. If you’re looking for a slimmed-down silhouette that’s as classic as some of the style industry’s most prominent pieces, you won’t be disappointed in a pair of these skate-savvy sneakers.
The 10 Best No-Show Socks For Men
Now that you’ve found your next pair of affordable sneakers, make sure that you’re ready to rock them. To give yourself a head start, head over to our guide on the best no-show socks for men, where we break down some of our favorite handsome offerings to pair with your newly-acquired footwear.