Style Pick of the Week: Converse Chuck Taylor 70 Sneakers

Classic sneakers that are as good as it gets.

Folks, what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a truly iconic, all-American pair of sneakers — some of the most classic, best men’s sneakers in this country (and on the planet)? So it goes with the instantly recognizable, very easy-to-wear, cool-as-can-be Converse Chuck Taylor 70. An iconic pair of sneakers since day one (and available in unisex sizing), they could just be the best sneakers to buy now  — particularly if you’re feeling very, very patriotic. And heck, if you simply need a new pair of affordable low-top sneakers at a great price? My friends, Converse sneakers are here for you — to say the very least.

I’ve been a fan of Converse since my college days, when I would pick up a pair at my local mall, but since we’re all doing things a little bit differently these days, I’d say you should go right ahead and order your new favorite sneakers from the good folks at Need Supply Co. OK, now that that’s out of the way … let’s talk about ’em. If you follow our See Now, Buy Now series, it might seem surprising that Converse hasn’t come up before. The brand is an American institution after all, founded more than 100 years ago. And that’s actually great news: The Converse Chuck Taylor 70 are so well-executed, they’re as timeless as it gets.

SHOP: The Converse Chuck Taylor 70 

Simple, straightforward and yet oh-so-stylish.

If you’ve been searching for some of the best sneakers under $100, these are unequivocally it. Made from durable textile with an equally durable rubber outsole, they should provide plenty of all-day comfort, whether you throw them on to run socially distanced errands around town or a take a masked stroll in your local park. The thing about the Converse Chuck Taylor 70 is that they’re so timeless, you can style them with practically anything. Slim light wash jeans and a classic white tee (like the one seen here)? Go for it. A slub polo and olive chino shorts? For sure. A rugged henley and  black denim? Yes, you can rock the Converse Chuck Taylor 70 with that outfit, as well.
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You can even take these classic sneakers for a spin at the office with dark blue denim, a navy cotton blazer and an Oxford shirt (when we can all return to offices, that is). But for right now, I’d suggest you wear your new favorite sneakers with all the casual trappings of summer to enjoy breezy days — a cool craft beer growler, a stylish Bluetooth speaker and your feet kicked up, Converse on. What could be better, right?

SHOP: The Converse Chuck Taylor 70 

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#OOTD: This is How You Should Wear High-Top Sneakers This Summer

There are assuredly certain pieces every guy needs in his summer wardrobe, certain pieces that can go the distance time and time again. So it goes with classic high-top sneakers, and with that, I’m inviting you to join us for another entry in our #OOTD series. We’ve previously talked about how to wear classic white sneakers here on the blog, and today, we’re building another ensemble around some of the best sneakers for men — the  best high-top sneakers around, no less. The right pair of high-top sneakers (as with the below GREATS Royale High Blanco) are dressy enough to be worn outside the home (when the time comes), yet they function remarkably well throughout plenty of other seasonal dressing occasions — especially of the “relaxing on the porch” variety. The key comes in finding the right pieces with which to wear your new summer sneakers, so that means we’re going breezy with a lightweight summer shirt and some classic men’s chinos (also made out of remarkably light fabric). Places in which to wear white sneakers might seem a little few and far between these days, especially given the state of the world, but I’d say that as with most style advice right  now, keep these suggestions handy when better days roll around — and if you feel like going all out and dressing in style at home, then the best white high-top sneakers certainly won’t let you down. Have any thoughts as to what you want to see on the blog? Feel free to drop me a line via Twitter.

Crisp and classic white high-top sneakers to wear this summer.

  • The Sneakers: GREATS Brand Royale High Blanco, $199 — Yes, when shopping for your new favorite sneakers, you’d do very well indeed to consider the GREATS Royale High Blanco. Sharply designed and wearable with plenty of summer style essentials, they’re a new #OOTD centerpiece.
  • The Shirt: Grayers Portofino Featherweight Poplin Shirt, $98 — The best pairing alongside new high-top sneakers? A breezy, stylish summer shirt, as in the Portofino Poplin Shirt from Grayers. It’ll be a new everyday summer shirt (quite possibly), given the easygoing wearability.
  • The Tee: Mott and Bow Carlton Heavyweight Pocket Tee, $35 — Now, not every single day is going to call for layering up with a stylish pocket tee, but on chilly summer nights, you’ll be glad you picked up this classic summer tee (perhaps a three-pack) from the makers of your favorite denim — right?
  • The Pants: Flint and TInder Lightweight Stretch Chinos, $98 — Leave it to Flint and Tinder to  craft some of the best chinos for summer (heck, some of the best men’s chinos — period).
  • The Watch: About Vintage 1926 At’sea, $375 — A classic dive watch is an easy style pick most days, especially when you’re going with classic white high-top sneakers on your feet. Plus, this About Vintage watch is waterproof to 200 meters, making it quite the versatile timepiece for summer.
  • The Belt: Billykirk No. 117 Mechanic’s Belt, $99.99 — The seemingly small accessories make a huge difference, and so it goes with one of the best men’s leather belts. As always, Billykirk gets it right.
  • The Sunglasses: Tens Weston Sunglasses, $111 — In short, Tens are unlike anything you’ve ever worn before — cool shades like the Weston Sunglasses are made with custom filter lenses that literally change your outlook through rich colorways (and they just so happen to be stylish as all-get-out).
  • The Grooming Essentials: MANTL Daily Routine Set, $65.98 — Especially in the hot summer months, keeping your skin in shape is crucial. Do so with some of the best men’s grooming essentials from MANTL right here.

It might seem odd to think about ways to wear white sneakers when so many of our summer plans have changed — but hey, that style inspiration is still critical. And if I know one thing, it’s that wearing the GREATS Royale High Blanco is going to be quite fun, no matter where you take ’em. When you’ve got such a crisp, essential pair of leather sneakers, the right complementary pieces can be a bit more subtle (but no less stylish) — hence, go with a stylish summer shirt in a classic navy colorway from Grayers. Then, throw it on atop a stylish pocket T-shirt from Mott and Bow — any of the above colorways work just fine, especially if you wear your Grayers shirt unbuttoned. To polish things up ever so slightly without overdoing it during the heat of the season, some of the best chinos for summer are the right move. In short, you know you can count on Flint and Tinder to deliver quality and plenty of stretch via this pair. Because we’re going classic and sharp with this ensemble, the classic dive watch on your wrist is a smart move in terms of functionality and style points. You’ll need to keep time between sipping your favorite summer beer and manning the grill, after all. Keep it all together with one of the best men’s leather belts, a critical accessory every guy needs (especially that investment-worthy leather belt as shown above from Billykirk). I’m also a big fan of statement-making accessories like the Weston Sunglasses from Tens, so let’s go bold and have some fun here. To round it all out, make sure you’re keeping fresh and in good shape with some of the best men’s grooming essentials, OK? Alright, alright, alright. Again, if you want to chat menswear or see how I’m wearing my own high-top sneakers this summer, head to my Instagram or find me on Twitter.

Style Pick of the Week: Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers

The classic high-top sneakers to buy and wear all fall.

OK, folks — here we go. We’re standing on the cusp of fall (quite literally, seeing as it’s Labor Day weekend), and we’re starting it off in fine form with the best men’s high-top sneakers for the season. Specifically, the Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers, a classic pair of high-tops to wear starting now and on into fall. Why do high-top sneakers work so well for fall? Well, it’s gotta be the fact that they mimic, in some ways, the weather-friendly dependability and aesthetic of your favorite pair of boots — yet, with a decidedly more casual nature. And the great thing is, when it comes to that same tried-and-true pair of the best men’s high-tops that you wore all summer, you can keep them handy to pair with more fall-centric outfits. To wit: The Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers are made with a tough 12.5oz. canvas, a more hard-wearing fabric than lighter canvas sneakers, and it’s handy that they come in a classic navy color for prime retro style. It’s that kind of construction that allows them to stand up ably when paired with rugged field pants and a thermal henley — or dark indigo denim and a classic white T-shirt.

SHOP: The Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers

A fall-ready profile as we head into a new season.

And if you can believe it, we haven’t even talked about how affordable the Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers happen to be — you can snag them for under $55 via Huckberry. For a brand with the iconic pedigree of Pro-Keds, that’s a steal — they’ve been making lauded sneakers for more than six decades. Now, they’ve crucially made a few updates to these stylish high-top sneakers since then; namely, Pro-Keds has enhanced the last and footbed to fall in line with modern times. That gives you all-day comfort, from the office to the bar and beyond. And in fact, you might say the Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers have “all-season” comfort, at that. Team them right now with a classic chambray shirt and tan chinos, then add a rugged shawl cardigan to that outfit when it starts to get properly chilly out. You can also wear the Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers to the office — try them on for size with dark indigo denim, a charcoal Oxford shirt and a navy cotton blazer. As we start out the fall season in earnest, there’s really nowhere that the Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers can’t go — that’s just a fact.

SHOP: The Pro-Keds Royal Hi Sneakers

Reader Giveaway Opportunity: Johnston and Murphy Allister Lace-ups

Editor’s note: Congrats to Jeff, our giveaway winner! Thanks to everyone for reading and participating!

Alright, loyal Style Guide readers — how are we doing today? I’ll tell you this — your day (and week) could be on the verge of getting a lot better? Why’s that? Today’s reader giveaway opportunity is all about the best spring sneakers you need now — one pair, to be more specific. And if you’re a fan of crisp white sneakers for warm weather, consider today your lucky day. As it were, you might recognize the Johnston and Murphy Allister Lace-up from an earlier Style Guide post on how to dress for a spring road trip. They’re a crisp, clean, simple and subtly stylish pair of sneakers from a brand that excels at making all sorts of excellent gear — from rugged leather boots to a waxed field jacket that proved crucial for my upstate New York road trip last fall.  And if you’ve been in need of a spring footwear upgrade, consider that problem solved (if you’re fortunate enough to win, that is). Why exactly are these sneakers such a crucial pair to have in your rotation this season? From the slim profile to the textured upper and clean silhouette, it’s tough to top these guys — I’ve found them to be similarly versatile with other spring gear (including the neat Ministry of Supply Daystarter Band-Collar Shirt and the Going Places Short), and I think you’ll be just as pleased.

Sutro Footwear

Crucially, I’d suggest you style these with a slim polo and classic tan chinos every chance you get — and know that they’ll work with slim chino shorts and a patterned short-sleeve shirt on weekends just as well as the weekday. And if you feel like keeping it simple — say, a slim heather grey pocket tee and olive chinos — the Johnston and Murphy Allister Lace-up works for that situation, too. So, those tips are all well and good — but how to win, ehh? To win these sneakers, leave a comment below telling me how you’d style them — that’s it! One winner will be chosen at random on midnight on May 13th. Yes indeed, that’s longer than our normal Style Guide giveaways — I’m excited about it, and I hope you are, too. Good luck out there, stay stylish and thanks for reading!

Style Pick of the Week: GREATS Royale White Sneaker

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Classic, reliable, wearable with anything, and a bit dressier than the classic canvas sneaker.

Classic, reliable, wearable with anything, and a bit dressier than the classic canvas sneaker.

So, we’re back at it again on The Style Guide with a pair of classic white sneakers, just as we covered off a few weeks ago. But there’s something different about the GREATS Royale White Sneaker. What’s that, you ask? Well unlike the SeaVees Legend Sneaker (a highly versatile set of kicks in its own right), the GREATS Royale is just a bit more premium and just a bit more fashion-forward, crafted from a premium Italian leather that makes it endlessly wearable all through summer. And if you follow this blog at all, you know I’m a sucker for great footwear (wink, wink) — that goes for everything from the GREATS Wooster Slip-on to the brand’s Navy Rosen Runner. And in this instance, the GREATS Royale is yet another excellent example of why it’s so essential to have a stylish pair of summer sneakers (or two, or three, or five) in your wardrobe rotation. So that’s why, in a nutshell, we’re covering off on a great pair of white kicks. With the casual versatility that’s permeating the #menswear world today, white leather sneakers are a reliable stand-in across at least three seasons (yes, even in fall). But when the weather’s warm out, they’re a great go-to. They add a crisp finish to simple rolled denim and a short-sleeve henley, they bring an air of sporty cool to slim tan chinos and a classic polo , and they work very well with linen khaki shorts and a striped tee (check out this Instagram post for an example of one way to style white sneakers). And that’s not even covering off on the ultimate way to style these guys…

GREATS starts with details like rich full-grain Italian leather, and builds silhouettes that are affordable and high-quality.

GREATS starts with details like rich full-grain Italian leather, and builds silhouettes that are affordable and high-quality.

That, my friends, would be with a more daring combo — think rocking these guys with a textured blue chambray suit and white OCBD, or alongside some light grey chinos and that same blue chambray jacket for a great mix of tailored style. And when you mix and match other separates — like swapping in a white polo over the suit’s blue chambray trousers — you get an even more summer-ready combo; it’s not often that you find sneakers you can wear to brunch or the office, but these are just the ticket. Crucially, you get all this versatility for just $159 from GREATS, and the brand (if you’re unfamiliar) brings its knowledge of craftsmanship and quality to the table from start to finish. We’re talking full-grain Italian leather and waxed cotton laces, for starters. And if the GREATS Royale is anything like its other sneakers, it should be ridiculously comfortable, fairly easy to clean and long-lasting. You can’t ask for much more than that, can you?

Do you own the GREATS Royale? How do you like ’em, and how would you wear them?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

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Style Upgrade: Sharp Sneakers

Editor’s note: This is the third in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. For more entries in the series, click here.

There's still a good amount of time for short sleeves -- and a great pair of sneakers. Short-sleeve shirt by H&M. Slim chinos by Frank & Oak. Navy suede sneakers by GREATS Brand.

There’s still a good amount of time for short sleeves — and a great pair of sneakers. Short-sleeve shirt by H&M. Slim chinos by Frank & Oak. Navy suede sneakers by GREATS Brand.

Before you double-check your calendar, we’re definitely diving into sneakers right now on The Style Guide — even as it gets closer to October and boot season. Lest you think that means it’s time to shelve your sneakers, it’s far from it — there are plenty of ways sneakers can be styled sharply (particularly if they’re crafted from nice leather or sturdy canvas — like the pairs you’ll read about below). It seems so many brands are making sneakers now, it’s tough to keep track — from venerable institutions like Rancourt & Co. to newer, digital-focused upstarts like Gustin (more on both of those brands in a bit). That’s precisely why sneakers are such a great style upgrade. When premium brands make sneakers fit for wearing with everything from chinos to dark denim, it’s worth taking notice. My friend Madhav of Wardrobe Domination covered great men’s sneakers in detail earlier this year, so if you’ve need some shopping suggestions, that post is also worth a look.

Switching out your sneakers doesn't have to mean reaching for something flashy -- a classic pair of white captoes (like the GREATS Wilson) can do the trick. Short-sleeve buttondown by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Switching out your sneakers doesn’t have to mean reaching for something flashy — a classic pair of white captoes (like the GREATS Wilson) can do the trick. Short-sleeve buttondown by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Switching out some tired running sneakers is just one step on the path to better style, and it requires small changes, bit by bit. It doesn’t have to require a lot of money, though. And maybe you’re just looking for a different pair of kicks. That’s why it never hurts to reach for a fail-safe classic in a low-key color if you’re switching out your kicks — that fail-safe classic is, in this case, a revamped style. Yes, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II  release was much-hyped earlier this summer, and with good reason — it’s a functional update to a style that looks right with all kinds of casual (and even business-casual outfits). Other newer brands are also taking on the captoe sneaker silhouette and competing admirably — GREATS and its Wilson sneaker certainly come to mind. And as the weather ramps up for most of us, a trusty leather high-top sneaker can provide nearly as much durability (in some climates) as a leather boot — take, for instance, the Royale High from GREATS as detailed in this site’s recent Fall Style Wish List post.

Two different takes on a sneaker, both sold by J. Crew.

Two different takes on a sneaker, both sold by J. Crew.

Among other high-top sneaker offerings, the Canvas SK8-Hi from Vans is a classic style that many seem to love — that side stripe sets things off just visually enough, too. With so many sneaker options out there, sometimes it’s nice just to have everything in one spot — take J. Crew, for example. The much-maligned retailer really does offer a ridiculous amount of sneaker options , from the decidedly sportier Nike Killshot (still a worthy upgrade from running shoes) to high-top suede sneakers with minimal details crafted in Africa (as seen above). The pair on the right would look particularly killer with some dark denim and a charcoal blazer. And that’s the beauty of a great pair of sneakers — they can be worn just as you would a fine pair of stylish dress shoes if you nail the fit and proportion of the rest of the outfit.

A look at a low-top sneaker that Gustin produced earlier this year. Many of the brand's current high-top options are funding quickly.

A look at a low-top sneaker that Gustin produced earlier this year. Many of the brand’s current high-top options are funding quickly.

If you still find yourself in the market for a more basic, beater-type pair (say, if you happen to live in a warmer-weather area), the SeaVees Army Issue Low should offer what you’re looking for. On that note, places like Urban Outfitters sell standard-yet-sharp styles like low-cut, gum-sole Vans for under $60. But, if you’re in need of a truly durable and higher-cut sneaker, Gustin is definitely worth a look — the brand is pre-funding opportunities for pairs of its Italian-made sneakers (like these stellar Blue Gum Sole High Top Sneakers), although the majority of those styles won’t ship until next year (bummer!). But if it’s a quicker purchasing turnaround you’re in the market for, keep an eye on Frank & Oak and the brand’s monthly collections — its most recent September offering included a full lineup of excellent-looking leather sneakers.
Ernest Alexander
Not to be outdone by classic brands, even luxury companies are getting in on the sneaker game — it’s safe to say the Tom Ford Orford Sneaker is just one of any number of options outside the typical Style Guide budget. Of course, no mention of sneakers in this day and age is complete without paying homage (or at least linking to?) the style that begat a thousand copycats — the Common Projects Achilles Low.  It’s expensive, it’s minimal and it’s one pair that really deserves exceptional care.

Upgrading or switching out your sneakers doesn’t have to be ludicrously expensive or painful though — the key is finding a style that fits your lifestyle, ideally one that can be dressed up or down (that’s where sharp leather sneakers from brands like GREATS or Frank & Oak come in). And sneakers can complement other style upgrades, too — there are few places where slim denim and a nice pair of sneakers can’t go.

What’s your go-to pair of sneakers? And how would you style an upgraded pair of nice kicks? Let me know!

Want more style musings throughout the day (who doesn’t??). Follow me on Twitter @BoKnowsClothes.

Florsheim

Guest Post: Best Men’s Sneakers to Buy Right Now

 
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Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Madhav Sekar of wardrobedomination.com.  Madhav helps young men with limited style knowledge develop great style and live better lives.  Follow him on Facebook or Twitter.  

Just one of many excellent sneakers you could buy this spring or summer. More great picks below.

The Wilson (in White) from GREATS Brand. Just one of many excellent sneakers you could buy this spring or summer. More great picks below.

If you’ve been paying attention to menswear, you’ve probably seen the rise of sneakers as a style item and not just an athletic accessory.  Every company seems to be selling them, and prices range from as low as $35 to as high as several hundred dollars.  With all these options, it’s easy to fall prey to analysis paralysis – that is, the flood of options makes it impossible to make a decision.  For now, I want you to ignore the other options and focus on the sneakers shown below.  These shoes are both affordable and versatile.

#1. Vans for J. Crew Washed Canvas Authentic Sneakers — $60

My old pair (right) next to my new pair (left).

Well-worn sneakers: My old pair (right) next to my new pair (left).

This is my all-time favorite sneaker.  I’ve worn this with every possible outfit – jeans, khakis, chinos, shorts, even a shirt and tie– you name it and I’ve most likely done it.  My first pair of these shoes lasted a bit longer than a year (I probably should’ve thrown them out sooner though).  This shoe is super-affordable and is a great bang for your buck.  I will undoubtedly keep wearing and re-buying this shoe as long as it’s still made.

#2. Jack Purcell Converse Sneakers — $65

A must-have for the spring and summer.

A must-have for the spring and summer.

You NEED to own a pair of white sneakers.  There’s no getting around this.  Do you know how cool you’ll look wearing some nice denim and white sneakers?  (Answer: incredibly cool)  Granted, they will get dirty, but thankfully these don’t come in at too hefty a price.  Personally, I’d be scared, knowing my tendency to get things dirty, to invest in these.  Obviously, these Jack Purcells aren’t your only option – there are tons to choose from.  You could go check out Tretorn, GREATS, or Adidas (I like the hint of green in these classic Stan Smiths).

#3. Vans Leather Authentic  — $65

Minimal, sleek and unexpected — badass, right?

Minimal, sleek and unexpected — badass, right?

In pursuing your quest towards great style, you’ve got to pick up these black leather sneakers.  Although they’re the opposite color, they’re just as cool as the white ones.  They may be slightly less versatile – as you’ll probably only wear them with darker colors.  But they’re definitely still worth the small investment. You may be a bit hesitant to try wearing these at first, but I encourage you to take the plunge, get a pair, and start wearing them.  Sometimes you’ve got to push your comfort zone to get better.

#4. New Balance 998 Sneakers — $170

Are you ready to join the New Balance movement?

Are you ready to join the New Balance movement?

New Balance sneakers are incredibly popular now.  They come in a ton of colors and look great with chinos or denim – maybe it’s the retro silhouette.  J. Crew’s site is probably one of the best places to buy these shoes – they carry a huge selection of them.   In addition to the 998, they also carry the 996 and 1400 silhouette. Ideally, you’d be able to have a couple different colorways in your wardrobe, but unfortunately these shoes can be a bit pricey.  If you’re looking for a cheaper option in a more neutral color, check out the Rosen sneakers from GREATS.

 

#5. Seavees Baja Slip On — $78

Shake things up with a slip-on.

Shake things up with a slip-on.

After getting the basics, you definitely wanna check out a pair of slip-ons.  These can be worn in all the same situations as sneakers and are a nice way to add some variety to your footwear game.  I love these shoes because they’re simple, they have a strong “surfer” theme, and the footbed is made of bamboo canvas.  But if this pair doesn’t get you goin’, check out this pair from GREATS or this pair from Sperry.   And if you’re feeling particularly bold, I’d recommend these Seavees or these Sperrys.

Honorable Mention

If none of these shoes caught your fancy (I’d be really surprised if this were the case), here are some underdogs that you may find attractive. Uniqlo has recently ventured in to the world of sneakers – pricing theirs at a whopping $34.90.  If you’re super nervous about wearing sneakers and want to try it out without breaking the bank, this is the pair for you.

If you want a black pair with a little bit of character, grab these shoes from Spanish brand Massimo Dutti.  I really love the subtle hints of blue throughout. If you’re not sure whether you want to spend your paycheck this month on rent or a pair of shoes – take a look at these.  Even if I could afford them, I’m not sure I trust myself enough to take care of them.

The Last Word

To paraphrase a Chinese proverb, “the best time to get in to the sneaker game was yesterday, the second best time is today” – so, open a new tab on your browser and pick up one of these bad boys.  I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Tell me what you think — do you have any experience with any of these kicks?  Do you have any other suggestions?

Nunn Bush