Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s High-Top Sneakers for Fall

Editor’s note: Click this link for more essential menswear shopping picks.
Seasonal style transitions can be awfully fun, right? There’s something exciting (at least for your Style Guide author) about stowing away certain #menswear pieces — like lightweight summer shorts or a short-sleeve chambray shirt — for more durable, rugged and hard-wearing items. However, there are still four-season pieces that you can make work in chiller temps — like the ever-crucial, ever-stylish, ever-so-retro high-top sneaker. Just like with a tough pair of chukka boots, the higher cut of a … high-top sneaker (get it?) lends itself to a look and feel that fits right in with fall. The right pair of high-top sneakers can be worn just as you would wear fall boots — so, think selvedge denim and henleys galore (plus, a classic crewneck sweater wouldn’t go amiss). It can be fun to keep high-tops in your footwear rotation before switching over to hard-wearing winter boots, too. And if you live in a warmer climate? High-top sneakers are still something you should have you in your rotation. Are you with me on that? I sure hope so, because what follows is — dare I say it — a rundown of the best high-top sneakers for fall. Chime in with more suggestions on Facebook, and get high-top sneaker styling tips from time to time on Instagram.
A much-needed way to ease the transition from summer to fall -- a great-looking chukka sneaker.

A much-needed way to ease the transition from summer to fall — a great-looking chukka sneaker.

If you needed another reminder that fall is perhaps the best time for menswear fans, look no further than these sneakers. A comfortable gum rubber outsole blends seamlessly with durable duck canvas and a classic SeaVees chukka silhouette for an immensely wearable fall sneaker. It’s the ideal blend of business-casual and well, regular casual in a sneaker — pair ’em with a fall blazer and a merino long-sleeve tee for high-low office style, or rock them with a tough chore coat for weekend explorations. Plus, the price ain’t half-bad either.
A very durable, stylish take on the high-top from an excellent collaboration.

A very durable, stylish take on the high-top from an excellent collaboration.

Who better to take on the classic high-top sneaker than a designer who constantly supplies great takes on heritage menswear? The latest iteration in the Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers collaboration is a heck of a sneaker to buy now, wear now and keep in your rotation as long as you can. Featuring P.F. Flyers’ trademark approach to comfort and a durable 14oz. military-spec canvas upper, they’re easily wearable with everything from grey chinos and a twill shirt to dark blue denim — add a blazer or denim jacket as you please.
A touch of sports-inspired style mixed with premium materials -- you can't beat that combo for the price.

A touch of sports-inspired style mixed with premium materials — you can’t beat that combo for the price.

Brooklyn’s own GREATS has long been a Style Guide favorite for their premium approach to footwear that’s equally inspired by sports and tailored style. The GREATS Royale Court blends a bit of both, with full-grain leather in a stylish Graphite color atop a Margom rubber outsole. The result is a durable sneaker in a surprisingly sleek silhouette –they’re fit for wearing with a classic blue Oxford and dark denim, or an elbow-patch cardigan and slim tan chinos through the chillier months. And you might not get a better price for the quality, either.
 
#4. SeaVees Maslon Desert Boots — $108 (Available via East Dane)
A unique color for fall, with plenty of wearability in other seasons, too.

A unique color for fall, with plenty of wearability in other seasons, too.

Just as with the SeaVees Huckberry Chukka, this brand is one that can do more than just classic warm-weather kicks like the SeaVees Legend Sneaker. In this instance, the Maslon Desert Boot merges the brand’s laidback California cool with classic fall styling potential thanks to the higher chukka cut. The rich Army Green suede plays nicely off the contrasting leather heel cap, resulting in a sneaker that could team with everything from slim dark denim to navy chinos.  When cared for properly, you’re also looking at sneakers that could be worn through spring and summer with breezy linen chinos. Again, if price is a factor, these sneakers are also a great steal in that regard.

#5. Tretorn Leather Nylite Hi 2 Sneakers — $100 (Available via East Dane)

Super-crisp black sneakers for all sorts of style situations.

Super-crisp black sneakers for all sorts of style situations.

Tretorn is another brand that might turn some heads when it comes to fall sneakers — after all, they’re perhaps most well-known for classic styles like the Tretorn Nylite Canvas. However, the Tretorn Nylite Hi 2 is every bit as ready for fall as any of the other picks on this list, with a  sleek black color and an even sleeker silhouette to boot. A terrycloth sock liner should add to the extreme comfort of these sneakers, which you could seamlessly team up with black denim and a chambray shirt to wear to your next rock concert — or to the office with garment-dyed chinos and a slim crewneck sweater.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

In the way of high-top sneakers, as long as you emphasize affordability, durability and style, you should be well-set for the season ahead. When paired up with similar cold-weather style staples — particularly items from your Fall Style Wish List — sneakers are every bit as versatile as your favorite pair of fall boots. And given that plenty of designers are emphasizing tough materials like canvas in their uppers, plus thick rubber outsoles, the right pair of high-top sneakers should last you through this season and into next spring … and summer … and fall. Whether you reach for a pair from a more established designer like Mr. Snyder, or a classic warm-weather brand like SeaVees, you should be set for any #menswear situation you can think of. Got questions or additions to this list? Drop a note in the comments, or catch up with yours truly via Twitter.
Until we meet again — stay stylish,
-Beau

The Product Review: GREATS Brand Leather Wooster Slip-on

The infinitely wearable Leather Wooster slip-on from GREATS Brand. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

The infinitely wearable Leather Wooster slip-on from GREATS Brand. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

If you follow this site with some regularity, you know the importance of buying some of the best sneakers for men and then wearing them with abandon this summer. And you’re well aware that I’m a fan of the quality and classic styling potential of sneakers from GREATS Brand. In fact, these leather slip-ons have popped up here before as a Style Pick of the Week. And, I’ve previously written on them for GearHungry. But in the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to go even more in-depth with what’s quickly becoming a summer footwear staple — thanks to some assistance from the brand’s PR team, of course. I’ve absolutely been pleased with what I’ve experienced — although they’re different than a classic pair of white sneakers, a slip-on (especially one made with lux Italian leather) is worth a go this summer if you want to give your footwear a shot in the arm.

The perfect type of shoe to wear with some rolled denim. Dark jeans by Mott & Bow. Leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand.

The perfect type of shoe to wear with some rolled denim; shown after a few days’ wear. Dark jeans by Mott & Bow. Leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand.

GREATS produces these sneakers in Italy using premium and supple leather uppers; the quality of the upper on the shoe actually feels somewhat thicker than that of a dress shoe thanks to the calfskin lining, but it doesn’t show at all — in fact, that lining creates an added benefit. The leather isn’t too stiff or starchy, and because of that, the shoe has been comfortable to wear with both no-show socks and sans socks for a brief period of time (a note on sizing: the brand says that they do run about a half-size larger than normal; I found the size I was sent, a 9.5, works just fine). The Margom sole is thick yet flexible and pliable — it makes for a fairly comfortable walking experience. The construction of the upper, with small elastic side inserts, makes it easy to slip the shoes on and off your feet.

One of the more unique touches of any pair of GREATS sneakers, this time stamped in gold lettering. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

One of the more unique touches of any pair of GREATS sneakers, this time stamped in gold lettering. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

The interior of the shoe, lined in calfskin, features a cool touch that GREATS has been known to incorporate into its other models — a listing of locales around the world where GREATS shoes are sold; this small design touch is one of those neat things that elevates this slip-on above offerings that are oftentimes more expensive. And it’s a good thing they provide such good value for the price — just $149 — when other brands like Common Projects charge more than twice that.

Two of the other colors in which the Wooster is available.

Blanco and Cadet — two of the other colors in which the Wooster is available.

You definitely get a bang for your buck from GREATS, generally speaking, as $150 is still more than some would spend on sneakers, to be sure. However, the fact that these slip-ons come in shades from white (Blano) and navy (Cadet) to the olive (or Cargo) option pictured here means that there’s a color out there to satisfy every preference. Especially when incorporating something a little different into your wardrobe — that is, switching out captoe sneakers for something sleek and lace-less — a neutral color that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself is definitely the preference.

A look at the initial packaging of the GREATS Leather Wooster.

Instagram-ready: A look at the initial packaging of the GREATS Leather Wooster.

While the white, black or navy pairs would be more fit for wearing with a crisp summer suit, any option could be worn with some more adventurous tailored get-ups, as Mr. Wooster himself does when it comes to the slip-on style in general. These shoes are perhaps best suited though to casual weekend wear — with a slim T-shirt and rolled dark or lightwash jeans, and absolutely with a well-fitted pair of shorts, too. And when in doubt, it also makes sense to sub them in whenever you might wear white sneakers — so definitely with a blazer and T-shirt combo, or a dialed-in polo and chinos ensemble on a Casual Friday. Another bonus to these sneakers, however slight, is the packaging as seen above — you get a sturdy blue cardboard GREATS box and a small notecard, plus that out-of-the-box smell that only great leather sneakers have.

Ernest Alexander

Whether you’re willing to pony up the money right now is up to you, but this is a top-notch pair of kicks well worth the investment as long as they’re treated with care — and a shoe made with this much attention to detail should last long past this summer season and into future warmer months.

Do you have a pair of the GREATS Leather Wooster? Considered picking one up?
Ben Sherman US

The Product Review: GREATS Brand Wilson Sneakers

In-person with some clean kicks from a "great" brand. T-shirt by American Apparel. Shorts by Banana Republic. Watch by Timex Ameritus and patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

In-person with some clean kicks from a “great” brand. T-shirt by American Apparel. Shorts by Banana Republic. Watch by Timex Ameritus and patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

 

Finding a great pair of sneakers for the spring is a move that can make it a lot easier to shop around for the rest of your gear. An awesome pair of well-made sneakers have tons of styling potential — jeans, chinos and shorts can all be worn with ease with some simple shoes. GREATS, out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a brand that’s been featured a few times in recent weeks on this site (and elsewhere lately) for delivering innovative, modern sneakers at outstanding prices. They seem to be launching new models every couple of weeks, and they’ve also partnered with menswear luminaries like Nick Wooster on various designs.

But it was the brand’s simple Wilson silhouette that first caught my eye. This pair of sneakers made my spring style wish list a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to pick up a pair before jetting off to Florida recently for a weekend vacation (a few more photos of that trip can be seen on my Twitter and Instagram feeds).  The Wilson is available in quite a few colorways — and in both canvas and suede options — but the all-white pair was my first pick, namely for versatility and crisp style potential.

A look at the Wilson sneakers in all-white right out of the box.

A look at the Wilson sneakers in all-white, fresh from the box.

 

The sneakers arrived in what you might call the brand’s signature blue-and-white packaging. Notably, they didn’t have any scuffs or marks on first inspection — sometimes tricky to do with all-white items. Out of the box, they came with thinner ripcord laces, in addition to a handy backup pair of thicker white cotton laces — although I found the hint of stretch in the ripcord laces to be a nice bonus.

Not a ton of branding on these sneakers other than the blue-and-white "G" logo on the heel.

Hardly any logos on these sneakers other than the blue-and-white “G” on the heel here. Pull tab is a handy addition for slipping them on.

 

The Wilson features metal shoelace eyelets, a canvas upper, pull-tab heel and captoe construction, which adds a nice bit of durability in a mold similar to the Converse Jack Purcell — no need to worry about the toe giving out on these bad boys. The branding on these is thankfully minimal, with only a blue-and-white Greats “G” logo placed on the back heel and the middle sole.

Plenty of styling potential with these sneakers. Buttondown shirt by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Plenty of styling potential with these sneakers. Buttondown shirt by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

 

These sneakers feature sturdier construction and a thicker heel than other models of white sneakers I’ve had, which is a definite plus (no knock on those Tretorns, though). They felt comfortable with a pair of no-show socks when walking for several hours, and they broke in right away — no crazy stiffness or toughness to the canvas upper or heel. And as far as styling potential goes, these sneakers have definitely got it. On my Florida trip, I threw them on with both a charcoal pocket tee, khaki shorts and a white watch/patterned watch strap, as well as a patterned short-sleeve buttondown and lightwash jeans (as seen above). The clean white color would also work with dark denim or olive chinos, and I plan to try them out with a casual blazer & light grey chinos in the coming weeks, too. Standard khaki chinos would also work well.

Relatively minimal shape and a durable-looking captoe complete these kicks.

Relatively minimal shape and a durable-looking captoe complete these kicks. Ripcord laces add some nice stretch, too.

As always, price was a big factor in my decision to pick these up; other minimal sneaker models are out there (and in more luxe materials like leather), but these are far and away the best bang for your buck at $49. For spring and summer style versatility, these are great to have on-hand — if you catch my drift.

Editor’s note: Get $10 off a pair of GREATS sneakers using the code ROOKIEX.

Do you have any experience with GREATS sneakers? What do you think? And how would you style them a pair like this?