First things first, it’s not usually a good idea to get a sneaker enthusiast the gift of sneakers. It’s like buying a bag of rocks at a gift shop for a gem collector: The thought was there, sort of, but a few quartz crystals are probably not worth very much to someone who's hunting for Alexandrite. That said, sneakers are things one wears, and therefore things that get worn and need to be replaced. So if you gift a shoe that’s meant to be worn often — stylish, but under $200, well designed but not a collector’s item — you’ve got a solid gift. Your sneaker enthusiast will be stoked. And if you follow the advice below, they’ll have to ask — where’d you get the recs for these sweet kicks? You don’t need to tell. The secret’s between you and Fatherly. Happy hunting!
Saucony offers dozens of colorways of this of classic 80s runner, now reimagined as a smart style-staple. What we love about the modern Shadow is the way Saucony is playing with color and materials to create truly unique variations of this timeless silhouette. Don’t be afraid to shop around. No two Shadows are alike.
New Balance x J. Crew CT3000
J. Crew is cool again! We really mean that. This recent collaboration with New Balance is proof. Varsity green suede and perforated leather reminiscent of the glory days of tennis — when men wore long hair and short shorts. Wear them to Sunday brunch with your favorite khakis; we can almost guarantee you won’t get elbow tendonitis.
Reebok Classic Leather
Here are some basic sneakers for dudes with sophisticated taste. The Classic Leather is an underrated superstar of the sneaker world. At forty years old this design is durable and timeless. Strap these on with selvage denim jeans and a hoodie.
Adidas UltraBoost 5 DNA
Super tight design features like the PrimeKnit Upper and contrast stitching paired with Adidas’s now legendary Boost sole make the Adidas UltraBoost a new classic. With this UltraBoost, Adidas is also focused on sustainability: these shoes are constructed, in part, with plastics pulled from the ocean. Five years ago these shoes were impossible to purchase in a retail setting. Now they’re available for everybody.
Veja Urca Faux Leather
From French footwear upstart, Veja, here is pair of vegan kicks. Think, stiff cotton upper covered in a tough corn-based coating — something worthy of being dressed up with a navy suit, no tie.
New Balance x Bodega 9060
New Balance is dominating the sneaker game these days, due in large part to releases like this collaboration with legendary Boston boutique, Bodega. These sneaks are so hot we’ll let New Balance describe them for us: This shoe channels the “Aesthetics and spirit of the Renaissance, as the silhouette’s exaggerated Y2K-influenced proportions are rendered in a rich, varied material palette. The standard mesh upper construction becomes an exercise in texture, as traditional mesh at the toebox is complimented with spacer mesh around the ankle collar. The subtle addition of a perforated leather panel at midfoot adds an additional layer of variation, along with a flash of contrasting color. The multi-textured technique carries over to the overlays, which feature both suede and hairy suede. The renaissance influence is emphasized with a colorway featuring heavenly blue tones, accented by neutral whites, greys, and tans, recalling classical art and architecture.” Yadda yadda yadda. This pair has our vote to make the next sneaker hall of fame.