Kickin' Gifts

9 Pairs Of Shoes To Buy Your Grown-Up Sneakerhead For The Holidays

Alex French has been into sneakers for decades now. So what does this dad want under his tree? Something a bit more grown-up.

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It all started last winter when I picked up these canvas slip-ons by do-gooder brand Tom’s. In no time these $55 dollar shoes became my everyday drivers. They are comfortable, versatile, and look awesome with faded jeans and a white t-shirt or even joggers and a sweater.

That one purchase created a wardrobe feedback loop for 2023 — the idea of trying to dial things up by dialing things back. In all, sense of style took a hard turn away from retro-Jordan drops and toward a notably less athletic kit. While my distaste for dad shoes remains securely intact, my taste in footwear veered retro-modern runners.

With that in mind, here are nine pairs that fit this dialed back (we’re not going to say more refined, but maybe more grown-up?) taste. If you know a dad who’s a sneaker enthusiast in your life, there’s something here.

The Goldilocks Pair Of New Balances

The Most Money Pair Of Sneakers You’ll Own

Go Ahead And Embrace The Pink

Trainers That Have More Fun

Salomon Goes All In On Pastel

Even Skate Shoes Are Going Pink

Taking The Classics To The Cleaners

Funky, Chunky, One-Of-A-Kind New Balances

The Year’s Best Jordan Collab

Alex French is a contributing editor for Fatherly and has been a journalist and editor for decades with work in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Grantland, Wired, and many others. He’s also the co-author of Sneakers, which will tell you pretty much everything you need to know on the subject.