7 Best Retro Sneakers, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Sheena
Sheena on
7 Best Retro Sneakers, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Yes, every sneakerhead has to have a pair of old-school, retro sneakers. Good thing, we have loads of them.

Choose from stylish Adidas kicks oozing with a vintage vibe to timeless Nike sneaks that have been around since the bygone days. We also made it a point to include the most good-looking high-tops and the most budget-friendly of them all. 

If that's not enough, you might want to check out our top picks, which also feature the best retro kicks overall. These shoes have been thoroughly reviewed and assessed. So, when we say one shoe is excellent, you can take our word for it.

How we test sneakers

How we pick the best retro sneakers

Retro sneakers may have been around for ages. However, some are no longer as high-quality as they were back in the days, while others somehow aged like fine wine. Enter: RunRepeat.

Your team of shoe-doting geeks, RunRepeat, is here to tell you which among the hundreds of retro kicks are value for money. We do this by doing the following:

  • Gather all the user reviews we can find on the web to get the public's say about the shoe
  • Buy the shoes and test them out ourselves. NOTE: We make sure to BUY the shoes to avoid biased reviews.
  • Weigh, measure, and even dissect the shoes to get into their nitty-gritty details.

 

Best retro sneakers overall

Nike Air Trainer 3
Nike Air Trainer 3

CoreScore

93
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 392 users

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Durable leather construction
  • Retro styling
  • Surprisingly breathable
  • Could make a winter sneaker

Cons

  • Limited colorways
  • Not very flexible
  • Has hotspots where the shoe rubs on the toe

Verdict

There's no doubt about it, the Nike Air Trainer 3 is a beautiful shoe. A resurrection of the 1988 Nike Air Trainer SC, Nike built this as a pioneering crossover for multiple sports. Today it's a piece of history and looks the part too. There are some minor comfort issues, but with its durability, once worn in it'll last a lifetime.
Nike Air Trainer 3 full review

Best Nike retro sneakers

Nike Air Force 270
Nike Air Force 270

CoreScore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 1,062 users

Pros

  • True to size
  • Very comfy
  • Nice fit
  • Breathable
  • Nice design

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Tight collar

Verdict

Nike has put a nice design into Air Force 270. It’s not running nor a training shoe but a lifestyle shoe. It has the looks of a basketball shoe but the feel of a running or training shoes. You can use this for special occasions but not for strolling in the mall and driving. If you're planning to use this when you travel, be ready to remove them during inspections because it will take you some time.
Nike Air Force 270 full review

Best Adidas retro sneakers

Adidas Busenitz
Adidas Busenitz

CoreScore

91
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 5,283 users

Pros

  • Incredibly durable
  • Fits true to size
  • Grippy as anything
  • Technical shoe for responsive skating
  • Surprisingly weatherproof
  • Classic silhouette
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Takes a long time to break it
  • Narrow in the toe box
  • The big tongue isn't for everyone
  • Not very breathable

Verdict

The Adidas Busentiz has been around for a while. It stands on its own against modern skate shoes because of its durability and versatility. More than anything it's a really clean-looking sneaker that works just as well on a night out as it does in a skatepark. It helps that the shoe is easy to clean, sturdy, and has loads of cushioning to keep you comfy and supported.
Adidas Busenitz full review

Best PUMA retro sneakers

PUMA RS-X Winter Glimmer
PUMA RS-X Winter Glimmer

Out of stock in all 49 shops

PUMA retro sneakers  

CoreScore

97
Superb!
4.8 / 5 from 206 users

Pros

  • Eye-catching
  • Stylish
  • Better actual look
  • Highly recommended
  • Long-lasting comfort
  • Premium quality of materials
  • Budget-friendly
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Weird insole cushioning
  • ‘Winter’ on its name is not suitable for the winter

Verdict

PUMA applied a fresh, feminine twist to its renowned PUMA RS-X silhouette while keeping its running heritage intact. The PUMA RS-X Winter Glimmer features an eyecatching appeal as the brand dressed it with a colorway that gives its a plush appeal. This tech-looking sneaker not only excels in the style, as many shared their admiration for its superb comfort and premium construction, offered at a surprisingly affordable price point.
PUMA RS-X Winter Glimmer full review

Best retro high top sneakers

Vans ComfyCush SK8-Hi
Vans ComfyCush SK8-Hi

CoreScore

99
Superb!
5.0 / 5 from 688 users

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Well-cushioned
  • Perfect and stylish look
  • Excellent arch support
  • Great ankle support
  • Durable
  • Solid construction
  • Waterproof
  • Great for skating, long walking and diving
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Incredibly harsh stitching

Verdict

With its fashionable design combined with modern comfort and Lunarlon midsole that offers excellent arch support, the Vans ComfyCush SK8-HI is among the innovative Vans skate sneakers. Many wearers are pleased with its style, comfort and performance sneaker which is an excellent addition to an arsenal kicks without breaking someone's pocket.
Vans ComfyCush SK8-Hi full review

Best value retro sneakers

Vans Old Skool Pro
Vans Old Skool Pro

CoreScore

92
Great!
4.6 / 5 from 4,665 users

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Super durable skate shoe
  • Extra comfortable inner sole
  • Flexible
  • Relatively breathable
  • Many colorways to choose from
  • Still the same Vans we love
  • Easy to clean
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Can be hard to put on
  • Parts of it still susceptible to stains

Verdict

The Vans Old Skool Pro is an update on their legendary original skate shoe. While other companies are going higher and higher-tech, Vans continues to pump out classics, just improving on what came before. The best part is that you can pick up a pair of these skate sneakers and wear the same silhouette that's been around for decades. At the same time, you have improved comfort, durability, and weatherproofing!
Vans Old Skool Pro full review
Author
Sheena
Sheena

Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogs to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinizing hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favorite pastime.