7 Best Sneakers in 2023

Sheena
Sheena on
7 Best Sneakers in 2023
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Finding the best sneaker that would fit your style and budget can be downright grueling considering the thousands of choices. But don’t worry. We have reviewed over 100 stylish sneakers to narrow down your options.

Whether you’re looking for an iconic silhouette, a sleek tennis sneaker, or a chunky dad shoe, we’ve got our top picks in different categories to let you choose.

And if you’d like to know how to be smart about mixing comfort and style in your next sneaker, look over our guide.

Best sneakers overall

Vans Old Skool
93
Superb!

What makes it the best?

With no stone left unturned, we concluded that the Vans Old Skool is the best sneaker. Outshining other kicks with its enduring historical silhouette, the Old Skool remains a fashion icon for both OG sneakerheads and the new generation. After rigorous testing and research, we found that this sneaker is a blank canvas—literally and metaphorically—boasting three-season versatility, remarkably durable soles, and an exceptionally comfortable upper.

Based on our firsthand experience, we confirm that these kicks feel as good as they look. The interior is incredibly soft right from the get-go. The canvas construction allows for breathability, keeping our feet fresh even after a full day of wear. Even without socks, the kicks feel so breezy. 

Additionally, we appreciate the supportive and grippy soles, which hold up well during long walks on various surfaces. We skated in them for days, and the soles showed no signs of wear, showcasing excellent traction even after pounding the pavements. The Old Skool truly lives up to its reputation as a legend!

Unfortunately, during our laboratory testing, the sneakers failed the stain test. When we applied colored dye to the toebox, we discovered that the material readily absorbed the colors but proved extremely difficult to remove. For this reason, we do not recommend the Old Skool to individuals who prefer stain-resistant and wash-friendly sneakers.

Pros

  • A classic silhouette deserving of any wardrobe
  • Easy to wear in
  • Super comfortable
  • Fits true to size
  • Incredibly breathable thanks to the all-canvas upper
  • Clean aesthetics
  • Very durable outsole
  • Brakes well on the board

Cons

  • Not very durable in comparison to other modern skate shoes
  • Collect stains easily
Full review of Vans Old Skool

Today's best price

Unisex
Any color
Fuschia red/true white (VN0A5KRF8ZV)
Navy / White (VD3HNVY)
(vans) True-white (VN0A3WKT9M9)
Aura Shift (VN0A4U3BWGQ)
Black (VN000D3HBKA)
Green (VN0A5JMI90P)
Grape leaf/true white (VN0A5KRFB0F)
Red (VN0A38G15U7)
More colors

Best tennis-inspired sneakers

Adidas Stan Smith
93
Superb!

What makes it the best?

Undoubtedly, the Adidas Stan Smith reigns supreme as the pinnacle of all tennis-inspired sneakers, boasting unrivaled longevity and legacy. Its classic minimalist low-cut design, crafted with a premium leather upper, ensures exceptional durability and breathability—making it a fan favorite both on and off the court. Our thorough lab testing and personal experiences wearing the sneakers in various settings solidified their reputation for unmatched versatility and performance, affirming the Stan Smith as the definitive tennis sneaker to this day.

As we strolled through town sporting the Stan Smith, we discovered that the leather upper provides surprising breathability. The perforations on the side panels facilitate ventilation, ensuring a fresh foot feel during extended hours of play and walks. We also noticed that the sneaker stayed clean and unscratched even after several days of pounding the pavement.

To further assess durability, we intentionally scuffed the leather using a metallic brush attached to a Dremel drill. Impressively, the Stan Smith withstood the abrasions with no signs of wear and tear, solidifying its status as a timeless tennis-inspired sneaker.

However, it is worth noting that Stan Smith tends to have a wide fit. Therefore, we do not recommend them for individuals with narrow feet.

Pros

  • Classic silhouette
  • Numerous colorways and collaborations
  • Easy to style
  • Durable
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Runs large
  • Lack of support
  • Takes some time to wear in
Full review of Adidas Stan Smith

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
Cloud White / Cloud White / Green (M20324)
Gold (FW5364)
White/White/Blue Dawn (HQ6782)
Black (FU9614)
Black/White/Turbo (GZ2057)
White (H04333)
Black (FW2640)
White (M20325)
More colors

Best sneakers for summer

Vans Authentic
90
Great!

What makes it the best?

In choosing the best summer sneaker, we considered three key aspects: breathability, comfort, and convenience. After hours of lab testing and wearing the kicks around town, we found that the Vans Authentic ticks all these boxes, making it our top choice for the summer season. Its all-canvas upper is superbly breathable and extremely comfortable. Additionally, the kicks feel great even without socks and are so easy to slip on and off, making them ideal on-the-go vacay companions.

During our wear test, we noticed how the canvas provided impeccable breathability. The kicks feel great and don’t even get hot even when without socks. 

To further test the canvas, we subjected it to a Dremel test in the lab. Here, we scuff the panels using a power drill with a metallic brush tip. The sneaker showed its resilience and proved why it had stood the test of time, as it barely showed any signs of abrasion.

However, the canvas upper's weakness lies in its susceptibility to stains. When we applied colored chalk to the toebox, removing the stains proved to be nearly impossible. Sneakerheads in search of easy-to-clean kicks should look elsewhere, as the Vans Authentic does not excel in this aspect.

Pros

  • Eternal silhouette
  • Fits true to size
  • Durable canvas upper
  • Breathable
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Perfect lifestyle shoe

Cons

  • Could use some more padding
  • Vans' canvas shoes always attract stains
  • Not a great year-round sneaker
Full review of Vans Authentic

Today's best price

Unisex
Any color
Brown (VN0A5HZS9EN)
Port Royale/Black/White (VQER5U8)
Multi/True White (VN0A38EMVKI)
Black/Black (VN000EE3BKA)
Pink (VA38EMQ9U)
Black (VN0EE3BLK)
WHITE (VEE3W00)
Navy (VN0EE3NVY)
More colors

Best retro sneakers

Adidas Busenitz
91
Great!

What makes it the best?

After endless hours of lab testing and rocking around town, we found that the Adidas Busenitz's iconic retro-inspired oversized tongue and caramel bottoms made it outshine all other retro sneakers. But what sealed the deal was the skating sneaker's impeccable comfort and durability, solidifying its stance as an enduring frontrunner for the years to come.

With the abundance of retro sneakers today, it was no easy task to identify the best. Yet, the Busenitz immediately caught our attention with its eye-catching 90s-themed exaggerated tongue. From there, our gaze traveled along the sleek design, leading us to the intricately stitched toebox and ultimately to the appealing gum soles. With all these elements, the Busenitz epitomizes the essence of a true retro sneaker.

Furthermore, we discovered that the Busenitz retains its skateboarding heritage through its indestructible upper. In the lab, we subjected the panels to rigorous scratching using a power drill fitted with a wire brush. To our amazement, there were no signs of wear and tear, as this sneaker handled the abrasions with the utmost resilience. The cherry on top: they also exhibit water-tightness. We deliberately poured water onto the sneaker, and the suede effectively kept the interior dry.

When we took these sneakers for a stroll along city streets, we were treated to divine comfort—once they were properly broken in. Unfortunately, it should be noted that these kicks require a considerable amount of time to break in, making them less suitable for individuals seeking immediate comfort in their sneakers.

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
Full review of Adidas Busenitz

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
Black (G48060)
Black (IG5253)
Neutrals (EF8465)
Black (EE6249)
Bliss/Shadow Navy/Scarlet (GY6899)
Crystal White / Preloved Yellow / Gum (IG5254)
Black (IG5252)
Grey/Lucid Lime/Gum (IE7273)
More colors

Best sneakers for cold weather

Nike Air Max 95
88
Good!

What makes it the best?

After rigorous lab and field testing, we have determined that the Nike Air Max 95 is the ultimate cold-season trainer. Featuring ample padding and a secure lacing system that comfortably embraces the feet, the AM95 provides the necessary warmth during frigid temperatures. Its well-constructed layered upper also exhibits impressive water resistance.

We hit the road with the kicks and they felt like a warm embrace for the feet, making them perfect for night outs and winter OOTDs. Additionally, the grippy recycled rubber outsole provides reliable traction, even on wet surfaces.

In our lab, we assessed the AM95's moisture resistance by pouring water onto the upper. Although not waterproof, the sneaker repelled a significant amount of water. Considering the combination of synthetic and canvas materials, this is an impressive feat.

However, the sneakers are heavy, which is why we advise individuals seeking a lightweight winter/fall option to explore alternative choices.

Pros

  • Part of Nike Street Style Heritage
  • Super durable construction
  • Speed lace loops offer great fit and comfort
  • Easy to clean
  • Recycled materials used
  • Best for colder seasons
  • Great lacing for a secure fit

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Takes time to wear in
Full review of Nike Air Max 95

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
Anthracite Black Team Red Summit White (DQ3982001)
Light Bone/Black/Ghost Green (DQ0268002)
White/neutral grey-red-blue (CW6579100)
100 white/speed yellow (DC1862100)
Black/varsity red/particle gre (DQ3430001)
Light Bone Summit White Khaki Dune Red (DQ9016001)
Wolf Grey/Iron Grey/White (DX2657002)
Light iron ore/cobblestone-fla (DV2218001)
More colors

Best value sneakers

Reebok Club C 85
92
Great!

What makes it the best?

Upon conducting a series of tests and evaluations, we decided that the sneaker with the best value is Reebok Club C 85. This sneaker is a huge steal because it is not only 22% cheaper than the average cost of sneakers but it offers a lot more than what we could imagine for a $90 kick!

One area in which Reebok Club C 85 really shines is sturdiness. In our lab, pressing our power drill with a wire brush attachment to its upper led only to some dust fallouts and nothing more. We found that even during skate sessions, its leather holds up great.

We also streamed water over the Reebok Club C 85, and we were amazed when not a drop could seep through the leather, except of course through the ventilation holes. From there, we pretty much predicted that the sneaker could also repel stains, and we were right! We used colored chalk and colored liquid to mark the upper, but cleaning it afterward was such an easy task.

As for comfort, we discovered that this sneaker is incredible for long wear. However, we think it is important to note that Reebok Club C 85 doesn’t have a supportive element underfoot, like a shank. If having a shank is a non-negotiable for you, we recommend seeking other, more supportive pairs.

Pros

  • Ideal price point
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Surprisingly breathable
  • OK for sockless wear

Cons

  • Lacks modern inner shanks for support
  • Slightly loose fit
Full review of Reebok Club C 85

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
CBLACK/PURGRY/VECRED (LWV95)
Ftwr White Chalk Dark Green (LZN79)
chalk/vector blue/vector red (MAQ73)
Green/Brown (GZ1871)
Chalk/Chalk/Semi Classic Teal (LYT49)
Chalk / alabaster / glen green (GZ4945)
White (AR0455)
White (AR0457)
White (AR0456)

Comparison of the 7 best sneakers

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Choose sneakers based on your style

Unless you have wads of cash to splurge on a new set of wardrobe, then buying a shoe style that matches your current collection of clothes is more practical. 

Whatever your reasons are for getting a new pair of sneakers, remember to be confident with who you are and what you like. The best sneakers for you would basically reflect YOU and your style. 

Low-top, mid-top, or high-top?

When it comes to sneaker styles, there is a chock-full of options available. But before you go through each one, you’ll have to pick between these three basic styles or cuts.

Rating based on top.png

Sneaker trends and styles come and go but there are a couple that has lasted through the ages. One sneaker model can also radiate a variety of styles. Here are the most common and popular styles you’ll find in the market.

most popular sneaker styles 2 copy.png

See our collection of classics and retros, chunky and dad shoes, minimalist sneakers, dressy shoes, sporty silhouettes, wedges and platforms, and trail-ready sneakerboots. 

Get a sneaker for your lifestyle

It’s always a great idea (especially for people on the go) to get an all-rounder kick - a shoe that can be worn from work to play. The good thing is that sneakers have an athletic DNA.

Many of the most in-demand men’s or women’s sneakers took roots from athletic shoes. So, whatever activity you’re into, there’s a sporty sneaker that’s capable of meeting at least the minimum requirements of the task.

Sneaker types with athletic origins 2 copy.png

See our selection of skate shoes and running-, hiking-, basketball-, football-, training-inspired kicks.

Materials matter

Are you looking for a shoe that’s breathable, plush, or durable? Consider the materials that make up the model and you’ll find what you’re searching for.

 

Common Materials Used

Key Benefits

Could-be-betters

Upper

Leather (Full-grain, Suede, Nubuck)

+ Durable

+ Stable and supportive

+ Comfortable overtime (a customized fit is achieved as it molds to the shape of the foot)

+ Abrasion-resistant

+ Easier to clean

- Longer break-in time

- Heavier on the feet

- Less breathable

Textile (Knit, Canvas, Mesh)

+ Breathable

+ Lightweight

+ Cheaper

+ Feels soft on the get-go

- Less durable

- Limited support and stability

- Tends to absorb water

Midsole

EVA

+ Provides mild impact absorption

+ Flexible

+ Lightweight

- Less supportive

- Compresses over time

PU

+ Hardwearing

+ Supportive

- Longer break-in period

- Heavier

The best sneakers are always comfy

Try to forget about sneaker hypes. Popularity does not equate to comfort. And, when it comes to the best sneakers - comfort trumps everything. If it’s not comfortable, you could end up becoming a fashion victim with a pricey sneaker accumulating dust in the shoe rack.

It’s no secret that you need to find a shoe that fits right to achieve comfort. Just follow these 6 simple steps and you’re good to go.

Mind your budget 

True, budget isn’t a problem for the filthy rich. If you can buy designer sneakers without second-guessing, then go ahead. But, for average Joes and Janes, a shoe’s price tag is at the heart of their sneaker-buying decision.

Thankfully, there are reputable brands that sell sneakers for cheap. This includes Vans, Keds, and Converse. Even globally known brands like Adidas provide affordable options. Adidas’ NEO collection is a lineup worth checking out for their cheap yet quality kicks.

How we test sneakers

We are always on top of which sneakers are fresh on the market. But 'fresh' isn't a guarantee of greatness. Here at RunRepeat, we like to let you in on what is genuinely exceptional. With that intention, of course, we want to give you our full, honest opinion and verdict. To do that, we spend our own earnings to cop all the sneakers we test. 

Moreover, we try out each of the sneakers while being out and about - on the streets, malls, parks, restaurants, etc. We also go as far as sporting the sneakers with different fits, to give you what's what from function to comfort, and style.

As if those aren't enough, we also put the sneakers through a series of tests inside our lab. We test for durability (Dremel test), waterproof ability, flexibility, and more!

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.