10 Best Summer Sneakers in 2021

Jaydee on

As summertime approaches, it is inevitable to go over your cabinet and check which of your sneakers fit the warm season. As you swing from your spring clothes to your summer outfits, we’ve concocted a user-friendly guide to help you pick the best summer sneaker you can confidently rock during the dog days.

To help you jumpstart your summer sneaker hunt, we have made several recommendations for five categories.

How we pick the best summer sneakers

To save you from the inconvenience of opening scores of tabs, we have put together thousands of summer sneakers from a multitude of brands.

  • These sneakers were bought using our money to avoid biased reviews. 
  • To get authentic and actual results, we put them through several tests and comparisons. 
  • We meticulously collated reviews from the real users of these summer sneakers.

With the results from tests and gathered reviews, we rate these sneakers from 1 to 100. The Corescore scoring system will provide you an overview of how these summer kicks went for the crowd.

Best overall

After sets of tests and comparisons, the Old Skool surpassed the other 1000 summer sneakers on our list! We picked this forty-year-old sneaker as the best among all the other summer-ready models.

The first to display the iconic Side Stripe, we love how this sneaker kept the acclaimed features that made it relevant even after decades since it premiered. Because of its vast popularity, stepping down from the limelight is far from happening anytime soon! 

Vans Old Skool is an epochal classic that made our casual attire look extra fashionable. When we paired it with different styles, this sneaker seamlessly blended! It is easy to mix and match the versatile look of Vans Old Skool to endless kinds of wardrobe.

All-day comfort has never been an issue with the Old Skool. It feels so light and flexible with superb ankle support. We also enjoyed how it kept our feet dry and cool, thanks to its canvas construction. 

This no-frill sneaker is a perfect piece to add to your summer wardrobe staple. It allows you to bridge the past and present with a price range that is hard to resist!

See our full review and facts

After streams of tests and comparisons of over a thousand sneakers, we pick the New Balance as our next best summer sneaker.

Borrowing a style from the '70s running shoes, this sneaker gave a hint of heritage vibe to our usual casual attire. We love how it made our look extra fashionable, effortlessly! A perfect pair for off-the-cuff summer adventures!

In terms of comfort, this sneaker is a monster! We were amused at how our day-long strutting felt so easy and comfy. It clutched our feet decently and had no hint of any restrictive sensation!

Its traction is another feature we highly applauded! Walking on the greasy surfaces was never a problem as this sneaker kept us on our feet. Fewer worries, no injuries!

Walking on these sneakers felt a bit faster and smoother as compared to our other shoes. Thanks to its lightweight, it did not give us any dragging-down feeling. 

Finally, yet importantly, we were surprised that this is sold at a reasonably priced range! It is incredible how we get to enjoy all these mind-blowing features without the need to throw around our money like confetti!

See our full review and facts

Best retro

More than 600 pairs of summer retro sneakers have undergone meticulous tests and comparisons, and we picked the Nike Air Max 90 as the best among the retro summer kicks. 

A must-have in every sneaker collection, the Nike Air Max 90 remained genuine to its running heritage. We were captivated by its retro vibe that instantly gave a legendary hint to our usual attire. 

We're so amazed by the piles of colorways available on the market! It was so easy to pick which one suited our personalities. This sneaker not only looks remarkably chic but feels immensely good on the feet, too.

Its breathability makes this pair exceptional! We enjoyed how it kept our feet dry and relaxed as we wore it during the warm weather. It is indeed a perfect summer kick that will make you stylish and comfy during the sunny season.

With its better cushioning, this kick became a fundamental part of our street adventures. We had comfortable strides as we pounded the pavements. We felt no issues or discomfort at all! And it terrifically stayed intact! 

All these and more, the Nike Air Max 90 is undoubtedly the best retro sneaker for sunny season escapades.

See our full review and facts

Another premium pick among the 600 plus summer retro sneakers we have is the Adidas Rival Low. 

This sneaker offers luxe flair that suits any attire for any occasion. We wore it daily for our various activities, and it amazingly blended. It stylishly revamped our traditional outfit with a hint of an upscale vibe.

Its plush leather upper also makes upkeep easy! We just wiped the dirt off its smooth and soft leather, and viola, it is back to its squeaky clean state. 

Comfort-wise, this sneaker did not disappoint us from day one! It made our day-long city wandering easy and fun without any discomfort. We love how light it felt on our feet, and its arch support is remarkable!

Even after wearing this every day, it held up exceptionally. After checking every inch, we did not find any worn-out areas. This kick is a perfect everyday beater any sneakerhead must have!

Overall, the Adidas Rivalry Low does not live up to its name. It will not cause you any conflict as you strut the city pavements. As a matter of fact, this sneaker will work as your ally in achieving lasting comfort and versatile flair as you walk along the city streets! 

See our full review and facts

Best chunky

It may be displaying a sleek upper, but the chunky sole of Nike Air Max 270 makes it a standout piece among the Air Max arsenal. 

After testing 1000 plus summer sneakers, this beefed-up soled AM 270 bagged the top spot as our best pick among the chunky summer sneakers. 

Covered with knit and mesh, this sneaker offers a tremendous amount of ventilation. We are amazed how it kept our feet cool and dry after strutting in these sneakers for hours during the humid days. 

The second we slid our feet into this, it felt comfortable right away! No break-in time is needed. We enjoyed its lightness and its flexible sole that allows our feet to move freely around.

Durability-wise, this sneaker is a beast! It definitely could take up a beating just like its Air Max siblings. 

Another reason why we are head over heels about the 270 is its versatility! Matching this sneaker with virtually any garment is effortless. From your favorite jeans to joggers or even your sweatpants, this sneaker will seamlessly conform.

The Nike Air Max 270 may not have any groundbreaking features, but this sneaker surely deserves its spot as one of the best summer footwear on the current market.

See our full review and facts

Puma RS-X quickly bagged one of the best chunky summer kicks spots after a series of tests and comparing it to more than a thousand pairs of summer sneakers.

We love how the RS-X quickly grabbed the attention of many onlookers. Its attention-grabbing flair is mainly due to its multilayered upper and chunky sculpted midsole. This beefed-up kick quickly turned our look into a mind-blowing one!

Its color combination makes this pair truly dazzling footwear! It is fantastic how Puma was able to hack it!

If you love the Yeezy Boost 700 but can't fritter away, the Puma RS-X is the next best option! This sneaker offers the same premium and plush vibe as the Yeezy Boost without the exorbitant price range. 

Its lightweight is another feature we adore! Despite its stocky shape, this sneaker feels incredibly airy when worn—no dragging down sensation at all.

And to top it all, this sneaker offers a fantastic amount of comfort! Its thick sole provides plenty of bouncy cushioning that gives us all-day-long cozy steps! This sneaker is a remarkable pair every summer sneaker collector must-have.

See our full review and facts

Best breathable

When it comes to breathability, the Adidas Ozweego secures the top spot after testing and comparing it to more than a thousand pairs of breathable summer sneakers.

This summer-staple sneaker is covered with an air-permeable mesh upper. This feature amazingly kept our feet feeling fresh and dry even while using it under the scorching summer heat. This kick is indeed a phenomenal pair for summer adventures. 

Furthermore, it has a beyond-compare style. Its '90s-inspired flair instantly transformed our regular outfit into a fashionable and flashy one. We enjoyed its chunky profile! No sweat, we quickly rocked a cool and attention-seeking fashion.

Oops, don't be scared by its beefed-up look, as it will definitely not give you a dragging-down sensation. It is so light and airy that walking faster and smoother is easier with the Ozweego trainers. 

As we pounded the streets, we instantly enjoyed its bouncy ride. We love how the Adiprene midsole delivered remarkable cozy steps for hours!

The Ozweego is definitely jam-packed with unique and mind-blowing features. And to make it more unbelievable, Adidas sells this at a pocket-friendly price range! What can be cooler than that?

See our full review and facts

Another breathable sneaker that topped our list is the Nike Waffle One. After a series of assessments and collations, this sneaker has surpassed over a thousand pairs of summer kicks to date. 

This sneaker is a monster when it comes to its ventilation. Its nylon mesh upper allows free movement of air in and out of the kick. This feature beastly kept our feet dry and cool ALL THE TIME. 

It also got our high rates when it comes to style. We love how its premium details further enhanced its similarities with the pricey LD Waffle Sacai. It added a retro vibe to our looks with a hint of sporty flair—a perfect piece for your everyday wear.

It felt entirely cozy on our feet. Walking in these sneakers for hours was easy and pain-free. We enjoyed its wiggle room on the toe box and the padded collar for that extra protection.

In terms of its weight, this did not let us down! We had airy strides, which made our steps faster, easier, and more energetic. 

Bursting with remarkable features, the Nike Waffle One truly is a model you should never miss having!

See our full review and facts

Best budget

Over a thousand summer sneakers have been tested and compared, and we picked the Vans Authentic as the best budget summer sneakers to date. 

Featuring an authentic classic feel, this sneaker conveniently snagged our approval and recommendation as part of our summer staple. Sneakerheads must own a piece or two of the Authentic for its versatility and style that never gets old.

Choose among its heaps of hues available, from the muted white shade to a bolder-styled checkerboard. It is incredible how this sneaker will fit diverse kinds of tastes and personalities. 

Another element that we adore about this model is its easy-to-wear style. Perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle, slipping this on and off is going to be a piece of cake. 

Are you looking for an all-rounder beater? This sneaker suits you. Its durability is a mind-blowing factor, as Vans built this sneaker to last.

Although this sneaker has a budget-friendly range, Vans made sure not to skimp on its comfort and quality. This sneaker undoubtedly deserves its spot as our top pick when it comes to budget summer sneakers. 

See our full review and facts

Rounds of assessments and comparisons to thousand pairs of summer sneakers have been done, and we picked the Nike Tanjun as one of the best budget summer kicks on our list. 

After wearing this for hours during the summer days, we experienced an extraordinary amount of ventilation. We were awed by how breathable its mesh upper is, which allowed airflow inside and out. Although it felt a bit tight on the toes, we did not mind at all!

In terms of its comfort, this sneaker hugged our feet cozily! It has this "embraced" sensation on the right spots of our feet! It was such a mind-blowing experience. 

It felt like we were running on pillowy clouds while wearing the Tanjun. The cushioning is so soft, and we could wait to run or walk in this sneaker again, anytime, anywhere.

Its laces, meanwhile, are another facet we truly enjoyed. We love how convenient it was for us as its laces do not come untied easily. We never have to re-tie it in the middle of our walks or runs!

See our full review and facts



Jaydee dispels the myth that women can't be experts when it comes to sneakers. With hundreds of sneaker articles under her belt, she gained a surefire edge over others claiming to be experts. Since joining RunRepeat in 2017, she’s published formidable arrays of sneaker write-ups - some covered in lifestyle magazines. Interested in scrutinizing a pair of sneakers? Jaydee is the best person to talk to as she can intuitively chew it over with you even while doing her laundry. When she’s not writing, you can catch Jaydee playing with her two kids, online shopping, and spending far too much time on Instagram.