How to choose slip-on sneakers
To the untrained eye, a classic slip-on is often considered not much more than a casual loafer. But in the modern era, slip-on sneakers have become more than just an iconic fashion staple found in every person’s wardrobe.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at what we think are the best slip-on sneakers.
What to look for when buying slip-on sneakers
As easy as they are to wear, if you’re looking at investing in the best slip-on sneakers there are a number of factors you should first consider:
- Fit: As with all sneakers, getting the right fit is critical to getting the most out of them. They should be snug but not too tight.
- Material: Slip-on sneakers are available in a wide range of materials from canvas to leather, suede to synthetics. Choose the materials and style that is most appropriate for your needs. For example, a keen skateboarder will likely look for canvas shoes while someone who enjoys gym sessions would best look for synthetics.
- Comfort: Of course, comfort is critical and is one of the primary attractions for people who are in the market for a pair of slip-on sneakers. Look for support, shock absorption, flexibility, control, and stability.
- Brand: Certain brands like Nike and Vans are notorious for making good sneakers and if they offer a slip-on version of the model you like most, you may benefit most by starting there.
Are slip-on sneakers really suitable for sports?
For some slip-on sneakers are fine to wear during sports, for others, they aren’t really appropriate at all. When considering your chosen activity more than likely your instincts will tell you what is right and wrong. To further expand on why that might be the case, consider the level of support, cushioning, and stability you require. Ask yourself - can I find a pair of slip-on sneakers that meet my requirements?
If your typical exercises include lower-impact activities such as yoga, pilates or gym work slip-on sneakers could be a good option. For higher-impact activities like running or basketball slip-on sneakers may only be an appropriate option if they are made specifically for that activity; it’s best to check the manufacturer's recommendations.
Which sports do slip-on sneakers suit best?
Slip-on sneakers can be worn for a variety of sports and physical activities, but just how suitable they are for you will depend largely on the specific demands of that activity. Some examples include:
- Casual sports: In many instances, slip-on sneakers are great for casual sports such as walking, light jogging, and yoga. Nothing beats a dog walk along the beach esplanade on a summer's day wearing a nice comfortable pair of slip-on sneakers.
- Skateboarding: Slip-on sneakers have long been popular among the skating community due to their laid-back good looks and comfortable fit.
- Tennis: While traditional tennis shoes are designed for high levels of support and stability, slip-on sneakers with a good outsole can be a great idea for a casual match or hit with friends. (See also: Our guide to the best tennis shoes.)
- Golf: Traditional golf shoes with spikes are generally better for grip and stability but if you’re not at that golfing level a pair of slip-on sneakers will make a great alternative.
Sore back? Slip–ons offer effortless sneaker entry
Slip-on sneakers may be a stylish casual choice but they're also great for people with limited mobility including lower back issues — or anyone who wants a quicker way to get going. The design allows you to step into the shoes rather than reaching down and pulling them on. The ease in which you can put them on and take them off makes slip-on sneakers an attractive option for sports people with lower back issues and other mobility or dexterity limitations.
The versatility of slip-on sneakers makes them an ideal travel companion
Slip-on sneakers are an excellent choice for sports people and athletes who travel because they are lightweight and easy to pack. They don’t take up much space in your overnight duffel or gym bag, and are a convenient choice for many activities - whether on the courts and fields, or just for general everyday use.
The technology of slip-on sneakers
Gone are the days that they are simply an outdoor version of slippers, slip-on sneakers are ever improving in line with the technology that allows them to do so. Two major improvements recently include knitted uppers and memory foam cushioning.
- Knitted footwear technology uses high-strength fibers created from a complex manufacturing process that involves computerized knitting machines to create shoe uppers. Nike’s Flyknit models are the market leader in this design and are additionally popular for their comfort and style.
- Cushy memory foam allows an athlete to enjoy their sneakers for hours on end without any unnecessary discomfort or foot stress. An example of a product that nails that is the Puma Prowls, which has lightweight memory soles for excellent underfoot comfort.
Slip-on sneakers to meet the modern man's lifestyle demands
Slip-on sneakers are a proven timeless style and an essential addition to any man’s collection. Blending comfort, style, and convenience they are a go-to choice for various outdoor activities. Investing in a pair of slip-on sneakers not only enhances your style but also allows you to live your modern lifestyle with the flexibility of a pair of shoes that transitions between so many needs.