About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
“Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.”
– His Royal Highness, The Fresh Prince
Heads up, ladies and gentlemen! We here in the U.S. are just a few weeks away from officially descending into the heat and humidity of Summer once again. Those of us down here in the South and Southeast regularly see the mercury surpass 100°F, with the most unfortunate among us seeing the hygrometer needle bury itself nearest to 100% from late May to early September. I’m already sweating just thinking about going outside! I totally understand why lots of y’all wear flip flops during the Summer, but that just isn’t my style. This year, I’ve vowed to be more prepared than I was last year in terms of casual footwear, especially when it comes to sneakers.
Many of you avid Dappered readers probably already have at least one pair (if not multiple pairs) of our Summer sneaker types shown below, but for those of you who might be new around here or just need a bit of guidance, we’ve listed a handful in each category. This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, just a handful of options that I think you should check out should you be in the market for a new pair of sneakers. As always, local price and availability will vary greatly, and you should always be hunting for a discount code or local brick and mortar sale.
1. Low Tops, Classic Court Inspired Kicks
- Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainers – $159 (above)
- adidas Stan Smith Primegreen – $100
- adidas Stan Smith Kermit – $110 (shown at top of post, sold out at present)
- Nisolo Diego Low Top Sneakers – $150 review here
- OBRA 240 Canvas Low Wrap Toe – $130 (shown here, as well as top of post)
- Vans Vault UA OG Authentics LX “Legalize It” – $69
- Reebok Club C 85 – $79
- Veja V-10 Leather Basketball Sneakers – $135
- Allen Edmonds Courtside Sneakers – $255 (review here)
I believe every man and woman needs a good pair of low top, classic “court” sneakers in their arsenal. Minimalistic white leather sneakers have been popular for well over a decade with brands like Adidas, Converse, and Common Projects getting a lot of attention over the years. However, there are so many other brands out there putting out well made and unique options! My vote here is for the Morgen “GAT” replica trainers from Beckett Simonon.
2. Low Tops, Athletic/Running Sneakers
- Asics Gel Quantum 180 5 – $120 (above)
- adidas UltraBoost 21 – $180
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 – $120
- Brooks Ghost 13 – $130
- KARHU Ikoni 2020 – $130
- HOKA One One Clifton 7 – $130
- On Cloud X 2.0 – $140
- ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 – $150
- New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 – $150
A style for those looking for extra squish. But now the necessary disclaimer so the workout warriors don’t chuck a kettlebell in our general direction… keep your shoes for working out separate from your day-to-day sneakers. And for your workout-specific shoes, pick shoes made for your specific workout (long distance running shoes aren’t usually made for HIIT or basketball or strongman training). Don’t wear “sport style” shoes when you should be wearing the real deal. Rotate those workout shoes. Try not to wear the same pair two days in a row. Buy new ones every few months when your legs and feet start to fatigue earlier than normal. Shoes are like tires. They matter, and with lots of use, they need to be replaced more often.
3. High Tops (Vans, Converse, etc.)
- Converse Chuck 70 – $85 (above)
- Novesta Star Dribble – $65
- Nike Blazer Vintage – $100
- Puma Black Fives Clyde Mid – $120
- Reebok Pump Omni Zone II – $140
- Shoes Like Pottery SLP01 JP Hi – $165
- Rancourt Heritage Court Classic 2.0 Mids – $295
For most of the year, outside of my office job, you’ll probably find me in some high top sneakers. I’m somewhat of a sneakerhead and love a good pair of Jordan 1s, Nike Blazers, and Vans SK8-Hi sneaks. There are a TON of choices out there if you’re looking for something with fun colors, new materials, or styles. I know not everyone is a huge fan of the resurgence of tie-dye, but it’s back in a big way and a pair of tie-dye Chucks is a fairly cheap and simple way to add something currently fashionable into an otherwise basic aesthetic.
4. Retro Trainers (aka Dad Sneakers)
- New Balance 990v5 (Made in USA) – $185
- New Balance M991GWR (Made in England) – $199
- Nike Pegasus 83 – $105
- Puma Wild Rider Layers – $105
- Saucony Shadow 5000 Mesh – $115
- Veja Rio Branco Vintage Runners – $125
- Karhu Aria 95 – $129
- Rancourt Bennett Trainer (Made in USA) – $295
- Viberg Retro Sneakers (Made in Canada) – $490
Retro trainers have been pretty popular for a few years now. By combining vintage athletic looks with the modern twist of performance materials, you can easily find something to pair with most of your everyday casual outfits. Plus, most of these “dad sneakers” have an abundance of comfort and support!
5. Futuristic Trainers (aka LET’S GET WEIRD)
- Nike Space Hippie 04 – $130
- Nike Crater Impact – $100
- Jordan Delta 2 – $130
- Puma Calibrate Restored TRON Sneakers – $140
- Reebok Instapump Fury – $170
- Adidas Futurecraft 4D – $220
- Nike Adapt Auto Max – $400
If you’re looking for something different, maybe something made with sustainable materials or something with some technology built in, you’re in luck! We’ve reviewed Nike’s DBreak sustainable sneakers before. And I liked the idea of including the Space Hippie (shown above are the 01s, 04’s are in the list since the 01’s are all but sold out) which also feature recycled materials throughout. They were surprisingly comfortable and breathed really well; I love the sock-like knit upper on warmer days. I’ve never personally handled any of the new adaptive sneakers with auto-lacing Marty McFly tech, but I can see them having a bright future with those with disabilities.
6. Crunchy/Trail Sneakers and Alternatives
- Lems Shoes Trailhead – $130
- Vans UltraRange EXO – $90
- Nike Free Trail 5.0 – $110
- Vans Customs Sk8-Hi MTE 2.0 DX – $120
- Merrell Moab Speed – $129
- Hoka One One Challenger Low Gore-Tex – $155
- Adidas Parley Terrex Free Hiker – $199
GORPcore is typically used to describe the outdoorsy, luxury fashion aesthetic that companies like Patagonia, The North Face, and Arc’teryx personify. Even if you’re not actually a fan getting outside to enjoy those Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts in your trail mix, you can still incorporate some of the Appalachian Trail-ready garments into your daily style for a heartier, Earthier look. Headed to Starbucks? Throw on an Arc’teryx Atom lightweight jacket, step into a pair of Patagonia Baggies shorts, and lace up your Merrell’s. No one drinking a caramel-drizzled flat white will know that you’ve been working from home for the past six months, and climbing the stairs to your apartment is the most exercise you’ve gotten. No one’s gonna know. No one’s gonna know!
BONUS What are thooooose?
- Merrell 1 TRL Hydro Moc Sneaker (Croc Knock-offs, aka Crocoffs) – $50
- Adidas Superstar Transparent Sneakers – $95
- KEEN x Journal Standard Uneek OG Sandals – $95
- 1017 ALYX 9SM Mono Slip On – $189
- Reebok x Juun.J Instapump Fury OG – $235
- Hoka ONE ONE TenNine Hike GTX Boots – $259
- Palm Angels Teddy Bear Sneakers – $409
- Valentino Fly Knit Sneaker – $849
- Balenciaga Speed Runner LT – $849
While browsing for new sneakers, you’ll inevitably come across some weird stuff. While none of these are within my own personal aesthetic boundaries, they’re certainly entertaining to look at. Maybe you’ll love ‘em. Enjoy!