15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 2

Who says going minimalist is boring? “Less is more,” might seem like one of the banalest fashion platitudes you have encountered in these modern times. But this could not be truer for pretty much most of the men’s fashion trends nowadays. Plenty involve retrospecting. A lot are opting for what used to work back in the day (and still works). Many are paying homage to the classics.

So, no, going minimalist isn’t boring. Most people simply think so because they got used to the gaudiness of prints, forgetting that there’s an inimitable appeal in keeping things simple. If you have the same temperament, then you’ll probably agree with this, too. And there’s no better way to highlight your personality than a minimalist getup.

This, obviously, requires focusing on each vital element of this major men’s fashion niche. In this post, we will focus on the best minimalist sneakers for men – a crystal-clear proof that minimalism transcends generations.

Minimalist Fashion Style - What Is It?

Keeping everything at the minimum takes restraint and discipline. And in pretty much any endeavor, these two fundamental qualities often give birth to high-chemistry aesthetics. Fashion, even men’s fashion, is no exception to this. Could there be a better gauge of style than these two? Could you think of a better way to make fashion as artful as possible than by being able to highlight a single piece of clothing – making it the focus of your ensemble?

Oftentimes, people think that adding as many accessories will help salvage their outfit. If by some miracle you do manage to pull it off (and end up setting a trend or two), this is practically a shot in the dark. It’s like putting too much seasoning in a dish – you only get half-baked results most of the time.

Minimalism in fashion, since it exercises restraint, chucks away needless experimentation and clumsy attempts at style and relies on formulas instead – formulas that always work. And, more often than not, minimalistic fashion also means “quality over quantity” (which is probably another hokum you’ve heard numerous times before but definitely still applies to everything we do – and don’t).

That does not mean that it’s restrictive, though. It still opens up plenty of opportunities to introduce twists – it’s encouraged, even. This is what makes minimalist fashion so compelling and why minimalist sneakers remain as reliable parts of most men’s wardrobes.

What Are Minimalist Sneakers?

Minimalist footwear is arguably varied but minimalist sneakers definitely fit the label of go-to shoes for men. They’re versatile by virtue of their simplicity. It’s that simple. Why tread dangerous fashion ground through “trendy” maximalists if you can just stay safe and cozy in a pair of good, old minimalist sneakers? This is why even if the minimalistic started way back in the early 20th century, it still manages to enjoy such longevity in these modern times. They’re practically timeless already. 

No-frills yet brimming with style – that is what characterizes most minimalist sneakers. You may see loads of brands pitch their own take of this ever-reliable footwear. Do not be surprised if they lack the “detail” that you can expect from other kinds of footwear. That’s not to say that they are lacking in aesthetic qualities. Like the most subtle artworks, you have to look at plenty of the best minimalist sneakers closely to truly appreciate where their style is rooted.  

Due to their sheer versatility, you may not have much trouble pairing white sneakers and leather sneakers with the minimalistic touch, too. If you happen to be looking for a detailed guide on how to wear minimalist sneakers, do take the time to read this excellent reference

Comparison Table

Product

Material

Price

15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 4

Material: Hand Painted Calf Leather

Hand Painted Calf Leather

15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 8

Material: Calf Leather

Calf Leather

15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 10

Material: Leather Suede

Leather Suede

15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 13

Material: Calfskin Leather and Suede

Calfskin Leather and Suede

15 Best Minimalist Sneakers For Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 17

Material: Hand Painted Calf Leather

Hand Painted Calf Leather

The 15 Best Minimalist Sneakers for men of 2020

1. Cole Haan Men's Grand Crosscourt II Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • Off-white rubber sole
  • Grand O.S. comfort feature
  • Textile-lined

Considering the purely leather material, color choices and the reasonable price range, it’s not hard to see why these Cole Haan leather sneakers have had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Most of the color options, except the Black Leather one, include a white rubber sole that fits perfectly with the minimalist philosophy.

Cole Haan may have lost some of its luxe, but this shoe’s style is still what you won’t hesitate to call stylish; it won’t look out of place in a more high-end event, that much is certain. The clean lines of visible stitching and the skillful shine prove this – with the classic laces topped with brass-colored eyelets rounding everything up pretty well. The style alone makes it a worthy contender to high street selections by Cos.

PROS

  • Excellent style for the price
  • Comfort guaranteed
  • Numerous color options to choose from

CONS

  • The leather may not be that durable

2. Grenson Sneaker 1 Handpainted Men's Trainers

FEATURES

  • Made of calf leather
  • White rubber sole
  • Dark brown hand-painted color

We’re only two sneakers down but we already have a hand-painted beauty. Everything about it from the dark chocolate brown color and curving double stitching that runs down its toe vamp to its relative narrowness abounds in originality.

The black leather strap that rolls on one lace and perches on the tongue appears to announce this more – and encourage a snugger fit at the same time.

It plays it safe with the white rubber sole, integrating just the right amount of thickness to ensure support and comfort. Overall, a good mix of stylish and functional that’s well worth the price.

PROS

  • Reputable British company known for making high-quality designer shoes
  • Great shaft color and design
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Does not indicate whether it uses pure leather

3. A|X Armani Exchange Men's Suede + Leather Slip on Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • White rubber sole
  • Slip on
  • Suede accents
  • Logo printed at back

A good example of what can be achieved if functionality and luxury are mixed, these Armani Exchange sneakers offer everything that men love in minimalistic sneakers. By making do without the laces, it introduces not only freshness in ease of wearing but in style as well. The dual stitches flowing down the vamp and the suede spots beg closer inspection.

The color accent of the suede matches well with the neutralness of the black and white color options. It gives you two color options – and both are more than enough to fulfill everyone’s tastes. Can’t get any more minimalist than that.

PROS

  • Solid product from a mid-range luxe brand
  • Slip-on means you can virtually wear it in a second
  • More than exceeds expectations for the price
  • Design is on-par with other shoes 5x its price

CONS

  • Could do with more color options

4. Vince Men's Copeland Lace-Up Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Makes suede and leather options available
  • Equally numerous color options
  • Purely low-top dimensions
  • Casual and sport

Nevermind that this Vince offering offers both leather and suede options and goes the length to have them available in edgy colors. As for what defines it, well, just look at that extra-thick sole, those stocky squarish laces – this sporty sneaker certainly has that solid look about it that instantly gives it an impression of being durable.

The foggy effect of the suede options, besides their trendy colors, are the real standouts in these sneakers. They give off that smooth look found only in well-constructed suede footwear. For these factors, we won’t mind paying a couple more bucks to get them.

PROS

  • Fits most casual settings
  • Outstanding suede color options
  • Some colors can be bought for relatively low prices
  • Trendy shoelaces

CONS

  • Does not provide enough ventilation
  • Might be a bit painful to wear for some men after a time

5. Magnanni Men's Caballero Sneaker

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • Off-white rubber sole
  • Padded collar and reinforced heel
  • Contrast patch bearing brand name

Now, these sneakers give more of a classic vibe – except for the obvious luxe hiding in its key components. The gold-finished sole (both in and out) is one of the more obvious hints. But you can also see it in the quarter panel, reinforced by double dual stitches. The same goes for the padded collar and strengthened heel. There’s, indeed, no questioning this baby’s toughness.

As for the color options, we can’t help but be mesmerized by the cognac and navy variations. The former imparts more of sleek, classic premium leather look while the latter has that incomparable dark bluish hue you can easily get lost in like a cloudless sky full of stars. This is minimalistic aesthetics at its finest.

PROS

  • Offers superb color options that can seamlessly adapt to dress requirements
  • Satisfactory comfort
  • Exquisite detail, particularly in the colored varieties

CONS

  • Limited size options

6. Hugo Boss Men's Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of pure calf skin burnished leather
  • White rubber sole
  • Tennis-style trainers
  • Fully lined
  • Dark blue color

Just look at the gloss of this leather, the come-hither shine. This is minimalism done with flair. Being a Hugo Boss creation, this may not be much of a surprise. The choice of dark blue burnished leather is relatively safe as it still meshes well with the natural color of the interior calfskin leather.

The no-nonsense laces seem to be an oblation to the altar of simplicity. But, in the end, it’s really all about wearability with a touch of luxe as well. I mean, can you think of brands that will not hesitate to use memory foam in the insole of their sneakers? Hugo Boss does know how you can push the boundaries of minimalism and it shows in this particular footwear.

PROS

  • Made by a high-end brand known for quality
  • Attractive glossy finish
  • Wide range of size options

CONS

  • Has a questionable durability

7. Gucci Lace-up White Leather Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of leather
  • Rubber sole
  • Yellowish white color
  • Gucci crest logo printed on the back

The positively gaslight white color of these Gucci sneakers definitely lends it that old-time, spectral appeal that lasts. For a brand that’s been renowned for ages, this is pretty much a given.

The almost ghostly appearance of Gucci crest logo on the back portion of this footwear practically seals the deal. Regal and casual marry to give birth to what could very well be the poster-boy (or shoe) of the high-end spectrum.

If you’re looking for minimalist sneakers that will set you up for the long-term, that will become your partner in crime for years to come, then need you to look for any other shoe besides this Gucci shoe?

PROS

  • Created by one of the world’s best makers of the finest, long-lasting shoes
  • Suits casual, semi-casual and even certain formal situations
  • Classic-looking shaft

CONS

  • Only available in average shoe sizes of 9.5 to 11.5

8. LANVIN Men's Leather Suede Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of leather suede
  • Dark brown and navy blue color options. 
  • Leather internal lining
  • Off-white rubber sole

If you’ve always had the impression that suede all about softness, warmth, and comfort then these minimalist sneakers by LANVIN may very well be the perfect fit for those qualities. The internal lining leather only makes sure you won’t feel an ounce of pain wearing these topnotch sneakers for hours.

In terms of style, it opts to experiment by adding very minor details in the form of dual stitches and an upper leather suede that delivers a slight saturation variation in the brown and black color options available. The silver engraved eyelets are also notable aesthetic details. These features give it a hipper look that will surely make it appealing to younger dudes.

PROS

  • Fantastically unique design
  • High-quality finish
  • Hip design

CONS

  • Limited color options

9. AXEL ARIGATO Men's Light Grey Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • Light gray color
  • Thick white rubber soles
  • Brand logo embellished on sides

The dull chrome color more than makes this footwear shine in a delightfully ironic way. It also startles you because, well, can you name other sneakers that use such an impeccable blend of white and grey?

From afar, you can barely make out the ARIGATO signature but its gold color certainly waves at you immediately – beckoning you to give it your entire damned attention. The light chrome color wraps the entire low top shoe (sole and all) like a sheath of soft metal that provides it with a oneness in style.

The brand is dedicated to innovation, and it’s not hard to see how it integrated novel features in this shoe. More of it hinges on its wearability, though, so you better give it a try to know how it delivers this.

PROS

  • Made by an excellent brand that specializes in sneakers
  • Unrivaled design that sets a superior example of what trendy brands should aim for
  • Comfort and durability assured thanks to high-quality materials

CONS

  • Very limited availability

10. COMMON PROJECTS Men’s White Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • Pure white color
  • Off-white rubber soles
  • Product code printed in gold font

The immaculately white color of this shoe punctuated by the slight brightness of the laces underscores what most men like about minimalist sneakers.

Their very whiteness – which is one of the most neutral hues a low top shoe can incorporate – makes them ideal for practically any color of jeans or casual and even certain dressy pants you wear. Indeed, the all-white route is like a no-fail route, a Deus ex machina to all your shoe fashion woes – and this shoe delivers it spectacularly.

And look at the sides of this shoe near back’s tip. It prints and seals its proof of opulence with a pragmatic gold-tinted serial number and product code. Who would have thought that minimalism and luxe can be so cleverly mixed in such a way?

PROS

  • Made by a well-recognized American-Italian luxury brand
  • Does not skimp on topnotch leather
  • Available in varied sizes

CONS

  • A bit overpriced for the fairly standard design

11. Salvatore Ferragamo Men's Cube Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of calfskin leather with burnished and suede parts
  • Available in white and Borgogna red
  • White rubber sole
  • Patent leather heel patch
  • Brand signature on shaft’s side

This shoe also has a pure white option but since we’ve mentioned it’s a safe option (to the point of being considered a cheat), we will focus instead on the bodaciously blood-red Borgogna variation of these minimalist sneakers by luxury Italian brand Salvatore Ferragamo.

Who says minimalist sneakers can’t be the focus of your attire? These cube sneakers are easy proofs that they can be spotlight-stealers as well. You don’t have to take a closer look at the details of these sneakers to know that. Once you do, it’ll pay off, though, as evidenced by its fantastic blend of smooth leather upper reinforced by the suede guard. And, for the price, it’s basically still a steal. I mean, it’s Salvatore Ferragamo, for goodness’s sake!

PROS

  • Crafted by the world’s leading Italian luxury brands
  • Startlingly good red color variation
  • Can be bought for mid-range prices

CONS

  • Could benefit from more color options

12. Prada Men's White Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% cotton
  • White rubber sole with prominent sporty protuberances
  • Prada logo printed on shaft’s side

Prada and sneakers? The fact that this household luxury brand does not hesitate to go down and dirty with seemingly mundane and simple says a lot about why a lot of people (regardless of class) love Prada.

As far as the way these sneakers look, it certainly pays tribute to the classic, especially evident in most of its exterior features, except for its sole which appear to have protuberances all over its front portion as if ready to guard you from mud (and impact, even).

What makes it stand out as well as its use of 100% cotton. Can you already imagine what this will feel like? Imagine placing your feet on fluffy firm clouds with every step. With this Prada angel, this is meant most sincerely and not as hyperbole.

PROS

  • Made by an unquestionable Italian luxury brand
  • Impeccable pure white finish
  • Provides the best comfort with each wear

CONS

  • Arguably too luxurious for something designed for casual use

13. Givenchy Men's White Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • White finish with red accent
  • Uniform white rubber sole
  • Givenchy brand name printed on back

The red leather draped over the back of this almost pure white shoe, proudly brandishes the Givenchy brand in all its capitalized glory and serves as a token signature that grabs the eye of any onlooker. The hints of red you see pretty much encourage you to look closer in the interior of the sole, and it won’t take long to notice It immediately makes the shoe original, we’d definitely give it that.

When you behold the pristine alabaster-white pureness of this shoe, though, it’s easy to see to the quality of the materials, underscored by the very clean style and way that the leather was treated and finished. The stitches look visibly firm and uniform – a quality that can be attributed to its imposing rubber soles as well.

PROS

  • Made by a luxury brand that has deep roots in French fashion
  • Classic white sneaker design with a sharp red color twist
  • Available in smaller sizes

CONS

  • The red portions might make it hard for you to pair with certain hues

14. Saint Laurent Men's White Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • Sand-colored rubber soles
  • Primarily white shaft color
  • Black back tip
  • Classic lace-up design

The “Saint Laurent” scribblings reek with an almost childish clumsiness that appears to have the intention of surprise. We’re not really sure what Saint Laurent meant by including these scrawls, but they’re bonafide attention-grabbers. Perhaps, for such a brand that’s always been tied with luxury, it’s probably to give the shoe a ready hip and rebellious look that younger men will instantly love.

Whatever the case, it does not overshadow the obvious uncompromising elegant style of this creation. It does not skimp on the leather and it shows in the noticeably thicker shaft of this shoe from front to back. The sand-colored soles and black tip of the back are other standout aspects. Both do not sacrifice the adaptability of the shoe when worn with anything you can pair with sneakers.

PROS

  • Well-established French luxury fashion brand
  • Great, modern shaft design
  • Every color blends well together

CONS

  • Odd signature placement and writing

15. Ermenegildo Zegna Men's White Sneakers

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% leather
  • Pure slightly off-white color
  • White rubber soles

Luxury and minimalistic often readily appear to be concepts that do not smoothly mix. This Ermenegildo Zegna creation proves otherwise, though. It also exerts every effort to make itself stand on its pedestal. And we respect it for that. Awed by it, even.

Look at that pure whiteness. Yes, you see that in just about any minimalist sneaker you find. But LOOK at it. See the exquisite wrinkles? See how the three crisscrossing laces seem to hide behind the high reinforced mudguards? Have you noticed the two truant black holes on one side of either shoe? Once you behold them, you’ll see just how much these sneakers want to be unique.

Since these qualities allow it to look fresh and contemporary, these luxury sneakers definitely pull these twists off successfully. It knows the minimalist philosophy by heart and knows how to break its rules to deliver something fresh. That said, if you want sneakers that will always be a cut above the rest, this is the one to get.

PROS

  • Made by an Italian brand that has consistently ranked high in the hierarchy of luxury brands
  • Exceptional trendy design
  • Thick and comfortable insulation

CONS

  • Limited size options

Final Thoughts!

It’s fairly obvious that plenty of the selections here (and most minimalist sneakers, for that matter) overlap a lot in terms of their overall design. And this is to be expected from footwear that adheres to a style of fashion that encourages stripping all but the necessary elements.

Those do introduce twists often do it in a subtle way to give the shoe a more distinctive finish and even offer it plenty of opportunities to become the centerpiece of your attire. What’s certain is that they’re not difficult to pair with casual and semi-casual getups alike. You can’t expect anything less from the best minimalist sneakers available today made by eminent sneakers brands worldwide.


Marilyn

Marilyn

Marilyn Chase writes fashion articles for luxury power houses that want to see their brands surge. Her articles have appeared in various North American and Western European websites. She contributes articles about design, craftsmanship and manufacturing techniques in fashion. Her articles focus on trends and research supported by first hand interviews and pictures. She is qualified by extensive experience and a degree in fashion from New York.

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