5 Best High-Top Sneakers for Men: High Flyin’

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 
best high top sneakers for men

Considering some high-top sneakers but don’t know where to begin?

Less understated than low-tops, you may understandably be a bit intimidated at the thought of adding them to your rotation. Don’t be. Just stick to these five reliable models.

Best Overall
  • Hand-cut quality and use of supple calfskin punch way above its price point
  • Subtle combination of different classic sneaker elements create a distinct yet easy-to-wear design
  • Beckett Simonon uses eco-conscious tanneries, certified by the LWG
Best Budget
  • Time-honored and well-loved design, yet still attainable
  • Strong canvas upper is also breathable
  • Comfortable ortholite insoles are great for long periods of standing and walking
Upgrade Pick
  • Lush calfskin upper is truly premium and hand-stitched and lasted in Italy
  • Quilted collar and streamlined silhouette perfectly balances casualness and sophistication
  • Oliver Cabell provides breakdown of costs per shoe, offering full transparency
Most Comfortable
  • Comfort and shock-managing technologies provide long-term comfort
  • Napa leather is soft, smooth, and strong
  • Excellent traction on a wide range of terrain
Most Colorways
  • Several colorways, nuanced color combinations, and use of different materials provide options for personal styling
  • Instantly recognizable silhouette is iconic in several style circles
  • Concentric rubber outsoles grip well on the court, on cement, or on grass

High-top sneakers are an almost ironic closet essential.

They’re exactly that, a closet essential, but they don’t come off as easy to style compared to their more understated low-top counterparts. Some even think they’re just a bit too youthful or retro. 

Still, high-tops wouldn’t be a style fundamental if it weren’t possible for any guy to rock them.

With the right pair, they can add some easy diversity to your shoe rotation. 

The right pair for you, by the way, is likely one of these five we’ve rounded up.

How Did I Come Up With My List?

To find the best high-tops in the market, I consulted colleagues, as well as experts in style and particularly, shoes. And since we’re talking sneakers, athletes too. Naturally, I spent hours scouring reviews, reading deep-dives on websites and magazines, and watching an ungodly amount of YouTube.

Based on that and my own experiences with these and several other sneakers that didn’t make the cut, I narrowed down these five choices.

As a New Yorker, I probably walk a good twelve miles or more a day. So in addition to the focused research I spent on this for the past week, I have five years of legwork to work off of.

5 Best Mens High Top Sneakers

Best Overall: Beckett Simonon Garcia High-Top

The Beckett Simonon Garcia High-Tops are undeniably well-built, which checks off one prerequisite. What really catches my eye about these shoes though is its unique but still understated design.

The multi-sectioned, pseudo-swishy upper has the dynamic aesthetic of a GAT, while the perforations on the front vamp provide a slightly athletic touch. These qualities are tempered by an overall simple silhouette, no different than classic low-profile plimsolls, and only a moderately high collar. 

You can essentially wear the Garcias with most outfits, from joggers to work trousers—the latter strictly in a smart casual context, of course.

Going back to its construction, these guys are made from full-grain calfskin leather. That’s why they’re so finely-grained, soft, and still strong. It’s the same leather used in those old-world bound books from hundreds of years ago that are still intact and going for a fortune at auction.

And since this is Beckett Simonon, all of the details are hand-cut and hand-finished. A bunch of leather professionals started this brand in 2011 (which explains why they’re so discerning with their shoe materials) with a focus on manufacturing and cutting middle-man costs. Basically, the power of the made-to-order model is why you get so much craftsmanship for price.

What I Like

  • The overall build punches way above its price point, from the hand-cut quality and supple calfskin upper to the lining made of Vachetta, a hide known for its high fat content that results in an especially lush yet strong leather.
  • A subtle combination of different sneaker styles, this model is aesthetically distinct but still understated enough to pair with a wide range of outfit styles.
  • Beckett Simonon gets their leather from gold-rated Italian tanneries, meaning they’ve been certified by the Leather Working Group for scrupulous eco-conscious practices.

What I Don’t Like

  • Made to order items can have unpredictable wait times, and can take up to over a month to arrive.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers love how solidly well-made these shoes are, in addition to their good looks.

Some reviewers with bigger feet express slight grievance over the lack of half sizes past the 12 mark, but say that sizing up provides adequate comfort after the break-in period. And despite a lack of wide sizes, those with wider feet report that simply adjusting the laces can accommodate your feet.

Others praise the soles for their abrasion resistance and topnotch grip, mentioning these shoes are great for times you’ll be on your feet for a prolonged period of time. As someone who’s worn these on late-night pub crawls, I fully agree.

The Verdict

Thanks to expert leather knowledge and a clever business model, Beckett Simonon serves up loads of quality for price with the Beckett Simonon Garcia High-Tops. You might spend more time waiting for the shoes to arrive, but you’ll spend way less money for full-grain calfskin and a high level of hand-craftsmanship.

On top of that, it has an easy-to-wear design that can be incorporated into most personal styles, but its sophisticated, multi-sectioned upper makes it unique in its understatedness.

Best Overall
Beckett Simonon Garcia High-Top

The hand-cut, hand-finished Garcia High-Tops from Beckett Simonon combine street style, athletic aesthetics, and even a touch of military style to create a unique sneaker that’s still standard enough for any closet. Its eco-conscious, full-grain calfskin leather build is well-worth the price.

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Best Budget: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High-Tops

Typically, when a budget shoe model achieves mainstream classic status, the brand uses it as an opportunity to upcharge for clout (often without upgrading the materials). Commendably, though Converse uses the Chuck Taylor All Stars as a template for luxury collabs, they’ve kept the core line accessible to the greater public.

This is great news for those of us on a budget. Often, in the sub-$100 category, you can find these classic, esteemed, and popular high-top sneakers that are also pretty long-lasting.

The fully canvas construction makes the shoes durable, lightweight, and breathable. Converse released the Chucks in 1917, so they also have this nostalgic and youthful energy about them. Still, they’ve remained relevant, style-wise.

Today, Chucks are equipped with modern-day creature comforts. Outside, the outsole is vulcanized which makes it harder and more resistant to deformation, without taking away from its litheness. Inside, the ortholite insoles make these shoes comfortable for all-day standing.

What I Like

  • From the logo ankle patch to the line outsole, this tried-and-true design is a true classic.
  • The all-canvas upper is strong yet breathable, providing comfort especially in hot weather.
  • The ortholite insoles are comfortable, even when you’re standing or walking for long periods of time.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s great that these shoes are easily found on Amazon, but the fact they’re unisex can cause some sizing confusion (just check out the reviews). Check and double check with your seller before hitting that buy button.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers include new and old fans alike, most agreeing these icons are comfortable and easy to pair with most casual outfits. Many use them as their everyday shoes.

Related to my one con, there are several reviews on Amazon and beyond complaining about getting the wrong size.

Make sure you’re choosing the right gender of sizing and that you can easily return or exchange your pair.

The Verdict

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are a practical purchase, both in style and function. For the same price of many less revered sneakers, you get a classic design that’s both comfortable and durable. They’re also a great choice if you want a touch of youthfulness in your style rotation.

Best Budget
Converse Chuck Taylors All Stars
The Converse All Star Chuck Taylors are iconic yet accessible. This long-time favorite is still built with comfortable and strong canvas, while also featuring a strong modern sole and ortholite insoles.
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Upgrade Pick: Oliver Cabell Jabbar High

As with all of the leather shoes in Oliver Cabell’s collection, the Jabbar Highs are hand-stitched in Marche, Italy, giving a real artisanal quality. 

The design itself is a cool and effortless style, which is what we want out of sneakers. Still, there’s so much solid detail and architecture, the sweeping silhouette and the quilted collar for example, that it’s more upscale-looking than your average high-tops.

This dashing blueprint is executed using equally high-end materials on every single piece of the shoes. 

Not only are the uppers made of svelte calfskin, but so are the footbeds, lining, and even the counters. Meanwhile, the laces are Italian cotton and the outsole is made out of Italian Margom, a light, flexible, and strong rubber that feels especially sturdy beneath your feet.

Founded in England in 2016, Oliver Cabell is known for good leather and full transparency. Their website has a full detailed breakdown of how much it takes to create these shoes. The manufacturing and QA, for example, is the biggest expense at $43.58, followed by the leather.

What I Like

  • These shoes are made of the highest end materials, including light yet strong Margom outsoles and buttery calfskin throughout, both hailing from Italy, and hand-stitched together in Marche.
  • With its quilted collar and streamlined silhouette, the design boasts a sophisticated quality about it.
  • Oliver Cabell provides a detailed breakdown of what everything on these shoes cost offering a level of transparency rarely seen in fashion brands.

What I Don’t Like

  • The ankle collar is sturdy and supportive, but could use a bit more elasticity so that the shoes are easier to get on.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers love the streamlined style and the structured collar. One reviewer mentions how he thinks the fact they don’t get too wide at the front like a lot of high-tops do is a key reason they look so refined.

Many also praise Oliver Cabell’s customer service, another reviewer reporting how easy and pleasant the exchange process is.

The main complaint is that customers are limited to one pair each, meaning you’ll have to stick to one colorway and live with it—or get creative with your account management.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for high-tops that are casual, cool, but also classy, check out Oliver Cabell’s Jabbar Highs. They have clean contours and a structured collar, excellent for a range of looks from urban street styles to smart casual combinations.

On top of that, they’re undeniably well-built, with their Marche, Italian hand-craftsmanship and exclusive use of high-end materials, like Italian cotton and calfskin leather.

Upgrade Pick
Oliver Cabell Jabbar High

With sophisticated detailing, like the quilted neck and sleek silhouette, the Oliver Cabell Jabbar Highs are a refined take on the classic high-top. They’re hand-stitched and finished in Marche with buttery Italian calfskin, adding luxuriousness and durability.

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Most Comfortable: Thursday Boots Premier High-Top

It’s already impressive that Thursday designs their boots to be comfortable right out of the box, so you know their sneakers will be too. Instead of just throwing some soft material in the Premier High-Tops, there’s a pretty sophisticated system in there. 

First, the footbeds are shock-absorbent, meaning they work hard to keep you comfortable in different kinds of terrain. Above that, is a Vachetta leather insole, which isn’t just soft but also strong, so it can also handle all of that terrain.

Finally, the rubber outsole is dual density, so it protects parts of your feet that are prone to pressure, again, in all sorts of topography.

When it comes to style, the Premiers have a smooth and sturdy look, and can be worn the same way you’d wear sneakers as well as boots. They’re made out of Napa leather, which is so smooth and durable, it’s often used for luxury car interiors. This makes them easy to maintain too.

The different colorways each have a different vibe too, from the all-whites leaning harder into the traditional high-top look and the toffee variation looking more boot-like.

What I Like

  • A team-up of comfort and impact-managing technologies make these boots easy to stand in and walk in for long periods of time.
  • The minimal design complements Napa leather, showcasing just how soft, smooth, and plush the material is.
  • The almost boot-like traction makes these guys effective outdoor sneakers since they can grip on a wide range of terrain.

What I Don’t Like

  • Since there’s already a generous range of sizes, including half sizes available all the way up to 13.5, it’s a shame they don’t offer extra wides, or at least wides.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers praise the combination of strength and comfort, many mentioning you often have to sacrifice one for the other. They also maintain that there’s zero break-in required, which I agree with.

And speaking of durability, even the laces are made out of polyester. It’s definitely stronger than any cotton, and a nice touch.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-top sneaker that stays comfortable even as you put it through the ringer, the Thursday Boots Premier High-Tops have you covered from the outsole to the footbed.

Plus, the simple design takes on each colorway uniquely, from the more rugged brown variations to the minimalistic monotones.

Most Comfortable
Thursday Boots Premier High-Top

Thanks to a combination of shock and pressure management, along with a durable Vachetta insole, the Thursday Boots Premier High-Tops are immediately comfortable and effectively multi-turf. The style is simple and almost boot-like, making them truly distinguished in the high-tops category.

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Most Colorways: Nike Dunk High All-Star

Definitely one of the important high-tops in fashion history, the Nike Dunk High All-Stars are truly retro-cool. They’ve bounced around from subculture to subculture before cinching their status as a classic.

That being the case, those dimensional uppers, with the multi-sectioned, ripples and Nike Swoosh, can be worn by almost anyone. This is especially so, since there are so many colorways, even when you’re only looking at modern iterations.

There are neutral versions, like black and midnight navy, all with the two-tone sole, of course.

Some variants employ textures, using unique materials like suede, patented leather for some glass action, and even sailcloth for a touch of workwear ruggedness. 

Other colorways go all out, using both loud colors and textures. Love bright pastels? What about actual embroidered patterns? There’s literally something for most, and arguably, something for all.

And since they’re technically basketball shoes, Dunks are comfortable, grippy, and perfect for fast movements.

What I Like

  • The wide range of colorways include nuanced color combos and even different materials, providing a level of personalization.
  • The design is lastingly cool, and thanks to their legendary status, these shoes can be incorporated in a range of personal styles, either corresponding with the outfit or as loud lively pieces.
  • The soles, which are two-toned for more dimensional style, feature a concentric outsole made out of rubber, which offers topnotch traction on the court, on cement, or on grass.

What I Don’t Like

  • The price ranges widely per colorway. They’re all the same quality, but Nike’s relationship with the passionate sneakerhead crowd means some versions will be more or less available, and more or less expensive depending on the trend of the day.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Most reviewers bought their pair for style purposes, but are also happy about the fact they’re true-blue basketball shoes. This makes them comfortable and easy to walk in.

You can technically play sports in them since their grippy and flexible soles make running and abrupt changes in direction easy. Let’s be real though. Just as most of the reviewers did, you and I likely want to wear these for the style.

The Verdict

Go for the Nike Dunk High All-Stars if you want a personalized take on a popular and prototypical sneaker. There’s such a wide range of variations, that you likely won’t need to pay the extra dollars to actually customize a pair, especially if you go beyond just the modern versions.

Most Colorways
Nike Dunk High All-Stars

With its signature ripple-patterned upper, complete with the iconic Nike swooshes, the Nike Dunk High All-Stars are simultaneously retro and current. You can get them in several colors, patterns, and materials, providing a level of customization.

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How to Style High Top Sneakers

author william barton wearing Converse All Star in white canvas
Rocking the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classics

One of the reasons high-tops are so enduring is because they’re easy to incorporate into outfits. You can wear them with most pants, including chinos, jeans, and even shorts.

For the most part, you can style high-tops like low-top sneakers, in the same way you can wear a crew neck pull-over in many similar contexts as a turtleneck.

High-Tops in Casual Scenarios

If you don’t want to lean too hard into a youthful look, one good casual combination is a short-sleeve button-down shirt with chinos worn over the tops of the sneakers. 

This is a safe silhouette that you can achieve using different garments based on your personal style. For example, you can swap out the button-down for a fitted polo or a utility shirt. Instead of chinos, you can go for jeans of any wash.

You can also always wear your high-tops over your pants for a younger or retro aesthetic, or if you want them to be the statement piece of the combination.

High-Tops in Smart Casual Scenarios

When it comes to wearing them with suit trousers, you’ll mainly want to tuck the tops into your pants. 

And you’ll also mostly want to stick to smart casual scenarios, as in nightlife or afterwork networking situations. Basically any time you’re wearing suit separates without a tie, or opting for a blazer over a traditional suit jacket.

Go for shoes with sleeker silhouettes and in leather constructions.

Can I Wear High Top Sneakers with Jeans?

You can absolutely wear high-tops with jeans. If you’re wearing regular-fit or classic-fit jeans, you can wear your pants over the collar of your shoes for a more understated look. 

Or if you want to go full Marty McFly, you can wear dad jeans and tuck them into your shoes. A lot of high-tops already have a fun throwback vibe, so this would simply highlight that.

Another option is cuffing a pair of regular-fit jeans so that the collar peaks out. If you do this with, say, the Thursday Premiers in toffee, it gives the outfit a touch of workwear aesthetic.

Which High-Tops Are Right for You?

If you have the time to wait for an order to arrive, the Beckett Simonon Garcias are made with much higher end materials than price indicates. That’s why these calfskin high-tops are our top choice.

Our Top Pick
Beckett Simonon Garcia High-Top

The hand-cut, hand-finished Garcia High-Tops from Beckett Simonon combine street style, athletic aesthetics, and even a touch of military style to create a unique sneaker that’s still standard enough for any closet. Its eco-conscious, full-grain calfskin leather build is well-worth the price.

Check Price
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Go for the Oliver Cabell Jabbar Highs if you want super artisanal, all calfskin shoes with a classy twist, or the old faithful Converse Chucks for classic and affordable canvas sneakers.

Best on a Budget
Converse Chuck Taylors All Stars

Whether you go for high-tops or low-tops, Converse Chuck Taylors All Stars are ubiquitous casual sneakers. They have a vintage, youthful aesthetic, but are still fashionably relevant.

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Meanwhile, the Thursday Premiers are equipped with excellent comfort technology, while the Nike Dunks are icons made in every color imaginable.

Most Comfortable
Thursday Boots Premier High-Top

Thanks to a combination of shock and pressure management, along with a durable Vachetta insole, the Thursday Boots Premier High-Tops are immediately comfortable and effectively multi-turf. The style is simple and almost boot-like, making them truly distinguished in the high-tops category.

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Are high top sneakers in style?

Yes. Many high-top sneakers have a retro-cool look, but they’re classics, and are always in style. Moreover, there’s a range of designs these days, with several contemporary looking models.

Are high tops better for your feet?

High-tops provide more ankle support, but whether or not they’re better for your feet compared to low-tops is also based on the footbed, insoles, and outsole.

Do you tuck your jeans into high top sneakers?

You can tuck your jeans into your high-tops if you want them to stand out more, and if you’re in a casual situation.

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