6 Best Sneakers to Wear With a Suit: Shake up Your Suit Game With These Top Picks

Shoebly is supported by readers. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 
best sneakers to wear with a suit - Thursday Boots Premier High Top with a brown suit

Pairing sneakers with a suit is a great way to look classy but not stuffy. Still, you can’t wear every type of sneaker with a suit. In fact, most sneakers shouldn’t be.

Avoid style being caught in a style faux pas with our six choice sneakers to wear with a suit.

Best Overall
  • Boasts a high level of Italian hand craftsmanship and supple calfskin leather
  • The white version is universally versatile, while other available colorways offer a range of suit-sneaker possibilities
  • Oliver Cabell provides transparent price breakdowns for all products
Best Gum Sole Sneaker
  • Gum sole adds GAT-like cool factor while still being suit-appropriate
  • Nappa leather is soft, flexible, and resilient
  • Outsole is functionally grippy yet lithe
Best Loafer Style
  • Sleek loafer-meets-boat-shoe design offers a cosmopolitan aesthetic
  • Easy to slip in and out
  • Milled leather interior is soft and lush
Best Minimalist
  • Clean, logoless design is highly adaptable
  • Treated with carnauba wax and shea butter for extra water resistance and softness
  • Beckett Simonon partners with eco-conscious tanneries
Best High Top
  • Boot-like high-top design is unique and distinguished
  • Series of comfort and resistance features makes this shoe easy to walk in
  • Vachetta insole naturally regulates temperature and odor.
Best Monk Strap Sneaker
  • Added athletic outsole expands its dress range beyond a regular monk strap shoe’s capabilities
  • Rubber cup sole is lightweight and helps protect your heel, sides, and toe
  • Allen Edmonds Fly Form insole is dense and durable, yet soft and comfy

When it comes to style, there’s nothing I love more than a good high-low combination.

A henley with a blazer is handsome and comfortable, while a broken suit feels like old world class.

My favorite high-low partnership is wearing sneakers with a suit. Suffice to say, I’m glad this combo has gone in and out of style enough that it’s now a classic smart casual approach.

Still, there’s an innate danger in mixing dress codes.

Choosing the right shoes will minimize the potential for fashion faux pas when it comes to wearing sneakers with a suit. So, start with the sneakers; the rest should follow.

How Did I Come Up With My List?

I wear sneakers with my suit whenever I get the chance. And since I have to wear a traditional suit and tie to work every day, this often just means for after-work gatherings or the occasional casual Friday.

That being the case, I’ve worn sneakers with suits for at least a decade. 

That legwork aside, I spent weeks trying on different sneakers with different suits, seeing what worked and what didn’t. As always, I also spoke to colleagues and fashion experts regarding their experiences and opinions since we all have different styles—and different feet.

Relatedly, I scoured the internet for reviews to take into account, filling any gaps in my own research.

6 Sneakers to Wear With a Suit

Best Overall: Oliver Cabell Low 1 

Oliver Cabell’s Low 1’s classy and universal aesthetic is rooted in two important characteristics.

First, it’s a straightforward and classic design, with a low profile and graceful silhouette. The subtle branding gives it that understated style that pairs naturally with a suit.

Though I’m focusing on the standard Triple White version, which is the most adaptable, several non-distressed colorways are equally as elegant.

The monochromatic burgundy version would go well with an olive suit, while the off-white version (just like the Triple White but with a tan outsole) would partner beautifully with a tan linen suit in the summer.

I’ve worn the white and navy-accented variation, which OC calls Ocean, with an all-navy suit and white t-shirt for a casual Friday look.

The second important characteristic is that the Low 1 is authentically premium, and it shows. It’s handcrafted in Marche, Italy, using calfskin leather, which looks as supple as it feels. Calfskin also has high strength for weight, so you can definitely kick around in this shoe.

Even the lining is calfskin, which isn’t often the case at this price point.

What I Like

  • Thanks to its clean design and premium leather construction, you can wear most Low 1 colorways with a suit. This allows you to pair different colored sneakers with different colored suits, providing options.
  • This shoe boasts a high level of Italian hand craftsmanship. It’s made of high-end materials, including Italian cotton and rubber for the laces and outsoles and calfskin leather for the upper and lining.
  • Oliver Cabell provides candid price breakdowns for all of their products on their website, offering transparency so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

What I Don’t Like

  • Unfortunately, half sizes aren’t available, so you’ll have to size up if you’re between sizes.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers are impressed with the high quality of the materials and construction, especially for the price. Many also agree that the different colorways can be worn with different dress trousers covering various personal tastes and styles.

Many laud the brand for its price transparency. If you look at the Low 1 product page, you can see that the main cost of making this shoe is its quality control, which is $34.88, and its Italian calfskin, priced at $26.04. Not bad places to invest.

One reviewer mentions pinky toe rubbing during the break-in, which happened to me too. I simply covered my pinky toe with a plaster bandage until I’d fully broken the shoes in.

The Verdict

The Oliver Cabel Low 1 has a classy and understated aesthetic and high-end construction that can be seen through its supple leather upper. Because of this, you can wear the Triple White with basically any suit. Plus,  you can have fun pairing other colorways with different colored suiting and broken suits.

On top of all of this, the Low 1 is handcrafted by artisans in Marche, Italy using tight, strong calfskin leather and lithe Italian rubber for the durable outsole.

Best Overall
Oliver Cabell Low 1

The iconic Low 1 is Oliver Cabell's most well known shoe, and for good reason. We think they're your best value-for-money dress sneaker choice if you want to go top-end on quality, provided they’re on sale.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Gum Sole Sneaker: Thursday Boots Legacy 

I’ve always loved the idea of a smart casual suit combination paired up with some GAT sneakers. There’s just something about a casual heritage design mixed with a formal heritage look that has so much cool factor.

However, even in the era of fashion casualization, most dress codes wouldn’t allow for this. Enter the Legacy Sneaker by Thursday Boots.

The gum sole is reminiscent of the GAT design, but the white leather upper is less casual-looking. This allows you to style this shoe essentially like a monochromatic white sneaker.

On top of that, it’s as functional as it’s comfortable, which is Thursday’s MO.

The traction from the dual-density rubber outsole makes this shoe almost as lithe and flexible as a dedicated athletic shoe. 

In my personal experience, it makes walking on uneven and varying terrain so much less stressful on my feet. I’ve comfortably stomped around Manhattan concrete sidewalks to Central Park grass and dirt to lobby marble, all in one long day, in this shoe.

Inside, the shock-absorbent footbed tempers impact, while the Vachetta leather insole cushions while providing support.

What I Like

  • The gum sole is grippy, lithe, and adds a GAT-like cool factor to the otherwise elegant and suit-appropriate monochrome upper.
  • From the dual-density outsole to its shock-absorbing footbed, this shoe is comfortable even during long walks.
  • It’s made out of Nappa leather, which is soft, flexible, and highly resilient.

What I Don’t Like

  • Though this sneaker is comfortable, you’ll have to earn it with a substantial break-in. This is especially so for you wide-footed guys.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers commend Thursday Boots for creating a durable and comfortable sneaker.

I mention that you’ll definitely have to break this shoe in. Many reviewers report that the heel is particularly stiff during the softening process.

The Verdict

The Thursday Boots Legacy adds a real cool factor to your suit combination, thanks to its sharp combination of a tan gum sole and a monochrome Nappa upper.

Plus, its flexible outsole and impact-absorbing footbed offer a comfortable and pragmatic user experience.

Best Gum Sole Sneaker
Thursday Boots Legacy

The Thursday Boots Legacy combines casual cool with understated elegance, thanks to its gum sole and lush monochrome upper. It’s also highly functional, with its insole and outsole effectively balancing comfort and support.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Slip On: Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-on  

One big reason to pair your suit with sneakers is that it adds effortless refinement to your look. The Randolph Slip-On from Allen Edmonds perfectly embodies this.

It has a similar silhouette to the traditional Randolph loafer, but the added sporty outsole and the three-tone elastic band in place of the saddle (my favorite design feature), transform the look from boardroom and ballroom to Saint Tropez resort-chic.

You can definitely wear this shoe with a full suit, with or without a tie. You could also wear it with a blazer and linen shorts, or a dress shirt and suit pants.

What I Like

  • Its sleek shape and color-accented elastic band in place of a saddle gives this shoe an effortlessly worldly look.
  • The elastic band doesn’t just make it look good, but secures the shoe without needing laces, while also making it easy to slip in and out of—super convenient if you’re in a hurry.
  • The interior is lined with tumble-treated leather, making it extra soft.

What I Don’t Like

The sizing is confusing. What AE describes as a “slightly roomy fit” can often feel too big, even if it’s on purpose. Moreover, I think a close-to-body fit is a better option when wearing this model with a suit.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers generally appreciate the casualized version of AE’s classic loafer. Many mention how it makes a perfect warm-weather shoe.

A few reviewers report disappointment because Allen Edmonds often welts their shoes, but this one is cemented. I’m not that offended by it since it’s an athletic rubber outsole.

Finally, most reviewers advise you to go half a size down. The actual size may work for you if you want that roomy fit that AE describes, but even the reviewers who claim they originally wanted that extra space ended up returning them for half a size smaller.

The Verdict

The Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-On replaces its traditional loafer’s leather construction with exquisite suede and its saddle with a fun three-tone elastic. The result is a sophisticated and relaxed look, perfect for a classy summer getaway.

Best Loafer Style
Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-on  

With its suede upper and dapper three-tone elastic, the Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-on has a cosmopolitan vibe. It’s luxe enough to wear with a suit and casual enough to wear with a shorts-and-blazer combination.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Minimalist: Beckett Simonon Reid 

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneakers front view on white background

Though the Beckett Simonon Reid looks a lot like the Triple White Low 1, you’ll notice just how much less detail the Reid has. It’s almost completely without topography, giving it a cleaner, more minimalist look.

It doesn’t have a padded collar, there’s zero branding, and there aren’t even eyelet stays, making it look borderline deconstructed.

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneakers sole view on model

This classically sterile look is perfect for suits.

And since this is Beckett Simonon, the Reid is made out of full-grain leather calfskin, making it resilient and undeniably handsome. Their made-to-order business model gives them the space to ensure everything is hand-cut and hand-finished.

What I Like

  • The tanneries that Beckett Simonon works with demonstrate eco-conscious practices, so much so that they’re gold-rated by the Leather Working Group.
  • The minimalist and logoless design has a clean and professional look that wears naturally with suits of any color.
  • Artisans hand-treat this shoe using carnauba wax, which helps with water resistance, and shea butter, which softens and conditions. .

What I Don’t Like

  • The Reid is honestly almost perfect, but I can’t recommend any Beckett Simonon shoe without mentioning that they take forever (sometimes months) to arrive once you’ve ordered.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers give the Reid a lot of love for how good it looks and how specifically comfortable it is. The combination of a tall instep and wide waist make this shoe supportive and easy to walk in.

Some complain that there aren’t half sizes between sizes 8 and 12. This is particularly inconvenient for those with wide feet, because you’ll have to size up a whole number instead of just a half.

The Verdict

The Beckett Simonon Reid is as minimal as a sneaker can get without going the whole-cut route (which, in my opinion, would just make the sneaker look too dressy).

It’s well-made using the highest quality materials, too, at a shockingly low price tag. The catch is that you just pay with time instead of money.

Best Minimalist
Beckett Simonon Reid

While it may take you around three months to get your feet into these bad boys, they're well worth the wait. Made-to-order, crafted from full-grain Italian leather with a Vachetta leather lining, the Reid packs a ton of value at this price point. We also love that the eyelets are hidden to make for a slightly sleeker look overall.

Check Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best High Top: Thursday Boots Premier High Top 

You know what’s more dynamic-looking than socks or a bare ankle peeking out from beneath your suit trouser? More shoe.

The boot-like collar of the Premier High Top from Thursday Boots is a distinguished and striking option to wear with your suit. However, because of its minimal design, which allows the plush Nappa leather to take center stage, it isn’t at all inappropriate.

As always, Thursday provides features that make this sneaker incredibly comfortable to walk and stand in.

Basically, the Premier High Top feels as smooth and sturdy as it looks. The leather they use is the same that’s often used for the interiors of luxury cars. This means it smells great, feels great, and will wear in long before it wears out.

By the way, there’s also a Premier Low Top, which we reviewed.

What I Like

  • The high, boot-like collar adds a dynamic, almost workwear-like look to the dashing leather uppers. It’ll look unique paired with a suit, but not inappropriate.
  • Thursday partners up a Vachetta insole with a soft leather interior and a dual-density outsole, resulting in extreme comfort.
  • This shoe gives exceptional traction, allowing you to walk in all sorts of different terrain.

What I Don’t Like

  • Wide sizes aren’t available. If you have wide feet, you’ll definitely feel extra constriction during the break-in process and will generally have to lace up this shoe more loosely.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers love how strong and comfortable this sneaker is. A few even maintain that it requires little-to-no break-in, which is rare for Thursday shoes—or any well-built shoe, really.

A few reviewers spotlight the polyester laces, which are stronger than cotton, as being a nice touch and adding to the overall durability of the shoe.

The Verdict

Partly due to its boot-like look, the Thursday Premier High-Top adds a distinguishing quality to your suit combination. It does almost what pairing cowboy boots with a suit does, but it isn’t nearly as extreme and in a far more universal way.

Best High Top
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.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Monk Strap Sneaker: Allen Edmonds Mora Monk Strap Sneaker 

The Mora Monk Strap Sneaker from Allen Edmonds has such a dressy upper that it almost looks like a contemporary take on a formal dress shoe. This double-strapped, vividly-hued, and luxuriously-oiled sneaker is a great choice if you need something formal with sneaker-level comfort.

It’s probably the only monk strap shoe that would look good with a pair of shorts. Just wear this guy with white chino shorts, a linen blazer, and a dress shirt on your next vacation. You might get mistaken for James Bond, off duty.

Also, the practical features are exceptional. This shoe is comfortable and supportive thanks to Allen Edmonds’ in-house Fly Form insole. Working with this is the rubber cup sole, which is flexible, durable, and super lightweight.

What I Like

  • Combining a full-fledged monk strap dress shoe upper and an athletic outsole is fun and classy, expanding its style range beyond what a regular monk strap shoe can do.
  • Its rubber cup sole can be attached without a welt or midsole, making it super lightweight while protecting your heel, sides, and toe.
  • Allen Edmonds Fly Form insole is a unique kind of foam. It’s densely built, meaning it’s durable even though it feels delicate. It has an open-cell composition, which is why it feels so soft and delicate.

What I Don’t Like

  • The pieces of leather on the highest part of your foot, around the area where a lip usually sits, are pretty thick. They feel a bit stiff in the first few wears.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers love how versatile this shoe is. You can wear it like a dress shoe or a sneaker, which is why it looks so great with a suit.

Though it comes in three neutral yet expressive colorways, several reviewers have expressed their desire for colors beyond that. I think it would look dapper in a navy colorway.

The Verdict

The Allen Edmonds Monk Strap Sneaker is a year-rounder that works well with full, traditional suits, broken suits, and even with shorts and a blazer. It’s made with full-grain leather that’s impeccably oiled and waxed and is equipped with a secure, supportive, and comfortable cup sole.

Allen Edmonds Mora Monk Strap Sneaker 

The Allen Edmonds Mora Monk Strap Sneaker can be worn all year long, since its dressy upper and athletic sole go well with a full suit or even shorts. The leather is impeccably oiled with rich color, while the athletic outsoles are comfortable and supportive.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Wearing Suits With Sneakers: How to Get it Right

When Would You Wear Sneakers With a Suit?

You could wear sneakers with a suit during a casual Friday or an after-work event. Other instances include weddings with casual or smart casual dress codes or when you’re out and about. Perhaps you’re headed to a party, bar, or lounge with a flexible cocktail dress code.

What Types of Suit Can You Wear With Sneakers?

You can wear any suit with sneakers. It’s more about choosing the right shoes to maximize the overall look. For example, if you’re wearing a patterned, autumnal tweed suit, maybe a boot-like leather high-top like the Thursday Premier will match the seasonal aesthetic. A low-profile, light-colored sneaker is best if you’re wearing a flowy linen suit.

What Types of Sneakers Go Well With a Suit?

Leather or suede sneakers are the most effective options because they bridge the gap between traditional dress shoes and athletic trainers. Avoid sport-specific sneakers, like basketball shoes or soccer cleats.  

Quick Style Tips for Wearing Sneakers With a Suit

As I mentioned prior, consider the season. You wouldn’t wear a heavily woven suit with a dark leather high-top in the middle of August, just as you wouldn’t wear a pastel spring suit while going sockless in low-profile leather in February.

Relatedly, think about the color combinations. The Oliver Cabel Low 1 is our best overall because the Triple White version can go with any color shirt, suit, or tie. Don’t wear stark brown sneakers with a full-black suit.  

Choose sneakers that complement or temper them if you’re going for livelier suit colors. An olive suit would look great with honey-brown sneakers or just black or white ones. 

And finally, consider the overall balance of the look. Pairing sneakers with a suit is inherently smart casual. Maybe you ditch the tie and go for a more casual slip-on sneaker. You can also keep the tie, opt for a dressier sneaker, and go for a broken suit instead of a tonal one.

The Ultimate High-Low Look

The Oliver Cabel Low 1 can be worn with pretty much any type of suit in its white variation. It comes in various colorways that provide a range of sneaker-suit combination possibilities. This and its classic styling and premium construction make it our best overall pick.

Our Top Pick
Oliver Cabell Low 1

The iconic Low 1 is Oliver Cabell's most well known shoe, and for good reason. We think they're your best value-for-money dress sneaker choice if you want to go top-end on quality, provided they’re on sale.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

However, the gum soles on the Thursday Boots Legacy give it a cool factor, the way the Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip-On has that cosmopolitan factor.

If you want something super minimal, go for the Beckett Simonon Reid. On the other side of the spectrum, the Thursday Boots Premier is our pick for the best high-top to wear with a suit.

Best High Top
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.

Check Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

I think the Mora Monk Strap Sneaker from Allen Edmonds is easily one of the most unique sneakers on the market, at least when it comes to sneakers you can wear with suits while looking relatively classic.


Is it okay to wear sneakers with a suit?

Yes. You can pull off sneakers with a suit in smart casual situations and even in certain cocktail attire dress codes.

What kind of sneakers go with a suit?

Avoid sport-specific sneakers or visually performance-forward ones. Leather sneakers look great with suits, whether you’re going for an understated low-profile shoe or a more striking high-top like the Thursday Premier, for example.

Can you wear sneakers with a business suit?

Traditional office wear doesn’t typically allow you to wear sneakers. However, this depends on your company’s culture. Even formal offices will occasionally allow you to wear sneakers during casual Fridays or after-work events.

Can you wear sneakers with a suit to a wedding?

These days, some weddings are casual enough for a suit-and-sneaker combination – or you may find that sneaker dress shoe-hybrids like the Allen Edmonds Randolph Slip On could be acceptable too. However, it all depends on the dress code. Be respectful of the bride and groom, and always dress according to their required attire.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *