“Is it okay to wear sneakers to a wedding?”, asks the casual man.
If this is you, then you’re in luck - sometimes you can. We’ve seen a rise in casual weddings over the years, and even themed weddings with an alternative dress code. Like Michael Jordan’s custom Concord 11 wedding party.
Before we get too deep into the topic, just make sure that the wedding dress code is clearly stating that this is “casual” attire.
Sneakers were designed for sports and military training. Though in modern times they’ve been adopted into everyday attire - step with caution. Even if they’re $1,100 Louboutin porcupines.
Clarify with the bride and groom if the wedding invitation is vague; it’s their day after all. Once you have that sorted out, here are our top picks for top-notch wedding sneakers.
And the key to pulling off this look: Keep it simple.
Affordable Classic Wedding Sneakers: Adidas Stan Smith
It’s of no surprise that we start this list with Adidas’ Stan Smith. In its signature green and white colourway, you can’t get more iconic than this tennis classic.
Affordable. Versatile. Comfy. Classic.
Topping most lists, including ours, you buy two of these: one to rock, one to stock (for special occasions). Stan Smith’s have had an unparalleled influence on sneaker design throughout the years, both athletic and casual.
It originates from the 70’s as the first leather tennis sneaker. This is during an era when tennis was seen as a formal, staunch-type game - hence the expression “tennis whites”. It has minimal branding, unlike what you see often in modern shoes, with 3-lines of perforated holes to represent the Adidas brand and keep your feet cool.
Add some sportsman-like conduct to your casual wedding attire.
“Well Worth the Money” Wedding Sneaker - Common Projects Achilles Low
Classic style. Superior materials. Made in Italy.
Building off the classic design, Common Projects are hand-made in Italy with equally Italian leather - it only gets more beautiful with age.
They contain all the considerations most people think about in formal wedding dress shoes. But tossed it into a sneaker.
Here’s the big question: what’s the deal with the $600 price tag? Well considering the cost of other Italian made shoes - like $900+ Gucci’s come to mind - they’re fairly priced. The team at Common Projects wanted to bring you a long-lasting pair of shoes at a more accessible price.
Plus, when you’ve worn through the tough Margom outsole, you can be resoled. This adds even more life to your kicks.
If you want to worry less about your shoes falling apart, give CPs a try.
Best Mid-Range Artisanal Wedding Sneaker - Unmarked
Handcrafted using traditional footwear craftsmanship. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique but without breaking the bank, Unmarked will lace you up.
Made in Mexico by shoe artisans, expect a similar quality as you would from Common Projects but at a more affordable price. Our favourites are the low-cut Alvin and high-cut sustainable leather Archie. Both can be worn with a full suit (sans tie) or paired simply with chinos and sport shirt.
Both models use a similar outsole to CPs: grippy, durable, and resoleable. If this is your first jaunt in the ripe forest of mid-range footwear, Unmarked marks the spot.
Canvas Wedding Sneakers - Stepney Workers Club Dellow
Very rarely do we see canvas sneakers that “wow” us. Stepney Workers Club (SWC for short), has definitely rocked our socks off. Or on - in excitement to wear them.
This UK-based newcomer is bringing back utilitarian styling that is meant to be worn in any livable circumstance. Weddings being one of them.
Wildly affordable, and designed to stand out amongst a sea of Vans and Converses. The one thing we’ve always hated about other brands was how the sole would separate from the side wall. SWCs won’t do that.
Whether you’re kickflipping in-between the ceremony and reception, or sneaking off to hang with your cousins during wedding speeches, SWC Dellows will keep up with you.
Honourable mention: Converse Chuck Taylor 70s
Sporty Wedding Sneaker - Jordan 1
The latest in the sneaker trend phenomena, the 1985 classic Jordan 1 can be found everywhere. And rightfully so.
Its minimal design, without the typical basketball embellishments, makes it a highly versatile silhouette. Even at weddings. Give it a shot with one of their more subdued colourways.
Most of their colour combinations are assigned to equally colourful names: “shadow”, “panda”, “mocha”, “bred”.
The key here is to stay away from outlandish and bright colour combos, like this J. Balvin collab. Keep the colours subtle and coordinated with your outfit.
Think of your pair of AJ1s as a complementary piece to your outfit and not a standalone statement. A great philosopher may have unlikely said, “Though thy kicks be fresh, thou shan’t plunder the onlooker's gaze.”
Or something like that.
Wedding Attire at Tip Top
Now that you have your shoes chosen, if you need some help picking out the rest of your wedding attire, come by one of our 80 locations.
Since 1909, Tip Top has been helping Canadian men look and feel confident. Feel free to shop online or come by one of our 80 locations across Canada.