Smart Dressing

Six pairs of sneakers to put a spring in your step

These luxe sneakers are smart, lightweight and suited to the months ahead

Lovely though they are, who else is getting a little tired of pulling on the same old winter boots and shoes? I for one am relieved that it’s time to turn your feet to something a little more spring-like. Despite the current trend for swollen sneaker designs that look like they’re on steroids, these six pairs will see out the current obsession with Spice Girl friendly footwear. Instead, they’ll work across your wardrobe effortlessly, pairing with everything from lightweight summer tailoring, to casual chinos, denim and sweatpants. So, leave the ‘fugly’ trainers behind (that’s fashionably ugly, FYI) and get into these snappy sneakers instead.

Oliver Spencer sneakers1. Oliver Spencer Ambleside low tops

It’s not hard to see why the Ambleside low top trainer from British designer Oliver Spencer has become a firm favourite among the fashion intelligentsia. This popular style has been reintroduced this season in new rich caramel colour, which pairs perfectly with this season’s abundance of warm, earthy tones. Spencer has kept to the tonal theme by incorporating the same colour laces, only contrasted by the sheer white of these durable rubber soles. We suggest you keep to the tonal theme and pair these with a khaki tailored cotton trouser, olive fine merino knit one of Spencer’s buttery soft suede Cowboy shirt-jackets.

£190, shop now

Mr Porter, Common Projects sneakers2. Common Projects Achilles Saffiano sneakers

Common Projects has become a byword for the simple, clean aesthetic that dominates today’s luxury, non-sports sneaker market. This sleek pair has been designed exclusively for retail behemoth Mr Porter, and was made in Italy from tactile Saffiano leather. Take note: fellow sneaker-heads will spot these instantly, thanks to the all-white leather uppers’ discreet stamped serial number – a Common Projects’ trademark. The versatility of these sneakers makes them a useful all-rounder, whether you opt to wear them with sweatpants on a chilled-out weekend or bring that smart-casual vibe to a lightweight unstructured suit during the week.

£295, shop now

Mr Porter, Lanvin sneakers3. Lanvin cap-toe suede & patent leather sneakers

One of the early successes of Lanvin’s current creative director, Mr. Lucas Ossendrijver, was the introduction of these ‘luxe’ leather and patent toe-cap sneakers. They’ve seldom left the brand’s range since he arrived, proving that a clever update on a timeless style always has legs. When they first came out, these trainers gained instant cult status and got men wearing tailoring with trainers long before the fusion of sportswear and suiting became a thing. Impressive stuff. This pair comes in a soft matt suede with contrast high-shine patent toes. We’d recommend you play up their smart credentials and wear with tailored navy wool trousers, crisp white collarless shirt and one of this season’s knitted jackets.

£290, shop now

Grenson navy sneakers4. Grenson navy suede Sneaker 1s

It’s often said that the best things in life are worth waiting for, and after 150 years of manufacturing well-crafted shoes, Northampton based brand Grenson has produced its first sneaker style. Luckily, they don’t disappoint. In fine navy suede with simple white Italian rubber soles, this pair is based on the clean and often referenced simple ‘70s tennis shoe. Their shape translates comfortably into a number of soft pastel shades, as well as rich all-leather models. We’d recommend you style these with slim white denim jeans, a navy polo shirt and navy suede zip-up blouson. Sticking to the monochrome combination of navy and white is a casual but chic look.

£160, shop now

5. A Day’s March cloudy grey suede sneakers

With spring around the corner, this new cloudy grey colour from Jackal favourite A Day’s March is anything but dull. Handmade in Portugal from Spanish suede, they come with the distinct white durable Margome soles, – the Italian makers that have been the benchmark in rubber sneaker soles since 1974. Staying true to the brand’s ethos (to provide durable, timeless essentials) these also come in a deep navy. As with all suede, clean them regularly with a rubber eraser to remove dirt and smudges, or steam them to raise the nap. Pair with off-white chinos, Breton stripe tees and khaki cotton utility shirt-jackets for a clean off-duty look for those warmer days ahead.

£145, shop now 

CQP sneakers, The Jackal6. CQP Portico sneakers for Trunk Clothiers

For something a little different, understated Scandinavian brand CQP is just the thing. Their Portico model is a contemporary suede slip-on loafer in a classic Vans’ style, well suited to finishing a sporty look. They’re available either ready-to-wear in navy or grey, or in any colour you fancy made-to-order at Chiltern Street’s Trunk Clothiers – and thanks to their ergonomic design, they’re ideal for travelling in, too. One to invest in if you’re going to be hopping on or off a plane any time soon.

£255, shop now