The 29 Greatest Minimalist Sneakers You’ll Find Anywhere

Sneakers are lore. What I mean by that is that no matter where you go in the world, the influence of sneaker culture has somehow permeated nearly every corner of this planet of ours. Particular sneakers are instantly recognizable icons. NBA players and the athletic company’s who were smart enough to attach themselves, have made billions of dollars by simple virtue of great design and marketing. Sneakers have influenced entire swaths of fashion and somewhere along the way snuck into every aspect of today’s modern culture. Don’t believe me? Check out the footwear most silicon valley leaders wear these days. Sneakers, as much as any other piece of clothing, have become a relatively affordable way to express your style.

I’ve always leaned towards more colourful sneakers, but I can see the appeal of the all-white or all-black look of ultra minimalistic kicks. Regardless of colour choice, there’s always been something elegant and striking about a sneaker that aims to reduce complexity. Sneakers that get out of their own way and don’t commit the design crime of over-design. With all that in mind, I decided to go on a hunt to find the sexiest, most uncomplicated, and most minimalist sneakers in the world.

1. Adidas – Men’s Lite Racer Adapt Running Shoe

Adidas - Men's Lite Racer Adapt Running Shoe

While there may be some debate over whether this is a minimalist sneaker in the true sense of the word, I simply couldn’t resist making this shoe one of the first ones to appear on this list. Currently available in six different colour finishes, the Adidas sneaker simply looks cool with an awesome textile upper finish that is matched by a rubber sole with a distinct pattern that somehow makes the whole sneaker look great. Aside from the fact that it’s made of a nice breathable knit mesh, these shoes are one of the more affordable pairs I found in my journey through minimalist sneaker land.

Key Features

  • Slip-on running shoes that hug your foot for fitted comfort
  • Cloudfor midsole and outsole
  • OrthoLite Float sockliner


  • Brand: Adidas
  • Model: Men’s Lite Racer Adapt Running Shoe
  • Sizes: 6.5 – 14 (US)

2. Atoms – Model 000

Atoms - Model 000

Look, I’m not going to lie. I really don’t know if by the time you get to read this article whether this company will be around or not and all I’m offering you is a picture of some pretty shoes that leads to a broken link. Nevertheless, I simply couldn’t help myself and had to add these near the top of this list. I mean, would you just look at those goddamn things. Honest, they’re probably as close to a work of art as a pair of sneakers get. Incredibly clean and minimalist lines are what these shoes are all about. Their final shape, an obvious nod to classic tennis shoes of the 80’s, these beauties are available in three colours. Thus far, it would seem, this company has only produced this one flagship product, but make it conveniently available in quarter sizes. Get them while you can!

Key Features

  • Available in 3 colour combinations
  • Quarter-sizing available
  • Stretch laces


  • Brand: Atoms
  • Model: Model 000
  • Sizes: Women’s: 5-15 Men’s: 5-15

3. Allbirds – Men’s Wool Runners

Allbirds - Men's Wool Runners

I’m kind of obsessed with Allbirds shoes, which is why you’ll probably wind up seeing their entire lineup of sneakers in this list. I really tried for that not to be the case, but the combination of minimalist design, colour availability and materials simply means that this company’s shoes truly belong to be showcased here. Now I know what you’re thinking. A sneaker made of wool? Aren’t your feet going to sweat to death? Not with Allbirds. The company developed a revolutionary wool fabric specifically made for footwear and the concerns of overheating feat. No-fuss, no flashy logos, and as the company puts it, no senseless details are what makes these amazing shoes irresistible. As of this writing, they’re available in over 12 colour combinations.

Key Features

  • Made of merino sheep’s wool
  • Probably the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear
  • Also probably some of the lightest shoes you’ll ever wear


  • Brand: Allbirds
  • Model: Men’s Wool Runners
  • Sizes: 8-14

4. Onitsuka Tiger – Unisex Serrano Shoes

Onitsuka Tiger - Unisex Serrano Shoes

When I was in 7th grade, I got my very first pair of ASICS running shoes. I got them because my best friend also had ASICS runners and I wanted to be able to run as fast as him. That never happened considering how fast and athletically talented he was, but what that first pair and many many subsequent pairs of ASICS shoes taught me thereafter was that the ASICS brand is something truly unique in the world of sports shoes. Luckily ASICS went back to their roots and decided to make a brand of fashionable sneakers using their original corporate name which goes all the way back to 1949 in Kobe, Japan.

To me, all Onitsuka Tiger shoes are absolutely sexy, and while they may not be the most minimalist shoes you’ll see here, I think they are incredibly beautiful. And because they’re available in over 17 different colour combinations, you’re very likely to find a pair that you’ll like.

Key Features

  • Rubber sole that mimics the spikes of a track and field shoe
  • Padded tongue and collar for extra comfort
  • Made in Japan


  • Brand: Onitsuka Tiger
  • Model: Unisex Serrano Shoes
  • Sizes: Available in Men’s sizes 4-14 and Women’s sizes 5.5-15.5

5. OLUKAI – Men’s Nohea Moku Shoes

OLUKAI - Men's Nohea Moku Shoes

The Olukai brand drips of an approach to life that is relaxed, water-logged and definitely inspired by the Hawaii lifestyle. Originally this brand wanted to create footwear that combined durability for the waterman, ocean lifestyle but somewhere along the way created a pretty cool brand of fashionable sneakers and shoes. The Nohea Moku shoes offer an awesome drop-in heel designed to allow for quick foot entry and egress and are made of a lightweight breathable mesh. And of course they are available in over 14 colour combinations.

Key Features

  • Drop-in heel
  • Elastic lacing system with water drainage ports
  • All weather outsole with non-marking rubber


  • Brand: Olukai
  • Model: Men’s Nohea Moku Shoes
  • Sizes: Available in sizes 8-14

6. Spring Court – Classic B2 Black Canvas

Spring Court - Classic B2 Black Canvas

Coming from yet another storied brand in the world of shoemaking, the Spring Court sneaker is defined by both its elegance and simplicity as well as its signature ventilation holes in the midsole. The B2 is made of black cotton canvas along with a white cotton lining. What makes this shoe really cool, however, is the fantastic natural colour rubber outsole (bottom of the shoe).

Key Features

  • Flat cotton laces
  • Patented ventilated outsole
  • Removable cotton top insole
  • Black rubber patch on one side


  • Brand: Spring Court
  • Model: Classic B2 Black Canvas

7. Oliver Cabell – GAT / Navy Sneaker

Oliver Cabell - GAT / Navy Sneaker

If the primary claim of your brand is that you “Quite simply make perfect, timeless footwear”, you better be bringing your A game to the table when it comes to creating a sneaker that people will love treasure. Without a doubt, this upstart brand has done exactly that. Long story short, the Oliver Cabell brand brings a fantastic design aesthetic to all of their footwear, including this finely crafted sneaker. At $188 it’s actually quite affordable considering the level of care and materials chosen to build this German athletic trainer inspired minimalist sneaker.

Key Features

  • A mix of Italian and Spanish leathers and rubbers
  • Italian waxed cotton laces
  • Hand stitched and lasted in Albacete, Spain


  • Brand: Oliver Cabell
  • Model: GAT | Navy

8. New Balance – Men’s 247v1 Deconstructed

New Balance - Men's 247v1 Deconstructed

New Balance has a long history of making high-performance footwear that many of the world’s top athletes have been using for decades. But for some time now, they’ve been steadily treading on a path towards more fashionable sneakers, like this pair of Men’s stunners. With minimalist laces and a built-in unlock forefoot saddle that is nicely paired with the timeless look of most New Balance shoes, this is one good leaking sneaker. Currently available in four snazzy colours including the always classic black top, white sole look.

Key Features

  • Unlock forefoot saddle
  • Lightweight cushioning
  • Available in 4 colour combinations.


  • Brand: New Balance
  • Model: Men’s 247v1 Deconstructed Sneaker

9. JAK – Mercury White Sneaker

JAK - Mercury White Sneaker

Pure white. White as snow. Whiter than white. That’s the best way to describe these beautiful sneakers from Portuguese brand JAK. Founded in 2014 by a husband and wife team, these sneakers the ethos and philosophy of slow fashion and lasting products that beat instant disposable gratification. Built using full-grain leather uppers with a stitched plain rubber cup sole, and a natural calfskin leather lining, these sneakers are a minimalist footwear fans’ dream come true.  Just look at the close up of the stitching. Absolutely meticulous work.

Key Features

  • Full grain leather
  • Rubber cup sole
  • Calfskin leather lining
  • Removable shock proof innersole and cotton laces.


  • Brand: JAK
  • Model: Mercury White
  • Available Colours: White, Grey, Black

10. Grenson – Sneaker 1 Men’s

Grenson - Sneaker 1 Men's

If the definition of a sneaker is simply that it has a large rubber sole, then this shoe from British brand Grenson definitely qualifies. But far less of the rest of this shoe is what I would call a traditional sneaker. But perhaps that’s what makes this shoe so great. It combines an undeniable sense of private school looks with the comfort of a sneaker. Based on the super clean look of a 1970’s tennis shoe and made from tan hand-painted calf leather this is a super-chic and upper scale look your feet deserve.

Key Features

  • Hand Painted Calf Leather
  • Rubber Sole
  • From a shoemaker that’s been making shoes for over 150 years


  • Brand: Grenson
  • Model: Sneaker 1 Men’s

11. Clae – Hayden Sneaker

Clae - Hayden Sneaker

I absolutely love the texture of this sneaker from the Los Angeles brand CLAE. It’s a traditional court shoe but done in a way that makes it stand out from some of the other shoes on this list. It’s got extremely well-balanced panels and includes flat reflective two tone nylon laces.  Shut up and take my money as Fry from Futurama would say. But the real added bonus of these shoes is that they’re made almost entirely recycled materials, i.e. from recycled P.E.T. from plastic bottles. And if that doesn’t have you convinced, just look at how awesome the sole is.

Key Features

  • Smooth nubuck upper with recycled terry panels
  • Leather lined upper
  • Molded EVA footbed for added breathability
  • Available in 5 colour combinations


  • Brand: CLAE
  • Model: Hayden

12. ETQ – LT 01 Alloy

ETQ - LT 01 Alloy

Before you continue scrolling down this list, I have two warnings for you. 1. You’re going to see a lot of ETQ sneakers on this list, simply because I think most of their shoes are pretty awesome and definitely deserving of being shown to the world amidst what I think are some of the finest minimalist sneakers around. 2. I think you can tell by now that I like grey sneakers. These Low tops from ETQ with a gorgeous nubuck leather upper are a great interpretation of the classic court sneaker.

Key Features

  • Premium insulation and a calf-leather lining
  • Layered leather insole
  • Metal eyelets with nylon laces


  • Brand: ETQ
  • Model: LT 01 Alloy

13. Church’s – Boland Plus 2 – Calf and Leather Suede Classic Sneaker

Church's - Boland Plus 2 - Calf and Leather Suede Classic Sneaker

Continuing with the leather theme, this nicely crafted sneaker from Church’s comes in six distinctly appetizing colours, though I like this white with sky blue colours the most. Crafted by hand, with gorgeous laces this is the kind of shoe I can see feet being very happy in for a long time. Add to that a thick studded rubber sole and signature embossing and it all makes for a great minimalist sneaker.

Key Features

  • Plume leather
  • Contrast suede tongue in sky blue
  • Heel padding for extra cushioning
  • Cotton laces


  • Brand: Church’s
  • Model: Mirfield – Suede Classic Sneaker

14. Caterpillar – Casual – CODE Hex Sneaker

Caterpillar - Casual - CODE Hex Sneaker

Caterpillar. Caterpillar? Caterpillar?!?! – Yes, I too was unaware that the company that’s far more famous for making these things is now a shoe-maker. And apparently whoever is guiding their product design decisions over there seems to be on the right track. Track? See what I did there with that pun. Nevermind. The point is that these casual CODE Hex sneakers come in 4 different colours, one of which of-course is their signature yellow. This design is all yellow, with some minor light grey Caterpillar text branding. It’s simple, easy on the eyes, and features a Nubuck leather upper which is treated with a water and stain repellent treatment.

Key Features

  • Street Shield water and stain-repellent treatment
  • Lace-up style flat fabric laces
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Durable rubber outsole


  • Brand: Caterpillar
  • Model: Casual – CODE Hex

15. Adidas – Stan Smith Shoe

Adidas - Stan Smith Shoe

The Adidas Stan Smith series of shoes has a long and storied history in the annals of tennis sneaker history. The shoe has its roots all the way back to the 1960s but it wasn’t until 1971 until the shoe was renamed the “Adidas Stan Smith” after an endorsement with then world number one ranked tennis player, you guessed it… Stan Smith. The shoe in all its various incarnations has gone on to sell dozens of millions of pairs throughout the world and is easily recognized by sneaker aficionados as one of the greatest sneakers ever made. In its current form, it’s easy to see why.

Key Features

  • Leather upper
  • Synthetic lining, Rubber cupsole
  • Lace closure


  • Brand: Adidas
  • Model: Stan Smith

16. Allbirds – Men’s Tree Runners

Allbirds - Men's Tree Runners

Without a doubt, AllBirds sneakers are some of my favourites on this list. Part of it is their look and feel, but it’s also about their unique approach to the materials they use in the construction of their footwear. This thoughtfully crafted shoe is light, breezy and is made out of a tree material that offers all kinds of advantages. Made from sustainably grown and harvested eucalyptus pulp, the shoe is a great combination of materials which results in some of the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear.

Key Features

  • Laces made of 100% recycled polyester
  • Insoles lined with merino wool fabric for softness and moisture wicking
  • Low density foam sole


  • Brand: Allbirds
  • Model: Tree Runners

17. REISS – Finley – Nubuck Leather Trainers

REISS - Finley - Nubuck Leather Trainers

Made from smooth suede-like leather, the Finley sneaker is a luxurious interpretation of what an upscale sneaker should look like. The low-top look along with flat laces that match the colour make this a minimalist shoe worth wearing. Available in 3 colours including a fine natural fleshy colour as well as a striking all Pomegranate finish with matching rubber sole.

Key Features

  • Low-top
  • Round toe
  • Flat laces


  • Brand: REISS
  • Model: Finley Nubuck Leather Trainers

18. Dress Sneakers in Brown With White Outsole

Dress Sneakers in Brown With White Outsole

The award for the most literal name in the sneaker universe should probably be given this shoe. That said, this is most definitely a gorgeous shoe that has every right to call itself a dress sneaker. Made from high-quality Italian leather, this sneaker is hand-dyed and hand-burnished by Italian shoemakers. Aside from its fine form, it includes a pillow padded cushioned tongue and collar for a soft and luxurious feel. If you want sneakers that were absolutely born to be worn in more stylish settings, this minimalist beauty is a great pick.

Key Features

  • Full grain calfskin leather upper and lining
  • Durable rubber outsole stitched to upper
  • Hand-made and dyed in Italy


  • Brand: AceMarks
  • Model: Dress Sneakers in Brown With White Outsole

19. Oliver Cabell – Phoenix Black Sneakers

Oliver Cabell - Phoenix Black Sneakers

In the last few years, at least since AllBirds came onto the scene, the trend in the sneaker world has gone two ways. One, everyone wants to make shoes out of either merino wool, or some sort of recycled and environmentally friendly material. This is clearly demonstrated across the sneaker world with many of the shoes already appearing on this list fit that bill. The Phoenix is no exception. And while its looks make it a fitting addition to this list, it is the construction method that makes it stand apart. The entire upper is 3D printed and made of seven recycled water bottles. Now you can wear stylish sneakers and feel good about being a good global citizen.

Key Features

  • Lightweight & breezy 3D printed upper
  • Machine washable
  • Odor reducing liner
  • Microfiber tongue


  • Brand: Oliver Cabell
  • Model: Phoenix, Black

20. Allbirds – Men’s Wool Pipers

Allbirds - Men's Wool Pipers

I suppose I’m just a sucker for black sneakers, especially if they come from one of my favourite brands and are made of a unique material. These Allbirds sneakers are exactly that and the classic shape is what caught my eye. While these minimalist sneakers are soft and made for daily wear, the natural merino wool material makes them ideal for versatile living. That is, you won’t have to worry too much about whether it’s cold or warm outside when you slip on this pair of sneakers, they handle both type of weather conditions with ease.

Key Features

  • Available in 10 colours
  • Available in sizes 8-14
  • Made with Merino Wool
  • Machine washable and minimizes odours


  • Brand: Epaulet
  • Model: Sport Trainer Ghost Horsehide

21. Onitsuka Tiger – Men’s Mexico 66 Fashion Sneaker

Onitsuka Tiger - Men's Mexico 66 Fashion Sneaker

My love for Onitsuka Tiger shoes goes unabated. This gorgeous all-grey sneaker hits all the right buttons from a visual perspective. And having worn many a pair of these, I can assure you that this will be one of the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear. It’s made of premium rubbers and suedes and maintains that classic Onitsuka Tiger silhouette. An absolute must for lovers of minimalist and comfortable sneakers that employ more or less a single colour across the entire shoe surface.

Key Features

  • Rubber sole
  • Perforated footbed allows breathability
  • Made of high-quality suedes, leathers, nylon and mesh
  • Padded heel collar


  • Brand: Onitsuka Tiger
  • Model: Men’s Mexico 66 Fashion Sneaker

22. CLAE – Bradley Textile

CLAE - Bradley Textile

If you’re having a minor case of deja vu, that’s probably for a reason. Appearing earlier on this list, we also listed another CLAE Bradley shoe, but it was a whole other creature from this finely crafted minimalist sneaker. This navy sneaker has got it where it counts in all the right places. A very nicely shaped upper along with contrasting sole is all one really needs to make a handsome sneaker. And if you don’t like the Navy Blue, there’s good news for you my little sneaker loving friend. This shoe comes in a ridiculous amount of colour option combinations.

Key Features

  • Texture canvas upper
  • Neoprene heel accent
  • Flat cotton waxed laces


  • Brand: CLAE
  • Model: Bradley Textile

23. Grenson – Sneaker 1 Men’s

Grenson - Sneaker 1 Men's

These sneakers from Grenson are particularly well suited for anyone that likes a hint of minimalist with more than a suggestion of boldness. In a very nice brown leather colour, these low-tops look is more inspired by a classing tennis shoe silhouette rather than runners and finished in hand-painted Calf leather. What I enjoy most about these however is the combination of the white sole and contrasting laces.

Key Features

  • Rubber sole
  • Hand painted calf leather
  • Available in sizes 6-12


  • Brand: Grenson
  • Model: Sneaker 1 Men’s

24. Lanvin – Dual-Material JL Low-Top Sneakers

Lanvin - Dual-Material JL Low-Top Sneakers

I’ve been wiping off the drool from various surfaces since I discovered this minimalist sneaker. Sadly, even for a sneaker fan like myself, it’s been difficult to justify the current $430 USD price tag. That said these gorgeous JL logo sneakers are a sight to behold. With a low-top upper in suede-effect calfskin leather and a lovely mix of caramel and white including a contrasting toe cap and heel pull, it’s a really revelatory pair of sneakers.

Key Features

  • Tone-on-tone topstitching
  • White laces
  • White 100% calfskin leather lining
  • Contrasting rubber sole


  • Brand: Lanvin

25. ETQ MT 02 Blueberry Sneaker

ETQ MT 02 Blueberry Sneaker

This sneaker screams basketball retro. Now a lot of you millenials were a bit too young to see Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen bounce around the basketball court with sheer dominance but this sneaker from ETQ is an obvious homage to the style of sneakers (at least in silhouette) that you would see on the NBA court in the 1980’s. A really gorgeous shoe that probably feels right at home in most casual and semi-casual situations.

Key Features

  • Full-grain Nubuck leather upper
  • Layered leather insole
  • Leather toecap
  • Nylon laces


  • Brand: ETQ
  • Model: MT 02 Blueberry

26. SUPERGA – 2490 Bold Hairy Suede

SUPERGA - 2490 Bold Hairy Suede

So I’m not entirely sure about the name of this shoe, perhaps the marketing department thought it was important to stay true to its rather esoteric name due to the history of the sneaker, which is in fact, quite fascinating.  This sneaker merges a military heritage with modern streetwear design. I absolutely love the combination of colours on this handsome pair of sneakers made of an ultra-soft sophisticated hairy suede leather.

Key Features

  • Cotton lined upper in soft cow suede
  • High foxing with contrast stripe
  • Logo-engraved eyelets made from aluminum
  • Cotton laces


  • Brand: Superga
  • Model: 2490 Bold Hairy Suede

27. JAK – Royal Nobuk Berry Sneaker

JAK - Royal Nobuk Berry Sneaker

It’s hard to describe how much I love these shoes. So I honestly don’t know what the hell they are doing so low on this list, but if the people at JAK ever see this article and are like… “hey, cool… we made it onto this list… but why are we so low on it?” rest assured that it was entirely by accident and does not reflect my lust for this beautiful shoe. To really appreciate it, watch it being worn. Drool-worthy is an understatement. Oh and if by chance, you are from JAK, and you want to send me a pair for review… I won’t say no.

Key Features

  • Red Nobuk leather sneakers
  • Stitched plain rubber cup
  • Premium calfskin leather lining
  • Cotton laces


  • Brand: JAK
  • Model: Royal Nobuk Berry

28. Allbirds – Men’s Tree Toppers

Allbirds - Men's Tree Toppers

As we get closer to the end of this list, I simply couldn’t live with myself without leaving this pair of unique high-tops off the list. Comfortable, and like all of Allbirds shoes made of unique materials designed for above all, pure comfort.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and breezy
  • Helps your feet stay cool
  • Machine washable
  • Available in many different colour combinations


  • Brand: Allbirds
  • Model: Men’s Tree Toppers

29. Oliver Cabell – Low 1 | Navy

Oliver Cabell - Low 1 | Navy

This Italian made sneaker from Oliver Cabell is hand-crafted from some of the finest Italian leather and rubber available. With a classic and icon low-top silhouette it’s a fine addition to this list.

Key Features

  • 3oz full-grain calfskin leather
  • Spanish cowhide leather lining
  • Italian waxed cotton laces
  • Hand-stitched


  • Brand: Oliver Cabell
  • Model: Low 1 | Navy

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