The 25 Best Sneakers You Can Buy Right Now

by Adam Mansuroglu
·10 min read
Photo credit: Assorted retailers
Photo credit: Assorted retailers

A guy can never own too many sneakers, especially in 2021. While your lineup of formal footwear takes a breather during these pandemic times (and collects dust in the back of your closet at this point), a good pair of supportive kicks is still your MVP for everyday wear. And not just one pair, but a full range of sneakers for running, crossfit, hitting the trail, and more of your favorite outdoor activities. Even if you’re not dressing to impress these days, and barely leaving your home or seen from the waist down, you don’t want to skimp on some much-needed foot support.

Finding the right pair of sneakers is no easy task, even for us editors here at Men's Health. Honestly, the sneaker market is so oversaturated and rife with options that it can be a bit overwhelming to track down which ones are the best for you.

It's especially tough to be mindful of important things like quality and which shoes work for which occasions while you're distracted by unique colorways and your favorite brand names. With new and improved innovations in sneaker technology and construction in 2021, like carbon fiber plates and hands-free designs, now’s a great time to upgrade to a smarter pair of kicks. While 2021 sneaker trends unfold as the year progresses, one thing is for sure: sneaker designs are more thoughtful than ever before with top brands placing equal value on style and function.

Thankfully, the Men's Health team has spent countless hours testing the wide variety of sneakers on the market so you don't have to. And though we’re only a few months into the new year, there are already plenty of new sneaker styles worthy of your hard-earned dollars.

Check out the best sneakers of 2021 so far. We’ll continue testing the latest kick all year long, so bookmark this page to stay in the know on the freshest finds our team is flexing now.

"Forget rubber. This shoe features a new cushioning material from Under Armour—UA Flow—that eschews a rubber outsole to keep the design super light for speedy runs." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

"The Terrex Swift has come a long way over the last decade, and the latest iteration will have you hitting the trail with your fastest running time yet, thanks to it’s lightweight Lightstrike EVA midsole, great midfoot stability, and grippy Continental outsole that provides 32% more grip on the toughest terrains." - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"You might know Hoka One One as a brand that caters only to runners, but this slick casual sneaker is for everyone. Literally—this is an all-gender shoe. By swapping the upper material on the popular Clifton line from mesh to suede, the kicks go from high-performance to high fashion for your boldest spring and summer fits." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

“These highly-cushioned running shoes are so lightweight, they basically flew out of my hands the first time I picked them up. Who knew a sneaker with a thick sole could feel as light as paper? Well, New Balance clearly did—and they provide the perfect support to propel you forward with great traction. This cool version of the FuelCell RC Elite is part of the brand’s collaboration with Dao-Yi Chow of Public School, called "We Need Leaders", which launched exclusively on the Greenhouse app. When a great message meets a great running shoe, you just got to have it!” - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"These shoes from Nike are designed to help runners reduce injury to stay on the road, much like the Infinity React, so they're great for training sessions. The Invincible Run, however, features the same ZoomX foam as Nike's super racing shoes, so wearing them feels like running on bouncy clouds." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

"Grapes do more than make a great glass of vino—their skins make sleek sneakers, too. Pangaia’s new minimalist sneakers have an upper made of discarded waste from the Italian wine industry and a rubber sole that’s partially made with industrial waste. As someone who collects a lot of sneakers, knowing that these high-quality additions to my footwear arsenal won’t add to the environment’s pollution problem makes these a guilt-free purchase." - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"The connected sneaker market has thinned in recent years, but UnderArmour still sees potential here. That potential is realized in the latest HOVR Machina. Paired with the UnderArmour app and a pair of bluetooth headphones, it analyzes your run and cadence, helping you make basic tweaks to the way you hit the road. And even if you don’t use all that connectivity (I pick my spots), you’re getting a comfortable, breathable shoe with a strong, responsive sole." - Ebenezer Samuel, Fitness Director

“There’s no footwear style more essential to a man’s wardrobe than a sleek pair of sneakers that provide the right amount of comfort for all-day wear. Koio’s new stunners feature vegetable-tanned leather that’s been hand-buffed to give it a beautiful sheen that’ll make any guy look like a million bucks. The sophisticated upper and supportive OrthoLite cushioning make these a great addition to your workwear wardrobe as we return to offices this year.” - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"The followup to one of our favorite carbon plate running shoes features softer, lighter foam and an even better fit. The brand threw an event to attempt to break the 100k world record to mark the Carbon X2’s launch—long distance icon Jim Walmsley smashed the US record and missed a WR by 11 seconds—so you know the shoes are tough and speedy." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

"These Space Hippies are by far my favorite new sneakers that I recently added to my footwear arsenal. As part of Nike’s sustainability efforts, this particular pair has lowest carbon footprint within the Space Hippie collection—oh, and they look pretty damn cool, too." - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"True story: I’ve spent my entire life trying to turn every sneaker I actually like into a completely hands-free shoe, that way I can run out quickly for a short workout, or head to the store ultra-fast. This has always been a clunky experience since, well most sneakers aren’t meant to be fully hands-free. That’s where Nike’s Go Flyease has completely changed the game. It’s a comfortable shoe with an ultra-unique hinge midway through its sole that lets me slip into and out of it with ease (or is that Flyease?), and now that I’ve gotten used to it, I can’t stop wearing it." - Ebenezer Samuel, Fitness Director

"This fast shoe takes components of Nike’s Alphafly super shoe and puts them into a more manageable package for training runs leading up to a big race day. You’ll be able to wear them more often, adding a much needed boost to everyday runs." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

“I have to admit that I’m more of a low-top sneakers kind of guy, but when these high-tops were released back in October, I knew I had to try them out. The look is sleek, the technology is innovative, and the quality is just what you expect from the beloved sneaker brand—it’s another slam-dunk success for APL.” - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"This is one of my favorite multipurpose training shoes, with enough sturdiness and stability and a wide enough toebox that I can squat and deadlift in it, yet just a touch of flexibility so I can work through agility drills and light running. Add in a solidly eye-catching aesthetic, and I’m in and a fan." - Ebenezer Samuel, Fitness Director

"Classic, clean sneakers never go out of style—especially with a pop of inspired design. These handmade leather kicks work just as well dressed up as they do dressed down." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

“A minimalist leather sneaker has become an essential for every man’s footwear rotation, and now through March 13th, Allen Edmonds is allowing their devoted customers to fully customize a pair to their liking. During the Sneaker Trunk Show, you’ll be able to mix and match materials and color combinations to create the ideal kicks to step up your style game for 2021 and beyond.” - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"Not sure what I love most about these Jordans. First, there’s a brilliant aesthetic that manages to feel both old-school and modern at once. That makes this a shoe that I’ll wear for style as much as for hooping. But the best part comes when I hit the court: These kicks are simultaneously responsive and supportive when I’m changing direction, and terrifically light when I’m elevating in the lane or trying to work through traffic. If you have some jump stop in your game, you’ll love these (and everyone else will too)." - Ebenezer Samuel, Fitness Director

"Go for a run on the wild side with this unique pattern from Skechers (yes, that Skechers). You’ll be well served to move fast, too—the brand’s unique Hyper Burst cushioning, which is made from nitrogen infused material, is super light and responsive on the road." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

"The brand has developed a cult-life following for their handcrafted sneakers with high-quality construction and the Chukka Dune style is no exception. Splurge on these soft suede sneakers with a recycled sole to easily elevate your everyday style—you won’t regret it. Plus, if you’re looking for a great deal, check out Koio’s new vintage section of lightly worn sneakers for a more budget-friendly sneaker option." - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"Brooks’ super-responsive Levitate line goes laceless with this slick, sock-like take on the premium running silhouette. Don’t fret about fit, though—unlike some slip-on shoes, the design features built-in elastic to keep your foot in place." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

“These are nothing like your dad’s Converse kicks. The latest edition of the All Star Disrupt CX feature a souped-up outsole. innovative foam midsole, and a stretchy canvas upper. Sure, we love the classic All Stars, but this futuristic style definitely deserves a spot in your footwear rotation.” - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"Adidas totally redesigned the iconic Ultraboost this year, with a new shape and, of course, more Boost foam. Runners will appreciate the propulsive effect of the kicks, while everyone else will love how damn cool they look." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

“Brandblack knows how to fuse cool style with quality performance materials to create sneakers that look as good as they feel. The mix of breathable mesh, shiny touches of metallic leather, and a durable Vibram outsole in a vintage-like, off-white shade creates a cool look both on and off the running track.” - Adam Mansuroglu, Senior Style & Gear Editor

"Reebok’s premier cross-training shoes are typically solid performers in the weight room and for many of the “functional” activities you’ll find in a CrossFit box, but fall short when you want to get running. The 11th iteration of the Nano look to change that, with Reebok’s excellent Floatride foam for the friendliest design for running yet." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

"Puma has been turning out some of the best-looking basketball shoes since relaunching the division in 2018, and the latest iteration of rapper J. Cole’s signature line might be its smoothest design yet. The black and yellow colorway looks solid both on court and off." - Brett Williams, Fitness Editor

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