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Best Retro Running Sneakers for Men


Moment Return Kicks Can Improve Your Seasonal Style

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Over the seasons, your shoes should change accordingly – that’s obvious, isn’t it? The same way you’d wear some of the best high top sneakers in the spring, there’s a retro style worth wearing during the summer months: the best retro running sneakers. In fact, it’s not so much a major change as a step back in time, to decades past – when the runner’s sneaker was first popularized by brands like Nike and New Balance.

Nike’s waffle tread design was almost instantly iconic and highly functional, but the running sneaker (an ankle-length sneaker with a slightly thicker design, in some cases, than traditional lace-up sneakers), is quickly become a favorite of civilians. Think: streamlined, relatively sleek, and can be worn with shorts or, possibly, rolled-up jeans or chinos.

RELATED: Reebok introduces the Floatride Energy 4 running shoe

New Balance’s collaborations with brands like J. Crew have helped make the runner sneaker a favorite over the past decade, and the trend continues today. In casual summer style situations, there’s little that goes wrong with retro running sneakers (except, perhaps, an ultra-formal suit). Even rolled chinos and a lightweight garment-dyed t-shirt go well with the style. But enough semantics: let’s gear up with some of the best retro running sneakers.

Nike Waffle Trainer 2 Shoes


Here’s the throwback style you need at a glance, all crafted in an iconic silhouette. The waffle sole and legendary oversized Swoosh are present front and center, and the two-tone texture and pops of color on the lace-up design are also welcome. Wear them with joggers and a merino t-shirt for sporty, off-road style.

$76.97 at Nike.com

New Balance 574 sneakers

New Balance 574 sneakersNew balance

Here’s another OG favorite that’s made its way into the mainstream (and into your nearest J. Crew catalog, of course). The bold, retro blue-meet-green color scheme is eye-catching and fresh, while the fact that they hold some hiding as the original “Dad Sneakers” is too cool to pass up. Wear them with lightly washed rolled jeans and an Oxford shirt for an asymmetrical style.

$85 at JCrew.com

ECCO Soft 7 Runner Trainers

ECCO Soft 7 Runner TrainersECCO

ECCO bets on stretchy, comfortable technology and minimal appeal with these running sneakers, which blend both the future and the past seamlessly. The mix of textured and nubuck leather is a nice touch in a monochromatic colourway, and you can also pick them up in a dressier all-leather option.

From $77.28 on Amazon.com

PUMA St Runner 2 Trainers

PUMA St Runner 2 TrainersPUMA

PUMA has a knack for creating clean, sporty shoes that you can wear with joggers or even black jeans, and these running sneakers are no different. Color combinations like navy and white add a sleek, streamlined appeal to the mix, while PUMA’s tread design provides ideal traction on summer streets around the world.

From $29.95 on Amazon.com

Cole Haan GrandPro Runner Trainers

Cole Haan GrandPro Runner Trainerscole haan

Cole Haan is another one of our favorite brands when it comes to mixing technical appeal with sleek style. These lightweight trainers are particularly attractive to stash in a small weekend bag for quick summer getaways, but the airy design and rebound-focused construction mean they’ll be comfortable on your feet for long days of travel.

From $79.98 on Amazon.com

ASICS Tiger running shoes

ASICS Tiger running shoesASICS

If you love the clean lines and sharp design that a runner’s sneaker brings to the table (and your shoe rotation), then ASICS is the brand to buy now. Contrast stripes down the side of these cool kicks add athletic appeal to your casual ensembles, though they’re also well suited to pair with rolled black jeans and a crisp white tee.

From $39.10 on Amazon.com

Adidas Originals Smooth Runner Trainers

Adidas Originals Smooth Runner TrainersAdidas

Now, Adidas may not be as well-known as Nike when it comes to running sneakers, but they’ve come up with an ultra-minimal, well-made futuristic design for a nice price. Shake things up by picking up a pair with a contrasting three-stripe design to really bring out the retro aesthetic of the best running sneakers for men.

From $29.21 on Amazon.com

McCarren GREATS sneakers

McCarren GREATS sneakersGREAT

So named in honor of McCarren Park near the stylish GREATS HQ in Brooklyn, the McCarren sneakers happen to be the perfect type of sneaker to wear on sunny summer days in the parks. The aptly named set of Blanco running trainers in particular are particularly fresh, ideal to be worn with light or dark blue jeans, or even beige chino shorts.

$119 at GREATS.com

KOIO Retro Running Sneakers

KOIO Retro Running SneakersKOIO

If you want to go super premium and incredibly stylish with your retro sneakers, KOIO is the brand to buy right now. It’s a luxurious expression of retro racer style, crafted from handsome mocha leather in a design dressy enough to wear with a lightweight khaki cotton suit and lightweight merino tee this summer (seriously).

$295 at KOIO.com

Beckett Simonon Graham Trainers

Beckett Simonon Graham TrainersBeckett Simonon

Just when you thought the retro running sneaker couldn’t get any dressier, Beckett Simonon delivers another accessible yet luxurious take on the style, using a contrasting sole and a refined mix of full-grain leather and water-repellent suede. Don’t hesitate to wear them with light stretch chinos and a chambray shirt for an extraordinary summer style.

$179 at BeckettSimonon.com

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