Originally designed for playing basketball, the ankle-covering sneaker has taken its place in the style pantheon. The high-top can claim some of the most iconic designs in sneaker history as its own including Nike Air Force 1, Converse All-Stars and Vans. It never goes out of fashion and can easily be dressed up or down. Here are some of our current favourites.
Vans Imperial Blue Sk8-Hi Suede
The instantly recognisable Sk8-Hi trainer is just as popular off the skateboard as on. Who doesn’t like good grip – courtesy of Vans’ signature waffle outsole – and a supportive padded ankle collar? This modern model comes in a fresh blue that is perfect for the summer. £57, buy on urbanoutfitters.com (opens in new tab)
Adidas White Stan Smith
Popular since the birth of street skating in the 1980s, the clean, minimalist design of the celebrated Stan Smith never seems to date – it’s just as fashionable today as it has ever been. £100, buy on sportyhenri.com (opens in new tab)
Once the favoured brand of European explorers, Palladium has transitioned from footwear for extreme conditions to more prosaic settings. The casual-chic Blanc Hi features a mid-shaft cotton canvas for a cool look and serious comfort. £50, buy on palladiumboots.com (opens in new tab)
Christian Louboutin Blue And Black Nappa
Famous for his red sole design, celebrated shoe designer Christian Louboutin has created this special edition shoe for online sports retailer Sporty Henri. In black, cobalt blue and white, and embellished with Louboutin’s signature spikes, it brings a refined elegance to sneaker design. £795, buy on sportyhenri.com (opens in new tab)
Nike Air Presto Mid Utility Black and Beige
The lightweight, minimalist design features a stretch mesh upper for a flexible fit and grooved outsole, making the Presto perfect for everyday casual use. £110, buy on urbanoutfitters.com (opens in new tab)
Nike Air Force 1 Mid LV8 Burgundy
This classic sneaker returns with a luxurious ’80s vibe thanks to the striking choice of burgundy for the colour scheme. It’s not all show, though – the strap across the ankle brings extra stability to proceedings. £80, buy on urbanoutfitters.com (opens in new tab)
Common Projects Original Achilles Leather
A cosmopolitan sneaker designed in Manhattan and made in Italy from napa leather. With the label’s signature gold serial number denoting the style, colour and size of the shoes, this is a shoe that will look equally good with a tailored suit or a casual outfit. £310, buy on mrporter.com (opens in new tab)
Converse 1970s Chuck Taylor All Star
You can’t really get any more classic than this design. This throwback sneaker is made from royal-blue wool and finished with pale-blue laces atop a durable rubber sole. Wear it with denim or a classy pair of chinos. £70, buy on mrporter.com (opens in new tab)
Nike Undercover Sfb Jungle Dunk Rubber-Trimmed Leather
The result of a collaboration with Japanese label Undercover, Nike’s royal-blue high-top is actually a hybrid of three styles – the basketball-inspired Dunk, encased with a rubber cage from the Air Huarache line and a rubber sole from Special Field boots. £200, buy on mrporter.com (opens in new tab)
Golden Goose Distressed Leather And Suede
Inspired by the skateboarding style of the ’80s, this Italian-made distressed white and silver high-top features a stylish side zip and white laces. £265, buy on mrporter.com (opens in new tab)
Raf Simons x Adidas Matrix Spirit Canvas
This cool collaboration between Belgian designer Raf Simons (now creative director at Calvin Klein) and Adidas is inspired by the sports label’s 1984 design. It’s made from black cotton-canvas for a clean and understated look. £200, buy on matchesfashion.com (opens in new tab)
Maverick Twists MT Tennis
Evoking the retro tennis silhouettes of the ’80s, these white high tops with black highlights are made from leather and neoprene for a cool and contemporary look. £87, buy on mavericktwists.com (opens in new tab)
Gary Kingsnorth was the fashion editor for Coach as well as Men’s Fitness.
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