Sneakers Hot 10

The Best Sneakers For Men Right Now

MR PORTER’s list of the trainers topping the charts in 2019, including Nike, Adidas, Balenciaga, Prada, Off-White and more

MR PORTER’s Sneakers Hot 10 is our regularly updated primer on the sneakers we think should be on your radar right now. It’s not your average hype list, so don’t simply expect a countdown of this month’s latest limited-edition Nikes, though they certainly have a place here. The sneaker market is increasingly diverse and caters to men of all stripes, so we’ve made the conscious decision to choose from as wide a range of designers and price points as possible. There’s something here for everybody.

New entries will be announced on Instagram, so follow @mrporterlive if you want to be the first to know.


TOM FORD CAMBRIDGE LEATHER

What?

Elevated kicks from the master of sleek menswear

When?

Out now

How much?

£690

Mr Tom Ford, the Texan high priest of refined luxury, turns his discerning eye to the classic low top with his Cambridge sneaker. The shape? Nothing you haven’t seen before, so if you like your sneakers to make a strong statement, these probably aren’t for you. If, on the other hand, you’re the kind of guy who’s accustomed to wearing whole-cut Oxfords during the working week and who doesn’t like to let his sartorial standards slip at the weekend, we highly recommend that you give the Cambridge a try.

NIKE AIR MAX TAILWIND IV

What?

A timely comeback for one of Nike’s final designs of the 20th century 

When?

Out now

How much?

£140

If you were too busy playing with your Tamagotchi and worrying about the Millennium Bug to take advantage of the original release of Nike’s Tailwind IV in 1999, don’t fret. Thanks to Nike’s strategy of rereleasing its classic designs after two decades, you’ve now got another chance to enjoy the chunky retro appeal of this sneaker, which builds on the design language of its predecessors, the iconic Air Max 97 and Air Max Plus. What you’re looking at here is the Red Orbit colourway, its soft grey suede and white mesh upper marked with high-contrast red “ribs”.

PRADA MILANO 70

What?

Prada’s best sneaker in monochrome (finally!)

When?

Out now

How much?

£515

You can’t talk about luxury sneakers without paying due lip service to Prada. After all, the Italian brand practically invented them. Set up in the late 1990s with a young Mr Neil Barrett at the helm, its influential Prada Sport line pioneered the use of high-performance technical fabrics such as industrial nylon and Gore-Tex in high fashion, and launched the brand’s first sneaker, which was designed for Prada CEO Mr Patrizio Bertelli’s America’s Cup sailing team. The brand’s reputation as sports-luxe trailblazer is held up today by the Milano 70, a sleek, streamlined sneaker that’s now available in multiple colourways – none better than this classic Prada black nylon version.

Balenciaga Triple S

What?

A hi-vis version of the world’s most beloved ugly sneaker

When?

Out now

How much?

£650

Shock value never lasts. The outlandish soon becomes the everyday. Unless a product is rooted in meaningful design, it’s destined to become yesterday’s news. Two and a bit years into the life-cycle of Balenciaga’s Triple S, a triple-sole monster sneaker that prompted countless op-eds when it was first released in 2017, whatever shock value it once had has now all but dissipated; good design is all it has left to rely on. It has that in spades, though, which is why, in 2019, we’re talking about it in terms of a modern classic rather than a passing fad.

The Triple S has become an ongoing design project of sorts for Balenciaga, which has kept the line-up fresh with countless new colourways and materials over the last couple of years, ranging from the understated – relatively speaking, at least – to the outlandish Franken-sneakers of 2018, which were constructed of two different colourways separated by a seam running down the middle of the shoe. This season’s latest arrival, in soft grey and with yellow accents, falls in the former camp. It’s still a Triple S – which is to say it’s still a huge, bolshy statement of a shoe – but it’s also about the most wearable and refined version we’ve seen from Balenciaga yet.

Brunello Cucinelli Panelled Sneakers

What?

Made-in-Italy sneakers from Brunello Cucinelli, one of the last true luxury brands left

When?

Out now

How much?

£630

What happens when you take Brunello Cucinelli’s famously obsessive approach to fabric and apply it to a pair of sneakers? Short answer: you get these. They’re nothing radically new in terms of silhouette, resembling any vintage low-top panelled sneaker that you might care to name. But it’s the fabric, as ever, that sets Brunello Cucinelli apart. Constructed from panels of tan leather, grey flannel and butter-soft suede, they’re like wearing the swatchbook of a luxury tailoring house on your feet. Only, more comfortable. And practical.

COMMON PROJECTS RESORT CLASSIC

What?

Another typically clean-cut future classic from Common Projects

When?

Out now

How much?

£370

Such is the commitment of Common Projects to its minimalist aesthetic that what you’re looking at right now – the Resort Classic – can rightly be considered one of its more elaborate designs. The perforated toe box, which is also seen on the Common Projects BBall, nods to classic basketball sneakers such as Nike’s Air Force 1, while the grid-stitching running along the sides of the upper adds a little more visual interest. Compared to the brand’s iconic Achilles low top, the ne plus ultra of pared-back sneakers, there’s quite a lot going on here. Compared to just about anything else, it’s still a paragon of minimalism. In other words, it’s exactly what you want from Common Projects.

ACNE STUDIOS BOLTZER

What?

A competitive addition to Acne Studios’ ugly sneaker squad

When?

Out now

How much?

£410

Acne Studios, the Scandi brand that made jeans an “it” item, has further flashed its creative credentials with a range of refreshingly gawky sneakers. Joining heavyweights Rockaway and Berton in its stompy line-up is the rugged Boltzer, a new-for-2019 silhouette inspired by unlikely bedfellows: 1990s rave culture and, er, hiking. But it works. In this retro terracotta and grey-on-grey colourway, meaty trail-ready rubber soles meet reinforced suede and mesh uppers with bungee lacing extending through the heel, because, well, practicality.

VANS ERA CHECKERBOARD

What?

A nostalgic treat from the world’s most iconic skate brand

When?

Out now

How much?

£60

Like Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars, Vans is a lodestar in the sneaker realm; though many have and will try to ape its permanent appeal, nothing that came before or after is likely to measure up. The Era, formally known as the #95, made its first appearance in 1976 as the follow-up to the wildly popular #44 deck shoe (aka the Authentic). Designed and worn by skateboarders Messrs Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta, the sneaker’s comfy padded collars and different colour combinations made them an enduring hit with their fellow sportsmen for generations to come.

Off-White Low Vulcanised Sneakers

What?

Mr Virgil Abloh’s take on a certain low top, complete with zip ties and “shoe laces”

When?

Out now

How much?

£215

One of the secrets to Off-White’s success is just how instantly recognisable it is. Where another designer might rely on just a single logo or motif, Off-White has… six? Seven? We’ve stopped counting. Its latest sneaker employs several at once, with bright-red swing-tags, pink double-ended arrows, black-and-white stripes and the brand’s printed corporate address all jostling for space on the same black canvas shoe. And yes, it sounds like a lot. But “a lot” is exactly what fans expect from Off-White, which increasingly feels like less of a brand and more of a tribal affiliation. This sneaker is the perfect way to swear fealty to King Virgil, then; committed brand acolytes will note with excitement that it’s also available in bright orange.

VALENTINO GARAVANI GUMBOY

What?

A super-luxe revisionist ugly sneaker from Valentino

When?

Out now

How much?

£490

The breadth of the sneaker category is such that, these days, there are even sub-species of styles to catalogue and classify. We designate this Gumboy model, from super-luxe Italian stalwart Valentino, the “refined dad sneaker”. Giving an inherently unsophisticated product a polished makeover is a typically tricky move, but is done here – note the pristine black leather, smooth suede panels and fluid white soles – with an uncommon finesse. For the man who knows what’s what but doesn’t feel any need to shout about it, these are it.