The Best Trainers for Summer

mens white asics gel lyte 3

With the unprecedented rise of trainers as an acceptable footwear choice in almost any setting, the range of choices available to us can be a little overwhelming. Check out our complete guide on the best summer trainers for men.

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The days are getting longer, the temperature’s rising and the rain showers are becoming less frequent, it can only mean one thing, the great British summer will soon be upon us. Now is the perfect time to make an upgrade in the footwear department, as the saying goes: there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes.

In the last couple of years trainers have been well and truly thrust in to the mainstream. Trainers are no longer the preserve of the teenage boys; they are for everyone. A good trainer can tread the line of style and comfort unlike any other piece of footwear. Trainers are now widley acceptable in most aspects of life, even the work place and on nights out.

Key Trainer Trends for Summer

The one truth we can take from the rise of the trainer, is that they’re here to stay. The latest mens trainer trends for 2017 are fairly basic. Clean cut, simple colours, athletic footwear. Lets take a look at what’s in store for summer.

man wearing white superga trainers
Summer is coming so get the shorts out and the white trainers at the ready
PHOTO CREDIT: The Everyday Man

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Best White Trainers for Men

2017 is without a doubt the year of the fresh white trainer and although this look still prevails for this summer, other neutral colours are also in the ascendancy. This should hopefully add a little bit of spice to the march of the purely white trainers from last year.

With that in mind, stylish trainers come in various neutral shades such as pinks, creams and light blues are the popular palette of choice for this summer’s trainers. Obviously the great thing about that is that these colours pair-up with pretty much anything.

At the luxury end of the market there’s the likes of the white Prada’s trainers – a selection of neutrally coloured trainers for the sartorially aspirational man. Our other top picks from the high-end trainer manufacturers come from new start-ups Filling Pieces and industry trailblazers Common Projects.

common project white low top mens
The Common Projects Achilles Low are a fashion staple you should definitely own
PHOTO CREDIT: YouTube

Best Sports Trainers for Men

A combination of some of the most high-tech training shoe technology and sleek design. The new generation of running shoes have risen above a simple tool to aid athletic performance. At their very best, this new breed of athletic shoe serves also as a fashion mainstay.

High end performance sports trainers fused with a slick aesthetic are here to stay and the market is awash with beautiful shoes that also benefit from their high functionality and comfort, the best of all worlds.

The other beauty of sports shoes fighting their corner in the fashion market is that they’re built staying cool and are therefore perfect for dealing with the best the British summer has to offer.

adidas nmd boost
The Adidas NMD is one of this years hottest trainers
Photo Credit: Pinterest

The big players in this part of the trainer market are always looking to push the technology forward. This year’s highest profile designs use new breathable and lightweight fabrics. Trainers now have the most comfortable soles ever, like the Adidas boost and Nike Lunar.

Here at The Idle Man, our top picks from the sports shoes out there on the open market, are the Nike Flyknit racers, Adidas NMD Boost and Nike Mayfly.

Best Fashion Trainers for Men

As we discussed earlier, cool trainers are now no longer the sole preserve of teenagers, they are for everyone. So as logic would dictate, fashion houses on every part of the scale has started to dip their toe in to the trainer market. Trainers are now a suitable choice for most occasions and so therefore it makes sense that the trainer industry is being infiltrated by the fashion industry.

adidas rick owens low tops mens
High end brands have started to work with on sportswear shoes, like this Rick Owens x Adidas model
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

As part of the move towards collaborations, fashion labels and high-end designers have had their fingers in the pie that is the trainer market for many years now. However, the direction of the wind is changing and not only are the designers and labels working with the well-established trainer makers, they are now also creating their own.

Some of the best mens trainers on the market this summer include the likes of Sandro’s High Tops, Maison Martin Margiela’s Replica inspired by the German Army trainer. The beauty of the rise of the luxury fashion trainer is that you are guaranteed quality for your money, the fashion houses often sparing no expense when it comes to the materials used to create their versions of the footwear staple.

mens maison martin margiela replica sneaker
Maison Martin Margiela’s “Replica” sneakers have stripped design back to basics
PHOTO CREDIT: Hypebeast

On the downside however, is the price tag. There is no question that while the quality of the luxury labels is second to none, sometimes the price means these shoes are out of range for the average Joe. But never fear, as the more traditional sports trainer companies and the high-street retailers are responding to the popularity of the luxury trainer and alternatives to the richer of the fashion trainers are becoming more widely available.

Of particular note for those of you who don’t want to blow the whole of your summer holiday savings on a pair of trainers, are the Adidas Tubular. While most high-street retailers are producing viable alternatives to the pricier end of the market too that, shall we say, ‘take inspiration’ from the popular trainers of the big fashion houses.

Adidas tubular
Adidas Tubular’s have found popularity amongst new sneakerheads
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Best Classic Trainers for Men

The classic trainers are called classic for a reason, some trainer designs simply have an aesthetic which has had the ability to withstand the test of time and fight off all the other late comers to the party.

There’s a good reason that the coolest trainers have stood strong after years or even decades, in what is an extremely crowded market. This is because they are often design masterpieces. As well as trainers that haven’t gone away over the years, there is also a recent trend for the big trainer manufacturers to reissue old designs. A recent spate of these has arguably been instigated by the success of Nike’s reintroduction of the Cortez.

mens nike cortez forest gump colourway
The re-release of classic styles like this Nike Cortez shows how trainers designed 40 years ago are still cool
PHOTO CREDIT: Sneaker News

Others to keep a keen eye on in this vein are the likes of Adidas’s Stan Smith and the Converse Chuck Taylors. The Chuck Taylors actually featured their first redesign in around 100 years last year and the iconic trainer is now more comfortable than ever, as well as holding on to its sacred status in the trainer world. The new Chuck Taylor shoe now features a perforated micro suede liner, a padded tongue and collar and a Nike Lunerlon sock liner.

Best Casual Trainers

The trend of the running trainer is going to be around forever. Nike’s Air Max legacy has been around since 1987 and Adidas has been putting out running shoes since the 1970s. Casual trainers are popular and they always will be.

Brands like Saucony, Asics and Garment Project are all really popular this year which is good for you as we stock all three. The Saucony Shadow 5000 offers comfort on an unparalleled scale, they also look really cool with pin rolled jeans. Asics’ Gel Lyte range are also shoes that embraces sleek design and couple them with futuristic materials. The Gel Lyte Kayano is one of this years shoes to watch as it blends knitted material with classic design features.

Garment Project sneakers are a brand that keep things simple. Their designs are minimalism personified, working on the “less is more” premise. Garment Project offer a clever blend of luxurious materials and simple designs to create the perfect casual trainer.

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Best Spring / Summer Trainers for Men

When it comes to summer trainers, the general rule of thumb is to keep to lower cut styles and veer away from high-tops or heavy leathers which might make your feet a little to warm. We’ve picked out a few pairs for you below which would be ideal, and right on trend, for 2017.

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The Best Trainer Collaborations

As has been the case over the last few years there is an absolute raft of collaborations between two brands or a label and celebrity designer and 2017 is not set to be any different.

The basic idea of the collaboration is that you take two things that on their own manage to create something pretty cool and smash them together and hope that the resulting fallout transcends the brilliance of the basic sum of the two parties brought together.

If you’re looking for a collaboration that pushes the boundaries in terms of style, then look no further than Raf Simons collaboration with Adidas. But the truth is, there is no shortage of collaborations to choose from, the trend for this kind of creative partnership is now ubiquitous.

mens adidas raf simons ozweego bunny
The Raf Simons Adidas collab is one of the most popular designs in recent year and is perfect for summer
PHOTO CREDIT: More Sneakers

The Rise of The Trainer

The increasing popularity of the trainer is looking truly unstoppable at the moment, with the industry expecting to grow to $84.4billion by 2018. The humble trainer has come a long way from its simple beginnings, and the market for the versatile footwear shows no signs of waning anytime soon.

The very first incarnation of the trainer as we know it today, was invented in the 19th century and they were nicknamed ‘plimsolls’ due to the join of the upper of the shoe and rubber sole resembling the Plimsoll line on ships.

The durable and relatively cheap vulcanised rubber, made possible by the technological advances of the industrial revolution, was the material that made the sole of the plimsoll, attached to a canvas or leather upper and it’s a design which is relatively unchanged today in trainer fashion.

mens y-3 qasa on foot
Y-3 have pushed the boundaries of design when it comes to sneakers
PHOTO CREDIT: EU Kicks

From the end of the 19th and in to the beginning of the 20th century, the early trainers surged in popularity, as this revolutionary, comfortable and practical shoe was adopted by middle-class holiday makers, sportsmen and women, and even the military.

Today, the trainer is utterly ubiquitous, trainers are worn by children, men and women from all walks of life and of all social status. In fact, to many, trainers have ascended far above a simple piece of footwear, millions of us see our trainers as a symbol of status, power and affiliation to a particular way of life.

Brands like Vans have heavy links in skate culture, the likes of Adidas and Nike are entrenched in to Hip Hop. In recent years, high-end brands have got in on the trainer market too, with the likes of Chanel, Prada and Alexander McQueen all getting in on the act.

alexander mcqueen sneakers mens
Alexander McQueen’s bold statement sneakers have gained enormous popularity this year
PHOTO CREDIT: TheTrendSpotter

In fact, the link between celebrity and trainers has become commonplace, with some brands becoming synonymous with certain sports stars or musicians. The link between Nike and Michael Jordan has been the most notable of these affiliations.

According to Forbes’ Billionaire list, Jordan makes around $100 million a year, primarily from sales of his Air Jordan’s. That’s more money in a single year from shoe sales than he made in total from his salary over his fifteen-year basketball career. Many also see Kanye West’s foray in to trainer design, originally with Nike, now Adidas, as something of a watershed moment in the mainstream popularity of trainers.

The Best Trainers for Summer

  • White Trainers – Common Projects, Stan Smiths, Garment Project
  • Sports Trainers – Adidas NMD, Nike Air Max and Asics Gel Lyte’s will go well with your jeans
  • Fashion Trainers – Common Projects, Raf Simons x Adidas and Prada if you’re splashing the cash
  • Classic Trainers – Converse, Vans and Superga will be your go-to trainers for the classics
  • Casual Trainers – Saucony, Asics and Garment Project are in for 2017
mens black outfit converse
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

On That Note

Trainers have been around for more than 100 years and they won’t be going anywhere soon. This summer is yours so be bold in your shoe choices! Clean designs, simple colours and athletic brands are all in for 2017. Your shoes say a lot about you, more than you might think. It’s important to get the balance right with your shoes and your outfit. If in need of help, refer back to this handy little guide.

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