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A PAIR of the best workwear trainers for men offer a practical alternative to smart but often uncomfortable lace-ups — important, if you often spend your entire work day on your feet.
Being active at work has endless health benefits over sitting hunched at a desk all day long, but let's be real: it can take its toll on your trotters.
That's where trainers come in: the best workwear trainers for men will support your feet, protect them from high impacts and be durable enough to last the distance.
It helps if they look good too, of course — and right now, there's a massive range of stylish trainers out there to choose from, whether you want a subtle pair that will blend in and still look smart, or a statement sporty pair for making an impact.
We've pulled together the best styles out there that will get your work day off to a comfortable start: from safety trainers for construction workers and sneakers for casual workplaces, through to the freshest pairs for personal trainers, bike couriers and beyond.
Are trainers acceptable for work?
While some workplaces enforce business formal dress codes and do not allow men to wear trainers to work, an increasing number of workplaces are becoming more lenient and permit you to wear trainers to the office.
However, that does not mean that you can pair them with a pair of ripped jeans, or wear your old, ratty, muddied trainers into the workplace. Read on for our picks of the best workwear trainers for men.
This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.
1. Adidas Stan Smith
- (AD) Adidas Stan Smith, £60.00 from Amazon – buy here
In our opinion, there's no trainer that pairs better with a suit than a crisp white Adidas Stan Smith.
They're named after Tennis legend Stan Smith, who became a grand slam winner and world number one while wearing them in the seventies. While they no longer meet the demands of modern tennis (you can't imagine Novak Djokovic sliding across the Centre Court baseline in a pair), they're more than up to the needs of the modern commuter.
Thanks to their global popularity they now come in an endless array of colours and designs for men, women and kids, but we think the original white-and-green design needs no alteration.
2. Skechers Burns Agoura trainers
- (AD) Skechers Burns Agoura, £39.99 from Amazon – buy here
Hospitality workers know how important it is to be comfortable on your feet — spending every day running around bars and kitchens takes can take its toll.
However, comfort isn't the only important thing for those working in such situations. Your shoes will need to fit with your workplace's dress code, be durable, and be able to grip well (every waiter will know the fear of slipping on a kitchen or bar floor).
These trainers from Skechers fit the bill perfectly — they have a memory foam insole for maximum comfort, a super-flexible shock absorbing rubber outsole for grip and breathable mesh panels to cool your feet.
One Amazon buyer who bought the trainers for her husband said: "His feet sweat less and he said they are more comfortable than wearing nothing on your feet."And it helps that they're less than £40 on Amazon, meaning there won't be too many tears if you spill food or drink on them.
3. Common Projects Achilles
- Common Projects Achilles, £415 from Ssense – buy here
The Common Projects Achilles have been on fashionistas' radar for some years now — they first came out in 2004, and have gone virtually unchanged ever since.
They're extremely simple (the only hint of branding the shoe has is a code, printed in gold, that designates the shoes' article number, size and colour) which has led to a timeless appeal, as well as a number of celebrity fans including Jay Z, Aziz Ansari and Katie Holmes.
Their simplicity also means they can be dressed up or down; they look great, with a pair of shorts, jeans, smart trousers or even a suit.
4. Caterpillar Byway Composite Toe S1P HRO SRC Work Shoe
- Caterpillar Byway Composite Toe S1P HRO SRC Work Shoe, £95 from Caterpillar – buy here
Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, so they mean business when it comes to workwear trainers — for men who need their shoes to be construction site-appropriate, rather than office-appropriate, these could be the best workwear trainers.
They come with all the stats to back up their utilitarian looks: you can walk on surfaces up to 200°C wearing them (although we're not sure why you'd want to) and they have 200 Joules steel toe cap impact protection.
5. Superga 2750 Organic Cotton
- Superga 2750 Organic Cotton, £75 from Superga – buy here
These trainers, by the makers of the "people's shoe of Italy" Superga, are at the other end of the workwear trainer spectrum to the CATs — if you tried to walk on 200°C surfaces with them, they'd probably incinerate pretty quickly.
However, if that's not something you tend to do in your day-to-day life, and you're more bothered about sustainability than steel caps, then these might be the best workwear trainers for you.
They're made of 60% organic cotton (manufactured to internationally recognised organic farming standards) and 40% natural hemp, and are vegan-certified. The sole is made from cork, which is natural, light and durable.
6. Converse Chuck 70 Classic High Top
- Converse Chuck 70 Classic High Top, £70 from Converse – buy here
It'd be a crime not to include classic Converse High Tops in a list of the best workwear trainers for men.
Granted, they may not adhere to every workplace's dress code — but they look as good with a pair of slightly cropped smart trousers and a shirt as they do with a baggy tee and ripped jeans, so if your office is slightly more laissez-faire when it comes to what you wear, Chuck Taylor could be your answer.
7. Nike Free Metcon 4
- Nike Free Metcon 4, £104.99 from SportsDirect – buy here
If your job requires you to be active and pounding pavement for much of the day (a courier, personal trainer or dog walker, for example) then you need something that offers both comfort and support.
They're designed for the gym, meaning that they hit a number of criteria: "chain link" mesh keeps your feet breezy and allows the shoes to flex with your feet, while reinforcement at the midfoot and heel braces are designed to help you lift heavy weights — perfect if your job requires you to lift boxes.
8. Gucci White GG Ace Low-Top Sneakers
- Gucci White GG Ace Low-Top Sneakers, £465 from Ssense – buy here
If you're looking to make an impression at the office, we can't think of may brands better to give you a helping hand than Gucci.
The storied Italian design house makes a huge range of trainers that would fit right into an office with a business-casual dress code, but rather than opting for one of its green-and-red striped pairs, which can feel a little on the nose, we prefer this pair with the famous interlocking "G"s.
As you'd expect from a pair of shoes costing £495, they're made from buttery calfskin, with a striking blue suede heel tab. Bellissimo.
9. New Balance x Todd Snyder 327
- New Balance x Todd Snyder 327, £110 from New Balance – buy here
If you want to make a statement with colour rather than a luxury brand name, these funky-coloured New Balance are perfect.
They're a collaboration with New York-based Fashion Designer Todd Snyder, who has previously worked at Polo Ralph Lauren and J. Crew. He's used the 327 silhouette as a canvas, an iconic 70's running shoe design that'll mean you're both on trend and prepared for a day on your feet.
A construction of mesh and suede also toes the line between practical and stylish.
10. Asos Design Trainers in Black
- Asos Design Trainers in Black, £20 from Asos – buy here
These Asos trainers are a great option for those looking for a pair of work trainers on a budget. They have a similar design to the Common Projects, with an unfussy, clean silhouette that'll go with nearly anything.
With a lower price tag than any other pair on this list you might think that they don't offer sufficient support, but one happy buyer commented: "Bought for long shifts in hospitality – wide fit is perfect and super comfy for 10+ hours on your feet"
And if you buy them now, you can get 20% off with the code 20MORE.
11. Veja Esplar
- Veja Esplar trainers Extra White/Oxford Grey, £100 – buy here
Veja has been the darling of eco-conscious fashionistas for a few years now, and it's not hard to see why: their cleanly designed trainers mark you out as someone who cares about worthwhile social causes, with the added bonus of being super stylish.
The brand works with business in southern Brazil, with an emphasis on sustainability as well as ecological and economic fairness.
Veja insists that its workers are well paid and live in good conditions, far away from those in South East Asia, where 95% of the world's trainers are made. You can find out more about Veja's social causes here.
12. Camper Walden
- Camper Walden Black Leather Lace-up Shoes, £150 – buy here
Are they shoes? are they trainers? All we know is that Camper's Waldenshoes look extremely cool.
Like the Gucci trainers, they're made from calfskin, which in Camper's case has been certified by the Leather Working Group (LWG), which assesses environmental practices across the leather industry.Recycled PET plastic is also used to make the fabric lining.
Comfort is also guaranteed thanks to the use of OrthoLite footbeds, which claim to be the "single most cost effective solution" in making a pair of shoes more comfortable.
How to style trainers for work
How you style your trainers for work will depend largely on your office's dress code.
If you adhere to a business-casual dress code, you may want to compensate for the casual nature of your trainers by making the rest of your outfit more formal — we love a pair of crisp white trainers (like Stan Smiths or Common Projects) with a navy suit, paired with a white t shirt.
However, if you work in a more laid-back office, then it might be perfectly acceptable to wear your trainers with a shirt and a pair of jeans — we're a fan of Levi's 501s and 511s.
Are office trainers suitable for running?
A couple of the pairs of trainers in this list, like the Nike Free Metcon 4, are suitable for doing exercise in. However, a fashion trainer such as the Common Projects Achilles or Gucci Ace, while comfy, won't offer your feet the proper proper support for running — if you're hitting up the gym after work, we'd recommend taking a pair of the best men's running shoes.
Enjoyed our guide for the best workwear trainers for men? Why not check out the best bags for men?
If your office is a little more formal, you might be interested in our roundup of the best work shoes for men.
And check out our dedicated Sun Selects men's fashion section for more style tips, trends and products.
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