A Great Pair of High-Tops Is the Pinnacle of a Solid Sneaker Rotation
As much as I would love to make a "Hey, wanna get high" joke right now, let's skip all that and get right to the other drug we need to talk about: sneakers. High-top sneakers, specifically. After thorough investigation (read: asking a couple non-fashion-oriented friends and then googling the question), I've discovered that some people do not think that high-top sneakers are for them. These people worry that high-tops are not in style, or that they won't know what to wear with them, or that they simply don't know which pair to choose. To that I say: They are, we'll cover that, and keep reading.
First off, to dispel the most confounding issue here: High-top sneakers aren't out of style. They didn't even make a comeback. Are you really trying to tell me an Air Jordan 1, a Chuck Taylor, or a Vans Sk8-Hi was ever a bad move? Keep movin', man. High-tops aren't something wild that you have to wrap your head around—some strange beast that only emerges once every few years to terrify and astound. They're sneakers. Just...high.
Which brings me to the second issue: What to wear with 'em. It's true that some styles of pants work better with low-tops than highs, notably anything looser and longer. So if you're wearing your trustiest high-tops, it's best to opt for something with a more tapered silhouette or something that's cropped (loose or slim; up to you). Handy, then, that both of those pant styles are thriving right now. As for what to wear up top? The world's your oyster. Pair a tee and a trucker jacket with some on-the-shorter-side jeans. Throw a hoodie on top of those slim track pants. It's all fair game.
And as for that final question—which pair to choose—just keep reading. If you can't find something you like here, maybe it's time to consider going barefoot.
Great on a skateboard. Great on the sidewalk. Great just about everywhere.
Chuck 70 High-Top Sneaker
There is only one Chuck. (Actually, that's a lie. There are many iterations of the Chuck Taylor All Star, many of which are very good. But none of them—none!—beats the comfort and throwback charm of the Chuck 70.)
Blazer Mid '77 Vintage Sneaker
Nike insists on calling this a mid-top. No offense to the Swoosh, but it's a high-top, dammit—and an extremely good one, at that.
Forum Mid Shoes
All the architectural appeal of the classic '80s basketball sneaker in a nice, bright white. Keep 'em box-fresh, if you like, but they'll look a whole lot cooler if you let them wear in naturally (emphasis on the "wear").
Chuck Taylor Hidden Heart High Top Sneaker
COMME DES GARÇONS PLAY X CONVERSE
I only have (heart) eyes for you.
Cloud High Walking Shoe
A techier option with a supremely comfortable sole, courtesy of the Swiss running experts at On.
Legacy High Top Sneaker
GOOD MAN BRAND
Skipping the "wanna get high" joke earlier means I am legally obligated to make a "take a walk on the wild side" quip here. I'm sorry. I don't make the rules.
Vulcanised Canvas Sneakers
If you dig Off-White's branding hits—like, all of them, and all at once—then these are the shoes for you.
Suede, Mesh, and Neoprene Sneakers
FEAR OF GOD ESSENTIALS
Jerry Lorenzo's FoG diffusion line comes correct with a very spring-friendly, somewhat futuristic pair of suede-and-neoprene sneakers.
Like the feeling you get after hiking through the majesty of the American Southwest, without all that pesky dust and physical exertion.
Y-3 GR.1P High GTX
The kind of stompers that'll make you pray for rain, courtesy of the master, Yohji Yamamoto.
Original Achilles Leather High-Top Sneakers
The CP Achilles in a bonafide modern classic.
Rhecess Distressed Leather High-Top Sneakers
Buttery soft kicks in an absolutely killer color combo that look like you've had 'em for years, from designer Rhuigi Villaseñor.
Suede, Leather, and Canvas High-Top Sneakers
FEAR OF GOD
If Jerry Lorenzo's modernist take on the high-top for Essentials wasn't doing it for you, how about a more classically styled pair from the mainline Fear of God collection? (Hell, how about both?)
SL/10 Suede-Trimmed Perforated Leather High-Top Sneakers
When luxury, street cred, and goes-with-everything versatility come together, you get a pair of Saint Laurent's SL/10 sneakers. That's just basic math, man.
Tennis 1977 High-Top Sneaker
If you're gonna go Gucci, really go for it.
Tread Slick Boot
Part sneaker, part boot, and all cool.
Z Leather High-Top Sneakers
Another smash-hit sneaker from Hedi Slimane, who's ably transforming Celine into one of the most coveted menswear brands on the planet.
Shaman-Folk Fringed Suede High-Top Sneakers
If you never got it together to buy a pair of FBTs, Hiroki Nakamura and the Visvim crew have blessed you with a second chance in the form of the Shaman-Folk sneaker/moccasin hybrid.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.