“You can wear them with just about anything,” says Elliott Curtis, a cofounder of Sneakerology 101, the first accredited university course on sneaker culture, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. So listen to the experts: It’s time to raise your footwear game.
1. Clean Up
Dirty sneakers are fine for mowing the lawn, but they’re an eyesore at the dinner table. Keep a bottle of Calzanetto Instant Sneaker Cleaner, R60 at Green Cross, on hand to remove scuffs. Stain too big for a quick fix-up? Make a paste using water and Jason Markk Premium shoe cleaner, R295 at Shelflife. Rub it into the stain, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, then blot it dry with a clean, wet cloth.
2. Stay Grounded
“If you’re wearing bold shoes, show some restraint by choosing neutral-coloured clothing. Let your shoes do the talking,” says Curtis.
Keep ’em Separated
“Guys who coordinate their accessories with their sneakers are trying too hard,” says Curtis. Wearing a navy hat with your blue Aldos? People will think you’re in uniform.
3. Show Some Skin
You can pair sneakers with jeans and a blazer – or hell, even a full suit – as long as your pants break high. If they bunch, you’re getting it all kinds of wrong.
Trainers Belong in the Gym
If you work out in them, they’re your gym shoes, not your office shoes. “You want to look rebellious yet focused – not like you forgot your work shoes at home, “ says Curtis.
4. Rock Slim Pants
Too much girth in the legs (think boot-cut) is awkward. It hides narrow sneakers and makes chunkier shoes look like clogs.
The Cuff is Still King
Fix bagginess like this: Pinch the slacks back into the inside seam. Then, leaving just a little space, fold the seam over. Finally, cuff the pants twice over to lock the fold in place.
5. Lace Like Crazy
There are dozens of ways to string a shoe, and “changing it up will help you stand out,” says Marr Sleep, senior designer for Converse. Try these to impress a shoe-crazy lady.