The 2023 Men’s Health Sneaker Awards

The 2023 Men’s Health Sneaker Awards

Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Why Trust Us?

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Chelsea Kyle

JUMP TO EACH SECTION:

TRAIL RUNNING & HIKING | RACER | 80’S SPORT | SPECIALIZED SPORT | WORKWEAR

A WISE MAN once said, “You can tell a lot about a man by the shoes on his feet.” Actually, we’re not sure who that man was. We kind of made it up, but we’re positive someone must have said it, and they were clearly very wise. Because no single fashion essential or accessory reveals more about a man’s style (and his personality) than good footwear.

We at Men’s Health—everyone from our fitness editors to our fashion writers—take shoes and sneakers very seriously. That’s true of the dress shoes we wear for a best man speech to the sandals we don at the beach to the boots we put on for a long day of hiking. It’s even true for a good pair of sneakers.

The right sneakers should be purpose-built for the job. Basketball sneakers, for example, demand solid support and excellent grip; golf shoes should provide stability through your hardest drives; and the best pickleball kicks need serious grip for keeping you well-planted in the kitchen. Whatever you’re into, there’s a shoe or a sneaker for the job, and we’re here to help you find it. This is the 2023 Men’s Health Sneaker Awards.

trail running and hiking

Boots that are big and bulky weigh down trail times—and fun in general. These lean, mean kicks can get you through the toughest terrain.

Torin 7

Altra Torin 7

With plenty of cushion, a cleverly redesigned tongue, and a sturdy, molded heel color, the Torin 7 is built for speed and performance.

Konseal FL 2

Arc’teryx Konseal FL 2

Like Arc’teryx’s legendary climbing apparel, the Konseal FL 2 is built for fast, light (hence the “FL” in the name) ascents. Don’t let the streetwear looks fool you. These are nimble, supportive, and ready to tackle the most technical approaches.

Pegasus Trail 4

Nike Pegasus Trail 4

This Franken-kick looks like a heady mashup of a modern trail runner and a ’90s-era athletic sneak. Under the hood, it’s all business with serious trail-running chops and a waterproof Gore-Tex layer to boot.

Fuga Pro 3 Trail Running Shoes Men

Kailas Fuga Pro 3 Trail Running Shoes Men

Kailas proves you get what you pay for with this premium, ultra-technical trail runner. Trust us when we say it’s built for serious speed and long distances over any terrain.

Aenergy TR BOA Mid

Mammut Aenergy TR BOA Mid

With a bold, SpaceX-worthy design, the Aenergy TR BOA Mid looks ready to fly, even at a standstill. This flagship Mammut sneak features an ultra-grippy Vibram Megagrip outsole for serious traction.

VECTIV Infinite 2

The North Face VECTIV Infinite 2

Somewhere between a retro moon boot and a trail runner lies the VECTIV Infinite 2. The waterproof design fits like a glove, and the rockered midsole ensures your feet stay well-planted, no matter what.

X Ultra 4

Salomon X Ultra 4

Lightweight, agile, and stable meet tough, technical, and tacky (as in “grippy”). This is a solid go-to sneaker built for hardcore ascents and descents.

Softrock

Asolo Softrock

When you want footwear that’s as tight and lightweight as your ultralight backpack, there’s the Softrock. It’s purpose-built for fastpacking and speed hiking, when every gram of gear matters.

Cloudtrax

On Cloudtrax

When you want serious trail-ready footwear, but a legit boot is overkill, there’s On’s Cloudtrax. It’s a mid-height hiker that balances support, comfort, and wearability from the city to the backcountry.

Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX

Hoka Speedgoat 5 Mid GTX

In Hoka’s own words, this is “a workhorse for sloppy, wet conditions.” We couldn’t agree more. The Vibram Megagrip and Gore-Tex fabric mean this sneak is ready for whatever the trail throws at you.

Gel-Trabuco 11

Asics Gel-Trabuco 11

Bright, bold, and unmistakably Asics, this trail runner has a rugged outsole that easily grips and adapts to any off-road surface.

Terrex Free Hiker 2

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2

Now 20% Off

Fit matters above all else. This trail-ready hiking shoe from Adidas features double-loop pull tabs for an effortless, easy-on fit.

Moab Speed

Merrell Moab Speed

Merrell brings its considerable hardcore hiker design chops to bear on the Moab Speed. True to its name, it’s lightweight, yet Vibram tough on the outside, with cushy foam on the inside.

Facet 75 Alpha

Columbia Facet 75 Alpha

This chiseled hiker looks like it was carved from a single block of stone. So it’s no surprise that it’s ultra-durable with next-gen waterproofing to boot.

racer

Next-gen runners offer mega cushioning for smoother runs.

Ghost 15

Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks continues the Ghost tradition with the latest Ghost 15. It’s ridiculously lightweight, comfy, and available in roughly three dozen colors for maximum accessorizing.

FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3

New Balance is still keeping it fresh with the bright, bold, race-ready FuelCell that looks like it probably needs a recharge after every run.

Specter

Topo Athletic Specter

Topo’s first-ever high-cushion trainer is undeniably unique. With an ultra-aggressive heel and a rocker-style design, it’s purpose-built to propel you forward and catch your energy on the rebound.

Gel-Kayano 30

Asics Gel-Kayano 30

From weekend training runs to 5Ks to marathons, Asics’s Gel-Kayano 30 is designed to go the distance—literally—with adaptive stability and a more balanced stride.

Mythos Blushield Volo 3

Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo 3

With a lightweight air mesh design, this is a racer that’s made for intense, long-distance runs. Plus, the bold, retro-’90s design is [chef’s kiss]!

UA Flow Velociti Elite

Under Armour UA Flow Velociti Elite

The UA Flow Velociti Elite wraps up everything we love about Under Armour apparel—lightweight, premium, performance-minded design—into a single race-ready runner.

Nordlite Ultra W

Craft Sportswear Nordlite Ultra W

Premium enough for elite runners, yet accessible enough for everyday trainers, the Nordlite Ultra W features a proprietary midsole for maximum comfort and serious rebound.

Rincon 3

Hoka Rincon 3

Maximum cushion, minimum weight. That’s the name of the game with Hoka‘s Rincon 3—a featherweight runner that boasts one of the best cushion-to-weight ratios on the market.

Triumph 21

Saucony Triumph 21

With a soft collar, a padded tongue, and maximum cushioning all around, this racer offers an ultra-luxurious foot feel. It’s like a run-worthy pillow for your feet.

Wave Creation 20 Running Shoe

Mizuno Wave Creation 20 Running Shoe

Built for serious, long-distance runs, this flagship racing shoe is cushier, bouncier, and more responsive than any Wave Creation shoe before it.

Invincible 3

Nike Invincible 3

Maximum cushioning and support mix with an extra-bouncy sole to reduce road impact on your next 5K.

Cloudboom Echo 3

On Cloudboom Echo 3

On continues to prove that you get what you pay for. Its premium Cloudboom Echo 3 features high-tech foam to maximize energy return for an ultra-springy step.

Aero Glide

Salomon Aero Glide

Retro-future on the outside, maximum comfort on the inside, thanks to a padded tongue and collar zone for a secure yet cozy fit.

Magnify Nitro 2

Puma Magnify Nitro 2

With neutral support and maximum cushioning, the Magnify Nitro 2 is destined to become your daily runner. Bonus: The Fire Orchid/Ultra Blue colorway is pure fire.

80s sport

The ’80s are back in all their comfortable, low-key glory.

Modelo '89

Saye Modelo ’89

High top, low-key style, the Modelo ’89 is pure ’80s sport aesthetic. We’re pretty sure they’re Run DMC-approved. Bonus points for its vegan design.

Lowland ComfyCush

Vans Lowland ComfyCush

The silhouette has hardly changed in almost 40 years because … why should it? The slim profile and maximum comfort are pure, vintage Vans.

CLS Sneakers

Autry CLS Sneakers

Urban meets sporty good looks in Autry’s CLS Sneaker. It’s retro b-ball style with a dash of modern functionality that works from the streets to the court and back again.

Cons Fastbreak Pro Leather

Converse Cons Fastbreak Pro Leather

This reboot (pun intended) is a modern take on a classic Converse high-top that’s built to move with you, whether you’re shooting hoops or riding the longboard.

Legacy 816

Avia Legacy 816

Simple, timeless, and functional, the Legacy 816 is a throwback to Avia’s founding era, when low-top kicks still ruled the court.

Ultimate 81 EX

Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 EX

The 40th anniversary of Onitsuka Tiger’s Ultimate 81 recalls the brand’s highest-performance, high-spec sport shoe from a bygone era.

550

New Balance 550

New Balance‘s OG 550 was a high-tech basketball shoe for the everyman. After 30 years, the reboot proves some things just don’t need to change.

Jazz Court

Saucony Jazz Court

Saucony’s take on the vintage low-top basketball kick is an understated masterpiece that’s ready to move from the hardwood to the blacktop and back again.

BB 4000 II

Reebok BB 4000 II

Built for the court, the streets, and everywhere in between, this throwback sneaker wears well with everything and features a super comfy lining.

Leonardo 02

Flamingos Life Leonardo 02

With a retro-inspired design, this all-new vegan shoe is actually thoroughly modern on the inside. Most important: a sustainable construction and a bamboo lining for maximum durability.

Mi Basket

Diadora Mi Basket

This timeless classic recalls ’80s-era Italian sports culture with a high-top silhouette and a pre-worn aesthetic that feels like you just stepped off the court after a weekend-long tournament.

Classics Hawk Sneakers

Hawk Classics Hawk Sneakers

This Larry Bird-era kick boasts the same court-ready chops as its predecessor, and the timeless two-tone heel and suede-and-mesh banding give it a perfect vintage touch.

specialized sport

These athletic-build sneakers are made with specialized sports in mind—from golf to pickleball. (Yes, pickleball!)

The Roger Pro

On The Roger Pro

On‘s first-ever tennis shoe is a banger. It combines all the performance tech of the epic running brand with the pro experience of co-creator and tennis legend Roger Federer.

Air Zoom Diamond Elite Turf

Nike Air Zoom Diamond Elite Turf

It’s a game-ready shoe that works on every pregame surface. The forefoot strap ensures a snug fit during batting practice, catching pop flies, and everywhere in between.

Copa Gloro Indoor Shoes

Adidas Copa Gloro Indoor Shoes

Now 10% Off

Retro elegance meets versatility and functionality in Adidas‘s suede soccer kick that’s built for all indoor courts.

Gore-Tex Ripstop Golf Shoe

NoBull Gore-Tex Ripstop Golf Shoe

The dead-simple design of this go-anywhere golf shoe is built for speed, comfort, and play-anytime versatility thanks to a legit 100 percent waterproof Gore-Tex lining.

Solarcourt RCT Racquet

Puma Solarcourt RCT Racquet

Playful on the outside, all business inside. It’s lightweight, responsive, and ridiculously comfortable, no matter how hard you like your racquet sports.

Netburner Ballistic FF 3

Asics Netburner Ballistic FF 3

Now 17% Off

Flexible, stable, and supportive exactly where you need it, this is one volleyball court sneaker to rule them all.

Rush Pro Ace Pickler

Wilson Rush Pro Ace Pickler

With a wider toe box, a breathable mesh upper, and a cushioned heel-toe drop, the Ace Pickler is purpose-built for the most intense pickleball tourneys.

PFG Pro Sport Shoe

Columbia PFG Pro Sport Shoe

Hardcore anglin’ demands hardcore footwear. This dedicated fishing shoe is built with maximum cushioning, solid wet-dry traction, and excellent water and stain resistance.

Viper Court Pro - Pickleball

Skechers Viper Court Pro – Pickleball

A breathable mesh upper keeps your feet calm, cool, and collected, while a super-grippy tread ensures you’re well-planted in the kitchen.

NB Numeric Tiago Lemos 1010

New Balance NB Numeric Tiago Lemos 1010

A retro, cushy design plus a cushioned midsole let this skate shoe propel your kickflips.

Air Jordan 38

Nike Air Jordan 38

The bleeding-edge tech in Nike’s latest Jordan includes a low-to-the-ground profile to help quicken your hoops footwork.

UA Charged Phantom

Under Armour UA Charged Phantom

Under Armour’s unique spikeless golf shoes boast versatile sole traction to stabilize your foot while you swing. Plus, they look more badass than almost any other golf kick on the market.

workwear

These wear-anywhere kicks are sharp enough for the office, and comfortable enough to stand all day in.

Amherst Lug Knit Sport

Johnston & Murphy Amherst Lug Knit Sport

Business meets play with this sport kick featuring an airy breathable knit upper and genuine leather trim.

Lawson Lace-up Sneaker

Allen Edmonds Lawson Lace-up Sneaker

The chic burnished calfskin-leather construction is ready for the boardroom, while the sleek silhouette is low-key and minimal enough to wear for cocktails after closing the deal.

Barbera Blue Burnish

To Boot Barbera Blue Burnish

With hand-burnished calf leather set on a sporty off-tone sole, this handsome kick works well with jeans and joggers or dressed up for a night out.

RS01 Sneaker

Rothy’s RS01 Sneaker

With an uber-comfy, already-broken-in fit straight out of the box and classic good looks, this is guaranteed to be your go-to sneaker. Bonus: Rothy’s are 100 percent machine washable.

Street Lite Luxe

Ecco Street Lite Luxe

A dash of retro chic adds timeless appeal to this minimalist sneaker. The best part? No break-in time required. It’s uber-comfy and ready to roll with you from the get-go.

Leather and Suede Sneakers

Charles Tyrwhitt Leather and Suede Sneakers

This everyday sneaker exudes a distinct downtown London vibe. Plus, it’s lightweight and durable enough to wear just about anywhere, from the grocery store to grabbing drinks with the crew.

Light Brown Combi Sneaker

Suitsupply Light Brown Combi Sneaker

Nothing screams “timeless footwear fashion” like a leather and suede sneaker. The Brown Runner Sneaker from Suitsupply is an instant classic.

Vantage Suede Sneaker

Peter Millar Vantage Suede Sneaker

Another classic, Peter Millar’s Vantage Suede Sneaker pairs supple suede with a timeless silhouette. Plus: The fully-lined leather interior and memory-foam footbed are like a cloud for your foot.

Low 1 | Ocean

Oliver Cabell Low 1 | Ocean

A streamlined silhouette meets supple calfskin leather in this iconic low-top from Oliver Cabell. This handsome sneaker pairs well with … honestly, whatever you’re wearing.

Style

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