Sneaker trends may come and go, but it's safe to say that premium leather trainers are a perennial wardrobe staple that will never go out of style. The perfect match for anything from jeans to dress trousers, a well made pair of simple yet elegant leather sneakers is a fail-safe investment that will serve you well season after season, year after year.
To save you the hassle of trawling the internet for your perfect pair, we've rounded up a few brands that we think have perfected the leather sneaker, using top notch materials and meticulous craftsmanship techniques.
Lisbon-based sneaker label JAK has garnered a cult following thanks to its range of lovingly handcrafted minimalist trainers that are made using responsibly and locally sourced raw materials, including supple full grain calf leather. Its key styles range from the classic Royal to the more recent Vantage, but one of our favourites is the elegantly layered Mercury, a super sleek addition to any sneaker collection.
Since its inception in 2010, ETQ Amsterdam has come to establish itself as a leading name in contemporary premium leather footwear. Renowned for its innovative approach to design and craftsmanship, the Dutch brand is consistently experimenting with materials and manufacturing techniques. Its original LT 01 style is a luxurious take on the classic court sneaker, featuring a comfortable layered microfibre foam insole and extra durable TPU outsoles to complement the pared-back elegance of the nappa leather upper.
Founded in 2006 by Nicolas Kjaer, Danish leather footwear and accessories label Royal RepubliQ is characterised by a typically Scandinavian 'form follows function' philosophy. Its products are minimalist and made to last. Take its Cosmos sneaker for example: with its understated silhouette and clean white colourway, it strips all extraneous aesthetic detailing to shift focus to the impeccable quality of craftsmanship.
With craftsmanship at its core, Artisan Lab partners with talented Italian artisans to produce limited runs of top quality products – from high end tailoring to premium leather sneakers. Its Essential Sneakers are designed to be just that – an essential part of your everyday wardrobe. Wear them with everything from sweatpants to sophisticated tailoring.
Oliver Cabell creates handmade footwear using traditional techniques coupled with the latest technology, then offers them direct to consumer without any markups. Its styles range from the classic, like the original off white Low 1 style, to the cutting edge, such as the attitude-infused Daybreak model. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that your Oliver Cabell sneakers will stand the test of time.
Swedish label Axel Arigato has covered all bases of streetwear-inspired clothing and footwear, but is perhaps best known for its signature Clean 90 sneaker, a versatile everyday style that can easily be dressed up or down. Whatever your taste, there's a style for you – opt for classic black and white leather or something with a unique twist, like the Clean 90 Triple with its contrasting heel tab or the industrial-style Tape Bee Bird.
Drawing inspiration from the frenetic energy of the city in which it was established – Los Angeles – CLAE creates premium footwear designed to help its wearer take on the everyday – in style and comfort. For cool, contemporary leather trainers with a point of difference, we can't go past CLAE'S Malone sneakers in black pebbled leather. With a moulded footbed and durable outsole, they'll serve you well for whatever adventures you have in store.
Founded by Sebastian Öhrn in 2016, Myrqvist is quickly making a name for itself on the global luxury footwear market, thanks to its high end yet affordable leather shoes that showcase classic design and masterful craftmasnship. Handcrafted in Portugal using calf leather from the renowned French tannery Du Puy, its Oaxen sneakers are a bestseller for a reason. The style is available in a range of colours, but it's the classic white that has our vote.
German label Dalgado never fails to impress us with its fuss-free leather footwear and accessories, all created in accordance with strict sustainability and transparency guidelines. Its bestselling Laurent sneakers epitomise the brand's pared-back approach to design. With their sleek silhouette and impeccable leather construction, they offer a luxurious alternative to standard sneakers.
Looking for the perfect pair of white sneakers? Look no further.
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