Whether you’re opting for a leather high-top trainer to lend a sporty edge to your ensembles or a minimalist leather shoe for all-round versatility, modern-day dressing calls for at least one pair of premium leather sneakers. The perfect match for anything from jeans to formal trousers, a well made pair of simple yet elegant men's leather sneakers is a fail-safe investment that will serve you well season after season, year after year.
To illustrate our point, we’ve highlighted the skillsets of some of our favourite men’s sneaker labels, plus the leather styles they've perfected. So scroll on to discover the best men's leather sneakers that will see you through 2023 and beyond.
The best men's leather sneakers in 2023
From timeless Chelsea boots to sleek leather sneakers; elegant penny loafers to Goodyear welted Oxford shoes, all of Velasca's shoes are made following the centuries-old tradition of Italian craftsmanship. Artisans in the shoemaking district of Montegranaro handcraft the shoes using the finest French calf leather for the uppers, along with leather soles for the classic styles or innovative Vibram rubber soles for more casual shoes.
The label's Italian-made Malnatt style is inspired by '70s tennis shoes, with a sporty silhouette that maintains a sleek aesthetic. A combination of smooth calfskin and nubuck leather results in a unique contrast between textures. Team these luxury sneakers with corduroy trousers and a camp collar shirt for a contemporary take on vintage style.
At the heart of Spanish footwear label Morjas is a commitment to craftsmanship. The brand's shoes are meticulously handcrafted in the Morjas factory in Almansa, Spain, a region with a tradition of shoemaking that dates back to the 18th century. The result is timeless men's shoes that will look as good in 10 years time as they do now.
Morjas' offering mostly encompasses dress shoes, including sophisticated Oxford shoes, tassel loafers and monk straps, but if you're after a new pair of leather sneakers, you won't be disappointed. A particular favourite of the OPUMO team is the White Leather Trainer, a vintage-inspired sporty style that combines soft suede with supple calf leather and is built with a with plush padding around the ankle and a cushioning sole.
Atlanta-based footwear label Cobbler Union is bringing the focus back to what really counts in luxury products, banishing inflated price points and empty marketing and putting craftsmanship and quality squarely in the spotlight. All Cobbler Union pieces are exclusively handcrafted in Europe, so expect unparalleled craftsmanship and shoes that are built to stand the test of time.
For evidence of Cobbler Union's expertise, slip on a pair of the brand's Italian calfskin leather UNO low-top sneakers. With their simple silhouette and timeless style, they exude understated elegance. They're mounted on the iconic Margom rubber cup-sole, which is characterised by its great traction and durability. Ultimate comfort and elegant style, wherever you go
North-89 is a Stockholm-based footwear label that has become renowned for its seasonally-driven sneakers, which are innovatively made to combat the elements, no matter the time of year. unction, rather than disposable style, is central to design. Uppers are often weatherproofed, soles are in rugged rubber, detailing is in Italian suede, construction is by specialists in Portugal.
North-89's vintage-inspired No-2 MT sneakers are designed to be the perfect hybrid in between colder winters are warmer spring days. Made using premium leather uppers and boasting a rugged, ready-for-anything outsole, they combine durability, functionality, and style in an elegant mid-top silhouette that will pair effortlessly with just about any ensemble.
Founded in 1908 as Earnest Woodford & Sons, British footwear brand Crown Northampton continues its historical traditions by combining tried and tested handmade methods of craftsmanship with the world’s very best materials. The result; the highest quality footwear that will forever be linked with the centuries-old Northampton shoe trade.
If you only buy one pair of high-top trainers, make it the Abington Hi Toe Cap, a luxurious take on a casual classic. A nod to traditional basketball shoes, these smart black sneakers feature an oversized leather toe cap and sleek Horween leather upper. The minimalist style makes them perfect for smart-casual affairs. You could even wear them into the office with a pair of tailored trousers and an unstructured blazer.
Aurélien is a Dutch footwear, clothing and accessories label that's intent on shaking up the industry. Its philosophy of 'Smart Luxury' translates to high-quality items that are made affordable by streamlining operations, modernising marketing efforts, working more efficiently and having the chain from product design to consumer almost entirely in its own hands.
Aurélien's Voyager style is a luxurious take on classic suede trainers. Crafted from 100% French calfskin suede that has been treated in one of the most renowned tanneries in Italy, they're soft yet durable, and made to last.
CLAE was founded in Los Angeles in 2001 out of a need for a new type of sneaker — one that bridges the gap between work and play and day and night, prioritising ultimate versatility to suit the demands of modern life, all while committing to minimising its footprint on the environment. You'll find both leather and vegan options in its collection, which spans everything from slip-on styles to retro runners.
Our top pick from CLAE's premium leather range is its Malone shoe, which features a luxurious Italian nappa leather upper with lining made from premium leather and recycled polyester and a 100% recycled PU foam insole. The result is all-day comfort and ultimate durability that makes them a viable alternative to your skate shoes. Choose from a range of colourways: the black and off-white is guaranteed to be a year-round favourite.
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 craftsmanship.
Handcrafted in Portugal using premium calf leather from the renowned British tannery Charles F. Stead, Myrqvist's Oaxen White Calf sneakers are a bestseller for a reason. The perfectly pared-back sneaker will complement any outfit, smart or casual. Priced at under £200, they're a steal considering the high level of attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship involved in their construction.
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.
The style is available in grey and white, but it's the super-sleek black colourway that has our vote, thanks to their inherent versatility and timelessness. Team them with anything from jeans and a tee to tailored trousers and a blazer, for an effortless take on business-casual style.
Uniform Standard is a London-based men’s trainers brand that has quickly make its impact on the crowded sneaker market. Dealing in minimalist leather sneakers for men, Uniform Standard focuses heavily on environmental and social responsibility. By using premium quality leather and sustainable components, this eco-friendly men’s trainers brand has brought a refreshingly modern mindset to the party.
Uniform Standard’s Series 1 design was the brand’s first offering back in 2018, but it continues to endure as a timeless design. The minimal men’s sneaker is made up of clean lines, premium materials and sublime hand-finished detailing - the perfect alternative to Common Projects Achilles model. We love wearing Series 1 in its White Vintage Navy Leather colourway because it’s so versatile; these smart leather trainers can be worn to add a contemporary touch on smarter outings, or to upgrade your everyday wardrobe.
The Germany Army Trainer has been replicated many times over. Since its introduction as a standard-issue workout trainer for the German Army, the style has been reinvented by high-fashion houses and legendary sportswear brands alike. We’re attributing this popularity to the shoe’s unique design as well as its functionality. The Oliver Cabell German Army Trainer sees the utilitarian shoe revamped with 3oz calfskin leather and suede from Veneto, Italy, Italian calf-skin footbeds and vegetable-tanned Spanish leather to provide subtle, luxury appeal to a storied design.
Oliver Cabell is founded on the converging disciplines of art, craft and technology. Each pair of handmade leather trainers for men represents the meeting of traditional crafting techniques and the latest technology. From men’s leather low-top sneakers to minimal high-top trainers and now even men’s leather boots, Oliver Cabell really does it all, which is what makes it one of our essential footwear brands of 2023.
Duke + Dexter
Founded in 2015 by Archie Hewlett, Duke + Dexter has quickly made a name for itself as a key player in contemporary British footwear. The label prides itself on its commitment to supporting British craftsmanship, with every pair of Duke + Dexter shoes designed in London and handmade in a family-run Sheffield workshop. Each pair of shoes features a ‘Handmade in England’ stamp on the sole as a mark of authenticity.
Duke + Dexter's Christie Christie White Sneakers represent men's leather sneakers at their best. Crafted from Italian pebble grain leather, they boast a unique texture but retain a classic sporty silhouette, inspired by '90s running shoes. The sole features flexible anti-gravity technology to keep your feet balanced and your weight evenly distributed from your heel to your toe.
Since its inception in 2014, Swedish label Axel Arigato has become well-loved for its contemporary streetwear style and premium-quality materials. From minimalist low-top trainer styles to sporty men’s high-top sneakers, Axel Arigato does a little bit of everything. Retaining quality through materials and craftsmanship but adding an extra angle with perforation, panelling and prints, Axel Arigato sneakers are understated but self-confident.
Unlike many men's leather sneakers, Axel Arigato's Clean 90 manages to offer equal parts style and comfort. Durable and oh-so-versatile, these are shoes you could easily spend all day and night in. They'll take you from the gym to work to drinks and will look just as great with jeans and an overshirt as with more formal tailoring.
Zespà has garnered a reputation as one of Europe's leading makers of luxury sneakers, thanks to its winning combination of timeless design and expert craftsmanship. Each pair of Zespà sneakers is crafted in Portugal using the highest quality full grain calf leathers from European tanneries, with complementing anatomical leather insoles. Sturdy and hard-wearing, they're made to stand the test of time: durable rubber outsoles are made using recycled materials and every pair comes with two pairs of 100% combed cotton laces.
Simple yet sophisticated, the ZSP4VH is the ultimate all-occasion leather sneaker: it will look just as great down at your local pub as at a wedding. It boasts a generous foam collar, flexible tongue and controlled stitching, all wrapped up in a sleek minimalist silhouette. The full grain calf nappa leather construction heightens the luxurious feel and results in a long-lasting shoe that you'll cherish for years.
Artisan Lab's mission is a simple one; to make the best possible products using the best possible materials. By partnering with selected Italian artisans that have worked with some of the most renowned luxury brands, it produces limited runs of top quality products – from elegant leather sneakers to high end tailoring to luxurious leather accessories.
Artisan Lab's Classic Sneakers are a no-brainer if you're looking for a pair of ultra-versatile smart-casual kicks that will stand the test of time. Handcrafted in Italy from premium full-grain leather, with sturdy and durable Margom soles and 3D memory foam cushioning, they're designed to stand the test of time. Their supreme comfort isn't at the expense of style: inspired by 80’s basketball trainers, they'll add a subtle retro touch to any outfit.