Understated, refined, but always noticed, a good pair of smart sneakers can be the subtle centrepiece of any man’s outfit. For certain occasions, a loud pair of classic or contemporary sport sneaks can be overpowering, but brogues might also seem too dressed-up. The solution? Low-top leather smart-sneakers. For those looking to expand this area of their wardrobe, black is undoubtedly the best, and safest, place to start. For this reason, we’ve put together a Three of the Best to help you choose the perfect pair of black low-tops to come in clutch during awkward smart-casual attire deliberations.


Seven Feet Apart – The Original 172 All Black

A few weeks ago here on Ape, we gave a round-up of Seven Feet Apart’s Original 172 sneakers, detailing the combination of Italian design and British innovation in the production process. Now, the brand are offering a limited drop of only 100 pairs of these trainers in a solid jet-black design. Debossed logos and gold tipped laces add valuable detail, and a memory foam footbed with neoprene inner offer comfort without compromising on style. The 100 pairs go on sale at a price of £125 on Saturday 26th August at 8:35pm.


Common Projects – Original Achilles Low-Top Leather Trainers

These sleek Original Achilles Low-Tops from Common Projects are an example of the brand’s typical minimalist style. Constructed from calf leather in a round-toe, they’re also detailed with a signature gold serial number at the heel. These American-Italian designer smart-sneakers will set you back £290, but if your wallet can take it, they’re an invaluable and versatile addition to countless outfits.


COS – Leather Sneakers With Rubber Toe Caps

At £89, these no-nonsense shoes from COS are the cheapest option of the three, but don’t assume that this indicates a sacrifice in quality. Made from polished leather with contrasting, matte rubberised leather toe caps, the trainers incorporate tonal waxed laces and indented rubber soles for extra grip. They’re not quite as flashy as the other two offerings, but if you’re after a pair of practical, understated black sneakers you can easily wear every day, this is the choice to opt for.