A lot of guys overlook grey men’s sneakers, which is a bit of a shame. Grey is one of those happy in-between shades that matches well with basically anything. It’s versatile, doesn’t draw too much attention, and comes packed with moody Scandinavian vibes, which is great if you’re going for normcore. Grey sneakers also make a refreshing alternative to the monochrome sneakers you see on literally every pair of feet these days.
So how do you style grey sneakers? Consider this your 50-shades crash course.
What colours match with grey sneakers?
The short answer is: all of them. But there are a few tones that make grey sneakers really pop. Blue is the big one, which is handy, since most guys have indigo denim or navy chinos on stand-by. Try matching your grey sneakers with some mid-wash jeans, then branch out with autumnal colours on top: burgundy, burnt orange, plum, khaki and olive green all work well. Grey and brown are also best friends, so try mixing up grey sneakers with colours like tobacco, cognac, tan and dark chocolate.
Which socks go with grey sneakers?
The general rule with sneakers is: white shoes with white socks, black shoes with black socks. Grey sits between those two (duh), so you’ve got a bit more flexibility. Classic black or white crew socks both work with grey sneakers, and you can even get away with pops of colour. Try navy or olive green for something more fun, or a neutral shade like khaki, tan or beige. If in doubt, stick to monochrome (black , white or dark grey) or match the shade with the rest of your outfit. Wearing a red tee, for example? Try a dark burgundy sock.
Grey sneakers and casualwear
White sneakers have been a casualwear staple for ages, and grey sneakers perform the same basic function. Use these guys the way you would white leather sneakers: as visual accents for your feet. You can throw some casual grey sneakers under cuffed khaki chinos or slim-fit denim, then finish the look with a crew-neck tee and navy bomber. That’s a no-brainer weekend outfit. For a slightly dressier look, try our DECO 2.0 sneakers. These guys are great for Friday date nights. Just match them with dark jeans and a tobacco puffy jacket.
Grey sneakers and streetwear
Grey sneakers slot nicely into the whole streetwear/athleisure trend. There’s a couple of ways you can go here. The first is to think tonal: try Ecru VICE sneakers with grey jogger chinos and a grey hoodie (just make sure you mix up dark and light shades—you’re not trying to camouflage into the wall). The other way is to crank up the contrast: match your grey sneakers with khaki green chinos and a blue trucker jacket, or maybe black cargo pants and a tan crew-neck sweatshirt. The beauty of grey sneakers is they offset pretty much everything: it’s quite hard to make mistakes.
Grey sneakers with a suit
We’re big fans of the smart casual suit-and-sneakers combo. (Just maybe run it by the boss first.) If you do want to try dressing things down around the office, grey sneakers are a great way to go. Just make sure they’re the right sneakers: you’re looking for clean, street lines and premium materials, like our nubuck DECO 2.0 sneaker. Cheaper athletic styles probably won’t cut it. In terms of colour-matching, grey sneakers look amazing under a sharp navy or brown suit. Grey sneakers with charcoal knit suits can also work, but again, make sure you’re not matching the shade exactly. If anything, go a touch lighter on the shoes. For more info on suits and sneakers, check out our full guide.
Matching your accessories
You can go two ways with accessories. Either double down on the greyscale, or choose something with more contrast. If you want a more cohesive vibe, try pairing grey sneakers with our dark grey MERCURY woven belt. Finish the look with some mid-wash indigo jeans and a white crew tee. Alternatively, try grey sneakers with a khaki jacket and our HUGO backpack in cognac leather. The combination of grey, green and brown really pops. The only thing you want to avoid here are high-shine, formal leather belts: they’ll match with grey, but not with sneakers.
Looking after grey sneakers
Grey leather sneakers need the same care and attention as any other shoe. In some ways, more so. Leather boots can pick-up character over time, but sneakers need to stay sharp and clean to look their best. Scuffs, creases and dry leather can quickly kill your beautiful kicks. Start with a stain protector spray, especially for suede or nubuck sneakers. Keep the leather clean regularly to stop dirt and grime from building up. All it needs is a quick scrub with a shoe brush, followed by some warm soapy water. Let the sneakers air-dry at room temperature and you’re good to go. Check out our Shoe Care Guide for more info.