Are Sneakers Business Casual?

Whether sneakers are business casual depends on the dress code of the company and the culture. If you are unsure of what is considered appropriate for workwear, it’s always a good idea to ask your supervisor or HR department.

If you do decide to wear sneakers in a more formal workplace, consider investing in a sleek pair made from premium materials such as leather. These sneakers will look the part without ruffling any feathers.

They’re Comfortable

With work environments getting more casual, sneakers are becoming a regular part of many wardrobes. While some workplaces will still prefer you wear heels, there are plenty that don’t mind a well-tailored sneaker at all. In fact, some styles even look quite upscale. You could even consider a pair like these Converse Chuck 70 high tops ($90, Converse) or a classic pair of Commes Des Garcons classic heart logo sneakers (from $150, Nordstrom).

The key to wearing business casual sneakers is keeping the rest of your outfit as refined as possible. If you opt for a jumpsuit, a midi dress, or tailored pants, make sure to add a crisp button-down or blazer on top. Then you’re free to wear any type of sneaker as long as it’s clean, sleek, and employs muted colors so it doesn’t stand out too much.

Sneakers can also be worn with a pair of wide-leg trousers or a pencil skirt, depending on your workplace’s dress code and personal preference. For example, this pair of women’s sneakers from Vionic with a padded collar, latex insole, and PU details would be appropriate for a professional environment, as it’s both stylish and comfortable. They’re also available in a range of colors to complement your favorite outfits. And the best part is that they have podiatrist-designed arch support to keep you on your feet all day.

They’re Versatile

For those who work in environments where casual wear reigns supreme, sneakers are a great option for your professional wardrobe. Startups, tech companies and creative fields tend to be more laid-back when it comes to dress codes, so you might find it easier to rock a pair of sneakers in these types of workplaces. But remember: you still need to keep things clean-looking, and it’s best to stick with basic styles that won’t clash with your work outfits.

Sneakers that are considered business casual can come in a variety of styles. For example, fashion sneakers are a style that blends streetwear influences with formal elements for a look that’s cool, comfortable and professional. Other sneakers that could be considered business casual include high tops, Mary Jane sneakers and slip-on sneakers.

Leather sneakers also offer a more refined, sophisticated look. You can choose a sleek leather silhouette in a neutral color or add flair with unique laces and stitching. If you’re looking for a sneaker that’s even more versatile and chic, consider a Chelsea-style leather sneaker bootie.

Another option is to go with lace-up sneakers that have a classic, timeless design that fits with most workplace dress codes. These shoes typically have a low-ankle height and are made from soft, natural materials like suede or leather. You can even find styles that are embellished with studs and rhinestones, which are perfect for showing off your personal sense of style with your footwear.

They’re Modern


As sneakers continue to evolve, they’re no longer only associated with leisure and athletic wear. In fact, many sneakers are designed to look stylish and sophisticated. They may even rival the appearance of a leather loafer, with sleek and elegant features like lace-up closures, textile or leather uppers, and refined metal hardware.

In addition to these polished aesthetics, smart casual sneakers are often made from high-quality materials that stand the test of time. They’re also engineered for comfort and versatility, making them perfect for the workplace. Look for sneakers that feature a soft, cushioned footbed and padded collar, latex insoles, and PU details to add a touch of style and comfort.

For men, a pair of khakis or tailored pants paired with a polo shirt or tailored button-down is an easy and comfortable business casual ensemble. Sneakers in dark neutral colors, such as black or navy blue, will work well with this outfit. Incorporate a suit jacket to elevate the look.

Sneakers are also great for pairing with a jumpsuit. This versatile clothing choice is easy to dress up or down and can be worn with any type of shoes. A pair of slip-on sneakers can make the perfect casual office attire. Casual sneakers in leather or textile with a classic style like a Mary Jane or a lace-up design are ideal for pairing with non-denim dress pants and a tailored blazer.

They’re Affordable

As workplace dress codes become more relaxed, sneakers are increasingly accepted in the office. Sneakers are also more affordable than a new suit, making them an ideal work wardrobe staple. If you’re looking for a stylish sneaker that is business casual, consider a pair of sneakers from Allbirds that are made from eco-friendly, breathable wool. Their simple silhouette and leather tops are a subtle way to upgrade your sneakers for the office, while their soft soles won’t leave your feet feeling too stiff all day.

For a more formal sneaker option, consider one that is made from a darker material like suede. Sneakers in a dark gray, brown, or black will look more polished than bright blue ones, and can be worn with almost any business casual outfit. If you’re not a fan of the classic Converse style, try out a pair of Chukka boots in a dark gray or brown suede fabric. The bootie height is a good fit for business casual, and the suede adds a nice touch of style to your shoes.

The best business casual sneakers are the ones that complement your work outfit, while incorporating your own sense of style. If you’re comfortable with sneakers in the workplace, it is always better to overdress than underdress. As long as you stick to the rules of business casual, it is ok to wear sneakers to work, especially in workplaces that allow it on Casual Friday!

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