How to Wear High Tops: The Ultimate Style Guide for Every Occasion

Sneakerheads know this: high tops have been highly sought-after shoes in men’s footwear for generations, and they’re not going anywhere. With their sporty style and versatility, the appeal of high tops has stood the test of time; they’re still a wardrobe favorite.

Whether you’re looking for a new style statement or just want to amp up your casual look, high top sneakers are the way to go. Since you can dress them up or down, there are some key tips for styling high tops the right way.

In this guide, we’ll share how to wear high tops on different occasions and some caretaking tips for these cool pieces. You’ll be able to bring high tops into your wardrobe for a fresh street-style edge. So, let’s lace up and read on.

Why Are High Top Sneakers So Popular?

Back in the 20s and 30s, high tops were a common style piece for basketball players and athletes. It provided them better ankle support on the court, plus, let’s face it - they looked cool. 

As the decades past, high tops stayed in fashion - especially in the sports world. This won over fans who wanted to get that sporty style on the streets. 

Since then, high tops have stayed in popular culture worldwide for their nostalgic style and functionality — you’ll see them everywhere for a casual streetwear choice to skating down the road.

So, whether you want to amp up your wardrobe, keep active, or get sport some retro swag, high tops are the shoes you need.

Styling High Tops — Top Tips For You

Choose Colors That Match Your Vibe (and Clothes)

If you’re conscious of making a bold statement in your everyday look, consider your general style and typical color palette when choosing high tops for your wardrobe. High tops come in many colors, silhouettes, and fabrications like leather and suede. 

Choose options that will go well with your clothes for the most versatility. How about monochromatic high top sneakers in white or black? They make ideal blank canvas options to build looks around. Apollo Moda has a range of colors and tones in our high top range. Our leather high tops are crafted from premium vegan leather, perfect for the ethical shopper.

Additionally, minimalistic high tops without too many enhancements go for super easy pairing with basically anything in your wardrobe (and we mean anything), even casual dresses can be elevated with a cool high top sneaker. And for a more grunge aesthetic, choose distressed high tops in darker tones.

When Pairing High Tops With Pants

If you want to pair them with rock-slim, tapered pants - opt for wearing your high tops with lean denim, joggers, and chinos that show off those fly kicks. Leave anything too baggy or dragging back in the 90s - they’ll just hide your sneakers under all that fabric. Instead, keep it clean with cropped pants hitting right at the ankle so the tops of the shoes can be seen.

High Tops With Shorts — It’s Works

Shorts may seem tricky to wear with your high tops, but consider that they first came in style when paired with basketball shorts on the court - then you realize it’s the O.G look. We advise you to go for some neutral colors like khaki that won’t compete too much with your shorts, for a more casual look.

Let Socks Enhance The Look

Why not boost your high top look by mixing and matching with unique socks? Right now, bold statements in fashion really are coming back around, so don’t be afraid of wearing bright colored and patterned socks with your already bright sneakers.

With shorts, you could opt between low-cut no-show socks or crew-length athletic socks that bring that sporty energy if that's your thing. You can also keep it semi-polished with dress ankle socks, splitting the difference. You might need to try different sock looks until you find a perfect match, and if you have more than one pair of high tops, you can switch between styles depending on your mood.

Accessorize For Extra Flair   

Leather jackets, snapbacks, and crossbody bags make excellent compliments for your high top sneakers. Avoid overloading looks with too many accessories competing with the sneakers. Remember, it’s all about striking the right balance when learning how to wear high tops in your own way. When dressing for specific occasions, we’ve also got some tips on how to think about styling your sneakers - read on. 

How to Wear High Tops for Different Occasions

High Tops for Casual Daytime Activities

Comfort and style are what make high tops so popular. Imagine meeting your buddies for Saturday brunch or scoping out some new cafes during the day walking through the city on foot; high tops bring comfort without sacrificing style.

Throw on straight, slim black jeans and a casual button-down left open over a white tee, allowing high tops to serve as a neutral foundation for the look. Finish with a jean jacket and wide-brim fedora if the weather is suitable. For chilly days, a cozy wool toggle coat will help you in maintaining a relaxed appeal.

For an urban sporty look, pair rugged high tops with relaxed joggers and an oversized crew neck sweatshirt. You can also carry a black crossbody bag and a lidless baseball cap to complete the look.

High Tops for Running Errands

High tops are indeed versatile! These sneakers make doing your weekend errand easier on your feet without tampering your style.

To keep looks cohesive, pair your high tops with joggers, slim sweatpants, and a hoodie for chilly months. You can layer with an overshirt jacket and beanie hat if it suits your style. Swap the hoodie for a casual crew neck tee or henley when the weather lets you let those high tops shine.

Also, rugged and distressed high tops can also bring a funky look to your basic errand outfits. You can also try it with loose straight-leg denim, a graphic tee, and an opened flannel overshirt.

High Tops for Night Outs

Okay, we’re saying it. Contrary to popular belief, high tops can work for your night out, or date looks with careful styling. The key is keeping the rest of your look sleek and minimalist, allowing the high tops to serve as a statement style.

Take inspiration: Crisp white high top sneakers make the biggest impact against dark, slim jeans and an all-black group on your top half. Go for a well-fitted black tee, leather moto jacket, and silver accessories pared back in quantity. Remember to maintain clean lines throughout for optimum high top enhancement.

On the flip side, all-black high top sneakers will blend well into your darker night-out attire. You can build contrast through lighter wash denim and with lighter shades up top via an oatmeal knit sweater and camel overcoat. 

So many ways to amp up your night outs. And remember, if you’re sporting oversized tees and dresses, high tops with bold socks can be the perfect pair to a casual-glam look.

Prepping Up High Tops with Tailored Pieces

Trust us: High tops can complement your professional attire and elevate your entire look. While we understand that some suits would look a little out of place with these sneakers, don’t completely disregard their appeal with more tailored outfits. 

The trick is to slide in their sporty look with enough polished pieces. Bring high top sneakers into your workplace by pairing them with pleated trousers, an Oxford shirt, and a knit tie. Layer a fitted blazer on top to further rejuvenate the look together. Stick to minimalist high tops without wild colors or prints for the easiest translation into workwear.

Your off-duty looks also benefit from smartening up high tops’ aesthetic occasionally. Pair monochromatic high tops with straight-leg chinos, polo or button-downs, and a blazer for weddings or typical daytime activities.

Caring for Your High Top Sneakers

Putting some time into caring for your high tops ensures they last and stay looking fresh. At Apollo Moda, we advise you to follow these cleaning tips to enhance your shoes’ life:

  • For your premium vegan leather high tops, gently wipe the dirt away with a damp, soft cloth. To avoid sun damage, use Vaseline or baby oil on Apollo Moda vegan leather shoes – this will help the leather stay in great condition even in the sunshine.
  • Remove laces from your fabric high tops to machine wash the laces separately. Hand Wash the shoes in cold water using gentle soap and a small brush. Air-dry them completely.
  • Keep your whites bright with an occasional gentle scrub using a soft bristle toothbrush and baking soda paste, hydrogen peroxide, or commercial whitening solutions.
  • Proper storage also prevents creasing and deformation of your high tops over time. Use shoe trees, lightly stuff the toes with paper when not worn, and keep them upright on shelves away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • Remember to rotate your pairs regularly and spray protective coating onto material types like canvas and suede to promote water resistance and longevity of your high tops through wear.

FAQs on How To Wear High Tops

How can I stop my skinny jeans from bunching up over high top sneakers?

Go for jeans with stretch fabric blends and a tapered leg opening made to sit over shoes sleekly. You can also try sizing up in skinny jeans for a smidge more wiggle room through the ankles.

What pants go best with high tops?

Slim-cut jeans, joggers, and chinos pair best with high tops by balancing the chunky shoes without overwhelming them. Make sure hems stack cleanly rather than just bunching up over sneakers awkwardly.

Can you wear high top sneakers to a wedding or event?

Minimal leather or suede high tops without wild embellishments can work for formal events when balanced with polished pieces like trousers, Oxford shirts, and fitted blazers up top. Keep fancier footwear on hand for very traditional black-tie affairs, though.

How do I make high tops work with shorts?

Aim for shorts with a few inches inseams so there are not too many leg competitions. Neutral shorts in colors like khaki, olive, and gray pair best. Maintain streamlined, slim fits and pair with low cut, no-show socks to keep things clean.

The Key Takeaway on High Top Styling

So, now you know how to wear high tops along with loads of styling inspiration. High top sneakers can easily go with all sorts of looks beyond casual streetwear. Their retro looks provide nostalgic flair while athletic and supportive comfort keeps you going all day.

High tops give you a youthful edge into your dressy and relaxed outfits with the right complementary pieces. Just keep the rest of the look’s silhouette fairly minimalist and neutral to let those pops of color high tops shine.

So, are you ready to pair up your high tops that speak your style? In case you're looking for some cool high tops, we’ve got you covered. At Apollo Moda’s extensive range of the hottest high top sneakers, you’re sure to find one to speak your personality. The styling potential is endless - now go out there and enjoy hitting the streets with your new kicks.

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