You don’t have to be a marathon runner to benefit from a quality pair of comfortable, supportive sneakers. Typically we think of sneakers as having shoelaces, but there are actually a lot of advantages to owning a pair of laceless sneakers, which we’ll get into. But right off the top, one obvious reason: You’ll never have the embarrassing at best (painful at worst) experience of tripping over your shoelaces.
Best laceless sneakers, at a glance
- Best overall: Vionic Zeliya Lace Up Sneaker, $100
- Best for runners: Nike React Phantom Run Flyknit 2 Women's Road Running Shoes, $140
- Best if you're on your feet all day: Puma Softride Sophia Slip-On Running Shoe, $55
- Best illusion lace sneaker: Skechers BOBS Sport Sparrow 2.0, $49
- Best true to size fit: Adidas Puremotion Adapt Sneaker, $70
- Best velcro option: Gola Women’s Coaster Velcro Trainers, $75
- Best for wider feet: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 FlyEase, $120
- Best splurge (and best colors): APL TechLoom Bliss Sneakers, $220
- Most versatile: New Balance Nergize Sport Training Shoe, $60
But beyond that, there are a lot of reasons to consider a pair of laceless sneakers. If you suffer from any nerve disorders, especially ones that aggravate the nerves in your hands like carpal tunnel syndrome, seemingly “easy” tasks like tying your shoes can be painful and difficult. According to studies, carpal tunnel affects 4-10 million Americans, making it one of the most common nerve disorders. Also if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, you likely experience hand weakness or numbness, which also makes tying shoelaces difficult.
But even if you don’t suffer from joint pain that makes it difficult to tie your shoes, you may have a job, like a nurse practitioner, that requires you to be on your feet for very long shifts. In which case you’ll want a convenient comfort sneaker you can throw on with ease. Or even if you don’t have a job that involves a lot of walking or standing, you may live in a shoeless home, and so having a pair of laceless sneakers makes it so much easier every time you go in or out of the house.
So, clearly there are a lot of reasons to consider investing in a pair of quality laceless sneakers. But while it’s easy to find a lot of slip-on casual shoes, it’s actually difficult to find laceless “sneaker sneakers.” Meaning sneakers that are more traditionally athletic and can double as running shoes. A lot of major footwear brands don’t have many laceless sneaker options–and some don’t carry them at all.
So we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best laceless sneakers on the market.
The beauty of these podiatrist-designed Zeliya sneaks from ortho brand Vionic is that they look like traditional lace-up shoes, but one reviewer aptly called the design “window dressing” since they’re truly slip-ons. With a cushioned outsole and light, breathable upper, these shoes are ideal for walking and standing for hours on end. A nice touch is that while they’re available for medium and wide fit, they’re not ultra bulky (so they look sleek with a pair of jeans, pants, or leggings).
Sizes available: 5-12, medium and wide fit
Best for Runners
Out of all the major name brands, Nike has the biggest selection of laceless sneakers. At $140, the React Phantom Run Flyknit is on the pricier side of our picks, but it’s still an excellent deal for a pair of lace-free Nikes. If you’re running close to 10 miles or more per week, you’ll definitely want to invest in a quality pair of shoes that feel lightweight–but are still durable enough for you to get plenty of mileage out of. One note: These can run a bit narrow, so consider sizing up a half size.
Best if You’re On Your Feet All Day
If you’re traveling and know you’ll be walking more than usual, consider upgrading your old tennis shoes for a pair of cushioned sneakers, like these slip-ons from Puma. They have a “bootie style,” meaning the tongue (the upper portion of the shoe) is higher and gives a bit of extra support. They’re excellent if you have a job where you’re on your feet all day. One Amazon reviewer raved, “I’m a nurse, and I’ve gone through lots of shoes in search of comfort. This is the best ever. It’s so supportive and feels like I’m walking on a cloud.”
Best Illusion Lace Sneaker
Originally $70, now $49
If you like the look of laces but don’t actually want laces, these sneakers from Skechers are a great pick. They have the illusion of shoelaces, but they’re still a slip-on. You might associate Skechers with the late ‘90s/early aughts (“It’s the S!”), but they’re still around. And they have really reasonably-priced, quality sneakers if you want the convenience of a slip-on shoe. This particular style is made from knit fabric and has a memory foam insole. Bonus: it’s from their BOBS line, and for every BOBS purchase a donation is made to shelter animals.
Best True to Size Fit
If you want a sneaker that has a sock-like feel, opt for a laceless option that has straps on the upper portion. The straps give it a snug fit and a minimalist look. And the fabric is stretchy, so whether you have a narrow or a wider foot, this style is your best bet. Most Amazon reviewers say it fits true to size, so no need to size up or down. These are designed for running, but even if you aren’t a runner and just want a comfortable walking shoe, these are a great choice.
Best Velcro Sneaker
Velcro sneakers get an unfair reputation as being either for the very young or the very old—but they’re for everybody, and they’re making a much-deserved comeback. They’re not technically a slip-on, but with velcro shoes you don’t have to deal with tying laces. So they’re excellent if you suffer from arthritis or if you just don’t want the inconvenience of laces. And this pair from Gola has a casual, retro feel that looks perfect with jeans, yoga pants or a sundress.
Sizes: 5-10 (just be careful you choose the correct size by country, since Amazon has both US and UK, as well as kid sizing)
Best for Wider Sized Feet
Nike made our list again, not surprisingly, since they have the biggest selection of laceless sneakers. The zipper enclosure on these is perfect if you want something in between a lace-up shoe and a slip-on shoe. But the zipper is discrete, and it still has the look of a laces. Also, this style is particularly tailored for people with wider feet who find that a lot of running shoes are too tight and narrow for them.
If you want to invest in a pair of luxury laceless sneakers that are as high on style and design as they are on comfort, these ones from APL are a great choice. Says one reviewer, “I fractured my right leg and my arm was in a cast, but slipping this shoe onto my left foot was a breeze.”
And even those that don’t have a physical ailment praised the style: “I wore these to a bridal shower with a print dress and I got so many compliments!” So yes, they’re the “splurgiest” pick on the list, but they’ve got rave reviews.
If you want a quality pair of lace-free sneakers that don’t sacrifice style for comfort—but are still well under $100—this pair from New Balance is a great pick. It’s perfect if you want something to wear to the gym that you can easily slip in and out of, but that also works for the rest of your day out and about. It also has the lace illusion look, if you prefer that. And if you run wider, many reviewers suggest sizing up a half size.
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