Have you ever found the perfect pair of jeans only to struggle over which shoes you should wear with them? As cute as sandals and boots can look with jeans, we’re here to remind you that comfortable sneakers can really top off a denim ensemble. Especially if you do a lot of walking in your jeans (or even just running errands), your best bet in terms of comfort, stability, and support is a good pair of sneaks.
But! Let's be honest. Not all sneakers look good with jeans. They can look too clunky. Too busy. They may not give you enough platform. They may offer too much platform. Perhaps some are too sporty for your taste, and some aren't sporty enough. There's a lot that goes into the perfect sneaker-denim combo, and we get that!
But you've come to the right place—because we've figured it all out for you. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best pairs of casual sneakers that are versatile enough to be worn with athleisure and your favorite Levis alike. You can thank us later.
Sneakers that go great with jeans
Given the backward state of society as of late, people everywhere are becoming more open to wearing their politics on their sleeves—or, in this case, on their shoes. In an effort to remind folks of the importance of elections ahead of the monumental midterms ahead of us, Crooked Media released its No Steps Back Cariuma White Canvas Sneaker on Tuesday, August 16—and if we do say so ourselves, they’ll pair fabulously with denim of all shades. According to the brand, for every pair sold through the Crooked store, a portion of profits will be donated to VoteRiders, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that informs citizens of their state’s voter ID requirements, so that they can secure what’s necessary to cast their ballot.
Birdies are renowned for their slipper-like feel. While the brand started out with flats, in 2022, they introduced The Roadrunner silhouette, and let me tell you, it’s good. The retro-inspired low-top sneakers feature the brand’s iconic memory foam insoles, making them incredibly cozy with each and every step. What’s more, they have a hidden 20-millimeter wedge, so they give you a little lift in the most discreet way. While the siren SKU caught my eye first—and remains a mainstay in my closet—I now can’t wait to get my hands on the new Primary Plaid pair that’s part of the fall 2022 launch. As pretty as the Sirens are with every outfit I’ve paired them with, the Primary Plaid will be even better suited for denim pairings.
Another one of my all-time favorite pairs of sneakers, the FitFlop Vitamin FF Knit sneakers are incredibly comfortable and versatile. I regularly wear them to Orangetheory, on walks with my pup, Cash, and out and about on errands. As such, I’ve worn the expertly-molded sneakers with leggings, bike shorts, jeans, dresses, and just about everything in between. I have them in two colors, but they’re sold in six, so you’re sure to find a fit.
There’s nothing like a solid white sneaker with jeans. And just because Labor Day came and went, doesn’t mean you have to banish your crispy lace-ups from your closet (promise!). Instead, add a pair of the Bala Twelves to your shoe collection for optimal comfort and casual style. These white sneaks are especially special because they’re liquid-resistant, which is why they’re a cult-favorite among nurses. They’re also non-slip, built with an ergonomic insole, and easy to clean (you can toss them in the wash). Needless to say, whether you pair them with denim or scrubs, you’ll be glad to have them in your wardrobe.
You can’t go wrong with this class “Dad Shoe.” (No really, we wrote all about them and our favorite styles.) The 327 caught our eye since they’re simultaneously retro and modern (it’s because the style is inspired by their ’70s style but updated with all the modern bells and whistles, like cushioning and a nice, secure fit). These are best for walking and everyday wear, but they’re dependable kicks you can count on. Also available in white.
Originally $75, now $53
These classic everyday sneakers offer style and supreme comfort—they’re best-seller for a reason. Runner-inspired, these trainers go with literally everything you own, and are sleek and cool (without compromising on cushioning). Best of all, they’re constructed with an eco-friendly Primegreen (recycled) material, so you can feel good about your contributions to Planet Earth. And?! They’re on sale. It’s win-win-win all around.
Sold in 10 colors, the Sorel Women’s Kinetic Lace Sneakers are undeniably chic—so much so that they can easily be paired with denim and dresses, let alone athleisure. In addition to the unique silhouette, the shoes feature an extremely comfortable (and breathable) mesh upper and the brand’s signature high-traction outsoles. Suffice to say, you won’t be slipping in these beauties.
Craving a bit more retro flair? The Ugg Calle Lace Fashion Sneakers tout a chunky silhouette doused in neon for a bold shoe choice that pairs as well with dark denim as it does classic black leggings. With a foam footbed and sock liner, they’re every bit as comfortable as you’d expect a pair of UGG tennies to be.
Speaking of color, Keds has a popping pink shade of their iconic canvas sneakers, which works especially well with denim, as well as the current Barbiecore trend. These sneakers are simple and streamlined, offering a very dainty, form-fitting silhouette. While the brand is known for its slim design, they do sell these sneaks in wides, as well, so they’re a great pick for all.
Chucks are a classic. These ones are sold in black and white but also come with the option to fully customize your own pair. In that way, they’re pretty hard to beat. Beyond the color palette they come in, these sneaks are very comfortable, thanks to their OrthoLite insoles.
There’s a reason why these are one of Princess Diana’s favorite sneaks (that she famously wore with bike shorts). And probably why your mom and dad still own their pairs. The foam lining ensures that your ankles are always cradled, no matter if you’re going to the grocery store or speed walking with friends. The midsole is nice a bouncy without being “too much,” and the white leather truly does just go with everything. Wear ’em with a dress. Wear ’em with leggings. But we love them best with a pair of straight denim.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Yes, they’re exorbitantly priced. That said, if you have the cash and you love the look of chunky soles and the feel of expertly-padded insoles and heels, these luxe sneakers are worth considering. They boost your height and your style, and are pretty dang comfy in the process.
The Saucony Triumph is an all-star in so many ways (it’s a great running shoe, but is sleek enough strength-training, and cushioned enough for long walks—we’ve tested it all), and that includes its styling versatility. It’s definitely a sneaker-sneaker, but it’s pretty enough to be paired with your jeans as well as your running leggings. It comes in 14 colors, so you can really have fun with the color pairing here.
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