Best Black Sneakers 2023

Someone in black trousers and socks wearing a pair of black New Balance shoes featuring an off-white midsole and grey details.
Credit: Aphrodite Clothing

Someone in black trousers and socks wearing a pair of black New Balance shoes featuring an off-white midsole and grey details.
Credit: Aphrodite Clothing

We consider owning a pair of black shoes essential as the neutral colour palette makes them ideal to pair with almost any outfit. However, finding the right shoes to add to your collection can be daunting. Fortunately, our list of the best black sneakers is here to help.

Luckily for us, some of the best sneakers released this year have come dressed predominately in black tones, making our choice, in some ways, easy. The issue here, however, is there have been so many amazing black shoes released this year that it's hard to narrow things down to just a handful of top picks.

So, as part of our selection process, we considered the popularity and sales of shoes from some of the best sneaker brands around alongside their designs and innovations. Of course, subjectivity comes into play here. However, we feel there's definitely something for everyone in the five trainers we've picked out.

Whether you're after an amazing collaboration, like this Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1, or you're seeking a pair of low-tops from adidas, such as this "Core Black" Campus 00s colourway, our list has you covered. Without further delay then, here are our top picks...

Best black sneakers

  1. Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low "1837"
  2. Air Jordan 1 Mid "Space Jam"
  3. adidas Campus 00s "Core Black"
  4. New Balance 2002R Protection Pack "Black Grey"
  5. Vans Knu Skool "Black White"
Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low "1837" product image of a black suede sneaker featuring a light blue Swoosh.
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Credit: Tiffany & Co. x Nike

1. Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low "1837"

Best black Nike sneakers

Let's begin with the highly sought-after Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 "1837", one of the best sneaker collaborations released this year after these two fashion heavyweights teamed up for the first time.

It's no surprise, considering Tiffany & Co.'s renowned expertise in jewellery, that the brand has elevated the Air Force 1 with high-end details and style, beyond what many of the best Nike shoes typically offer.

To begin with, the sneaker predominantly features black suede, which beautifully complements the signature Tiffany blue-tinted Swooshes. To add to the luxurious feel, the shoe also features a laser-etched, co-branded silver plate on the heel, matching the exclusive shoe box it arrives in.

There's no doubt this Tiffany & Co. Air Force 1 is an all-time classic, potentially even one of the best Air Force 1s ever made. So, as it's predominately black, we just had to feature it as one of our top picks.

Read More: Best sneakers for women

Air Jordan 1 Mid "Space Jam" product image of a black patent leather mid-top featuring an icy blue outsole.
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Credit: Nike

2. Air Jordan 1 Mid "Space Jam"

Best black Jordan sneakers

Shifting focus now to the "Space Jam" Mids, a striking tribute to the legendary Space Jam 11s from the '90s. These mid-top sneakers pay tribute to the amazing Air Jordans worn in the film, making them an excellent addition to any '90s basketball fan's sneaker collection.

Like the originals, the shoes feature black patent leather uppers and translucent, icy blue outsoles. However, what sets these Mids apart is their lower ankle cut compared to, for example, the Ultra High "Space Jam" 1 remake from 2016, a top-tier high-top that would fit seamlessly into any collection. The mid-cut collar though makes this version a little more versatile and, in our opinion, more suitable to wear on a daily basis.

Ultimately, the timeless Space Jam colourway coupled with the Jordan 1 Mid's silhouette elevates the overall design to the point where we'd consider it one of the best Jordan 1 colourways released this year.

It's without a doubt a viable option for daily use, making these sneakers definitely worth considering as they seamlessly blend style and functionality.

Read More: Best sneakers for men

adidas Campus 00s "Core Black" product image of a black suede sneaker featuring white stripes, laces, and midsole and a gum outsole.
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Credit: adidas

3. adidas Campus 00s "Core Black"

Best black adidas sneakers

Originally designed for the basketball court, adidas Campus shoes quickly transcended their athletic roots to become a versatile fashion statement for any occasion. The Campus 00s model takes this versatility to new heights in today's world by incorporating contemporary materials, colours, and details.

This particular iteration is made from premium leather lined with soft textile terry fabric, exuding both quality and comfort. The addition of the off-white midsole is a nice touch as well, adding a hint of nostalgia to its modern aesthetic.

Specifically, we've selected the "Core Black" colourway for its timeless appeal as well as, of course, its predominately black exterior. Also, the colour combination is incredibly easy to pair with a wide range of outfits, making it a well-rounded and awesome low-top addition to any wardrobe.

Read More: Best adidas shoes

New Balance 2002R Protection Pack "Black Grey" product image of a black and grey low-top sneaker featuring distressed cutout sections.
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Credit: New Balance

4. New Balance 2002R Protection Pack "Black Grey"

Best black New Balance sneakers

In 2020, New Balance unveiled the 2002R, a remastered version of the iconic 2002 silhouette originally released in, unsurprisingly, 2002 to commemorate its tenth anniversary.

However, the 2002R is not a mere retro release, made evident just by looking at its unique design. Instead, it embraces a more modern style that propels it into a new era of footwear.

Retaining the mixed-material upper of its predecessor, the 2002R combines it with the innovative sole unit of the 860v2 model. This particular "Black Grey" version then features sleek curves and strategically placed cutouts in, you guessed it, black. This is then contrasted by hits of grey and white for the midsole.

While the 2002R may not be specifically tailored for running like the original 2002, it is fully equipped to withstand the demands of daily use as well. Notably, the addition of GORE-TEX waterproof fabric provides protection against wind, rain, and water, further enhancing its durability and versatility. So, whether you're facing rigorous activities or adverse weather conditions, this black iteration of the 2002R has you covered.

Read More: Best New Balance shoes

Vans Knu Skool "Black White" product image of a black Van low-top featuring oversized white details and midsole.
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Credit: Vans

5. Vans Knu Skool "Black White"

Best black Vans sneakers

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New for 2023, the Vans Knu Skool "Black White" is a reissued model from the '90s that pays homage to the era of extra-puffy skate shoes. Constructed from durable suede, this low-top silhouette boasts an exaggerated design, featuring a seriously padded tongue and ankle collar reminiscent of the original Old Skool style.

The sneakers stay true to what makes some of the best Vans shoes so iconic though by including the classic Vans Sidestripe. However, it's been redesigned into a larger, 3D, diamond-shaped detail, further enhancing the chunky and bold appearance.

Yes, the sneaker features both black and white elements. But, once again, it's a timeless combination that's always a surefire hit, no matter what outfit you have on.

And, when it comes to the Knu Skool design, it effortlessly blends nostalgic elements with contemporary style, making it a standout choice for those seeking a unique and eye-catching black sneaker.

Read More: Best sneakers under 100

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Building out a sneaker collection often leads to several questions, particularly when it comes to black shoes. Fear not, however, because we've answered some of the most commonly asked queries below.

Can you wear black sneakers in summer?

Yes! Black sneakers can be worn during the summer months. While black may absorb more heat compared to lighter colours, it doesn't mean you can't rock black sneakers in warm weather.

However, we'd highly recommend you pick out black shoes made from lightweight and breathable materials such as mesh or canvas. These materials allow air circulation, keeping your feet cooler and more comfortable in the heat.

Also, consider opting for low-top sneakers over high-tops as they can provide more ventilation and allow your feet to breathe.

Ultimately, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference and style though. However, black sneakers can add a touch of sophistication and versatility to your summer outfits, so don't hesitate to wear them if you enjoy the look.

Can you still buy black sneakers once they've sold out?

If the black sneakers you're after are out of stock, then you have a few different options worth considering to obtain a pair. Firstly, check your local shoe stores as they might still have stock remaining from the initial release.

Another viable option is to explore resale platforms and marketplaces such as StockX, which we consider one of the best destinations to buy sneakers second-hand.

These platforms can be valuable if you're having trouble finding sold-out sneakers elsewhere. Keep in mind that the price you pay may exceed the original retail cost depending on the shoe's popularity. However, reputable resale platforms generally verify the authenticity of each purchase to ensure that you're not acquiring counterfeit products.

If these alternatives prove fruitless though, you may have to rely on a restock. Occasionally, retailers re-release highly sought-after sneakers if there is sufficient demand. However, restocks are not always guaranteed, rendering this method less reliable for acquiring sold-out black shoes.

Are black sneakers prone to showing scuffs and marks more than other colours?

Generally speaking, black sneakers are less prone to showing scuffs and marks compared to lighter-coloured shoes as the darker colour tends to camouflage minor scuffs and dirt better, making them appear less noticeable than on say a pair of white shoes.

However, it's important to note that scuffs and marks can still be visible on black sneakers on occasion. Additionally, the specific material and finish of the sneakers can also affect their susceptibility to scuffs. For example, suede can often be prone to visible marks.

Therefore, we'd highly recommend taking proper care of your black sneakers and cleaning them regularly to maintain their appearance. You may also find applying a top sneaker protective spray to your shoes effective at combating potential stains.

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