Sole searching: men's trainers

Lynnette Peck / 26 October 2015

Should older men wear trainers and, if so, which styles should you choose and which should you avoid? Get our expert style tips.



Remember when trainers were only worn in gyms, on basketball courts and on the feet of teenagers? Now they are worn as standard footwear for those of all ages and with all lifestyles.

The bottom line to wearing trainers, once one is no longer in the first flush of youth, is to go classic. This applies to most fashion items really and is a good rule of thumb.

With trainers this means wearing classic brands and styles, such as:

  • Adidas Stan Smiths
  • Converse Chuck Taylors (around since 1939)
  • Vans Authentic

When we say classic, this means a basic lace-up, low-cut shoe. These age-appropriate trainers tend to be older designs which have stood the test of time largely unchanged – as have you, we are sure.

Avoid basketball shoes such as Air Jordans – unless you really do intend to play the game.

In terms of how your trainers look, then opt for block colours, which look sleek and preppy, and don’t be tempted by limited-edition crazy patterns, mesh, perforation holes and bright, bright shades.

One simple colour for trainers means they go with both jeans and smart trousers so they are the best choice.

If white trainers appeal to you, then wear a white button-down shirt or white t-shirt to tie in with your shoes. Trousers should always sit just above or on the ankle to create a cleaner line.

Keeping them clean sounds obvious, but this is key to ‘getting away’ with wearing them. Dirty means scruffy and this looks teenage, whereas clean looks sleek and smart - which is always a better fashion look in our view.

Now you know they are not just for the very young or very fashionable get buying a pair of minimalist white trainers and make them a regular part of your casual wear wardrobe.

What the fashion expert says about trainers

Hannah Rochell, author of En Brogue: The Trainers Guide:

“I would give the same advice as I do for everyone. NEVER wear the trainers you wear to the gym with your regular clothes.

“And for men over 50, keep it simple. Stan Smiths are great and a brand called Northern Cobbler do some lovely white leather sneakers that feel a bit more dressy than sports shoes.

“And I always think Paul McCartney looks fab in a suit, white T-shirt and plain Converse trainers.

“Navy New Balance shoes are also totally acceptable.”

Top five trainers to buy

  1. Converse All Star Chuck 70’s Suede in Orange Bitters or Charcoal Black, £69.95, urbanindustry.co.uk

  2. Adidas Originals Stan Smith Shoes, £62, adidas.co.uk

  3. Lanvin Suede Cap-Toe Sneakers in Dark Blue, £285, ssense.com

  4. Quiksilver Daytona in grey £50, quicksilver.co.uk

  5. Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers, £265, mrporter.com

Please note: prices and web addresses were correct at the time of publication.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.