Best Cheap Shoes That Are High Quality, Trendy & Iconic

by jacky chou
Updated on

Whether you're a sneakerhead or you need a new pair of sneakers, one thing is for sure; sneakers can be super expensive. The good thing, though, it depends on the brand and the type of sneakers. Certain brands cater to certain demographics, but you can always find affordable sneakers with high quality and don't compromise. You only need to know where to look.

The best cheap shoes, and in our case, sneakers, will be a combination of quality and style. The sneaker should be in line with your style and fit within the price budget. It should also be made of quality materials like suede, leather and have a flexible rubber sole that will provide the needed grip and traction.

This article guides you by outlining 5 of the best cheap shoes and the factors to consider when shopping for them to make your shopping a little easier.

Best Cheap Shoes

1. Adidas Originals mens Stan Smith

adidas Stan Smith White/White/Green 14
  • SIZE DOWN: Recommended to size down half a size as these shoes run large
  • ICONIC STYLE: Reintroduced with the planet in mind
  • TIMELESS LOOK: Classic silhouette has defined sneaker style for over four decades
  • CLASSIC DETAILS: Stan Smith logos on the tongue and heel tab, plus three perforated stripes complete these classic tennis shoes
  • MORE SUSTAINABLE: Made from high-performance recycled materials and vegan alternatives, with zero virgin polyster. Part of adidas' commitment to use only recycled polyester by 2024

The sneakers are named after the world champion tennis player, Stan Smith, who achieved two Grand Slam singled and five Grand Slam doubles. The tennis player is known for being calm, cool, and collected on the court; hence Adidas designed the sneakers to have the same aesthetic.

Though these particular pairs fall under the men's category, what's pretty special about all Stan Smith sneakers is that they are unisex. So if you find yourself thinking, hey, I can pretty much rock this, well, you're not wrong, cause that's how they were designed to be.

The affordable sneakers are a perfect companion if you're going for a casual or even formal style. They have that classic clean touch that makes a great addition to every wardrobe.

The Addidas silhouette has stayed true to the original design for over four decades. The classic three perforated stripes that feature smooth synthetic leather upper and bright colors decorate the heel tab.

  • Pros
  • Comfortable and stylish.
  • Affordable and classic design.
  • High quality low top sneaker design.
  • The heel top colors are appealing.
  • Unisex design.
  • Cons
  • Some reviews noted that the sizing was hard to get right.

2. New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1

New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker, Black/Magnet, 5
  • These shoes have a performance fit. We recommend ordering a 1/2 size bigger than your typical NB size.
  • Midsole Cushioning: These New Balance sneakers feature a REVlite midsole that delivers incredibly lightweight cushioning and provides a responsive ride for comfortable all-day wear
  • Underfoot Comfort: With an NB Memory Sole Comfort Insert that offers a plush feel with every step, this everyday shoe for women was made for wearing anywhere and everywhere
  • Sleek Design and Supportive Fit: Stay comfortable and stylish as you go about your day with the contemporary bootie design. The bootie upper construction hugs your foot for a snug, supportive fit
  • Lightweight Feel: The modern, eye-catching upper on these cross-trainers uses mesh and synthetic materials for a super lightweight feel that helps keep you light on your feet

These New Balance have so much going for them. Not only are they super affordable, but they are also stylish, lightweight, and comfortable.

They are the perfect kicks to have when you're busy going about your day, running errands, or you need a casual shoe to wear around the home easily.

The footwear comes in many colors that range from minimalist to pastel, making it easy to pair up with most outfits. In addition, its sleek silhouette makes it an extremely versatile shoe.

The New Balance sneaker features a lightweight breathable upper and Revlite midsole and memory foam insert that provides the needed cushioned support.

The New Balance sneaker has a bootie-like construction that does an amazing job of molding to the feet for a cozy-like feeling. Its slip-on design also makes it easier to put on, and the sneaker features laces for extra support.

You can be sure once you wear these New Balance sneakers, you'll want to put them on all the time. At least that's what one reviewer said.

  • Pros
  • Affordable and stylish footwear.
  • Comfortable for all-day wear.
  • Features a slip-on design that makes it easy to put on.
  • Comes in a range of colors.
  • The silhouette design makes the sneaker super versatile.
  • Available in wide widths.
  • Lightweight, breathable and have cushioned support.
  • Cons
  • Not ideal for active sports.

3. Converse Men's Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi

Converse - All Star Optical White High Top Sneakers, 8 D(M) US
  • Canvas upper
  • Durable rubber sole
  • Metal eyelets
  • Hi top

Converse sneakers are a classic, and at one point, it was almost like a rite of passage to own them.

These sneakers have an edgy look to them and were attributed to rock and punk artists for a long time. However, though still considered quite edgy they are fantastic to have in your wardrobe as they can pretty much go with anything. You name it, jeans, shorts, dresses, suits... There's always a way to make converse, especially high tops, work.

The Converse Chuck Taylor sneaker features a lightweight and durable canvas upper.

The Converse shoe features a rubber sole that provides support, stability, and traction. The high-top design is sure to protect your arches, making it a great choice for winter. You can wear them with long or ankle socks. Either design works. The classic and timeless design of the Converse Chuck Taylor is designed to allow you to express yourself as feel best.

These affordable sneakers are the perfect pair if you're looking to express yourself or consider yourself creative. They are also great work sneakers for artists or people who work in areas that allow casual dress codes.

  • Pros
  • Classic and iconic Converse design.
  • Features a rubber sole that provides support and stability.
  • Comes in a clean white design that's easy to pair with various outfits.
  • Affordable and stylish footwear.
  • Cons
  • Don't provide a lot of arch support.

4. Adidas Performance Men's Samba Classic

adidas Men's Samba Classic Soccer Shoe, Core Black/Cloud White/Core Black, 6.5 M US
  • Full grain leather upper with suede overlays offer support and protection
  • Embossed EVA midsole for superior comfort
  • Non Marking gum rubber outsole for excellent grip on all indoor surfaces

The Adidas Samba sneakers were initially introduced as indoor soccer shoes. However, they have now transitioned to become more of casual footwear.

This current pair is made of 100% leather. However, Adidas introduced a new pair that can be found on their website that's more in line with their values on their environment. The new Samba Classic is vegan friendly; hence they are made of faux leather.

The Adidas shoe features a rubber sole that provides extra grip and traction. In addition, it has a large tongue designed to protect your ankles.

The low-top kicks are a great addition to your collection as they have a modern yet classic look. However, they are better suited for fashion due to their large tongue; hence we'd recommend the OG Addidas Sambas for the smaller tongue if looking for indoor soccer sneakers.

  • Pros
  • Features a real gum sole.
  • Made of real leather and suede.
  • Stylish and Timeless Adidas Design.
  • Durable and Lightweight.
  • Cons
  • Low arch support.

5. Puma Suede Classic XXI Mens Shoes

When we talk about timeless and iconic, the Puma Suede Classic definitely comes to mind.

Puma introduced this line in 1968, and since then, it's been changing the footwear game. The sneaker has been donned by icons of every generation and remained a classic through it all.

Puma relaunched the Suede sneaker this year but maintained its signature fresh colorways and subtle design.

The Puma sneaker features a classic Suede low-top silhouette that's pretty much timeless. It also has a full suede upper and synthetic upper lining.

The Puma suede classic features a comfort sockliner that provides instant step-in cushioning and a rubber outsole that provides the needed grip and traction.

The Puma suede classic footwear has a classic but modern touch that allows you to pair it with various outfits. These are a perfect addition to your kicks collection, especially if you consider yourself a sneakerhead.

These come in various colors that can pretty much work with anything.

  • Pros
  • High-quality brand and stylish.
  • Cushioned support.
  • Cons
  • Low arch support.

Factors To Consider When Buying Best Cheap Shoes

a) Determine Your Style

When it comes to buying the best cheap shoes, affordable sneakers definitely rank high list.

When searching for a new pair for your wardrobe, the first thing to do is to identify your style. After that, it's easier to find sneakers that match your current style, plus it also makes it easier on your budget.

Always remember to be confident with who you are and what you like. The best sneakers for you will generally reflect you and your style.

Sneaker styles come in 3 styles: Low, Mid, and High. You have the choice between these three cuts or, depending on your style, can have them all.

  • Low Top Sneakers

These sneakers are designed not to cover the ankle.

They are relatively lightweight and slim, making them ideal for summer. In addition, they can work with formal wear depending on the style due to their nice and clean design.

  • Mid Tops

They are an in-between of hightops ( which cover the ankle) and low tops.

This range of sneakers is still considered quite unexplored however some brands have started creating some pretty cool kicks. e.g., Nike Air Presto x Acronym

  • High Tops

These sneakers are designed to cover the ankle and tend to be relatively bulky. A good example is Basketball sneakers.

They tend to be a bit heavier on foot, making them better suited for winter. In addition, there are often seen as part of streetwear as they are less understated compared to low tops that are considered to be nice and clean.

  • Select from the most popular sneaker styles

Some sneaker trends and styles tend to come and go, while others remain iconic. In addition, some sneaker models can radiate various styles. Therefore, when searching for the best cheap shoes, you can either settle for the most popular sneaker styles at the moment or go for the most iconic styles that have lasted through ages. A good example of this is the Converse high top that has lasted through and through.

b) Consider Your Lifestyle

When buying affordable sneakers, it's important to consider your lifestyle and the activities you carry out. Your kicks supplement your lifestyle in that they should be able to support the various activities you do.

For instance, if looking for sneakers that double up work shoes, you'll need a pair that provides the needed comfort and stability as you'll likely be on your feet for the better part of your day.

In addition, you may require a pair of sneakers that you can quickly transition with from work to play; it could be going for dinner with friends or movies with your partner; whatever it is, the pair should be up to the task.

c) Price

Price is relative as what is cheap to one person might be expensive to another. Regardless of this, it's important to consider your budget when shopping for cheap footwear. Some footwear brands offer sneakers for all categories, while designer sneakers tend to be more tailored to pricey high-end categories. When buying online, a rule of thumb, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. This goes both ways, whether it's cheap or expensive.

d) Life of The Shoe

The life expectancy can be helpful when determining whether to invest in a pair of affordable sneakers or not. As sneakers wear out, they can make you more prone to injuries; hence, it's essential to consider the shoe's life expectancy. If buying in-store, it's advisable to seek the counsel of the sales clerk about the life expectancy of the shoe. Alternatively, you can also look at online reviews from experienced athletes to get a sense of how long you can expect to use your sneakers.

Additionally, when buying online, read reviews from other customers to know how long the sneakers lasted, as this will give you a rough estimate of what to expect.

e) Flexibility Of The Sole

Your sneakers should be fitted with a flexible sole as this means they have the ability to bend. Essentially, you want to buy sneakers with the right fit and width and have a rubber sole as this provides traction and grip. Many people tend to mix up the flexibility of the sole and the softness of the inner padding; however, they are not the same thing.

To test the flexibility of the sole, you can carry out the bending test. Bend the heel and toe towards each other, and if the soles take a V form, then the shoe has great flexibility.

f) The Materials Used

When shopping for affordable footwear, it's essential to consider the materials used.

i) Uppers

Sneaker uppers tend to be made of two types of materials:

a) Leather (full-grain, suede, nubuck)

The benefits are that it's durable, supportive, stable, comfortable, easy to clean, tends to result in a customized fit that molds to the shape of the foot and are abrasion-resistant.

The downside is that it has a longer break-in period, bulkier on the feet, and less breathable.

b) Textile ( Knit, Canvas, Mesh)

The benefits are that it's breathable, lightweight has a soft-like feeling, and cheaper.

The downside is that it's less durable, tends to absorb water, and has less support and stability.

ii) MidSole

a) EVA

Most sneakers feature insoles/midsoles with EVA memory form.

The benefit is that it provides cushioned support and, to some extent, arch support depending on the brand. It also provides mild impact absorption, is flexible and lightweight.

The downside is with time, and it becomes less supportive as it remains compressed.

b) PU

This type of midsole tends to be supportive and hardwearing. The downside is that it is a longer break-in period and is heavier.

g) Style and Comfort

Most people tend to opt for sneakers as they are very comfortable. However, when searching for the best affordable sneakers, it's important to note that popularity does not necessarily equate with comfort. Just because there's a hype around the sneaker doesn't mean you need to get it. If it's not comfortable, you could end up becoming a fashion victim with a sneaker that's collecting dust in your shoe rack. Always remember to invest in a shoe that's the right fit and goes with your style. But most importantly, it should be comfortable.

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jacky chou


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