How To Pick Out The Best Sneakers For Your Jeans

Denim and sneakers: two of our favorite things in this world. Denim and sneakers together? Easily one of our top five pairings in this world. But just because we love them individually doesn't mean they always work well together. In fact, styling the two is a little more nuanced than we would imagine. While we stand by wearing whatever the hell you're happiest in at the end of the day, some pairings tend to look better than others — where kick-flare jeans and a classic pair of Adidas Superstars are a dream team, wide-legged and looser-fitting pants need a little more consideration.

The denim and sneaker pairings ahead are gateway considerations to help you towards the right combination. Once you've conquered these, you'll be a pro at mixing and matching until you find duos that best reflect your own personal style. Easy does it.

Denim Style: Boyfriend
Sneaker Style: Casual

Boyfriend jeans fall right in between a skinny jean and a fully relaxed fit. The fit is about as casual as it gets. That semi-level of structure pairs best with a classic and casual sneaker — think rounded toe caps, low-top, and laced-up.
PAIGE Brigitte - Brookdale, $209.00 Buy
Nike Montreal Vintage Racing Sneaker, $90.00 Buy
adidas Superstar, $80.00 Buy
Denim Style: Straight Leg/Boot-Cut
Sneaker Style: Slip-On

A straight-cut jean typically gravitates towards a mule or a sandal, so when sticking with sneakers, a slip-on is an ideal replacement. It's a slim silhouette and lacks any bulk around the ankle, so you won't have to worry about any bunching around the hem.
Reformation Brooke High Straight Jean, $128.00 Buy
Sam Edelman Levonne Faux Fur Slip On Sneakers, $100.00 Buy
Vans Classic Slip On Flames, $55.00 Buy
Denim Style: Vintage Fit
Sneaker Style: Vintage Sporty

The term "vintage fit jeans" is about as vague as it gets. While the actual cut and hem vary across brands, you can usually expect a high-waist, a cropped, straight hem, and some sag behind the knee. There's something a bit classic and a bit throwback about them in appearance, so go with the flow and pick out a pair of "vintage" sporty-vibe sneakers (read: anything that looks like the kids from Stranger Things would stock in their closets).
H&M Kickflare High Ankle Jeans, $54.99 Buy
VEJA V-10 Extra White Nautico Pekin, €125.00 Buy
Dolce Vita Nate Sneakers, $125.00 $94.90, Buy
Denim Style: Mom Jean
Sneaker Style: Classic High-Top

Ah, the mom jean. A staple in almost every millennial's (and their mother's) wardrobe. The short of this is that just about every sneaker looks good with this pant. But if you really need a direct pick, we'd choose a classic high-top. Since a mom jean tends to be cropped or cuffed, it allows a high-top more visibility. Plus, it adds to the throwback vibe of the jean.
Topshop Moto Contrast Stitch Mom Jeans, $70.00 Buy
Converse Chuck 70 Mara Hoffman Radial High Top, $125.00 $99.97, Buy
Pony Top Star Hi, $65.00 Buy
Denim Style: Culottes
Sneaker Style: The “It” Fashion Shoe

The "fashion" pant deserves its proper counterpart. A wide-leg crop or culotte leaves a lot of open space to play. Since your sneakers can be front and center, this is the time to wear your most stand-out piece. You can play it safe with the industry starlet of choice, Vans, or go all out by highlighting a luxury athleisure pair.
Madewell Wide-Leg Crop Jeans, $128.00 $89.99, Buy
Vans Vans Old Skool 36 DX Sneaker, $80.00 Buy
Balenciaga Race Runner Sneakers, $695.00 Buy
Denim Style: Kick-Flare
Sneaker Style: Platform

Come fall, we're accustomed to pairing a kick-flare with mid-ankle booties and calling it a day. To get a similar effect with sneakers, opt for a platform to give you a little lift and keep that elongated length.
Zara The Bootcut Jeans with Lace-up Fly, $69.90 Buy
Axel Arigato Tanker Sneaker, $315.00 Buy
Alexander McQueen Leather Exaggerated-sole Sneakers, $590.00 Buy
Denim Style: Skinny
Sneaker Style: Athleisure Trainer

This ubiquitous denim style is another that falls under the umbrella that at the end of the day, anything goes. But its skin-tight fit is reminiscent of leggings so it's unsurprising the athleisure trainer takes the cake here. Stick with slimmer silhouettes for a sleeker look.
Joe's Jeans The Icon, $168.00 Buy
New Balance for J.Crew 247 Sneakers, $80.00 Buy
PUMA Fierce Nubuck Naturals, $100.00 Buy
Denim Style: Wide-Leg
Sneaker Style: Classic Low-Top

Since a wide-leg pant usually covers most of your sneaker, go with the ultimate classic: a lace-up low-top. For a little extra character, ditch your white sneakers in favor of a solid-but-bold colorway.
Rachel Comey Workwear High-rise Wide-leg Denim Jeans, $345.00 Buy
M.Gemi The Palestra, $228.00 Buy
Koio Capri Zafferano, $248.00 Buy
Denim Style: Relaxed Fit
Sneaker Style: Velcro

While a relaxed fit isn't boring by any means, it is more toned down than most. To appease its classic and minimalist vibe, a fun finish like velcro straps make for the perfect pairing.
Talula/AGOLDE Slouched Peg Pacific, $188.00 Buy
Kenneth Cole Kingvel Low-Top Sneaker, $120.00 $71.98, Buy
Bershka Corduroy Sneakers Without Laces, $39.90 Buy
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