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Best Top Rated & Popular Shoes Reviewed for Style

last updated Nov 30, 2018

Everyone has heard of Crocs, Converse, Toms, Ugg boots and similar, and maybe some of you have even worn these designs before. This is why we decided to compile a list of top ten popular shoes currently on the market, based on a carefully selected group of criteria. We looked at the comfort of these items, their materials, and durability and how easily they fit into someone’s personal style.

Researched Sources
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Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
34348
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
6
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Products Evaluated
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By Mackenzie Jervis:

We've recently updated our list to bring you even more options for popular shoes. Pay close attention to our newest addition, the Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots. These warm, durable, and stylish shoes are backed by a crowd favorite brand and definitely deserve a spot on this list.

Sorting Options
Comfort Features Materials Durability Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Comfort
100%
Features
85%
Materials
95%
Durability
90%
Style
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$159.95
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Comfort
95%
Features
90%
Materials
100%
Durability
95%
Style
55%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$17.59
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Comfort
85%
Features
80%
Materials
90%
Durability
100%
Style
65%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$125.00
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Comfort
60%
Features
100%
Materials
80%
Durability
80%
Style
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$172.57
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Comfort
80%
Features
100%
Materials
65%
Durability
85%
Style
60%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$199.99
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Comfort
90%
Features
75%
Materials
85%
Durability
55%
Style
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$35.28
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Comfort
75%
Features
65%
Materials
75%
Durability
75%
Style
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$59.00
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
72
Comfort
70%
Features
70%
Materials
60%
Durability
65%
Style
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$50.41
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
69
Comfort
60%
Features
55%
Materials
70%
Durability
60%
Style
100%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$53.99
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
68
Comfort
65%
Features
60%
Materials
55%
Durability
70%
Style
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$49.65
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Ugg Classic
  • Crocs Classic
  • Birkenstock Arizona
  • Sorel Joan of Arctic
  • Nike Air Max 95
  • Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
  • Adidas Superstar
  • Toms Classic
  • Bostonian Ipswich
  • Converse Chuck Taylor
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorites

1. Ugg Classic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Ugg Classic
Comfort
100
Features
85
Materials
95
Durability
90
Style
70
best offer for today
$159.95
Pros:

Water and Stain Repellent Suede

Wool and Sheepskin Lining

Regulates Body Temperature

Waterproof Seam Seal Construction

Lightweight Treadlite Outsole

Cons:

Causes Blisters

Narrow Fit

You may not believe this, but the famous Ugg boots were first created for surfers, to keep their feet warm after their early-morning sessions with the waves. Since then, they have been adopted by celebrities, and then by the entire world, and we are sure that you have seen many of these in your surroundings.

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The reason why the Ugg Classic is so popular is because it is a comfortable, highly functional boot wrapped in a somewhat unconventional design. It is kind of like a slipper, but kind of like a boot, too - maybe not the most visually appealing, but versatile nonetheless.

The Ugg Classic has a suede upper which is specially treated to be water and stain repellent. The waterproof factor is only enhanced by its seam-seal construction, which keeps all the water out, regardless of where you are.

The true value of an Ugg boot is in its wool and sheepskin insole and lining - these materials are natural thermostats, meaning that they regulate body temperature. If it is cold outside, they will keep you warm, and if it is warmer, they will keep your feet cool. Not only that, but wool has a special ability to contour to the shape of your foot, providing you with comfort you have yet to experience to believe.

The outsole of the Ugg Classic is made out of Ugg-specific Treadlite material which is lightweight and yet durable at the same time. It offers increased cushioning, traction and flexibility on any type of terrain.

So it may not be the most fashion forward of designs. But it is undeniable that the Ugg Classic has found its place in the footwear hall of fame as a not-so-stylish, but still irresistibly comfortable boot that you will have a hard time parting from.

2. Crocs Classic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Crocs Classic
Comfort
95
Features
90
Materials
100
Durability
95
Style
55
best offer for today
$17.59
Pros:

Water-Friendly

Ventilation and Drainage Ports

Odor Control

Crocs Croslite Material

Rotating Heel Strap

Cons:

Unreliable Sizing

Short Toe Area

This list wouldn’t be complete without the Crocs Classic clog. Yes, it may not win many style points - we all have our preconceived notions about people who wear Crocs on the regular, don’t we? - but they are, without a doubt, worthy of being in this guide of the best popular footwear. And here’s why.

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The Crocs Classic is designed to be an outdoor, water shoe; one that is fit for the beach, the pool, the garden, anywhere you want to be sock-less and comfortable at the same time. Its interior is roomy without being too loose, and there is a strap at the heel which helps keep your foot in place. In case you’re not a fan of the strap, you can always rotate it forward and wear it as a slipper.

What makes the Crocs Classic so special, however, is the material it is made of - the Crocs Croslite. This is not rubber, or plastic - it is a foam material, a closed-cell foam resin that provides exceptional lightness and comfort. Not only that, but this material is also odor-resistant. Whatever you do, and wherever you go, you can be sure that your feet will be odor free!

In terms of wearing it near water, the Crocs Classic has special ventilation ports in the sides, which add breathability, and help water and debris drain away. The clog itself is so lightweight that it is actually buoyant - if you happen to lose it in a pool, it will simply float back to you!

We could continue singing praises to the Crocs Classic, but you probably already got the idea just how awesome this design is. If you’re on the fence, not sure if such an unattractive clog is worth it, we are here to tell you that you won’t regret a single moment of wearing this summer powerhouse.

3. Birkenstock Arizona

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Birkenstock Arizona
Comfort
85
Features
80
Materials
90
Durability
100
Style
65
best offer for today
$125.00
Pros:

Premium Leather Straps

Adjustable Buckle Closures

Molded Cork Footbed

Moisture-Wicking and Odor Control

Great Arch Support

Cons:

Needs Breaking In

Continuing the trend of footwear with questionable stylistic appeal but unequivocal quality and comfort, the next in line is the Birkenstock Arizona. A sandal which has been around for over two centuries, updated and improved to fit the modern world, but with all its heritage as a solid foundation of its construction.

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This Germany-produced design has two straps made out of high quality, premium leather. They come with one buckle each, so that you can easily adjust the fit of this sandal however tight or loose you’d like it to be. It also comes in an array of color combinations, out of which we selected this metallic beauty as an option which pops.

The reason why the Birkenstock Arizona has become a comfort legend is because of its cork footbed. This material is outstanding when it comes to footwear, as it conforms to the shape of your foot over time, providing you with tailored comfort, but it also has moisture-wicking abilities. It will prevent sweating and unpleasant odors and make you feel wonderfully comfortable all throughout the wear.

The Arizona also comes with pronounced arch support - which is crucial in reducing foot fatigue and preventing medical conditions such as flat feet - as well as a deep heel cup and a spacious toe area. It also has a lightweight EVA sole for cushioning and impact absorption.

While yes, it is not something that has just walked off the runway, the Birkenstock Arizona’s sturdy, old-school aesthetic still has a certain attractiveness to it. One that drove many a fashion blogger to write stellar reviews on this sandal, season after season.

If you’re looking for a design which will keep you supported and comfortable, and which will last for a long, long time to come, then look no further than the Birkenstock Arizona!

4. Sorel Joan of Arctic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Sorel Joan of Arctic
Comfort
60
Features
100
Materials
80
Durability
80
Style
80
best offer for today
$172.57
Pros:

Seam Sealed Waterproof Construction

Removable Inner Boot

Leather and Suede Upper

For Temperatures Down to -25 F

Slip-Resistant Outsole

Cons:

Stiff Shaft Materials

Tight Fit

When the winter sets in, cold and unforgiving, when harsh winds pick up and blankets of snow cover everything, you need footwear that will both keep you warm and keep you protected from the elements. If, at the same time, the design is stylish as well, that’s certainly a nice bonus. Fortunately for you, the Sorel Joan of Arctic happens to be all three.

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This magnificently badass winter boot is made out of leather and suede for the upper, and a seam sealed waterproof construction which keeps all the moisture away. It has a faux fur cuff that is addictively soft to the touch, as well as a removable inner boot made out of recycled felt.

This inner boot ensures that your feet are nice and toasty, and comfortable at the same time in temperatures as low as -25 F. The inner boot is also easy to take out and wash, helping you get rid of any potential unpleasant smells.

The outsole of the Joan of Arctic is handcrafted from waterproof vulcanized rubber, and it forms a shell all around the design. At the bottom there is a herringbone pattern, which provides traction in multiple directions and helps you stay on your feet regardless of how slippery the surface is.

It is honestly hard to find a fault with Sorel’s best-selling boot. It will preserve all the warmth you need, while at the same time keeping water at bay, and it is also undeniably stylish, with the faux fur collar which adds to the winter wonderland effect. If you’re looking for that hardcore winter boot that is both functional and cute, then look no further than the Joan of Arctic!

5. Nike Air Max 95

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Nike Air Max 95
Comfort
80
Features
100
Materials
65
Durability
85
Style
60
best offer for today
$199.99
Pros:

Mesh and Leather Upper

Nike Air Technology

Cushioned Midsole

Rubber Outsole

Numerous Colorways

Cons:

Snug to Pull On

Nike Air has become a technology synonymous with innovation and revolution, forever changing the landscape of sportswear and reinventing what it means to be supported and comfortable as you take on the court. In line with that, Nike Air Max 95 was the first design of its kind to feature this technology not only in the heel of the sneaker - with the air pocket clearly visible from the side - but also in the forefoot as well.

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Nike Air is nothing short of genius, a comfort system which is made out of pressurized air inside a durable, flexible membrane for lightweight cushioning. This air absorbs shock like no other material, as it compresses under the force of impact, and then immediately returns to its original shape and volume, right on time to receive the next impact. With this technology, Nike has set itself apart from it competitors and paved the way for sports sneakers worldwide.

Nike Air Max 95 is a legendary retro design that still has its place in the fashion world today. It comes with an upper made from a combination of mesh and leather materials, as well as a PU midsole and that Air Technology in both the heel and the forefoot, as we already mentioned.

The outsole of the Nike Air Max 95 is made of rubber, providing traction on all types of surfaces.

While this design was originally created as a basketball sneaker - among others in this guide, such as the Converse Chuck Taylor and the Adidas Superstar - today, Air Max 95 is a must-have for all sneakerheads out there. It comes in a vast number of colorways, and if you would like a taste of the 90s but all the comfort of Nike Air Technology, then definitely go for this unorthodox design.

6. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
Comfort
90
Features
75
Materials
85
Durability
55
Style
75
best offer for today
$35.28
Pros:

Real Yoga Mat Footbed

Stretchy Knit Upper

No Blisters or Chafing

Sweat-Free

All-Day Wearability

Cons:

No Arch Support

Wears Out Quickly

Summer will never feel the same after you try stepping out in the Sanuk Yoga Sling 2. If Nike changed the game for sports footwear, Sanuk definitely upped the ante when it comes to easy, lightweight designs that you can wear all the time in warm weather. The one that stands out in terms of comfort and that easy, breezy feeling is the Yoga Sling 2.

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The secret to why this sandal is so comfortable lies in its materials. Namely, the footbed of the Yoga Sling 2 is made out of a real yoga mat, with a sealed edge. If you ever stepped on a yoga mat, you know how this thin material gives under your feet, lightly cushioning your steps and providing you with a foam-like comfort that springs right back up when the pressure is off. The same thing happens when you wear these sandals as well.

When it comes to the upper, the Yoga Sling 2 has a knit stretch material which wraps around your foot without causing any chafing, blisters or abrasions, and which still provides just enough firmness and support so you don’t lose your balance as you walk. This stretch fabric is also amazingly breathable, meaning that your feet won’t sweat at all, regardless of how high the temperatures go outside.

Contrary to the Birkenstock Arizona, that solid, sturdy design which you can wear on the city streets, the Yoga Sling 2 is a simpler option, one that is better for easy strolls along the beach, or fun days by the river. Its comfort is nothing short of exceptional, and we have yet to see another design that has so thoroughly described what it means to have happy feet.

7. Adidas Superstar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Adidas Superstar
Comfort
75
Features
65
Materials
75
Durability
75
Style
85
best offer for today
$59.00
Pros:

Full-Grain Leather Upper

Removable Insole

Signature Adidas Stripes

Iconic Shell Toe

Breathable Mesh Lining

Cons:

Size Runs Large

A look which originated in the 70s and is still going strong - perhaps now more than ever, with the retro vibe overtaking the fashion scene - Adidas Superstar is one iconic sneaker. You will recognize it by its shell toe, the three Adidas signature stripes on the sides, and a logo-stamped heel patch - a design everyone is familiar with.

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Adidas Superstar was first created as a basketball sneaker. That was the original purpose of the shell toe anyway, to protect the players’ toes on the court. The upper of this famous sneaker is made out of full-grain leather, meaning that it is not only durable and breathable but that it also provides that customized comfort which comes with leather that has been worn for longer periods of time.

Inside the Superstar there is a removable insole, making it easy for you to wash it and put it back in (or remove it altogether if you feel like you need that extra space inside). There is a mesh lining which allows air to pass in and out of the design, keeping your feet dry and sweat-free.

The outsole of the Superstar is made from rubber, with a distinct herringbone pattern which provides multi-directional traction. This was designed to keep basketball players on their feet even when they change direction quickly to get past the defense, and it will surely protect your balance as well.

While this sneaker has been phased out of basketball courts by newer and more advanced designs, it remains in stores as an undeniable fashion statement. It is a timeless silhouette that defies the current fashion trends, and if you wish to rock that retro look, you’ve come to the right place!

8. Toms Classic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
72
Toms Classic
Comfort
70
Features
70
Materials
60
Durability
65
Style
95
best offer for today
$50.41
Pros:

Breathable Canvas Upper

Elastic Insert for Stretchy Fit

Molded Suede Footbed

For Charity

Many Color Options

Cons:

Needs Breaking In

Questionable Durability

In a span of only a few years, the Toms Classic “Alpargata” design became one of the most sought-after, and most well-known silhouettes in the world. This is partly because the slip-on itself is addictively comfortable, and partly because there is a noble cause to buying a pair of these. Namely, Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms, vowed to donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every purchased pair of Toms. Making the world a better place, one pair of shoes at a time!

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The Toms Classic slip-on is made out of lightweight canvas fabrics which allow for breathability and gentle comfort. Even in the hottest of days, your feet won’t feel sweaty or otherwise uncomfortable. There is also an elastic insert at the top of the design, which stretches out to accommodate feet of all shapes and sizes.

What makes the Toms Classic so amazingly comfortable is its suede footbed. Apart from suede providing that luxuriously plush feeling, this footbed is also carefully molded to fit the contours of your foot. As you wear it, it adjusts to the form of your sole, and in a short period of time you will have the most comfortable design you have ever worn in your life!

You can wear the Toms Classic with anything - jeans, shorts, a skirt or a dress, on bare feet or with cute no-show socks. There really is no limit to the versatility of this design, as well as to the lightweight, free-spirited feeling it brings you. Throw on a pair of these and go out into the world with a smile on your face and a spring in your step!

9. Bostonian Ipswich

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
69
Bostonian Ipswich
Comfort
60
Features
55
Materials
70
Durability
60
Style
100
best offer for today
$53.99
Pros:

Full-Grain Leather Upper

Padded Removable Footbed

Lightweight EVA Outsole

Cost-Efficient

Smooth Effortless Style

Cons:

Sole Wears Out Quickly

Questionable Durability

Bostonian is a brand which has been in business for over a century. That’s right, they have over 100 years of experience in making only the finest dress shoes money can buy. And the Ipswich oxford is a great example of their impeccable craftsmanship and a silhouette which can not be any more elegant than this.

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This full-grain leather design speaks of class and refinement, and it is just what you need to match with your business suit, or that formal outfit you picked out for a wedding reception. It is smooth, streamlined and polished, and the leather helps keep your feet breathing, while making them comfortable at the same time.

The footbed of the Ipswich is plush and padded for bonus comfort - you will hardly find an oxford that is easier to walk in than this one. The footbed can also be removed if necessary, so that you have more space inside the design, and to feel more lightweight.

Finally, the Ipswich comes with an EVA outsole, the kind that is reserved only for the best running sneakers. Essentially, this means that you get all the sophistication of a dress shoe, but all the comfort and support of a sports sneaker.

There is a reason why the Bostonian Ipswich is one of the most well-known evening footwear designs in the world, and that is its effortless combination of style and performance. Don’t be afraid to experiment - once you invest your money in this glorious oxford, you will never want to look back ever again.

10. Converse Chuck Taylor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
68
Converse Chuck Taylor
Comfort
65
Features
60
Materials
55
Durability
70
Style
90
best offer for today
$49.65
Pros:

Breathable Canvas Upper

Durable Metal Eyelets

Rubber Toe Cap

Rubber Outsole

Countless Color Options

Cons:

Not for Wide Feet

Easily Stained

When you picture an iconic sneaker, it is likely that an image of the Converse Chuck Taylor pops up in your mind. Because yes, this is an iconic design, by all standards. Similarly to the Adidas Superstar, the Chuck Taylor was also created for the purpose of playing basketball, but it slowly migrated from the courts and onto runways, becoming an invaluable fashion declaration instead.

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What this sneaker says about you is that you are cool and laid-back, that you are confident in your own skin and that you know how to take a joke, how to enjoy life and make the most out of it. It is made out of lightweight, canvas materials for the upper, which promote proper air flow and allow your feet to breathe.

The sneaker comes with its signature rubber outsole, as well as a rubber toe cap and guard all around it. It is produced in dozens, if not hundreds of color options, from solid colors to patterns and prints to ombre transitions, and you are bound to find at least one which matches your personal aesthetic.

With the Chuck Taylor you can’t go wrong. This design is so well-integrated into the fashion world that there is no outfit it can’t go well with (including dresses and suits!), and there is no person who won’t find them easy to wear and even easier to love.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

What makes a shoe comfortable is a rather complex topic. Dozens, if not even hundreds of little factors go into determining this characteristic, and they are different for every style, every brand, and even every person. If one design is comfortable for you, it doesn’t mean that the same one will be comfortable for your friend or family member.

All items on our list are considered comfortable in one way or another. They wouldn’t be the most popular options if they were hard on our feet, if they regularly caused blisters or were otherwise difficult to wear. And different designs here achieve their comfort in different ways.

Some, like Crocs and Toms, for example, rely on their materials and construction to provide a cushioned, supported feeling. They come with contoured footbeds which fit the form of your feet, and as such they support the natural movement of your foot, as well as provide relief from foot fatigue. This is especially true in those which have ample arch support, such as the Birkenstocks.

Arch support is essential in preventing the foot from rolling inward as you walk - what is called overpronation - and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced gait.

And then there are designs, most notably those which come from brands such as Nike, which include a list of special features, or technologies, that turn up the volume on comfort. Nike’s famous Air Technology is truly an outstanding work of innovation, one that has completely restructured how footwear works, and how sports sneakers are supposed to perform.

While you may not be an avid basketball - or any other sports - player, you are undoubtedly going to love the compression and rebound that Nike Air Max 95 offers, as it will feel like walking on clouds, quite literally.

At the end of the day, which product you land on, and which comfort type suits you the best depends entirely on your preferences, as well as the shape and the size of your foot. While the Converse Chuck Taylor is amazingly comfortable for most, for you it could be too narrow. Where many consider the Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 easy and lightweight, you might find it too flimsy.

It would be best if you could try out the design before you purchase it, and decide for yourself if you feel comfortable enough to walk, or even to stand in it for longer periods of time. Make sure that no part of the model rubs against your skin or leaves marks, and that the footbed feels natural and supportive. Try walking for a few steps, test out the feeling, and only then commit to the design.

Features

By ‘features’ in this section, we mean ‘characteristics unique only to that specific item, or that specific brand’. In this competitive footwear industry, each manufacturer has to fight for their place on the market. They have to set themselves apart, to be bold and creative, to discover something no one else has ever done, and to do it successfully.

This includes coming up with new, never-before-seen materials, such as the Crocs Croslite, a resin foam that didn’t exist before Crocs came up with it, or the Sanuk yoga mat footbeds that have taken the world by storm. It also includes downright science, such as Nike Air Technology we have mentioned before.

This comfort system is the only one of its kind in our list. Back in 1970s, Nike teamed up with a former NASA engineer to work on repurposing an aeronautics technique called blow rubber molding. This method was used in the construction of astronaut helmets for the Apollo missions, and then later helped Nike create midsoles which were hollowed-out and ready to be embedded with sacks of pressurized air. Science suggested that running on air provided the ultimate shock absorption, since these gas pouches couldn’t wear out no matter how long they were used for.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The first Nike design featuring this technology came out in 1978, the Nike Tailwind, and the sports footwear world has never been the same since.

While some of the items from this list do come with these one-of-a-kind features that can’t be found anywhere else, it is important to stress that original and creative doesn’t necessarily mean better. Footwear such as the Sorel Joan of Arctic, the Adidas Superstar, and the Bostonian Ipswich don’t feature any unconventional materials, or any science-backed technologies.

They are simply a combination of high-quality fabrics and reliable construction methods which are the result of decades of experience in producing only the best designs possible. As such, they are not in any way inferior to Nike, Crocs or Sanuk, and you are equally as likely to enjoy wearing those as you are some of the more advanced designs.

Materials

Now here is where things get interesting, and we get to explore all that these amazing items have to offer. Because materials can make or break a design - they affect its comfort, durability, breathability, flexibility and any other characteristic you can think of. If the materials are subpar, it is almost guaranteed that the design itself will not amount to much.

And this is why all of the products we’ve looked at utilize only the highest-quality, premium materials available. It doesn’t matter if it’s leather, suede, canvas, wool, cork, rubber, felt, or even faux fur - all of them are carefully selected and brought together to complete these top designs.

There are also a few that we touched upon earlier, that are an integral part of the footwear brand and also represent a unique feature of the product. Let’s look at those first:

  • Crocs Croslite:
    Croslite is a special foam resin material that is outstandingly lightweight, and yet providing just the right amount of cushioning and bounce. After each strike of your heel, this material springs back up to absorb more shock, making you feel light and free on your feet. Crocs are outfitted with Croslite footbeds that are a great mix of soft and firm for that all-day cushioned comfort.
    There are several different versions of the Croslite, such as the Iconic Croslite, the Dual and the Triple Croslite, each with its own set of properties that builds upon the same foundation. And this is mainly why Crocs are considered one of the most comfortable styles you can get. There is no material out there which is just as durable, just as water-friendly, and yet just as supportive as this one.
  • Sanuk Yoga Mat:
    When it comes to Sanuk, the innovation doesn’t necessarily involve a laboratory, chemical reactions and the discovery of something revolutionary, as it is mostly centered around thinking outside the box. Because have you ever heard of a yoga mat used as a footbed before? Neither did we.
    And yet this brand really showed us the meaning of comfortable sandals by introducing a piece of exercise equipment into their designs. Sanuk products are definitely peculiar and definitely amazing, and we’re grateful for their forward thinking.

All other items in this list are outfitted with regular, well-known material choices that we listed above. They determine the purpose of the design - if it will be cooling or preserving heat, waterproof or water-friendly, elegant or sporty - and your final choice largely depends on what you expect to achieve with your new footwear.

One thing is for sure, however - no matter which option you go for, you can be certain that the materials in the construction of that design are top-notch, and that they have been manipulated in such a way that allows you to use the most out of them.

Durability

Sure, it’s nice to show off your plush new Uggs or your cool retro Nikes, and they might be comfortable and made out of high-grade materials, but how durable are these designs, anyway? Once you buy them, how long can you expect them to last? Because what is the point of wearing footwear that everyone recognizes, being hot and on trend, if they’re going to fall apart by next season and you’ll be expected to get yourself a new pair.

Well, the good news is that one of the criteria we used for rating the items in this guide is durability. We looked at the quality of the shoe’s construction, as well as all the customer reviews we could find to gauge just how solid the design is, how long it lasts, and what are potential problem areas.

And the good news is, that all of these products are quite durable. This is understandable, as we have already described how they are made out of sturdy materials. Anything constructed out of suede or leather - especially if it’s in more than one layer - is built to last for decades.

More lightweight materials, such as canvas and other fabrics, are not as strong, and can get easily stained, scuffed or frayed. However, even designs such as Converse Chuck Taylors and Toms Classics are surely going to last for at least several seasons.

The absolute champion in durability, however, is the Birkenstock Arizona. This is mainly due to the fact that its footbed represents a solid blend of suede-lined cork and an EVA outsole, a combination which easily withstands the test of time. Its leather straps are sturdy as well, since they are made from genuine leather and won’t snap off or lose their shape anytime soon.

However, none of the other designs in this guide are too far behind. If you’re looking for something to grace your wardrobe for many years to come, opt for leather and suede designs, as well as those which have solid rubber shells and outsoles, such as the Sorel Joan of Arctic or the Ugg Classic.

If you’re leaning more towards that lightweight feeling and don’t mind if your footwear doesn’t live to see the next year, then don’t be afraid to go for more breathable, softer fabrics such as the Sanuk Yoga Sling 2.

Style

We already talked about this briefly in the individual reviews, but we have to repeat it here - some of these options are not the most fashion forward. They don’t follow the current fashion trends, they’re not winning any style awards, and they won’t put you on any best-dressed lists.

However, that is not to say that the fashion world has turned its back on these pieces. Quite the contrary; despite being simple in design, many of these have found their place in fashion magazines and fashion blogs, and many a celebrity swears by wearing these timeless, comfy shoes.

Because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Timelessness. If a design is going to defy the passage of time, remaining largely unchanged for years, decades, even centuries in the case of the Birkenstock, it has to be straightforward, minimalistic, and to fit in seamlessly with many outfits, many seasons and to meet the demand of many, many people.

Sure, you wouldn’t necessarily say that Crocs are attractive. Or that Chuck Taylors are appropriate for a formal gathering. And yet still people wear Crocs all the time, and Chuck Taylors have become a cool, rebellious touch on the red carpet, paired both with evening dresses and sharp suits.

At the end of the day, the appeal of a design is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t feel restricted by fashion rules or guidelines - go for whatever feels good to you, experiment, embrace your own creativity and aesthetic! Whichever option you go with from this guide, you can be sure that you will have a shoe that will always be a classic and that you will never get tired of wearing it.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Comfort
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Features
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Materials
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UGG Boots

UGGs may now have the reputation of boots worn by girls in the cold, but this wasn't their original purpose. Designed for surfers, these boots came about in the 1960s and it wasn't until the 1990s that they started to find popularity in the USA.

Adidas Superstar

Originally made in 1969, the Adidas Superstar has seen a long history of popularity and re-design. This iconic shoe is a staple of sneaker culture, and is both a retro and modern day fashion statement. With numerous re-makes and collaborations, the Adidas Superstar's fandom doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon.

Other Factors to Consider

Value

After everything that’s been said, about the comfort and the quality of the materials and the durability and even the style - the last thing we need to mention is the value. How expensive are these designs anyway, and are they worth their price?

Well, the good news is that just because a design is famous doesn’t mean you have to shell out a lot of money for it. Quite the opposite; in this guide you will see only affordable items, those which are somewhere in the middle range when it comes to price, and which will go easy on your wallet.

An exception can be made for collectible versions of these designs, such as special colorways of the Nike Air Max 95, but if you’re not looking for a rare item, you should have no problems getting yourself some cool, new, popular footwear!

Bottom Line

Perhaps you’re someone who doesn’t care much for mainstream, and may even scoff at how everyone seems to be losing their minds over this sandal or that boot. However, there is something to be said about designs which please the masses. After all, as we mentioned before, no one wants to wear uncomfortable footwear, or that which doesn’t make them feel good in any way.

So, go on, take a chance. If your friend is raving about their new Uggs, and you’re in need of funky new winter boots - why not give them a try? If all you’re seeing around you are Toms, why not indulge yourself, and get a pair with a cute, colorful print?

There is nothing wrong with finding out that something is trendy, that it has been popular for years, or even decades, and deciding to try it out for yourself. You never know when you might discover a design that will become absolutely irreplaceable to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is the best-selling footwear brand in the world?
a:

This title definitely belongs to Nike, and as a close second, to Adidas. There is hardly a footwear manufacturer that can even come close to these sportswear giants, and their designs can be found absolutely anywhere in the world.

q: Are all popular shoes high in quality?
a:

Based on our research - no, they’re not. That was in a way the entire point of this guide, to select only the best popular footwear that is currently on the market. Remember, just because something is well-known doesn’t mean that it is in any way comfortable, durable, or even worth its price. If you’re not sure whether or not a design is good for you, try to measure it up using the criteria we listed in this guide and all the information you’ve learned here. Check all of the boxes in your head, and see if it’s a good idea to make that purchase.

q: How does a shoe become popular?
a:

That’s a tricky question, isn’t it? How do songs become popular? Movies? People, even? Someone sees or hears or wears something they like, they share it with others, and it starts from there. In this vast social-media-driven world, it only takes a couple of clicks before something is blowing up in popularity. There is no standard formula to fame, regardless of what the subject matter is.

Sources

  1. GQ, 50 Best Sneakers, Style Blog,
  2. Amir Ismael, 27 most Instagrammed sneakers , List Article,
  3. Success Story, 10 Most Popular Shoe Brands, List Article,
  4. Tyler Lauletta, Popular slip-on dress shoes , Fashion Article,
  5. Travel and Leisure, Stylish Comfy Shoes That Celebrities Wear , Style Guide,