It all started last winter when I picked up these canvas slip-ons by do-gooder brand Tom’s. In no time these $55 dollar shoes became my everyday drivers. They are comfortable, versatile, and look awesome with faded jeans and a white t-shirt or even joggers and a sweater.

That one purchase created a wardrobe feedback loop for 2023 — the idea of trying to dial things up by dialing things back. In all, sense of style took a hard turn away from retro-Jordan drops and toward a notably less athletic kit. While my distaste for dad shoes remains securely intact, my taste in footwear veered retro-modern runners.

With that in mind, here are nine pairs that fit this dialed back (we’re not going to say more refined, but maybe more grown-up?) taste. If you know a dad who’s a sneaker enthusiast in your life, there’s something here.

The Goldilocks Pair Of New Balances

Aime Leon Dore X 996 “White”

A Ma Maniere

The Most Money Pair Of Sneakers You’ll Own

Above The Clouds X ASICS GT-2160

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Go Ahead And Embrace The Pink

New Balance 580s


Trainers That Have More Fun

Awake NY X Gel-NYC


Salomon Goes All In On Pastel

Lorzenz.OG’s Salomon ACS+

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Even Skate Shoes Are Going Pink

Adidas Aloha Super Shoes


Taking The Classics To The Cleaners

Adidas Samba Shoes


Funky, Chunky, One-Of-A-Kind New Balances

New Balance Bodega – Age of Discovery

Stadium Goods

The Year’s Best Jordan Collab

Jordan 5 X A Ma Maniere

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Alex French is a contributing editor for Fatherly and has been a journalist and editor for decades with work in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Grantland, Wired, and many others. He’s also the co-author of Sneakers, which will tell you pretty much everything you need to know on the subject.