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Could the Groom Wear Tennis Shoes? Maybe…

They tell you to be comfortable at your wedding. They tell you to “be yourself.” For some grooms, that means wearing the most comfortable shoes that represent themselves: sneakers! Here are style tips on which tennis shoes, sneakers, or kicks to pair with what you’re going to wear on your big day!

sneakers with a wave design Pixabay

Hey, John!

Thanks for all your help explaining this wedding planning thing, man! I had no idea this was more complicated than planning a military operation like my grandfather did for the Marines.

OK, help me out here. Last night, I suggested to Kayla that we wear tennis shoes during our wedding because it’s who we are—relaxed people. Kayla was not so sure. Are there people who wear tennis shoes during their wedding?

Thanks!–Derrick in Dallas, Oregon

Hey, Derrick!

That’s a great question! And I have a great answer for you: Yes…no…or maybe.

OK, let me explain.

Yes to sneakers:

If your wedding is casual, the dress code allows you to wear sneakers. We would suggest that these be new, right out of the box Air Jordans, Air Maxes, or your favorite athlete’s signature shoe so that your shoes reflect how you are honoring your wedding day. After all, those battered old smelly sneaks hiding in the back of your closet since 2016 are probably not the best choice. Just sayin’…

No to sneakers:

If your wedding is a white tie or black tie, this could be difficult.

men's white tennis shoes PXBY
Men's white sneakers Pixabay

Maybe to sneakers:

If you are Rupert Murdock, a billionaire media mogul, wearing sneakers could be the ultimate power flex.

On Saturday, June 1, 2024, Rupert Murdoch paired Hoka running shoes with a tailored suit suitable for a boardroom meeting for his wedding at a Tuscan-style winery in Bel Air, California.

Why was this unusual?

In most cases, a groom would pair a suit with a hard-soled leather shoe such as an Oxford or a Derby. Since wearing the right leather shoes shows your good manners, wearing tennis shoes to a wedding in these very upscale surroundings might be a way to show what you can do stylewise without criticism.


Which tennis shoes pair with a tux or a nice suit for a wedding? According to wedding stylists, here is what to wear.

If you are wearing:

Pair it with these shoes:

Black tuxedo

Air Jordan 11 black-on-black “Jubilee”

A black, formal suit

Converse Chuck Taylors

A black, sleek suit

Nike Dunks

A navy suit

New Balance 990

A burgundy suit

Addidas Samba by Wales Bonner

A gray suit

Vans SK8-Hi

A beige or sand suit

Addidas Sambas

If you have additional questions, please ask me.

Your friend in the wedding business,

John Shyne

 The images to the right and above are courtesy of


Bride and groom in tennis shoes

The images below are from the Ainsworth House & Gardens wedding gallery.

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Best of Weddings Hall of Fame Award Logo from The Knot
Oregon City Wedding Ceremony at Ainsworth House & Gardens
Ainsworth House wedding in Oregon City