Rugby World Cup winning skipper Richie McCaw took casual to a whole new level at the Laureus World Sports awards this morning.

The glamorous night diverts from the norms of the 'black tie' dress code by inviting athletes to acccesorise their outfit with a nice pair of casual kicks - but Richie McCaw really dulled things down with his worn-grey looking adidas sneakers.

The All Blacks won the award for team of the year and McCaw was there to receive the award on behalf of his team.

The #SneakersforGood campaign is a way for some of the biggest names in sport to tell their stories about how sport can change lives: both through the work of Laureus Sport For Good and also the impact sport had on their own life.

Novak Djokovic with Carles Puyol, Jens Lehmann and partners. Photo / Getty.
Novak Djokovic with Carles Puyol, Jens Lehmann and partners. Photo / Getty.

Germany's Nico Rosberg - nominated as part of the Mercedes F1 team and fresh from victory in Shanghai - had sneakers almost as dazzling as the flash bulbs popping all along a packed red carpet.

"It's a fun idea," said Rosberg. "Most of us seem to have gone for white ones. It's a fun way to get the message of Laureus out into the world."

Novak Djokovic, who performed an acrobatic jump to show off his sneakers on the Red Carpet, said: "We're here to celebrate Laureus and what they stand for. For 16 years they have done so much with Sport For Good. They have changed so many young lives for the better."

The tuxedos - and some of the ballgowns - were finished off with a range of sneakers, from bright white to super-cool vintage.

Germany's Jan Frodeno, the former Olympic triathlon champion and the 2015 world champion, had sneakers that told their own story - decorated with the dates of his big wins, a German flag and colours to reflect the three disciplines of the triathlon.

"Sport defines my everyday life," said Frodeno. "My mood depends on the session I had in the morning. Thankfully I had a good one this morning in the swimming pool!"