Sneak Peek: Put Your Best Foot Forward in These 20 Stylish Sneaks

So long, super chunks. This S/S it’s all about the retro revivals, unadorned whites, marvelous metallics and (yes) the fashionable fusion of the great Gorps (aka hiking and utility).

From underground sneaker culture, athlete-endorsed styles, to hip-hop hype, sneakers haven’t exactly been a wallflower in the world of footwear. But sometime in the tween 2000s (circa 2013 or so), our cozy canvas companions turned into the newest haute accessory. This baptism by couture, led by fashion houses like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana turned the humble sneak into a fashion force to be reckoned with. Soon, OG brands such as Nike, adidas, and Puma were joining in via limited editions and high profile collabs. And finally, new sartorial brands, such as Common Projects, Koio, and Axel Arigato entered the fray swinging. Fast forward to now, and you’d be hard-pressed to see a raised eyebrow at the combination of, say, a business suit and Common Projects, or a New Balance 9060 paired with a date night LBD.

That said, as with all things fashion, sneaker trends have their ebbs and flows. As we head into the Spring/Summer of 2024, here are the styles taking over the season.

SHIMMER & SHINE

Metallics entered the fashion zeitgeist many seasons ago, so it’s truly no surprise it made its way into the sneaker world. Whether it’s a touch of gold or silver, or accompanied in full regalia with rhinestones and bling, the year of the shimmer and shine sneaks is upon us.

Like these sleek silver platforms from Windsor, with a sole-ful of rhinestones at a price that won’t break the bank.

Windsor, Playful Shimmer Rhinestone Trim Platform Sneakers $28.90

These Golden Goose sneaks, on the other hand, are an investment piece that makes no apologies for their Midas touch…

Golden Goose, V-Star Low-Top Sneakers $476

This Campo from Veja is perfect if you prefer just a touch of shine…

Veja, Campo Leather Sneaker $139.99

(on Sale NOW from $175)

As are these black beauties with some seriously luxe laces…

Windsor, Glam Squad Faux Leather Rhinestone Sneakers $28.90

And finally, why carry a compact mirror, when these Wales Bonner x adidas collab Sambas will do just fine?

adidas x Wales Bonner, Samba “Silver” Sneakers $699

 

SUPER CLEAN WHITES

Elevated Basics is another trend that’s no stranger to us now. Whether you follow the camp of minimalism or prefer paying homage to the *new* normcore (aka Quiet Luxury’s quiet replacement), the power of a clean white-on-white sneak cannot be overstated.

Starting with this fantastic flatform from M. Gemi called the Palestra Alta. It’s made from premium Italian leather and is an absolute vision in white.

M. Gemi, The Palestra Alta $248

This retro-trainer style by OG sneaker brand, K-Swiss, is all about the tennis white…

K-Swiss, Rival Trainer $70

When a company that’s been successfully making some of the most comfortable shoes for (literally) hundreds of years decides to make a sneaker, you better believe this is one you want in your arsenal.

Birkenstock, Bend Low Leather in White $155

Finally, they may still be considered newcomers to the sneaker world, but On Running has truly made its mark, both in the world of athletics as well as fashion.

On Running, On Cloud X 3 AD $149.99

ALL TEXTURED UP

In what might be a rebuttal to the trending sleek and streamlined look, the “counter-trend” of texturization in sneakers this season is certainly not slowing down. Whether it’s woven, the use of unexpected materials, or lots of layering, these shoes are meant to be seen and touched.

First up, the shoe that launched a thousand trending TikToks. The Nama by Chloe with its whipstitch trim and recycled materials (100% recycled nylon and rubber, 70% recycled polyester, and 30% recycled polyurethane) has become its own force of sneaker nature…with a price tag to match.

Chloe, Nama Whipstitch-Trim Sneakers $637

Denim has been everywhere this season, so of course, why not add it to your sneaker rotation? These pretty and playful Vans make a very good argument for the cause…

Vans, Denim Mix Old Skool Flatform Sneakers $89.99

Of course, these perfectly perforated suedes from Birkenstock are also particularly fetching, especially in this season’s spot-on trending green.

Birkenstock, Bend Low Suede Embossed in Matcha $160

Layering up is also growing into quite the trend, and if you’re a maximalist at heart, this style is great for you. TBH there are some versions that take this trend to extreme levels. To this, our Editors advise that if piling on the color choices, plus textures, plus embellishments is near and dear to your heart – go for it! Otherwise, a great way to lean into this trend without feeling your footwear is overwhelming your look? Keep the color palette simple, like these fab statement sneaks from Circus NY. There’s a lot going on here for sure, but the straightforward color choice of black and white keep it happily in the “wearing the trend, not letting the trend wear you” zone.

Circus NY by Sam Edelman, Devyn Lace Up Sneakers $90

 

LOOK MA! NO HANDS!

We can trace this rising trend back to the pandemic, when comfy clothing and ease of use became the mantra for just about everything we put on our bodies. Hands-free slip on sneakers are so popular now, you can find them just about everywhere. Here are a few of our favorites…

Starting with On Running and the new season’s On Cloudnova shoe. Easy to slip in and even easier on your feet, the On Cloudnova has lightweight mesh uppers made from 100% recycled polyester and a perforated microfiber tongue made from synthetic suede for breathability. Add to that the company’s patented CloudTec┬« cushion support and beautiful neutral color, and you have your new BFF everyday sneaker.

On Running, On Cloudnova Form $104.99

(on Sale NOW from $149.99)

These hands free slip ins from Hey Dude have a cool cheetah print plus a rich textured material that makes them fun and fresh.

Hey Dude, Misty Woven Cheetah Print Slip-In $49.99

One of the first brands to embrace the hands free movement, Skechers has a huge variety of choices. One of our favorites for this season is the Summit in Girl’s Night Out. The trainer style look in crisp white on white with just a touch of metallic is like three trends in one shoe.

Skechers, Hands Free Summit in Girl’s Night Out $79.99

Finally, for that perfect piece to add to your elevated basics wardrobe, the Luciana by M. Gemi offers sumptuous Italian nubuck leather in a sleek and supple neutral beige. The flatform gives just a hint of height that’s superlight thanks to its cushy, EVA sole. Handmade in Tuscany by artisan craftsmen, this is forever pair that will only get better with age.

M. Gemi, The Luciana $278

 

RETRO ROYALTY

Our final category needs little introduction. With the nearly unstoppable nostalgia of the 2010s upon us, the hunt for those retro, and retro-look, sneakers have become a nationwide obsession. OG brands like Nike, New Balance, adidas and Asics have won over our hearts and taken over our feeds.

If you took a random pic of people walking in any city, we’re betting you’d be hard pressed to not find at least one happy gal sporting the adidas Sambas. There’s just something about these classic soccer sneaks that lend themselves to so many looks. This being the Retro Royalty category, our recommendation is naturally, the tasteful, low profile Samba OG. With a whopping nineteen color options, there is plenty to choose from. Looking for something that’ll go with everything? Go for the monochromatic version shown below.

adidas, Samba OG Shoes $100

Not all chunky is falling out of trend. Insane super chunks? Yes, that ship has sailed. But if you’ve had your heart set on a pair of retro, dad-style sneakers and feel you’ve missed the fashion train, we’re here to tell you, think again. These sneaks aren’t just surviving, they’re flourishing, especially if your taste gravitates towards contemporary reinterpretations, such as the New Balance 9060. This current favorite is chronically sold out, and when available via resellers, they can go for pretty ridiculous price points. Lucky you, we found them here…

New Balance, 9060 $150

For the skate shoe connoisseur, or anyone who’s into a super cush low profile trainer, the Lowland by Vans offers up near perfection by marrying classic Vans style with naughties low-top design. The end result is a cult-inducing masterpiece.

Vans, Lowland CC in Pop Walnut $89.99

Another big winner in the must-have Y2K sneaker category? That would be the Asics Gel-Kayon 14. The originals came out in 2008 as a proper running shoe, but in its second life in the 2020s, it’s truly hitting its stride as a lifestyle shoe. Several colors of the popular style have sky-rocketed in price, but we found these cool, blue customers at quite the nice price…

ASICS, Gel-Kayano 14 $168

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