Step to the side red-bottomed pumps and men’s wingtips. Fashion-savvy New Yorkers have replaced heals and heavy soles with sneakers! Wearing a new pair of Nikes with a midi skirt makes you so chic. Men going out on the town wearing an unstructured suit with white Stan Smiths!
Sneakers come in many shapes and sizes these days. With so many options available, here’s a primer on what is what, and whether or not they are likely to suit your wardrobe and taste.
Basic Sneakers – These include Converse, Vans, etc. Sometimes they come in leather, but typically they’re canvas and in basic colours. Affordable and easy to wear/clean.
Refined Luxury Sneakers – Brands by designers like Tom Ford or Saint Laurent. They bear a resemblance to the basic sneakers, but they’re more expensive and often made from suede or leather. Men’s varieties even come with classic brogue trim! Women’s styles include metallics, tassels, embroidery detail, zippers and ribbons.
Classic Sports Sneakers – Nike Air Max 90, Reebok Pump, Asics Tiger and other forms of old school sport greatness. Still used for sports!
Current Sports Sneakers – Again, these are your Nike, Adidas and Puma brands, but with modern styling and shapes.
High-fashion Sneakers – These are the work of brands like Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, Maison Martin Margiela, Diemme and even Giuseppe Zanotti. They’re loud, usually leather, and designed to be noticed. Styles for women include wedged heel and platform, and espadrille varieties.
High Top – This hip-hop category for the likes of Rick Owens and Chuck Taylor are really pushing the limits of sneaker design. Some are all leather, others combine a sock with the sneaker (hence, “sock sneaker”!)
High doesn’t just mean above the ankle. These high tops can almost reach the knee!
From the very basic to the brightest leather, from the minimal to the metal fastenings, there are few rules when it comes to your trainers.
- Your old sneakers won’t do. You need a fresh, new pair.
- Wear them to the right occasions (don’t go too casual). Unless you are accepting an Academy Award, they’re no substitute for dress shoes. Wear with casual, unstructured suits.
- Keep them clean: It doesn’t matter how cool your sneakers are, the effect will be lost if they’re not spick-and-span.
- Pay attention to your socks. Opt either for no show socks or choose your socks wisely: colourful or plain, but not shabby.