Spring’s 8 biggest sneaker trends (and how to get the look at every budget)


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Photo: Stocksy/Guille Faingold

Sneakers are always in style. Pair your low-tops with sundresses and high tops with skinny jeans; style metallic kicks with denim and tees, and save your neon pink platforms for that ultra-feminine midi skirt that needs a little something extra. No matter how you style them, you can’t go wrong.

Rajni Jacques, a fashion director at Condé Nast and creative content director, considers sneakers a mainstay of her wardrobe. “What I love is that there are so many varieties and styles of sneakers,” she says. For stylist Rachael Wang, the beauty of the sneaker sits comfortably in nostalgia. “I have a very emotional connection to sneakers,” she says. “I think it’s mostly as a result of growing up in the ’90s, the golden age of sneakers.”

On the runway, designers made a sporty statement that certainly told the world that sneakers weren’t going anywhere—at least this year. The designers at Gucci added a little bling to their retro styles, pairing them with evening wear and workwear alike; Off-White debuted a classically inspired collaboration with Nike, walking the runway styled with some of the most striking tulle gowns in every color of the rainbow; and JW Anderson paired flirty and feminine mini dresses with his take on Converse staples.

This spring, the sneakers that are hitting it big might surprise you—and simultaneously inspire a shopping spree. With little exception, though, this season’s coming sneaker trends are encouraging all of us to have a bit of fun with fashion. Whether it’s futuristic materials, metallic finishes, color-blocked styles, or a classic slip-on-and-go style, the below trends in sneakers are about to appear on the feet of absolutely everyone.

For all that and more, check out the 8 best spring sneaker trends and get ahead of the game.

Think: What would Spock do? Whether that means NASA-inspired metallics or a tech-weave sock-style high-top, it’s all about the future when it comes to your sneakers this spring.

Go all-out with color-blocking by squeezing all the bright hues you can fit into one sneaker. It’s meant to not only be the focal point of your look, but also an easy throw-on-and-go when it comes to adding that little something extra to a classic denim-and-tee look.

Yes, pink has infiltrated every corner of your spring wardrobe, from tips to toes. And sporty toes they will be, as it’s time to stock up on kicks in every pink tone. For a less sweet take on the hue, consider the shape of the shoe. “I love a pretty-in-pink shade,” Jacques says. “But I love it even more when the silhouette is very sporty or bulbous.”

While the world still loves a vintage-inspired dad sneaker, all your favorites are coming back into the mix. Jacques appreciates the street-style favorite. “I love wearing a retro shape and colorway because it really does elevate a look,” she says. “It can also make an outfit look really sleek.”

Sneakers have gone tech this spring, with sock-like knits, new lacing techniques, and workout-to-real-life foot bed technology. Wang sees the trend as very telling of our society as a whole. “I cannot get enough of the intersection of technology and fashion,” she says. “I really believe this marriage will be what contributes to the reversal of our climate crisis.” With tech fabrics and sustainable style becoming more of a trend across the board, she adds, “We urgently need to see the invention and application of technology to create more sustainable, function, and circular fashion.”

“Fashion is becoming obsessed with the early ’00s,” Wang says. “Platform sneakers inspired by the Spice Girls certainly complement that.” Sure, you might not want to go for a jog in them. But with high-waisted jeans and a classic T-shirt, they sure do look killer. Keep it streamlined for the rest of the look, however. As Jacques says, “As long as the outfit is toned down, you can rock those.”

This spring, the fashion gods have married two excellent shoes to create a warm-weather wardrobe staple for the ages. Reach for espadrille soles with laced-up sneaker tops to give your summer vibe a sporty twist. A bonus, says Wang: They’re also inherently vegan-friendly.

For the minimalist who deserves a time to shine, make sure to have at least one classic slip-on in rotation. They’re simple and easy to pair with off-duty denim, but they also look just as fresh with a mini or midi floral dress.

So, have you seen the the new Nike Frees? And don’t miss the best size-inclusive activewear brands, all in sizes 3X and beyond.

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