These are the best trainer styles to wear – from chunky to retro – according to three women who love wearing them.
They’re the shoe we no longer have to keep only for commutes and sports – now, the trainer is much more than that. Accepted into the wardrobes of many, they’re the footwear of choice for every occasion, from work to weekend and everything in between.
With designers dropping new styles quicker than even serious sneaker heads can possibly keep up with and even high street brands creating iterations, how do you know which pair is right for you? While there is no right or wrong answer here, it can become a bit of a minefield.. This is why we asked industry insiders including Stylist’s very own fashion features editor (and trainer Queen) Billie Bhatia, influencer Lizzy Hadfield and model Simran Randhawa to pick their trainer teams.
From statement ‘look at me’ trainers that are bound to get you noticed, to sleek styles that’ll make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and retro pairs that your dad would be proud of – these are the three fresh kick styles the experts are backing. Whether you go for Balenciaga’s colour block Triple S or Axel Arigato’s stripped back pairs, these are the trainers worth shopping to go with all your new season wares.
You may also like
Denim decoded: the ultimate guide to what each cut actually means
Statement and chunky trainers
Stylist’s fashion news editor Billie Bhatia (@billie_bhatia) is all for making a statement with chunky, block trainers.
“There was a time in my life when I would only wear Adidas Stan Smiths. Sleek, simple and uncomplicated, they were the perfect companion for everything in my wardrobe. A few years on and more confident in my fashion stride, I have developed an everyday uniform – this consists of a tube skirt or slip skirt with a roll-neck jumper or sweatshirt and a pair of chunky trainers. Swapping out the sleek for something with more personality and direction helps inject another dimension into my usually pared-back look. This doesn’t necessarily mean a pair of Fila Disruptors or Buffalos, which are both on the extreme end of the chunky scale, but I do lean towards trainers with depth and detail that can add a bit of flavour. My favourites are the Balenciaga Triple S and the Adidas Yung 1s in cream (both below).”
New BalanceDad trainers were the catalyst behind the chunky trainer trend. These New Balance 530 trainers straddle both chunky and retro, but it’s their easy-to-wear appeal that makes them so popular.
Over the past few seasons, Bottega Veneta became the most lusted after designer brand thanks to their accessories offering. (They are the brand behind that iconic Pouch bag and those infamous quilted sandals). In true Bottega Veneta style, even their chunky trainers are impeccably chic.
A classic chunky trainer to style with cropped jeans, slip skirts and even fancy frocks.
Sleek and minimal trainers
Influencer Lizzy Hadfield (@shotfromthestreet) is a fan of the simple, minimal style kicks.
“I’m all about clothes that are easy to wear, so when it comes to trainers I have the same ethos. Sleek styles are so classic, they manage to make sportswear as chic as possible. With your favourite knit and jeans, a suit, or a summery dress and socks – they work with any look, across all seasons, which makes them more of an investment piece. My go-to pairs are usually from Superga; for summer I’ll be styling them up with linen trousers and an oversized cotton T-shirt. Simple trainers, for me, are effortless and come with the bonus of comfort. I always feel confident wearing them no matter the occasion. And the very best part? Their longevity is extended because they look just as good when they’re worn in and a bit grubby as they do when they’re box fresh.”
Common Projects have been serving sleek and minimal to industry insiders for years, making it a firm favourite for those in the know. Crafted from luxurious leathers and sporting their iconic gold-stamped serial number, these trainers are the ultimate investment.
Shop white trainers, £325, Common Projects
AllbirdsSleek, understated and effortlessly cool, Allbird’s white plimsole style trainers aren’t just endlessly stylish, but they’re sustainably made too. Made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus pulp and recycled polyester, this laidback design boasts impeccable eco-conscious credentials.
These comfortable kicks will be a go-to for everyday easy looks. It doesn’t matter if these end up being grubby, Lizzy shows how to wear the worn-in look.
Retro and sporty trainers
Journalist and model Simran Randhawa (@simran) is all about sporty styles with a vintage edge.
“Trainers, for me, are more than just footwear. Being tall, I grew up not feeling comfortable with my height and I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so trainers were the perfect option. Now, I wear them just because I love them and they’re a massive part of my personal style. They allow me to go from shoots to meetings to work without having to think about my outfit – they work hard in your wardrobe no matter what. I’ve always loved retro styles that are re-released, because often the newer versions have an added subtle sleekness without compromising on the integrity or design of the original shoe. Cool Grey 4 Jordans are my favourite shoes of all time. For spring/summer I’ll be wearing them with an oversized shirt and a mini skirt, or to dress down a printed midi.”
If you tread with caution when it comes to colour, this pared-back style is the perfect way to ease you into the trend.
If they look like they could have been worn by your dad at some point, they’re a winner. The more retro the better with this trend.
We can always count on Gucci for a blast from the past with retro, bright styles that won’t go unnoticed.
Images: courtesy of insiders featured