What are the trend sneakers

Who is wearing which sneakers now?

  • In the mirror

    Hella Schneider

Sneakers are probably the most popular shoes in the world - there is hardly anyone left who does not wear sports shoes. A typology based on current trends.

1. For pragmatists: the running shoe

Meanwhile, sneakers have become a style statement. What was considered a “sneaker” not so long ago and was worn exclusively for sport has now become socially acceptable almost everywhere. With the currently most popular shoe shape in the world, the credo is: Comfort is everything. For pragmatists who simply want a modern and comfortable shoe, models that put their sporty roots in the foreground are perfect.

The best models for them are available from brands that are technologically state-of-the-art and focused on runners, such as Asics or the Swiss brand On Running. Particularly cool at Asics: the “Gel-Nandi 360” model. At On Running: The “Cloudultra” sneakers.

2. For art lovers: the «Artsy» sneaker

Nowadays, sneakers can be real art and museum objects - an entire exhibition will be dedicated to them in the London Design Museum from May 18th. In particular, sneaker models that result from collaborations are often very limited and are therefore also considered something special. Everyone who has and wears them is almost an art collector.

One example of this are the Reebok sneakers, which were created together with Maison Margiela and which reinterpret the legendary “Tabi Boots”. The models that the avant-garde fashion house Comme des Garçons designed with various sneaker brands (including Asics) also belong to this class of shoes. Likewise the sneakers from the cooperation between Sacai and Nike. A designer whose sneakers are still perfect for art lovers without any cooperation: the artistic sneakers by Raf Simons, currently mainly the “Cylon-21” model.

3. For the active: performance and outdoor sneakers

At the end of October last year, I predicted that hiking boots would replace sneakers - that referred to the upcoming winter. But even in summer, the trend towards true outdoor shoes remains. For everyone who is particularly active in everyday life, or at least wants to be ready for any situation anytime and anywhere.

Sneaker lovers have now also taken models from outdoor labels such as Salomon (such as the “XT-Wings 2”) and Hoka (especially the “One One”) into their hearts. These are optically somewhere between sneakers and hiking boots - and are as comfortable as they are robust.

4. For collectors: Legendary high-top sneakers

At the beginning of this year a pair of “Air Jordan 1” - the name of the model sold by Nike to this day and worn by basketball player Michael Jordan in 1985 - was auctioned for US $ 560,000. Until Kanye West broke that record a few days ago with an early Yeezy prototype, they were the most expensive sneakers in the world. Even if they have been pushed out of the way: The “Air Jordans”, as they are simply called, are the hype sneakers par excellence.

Whenever they appear in a new color or in a different model (there are several designs, each named after their year of publication), they are completely sold out. In general, they can only be bought by lot at Nike - or afterwards in so-called ReSale portals such as StockX or the luxury online shop Farfetch.

If you want high-top sneakers but can't find “Air Jordans”, the classic “Chuck Taylor” by Converse or “OG Style” by Vans are recommended - after all, sneaker-obsessed people also need evergreens.

5. For buyers who are concerned about sustainability: Recycled classics

For a long time, sneaker culture was defined by being driven by hype. However, since this increasingly no longer feels right and over-consumption is now considered a sin, the world of sneakers is also developing in the direction of sustainability.

In this context, it is above all the big names like Adidas and Nike that come up with innovations. Adidas, for example, recently brought out the classic lifestyle sneaker par excellence, the “Stan Smith” in a new sustainable version in which all non-leather components are recycled.

In general, timelessness is an often underestimated factor of sustainability: If a shoe lasts a long time and stays modern forever, then that alone is sustainable.

6. For the avant-garde: “Light Ugly” sneakers

A few years ago, “Ugly sneakers” were the trendy shoes of the moment - driven by the Balenciaga “Triple S” model, they usually had thick soles, were extremely bulky and already looked consciously worn in terms of color and design. The game of transforming what is actually ugly is still there in sneaker culture, but it has turned exactly the opposite: Instead of even more extreme shapes, the new “Ugly Sneaker” are now particularly light and thin-soled.

As with the first wave of the trend a few years ago, these do not initially come from sneaker brands, but from high-fashion fashion houses. Unsurprisingly, Balenciaga is also considered a pioneer here: with its “Zen” and “Tyrex” models. At Loewe, on the other hand, it is the “Ballet Runner” who leads the sneaker avant-garde.

7. For the relaxed among us: retro sneakers

When the popular London designer Wales Bonner entered into a cooperation with Adidas, it quickly became clear which sneaker model she would reinterpret: the "Samba". This Adidas shoe is one of the oldest of the brand, it was developed as early as 1949 and has since survived various revivals and new interpretations.

The "Samba" is simple, timeless, relaxed, retro - and this year it has been as hip again as it was last in the early noughties. The versions by Wales Bonner are particularly cool, but the classics in black or white are also perfect for anyone looking for relaxed, unexcited sneakers. The “Waffle Trainers” from Nike or the “993” from New Balance come in the same relaxed retro mood.