For a long time, there was really only one colour for trainers: white. Preferably pristinely, perennially box-fresh white.
Throughout the noughties, white shoes were the sartorial solution to absolutely everything. Want to dress down a skirt? White trainers. Need a comfy but smart alternative to heels? White trainers. Something to wear with jeans? Yep, white trainers.
But – in good news for those of us genetically preprogrammed to mess up pristine, box-fresh white anything – there’s a new shift towards colour and texture.
“The new trainers are almost reminiscent of old track trainers,” says stylist Lucy Wood. “Some have suede panelling and a slightly pointier toe. Even the really clunky Dad sneakers, which started off as all white, are being updated with an injection of colour.”
Keen fashion sleuths may have seen this trend coming. The first hint came last April with New Balance’s retro-inspired collab with French streetwear brand Casablanca – featuring slicks of grass-green and a perforated upper sole – which sold out instantly. Then came the trend towards pointier, more textured New Balance runners (as seen on everyone from Kendall Jenner to Kaia Gerber, not to mention every fashion editor and influencer on Instagram).
Today, there’s a range of brands offering retro trainers, from more affordable options from VEJA, Puma and New Balance to those on offer at Loewe and Tory Burch, which, at $700 a pair, could best be described as “aspirational”. (Karen Walker’s website has an excellent selection of brands and prices.)
Lucy suggests wearing coloured trainers exactly as you would white ones. “They’re a really cool way to update a suit and I really like them paired with dresses, to dress them down.”
Here are 12 of Lucy’s favourite pairs:
Styling: Lucy Wood
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