Listen Up: These Are the Sneaker Trends Everyone Will be Wearing in 2018
As the year comes to an end, we spend a lot of time at Who What Wear thinking ahead and working out what everyone will be wearing for 2018. One of the most popular items of all is the sneaker, and seeing as they're now a staple for everyone's wardrobes, we're keen to know what we should invest in now for the new year. As we don't have a fashion crystal ball (although that would be fabulous), we turned to expert Emily Gordon-Smith, head of fashion at Stylus, an innovation research and advisory company. Essentially, it gages consumer behaviour to work out just what people might be shopping for in the future. Thanks to Gordon-Smith, we've now got five key sneaker trends that everyone will be wearing in 2018. Want to know what they are? Keep scrolling to find out what you need to invest in now to stay ahead of the trainer game.
1. Muted tones and exaggerated soles
"A look that remains relevant and popular in 2018 is the white sneaker, which will be rebooted with an exaggerated moulded sole that creates an overblown silhouette. A muted palette of whites, pastels and some metallics will offer an ultra-modern look. Detailing will be kept to a minimum, featuring only subtle touches like a bias frill."
2. Sport for fashion, not fitness
"In the U.S., 75% of sneakers are bought for aesthetics and lifestyle, rather than performance (NPD Group). Authenticity is key here, with designs staying true to classic sneaker styles and colours (blue, red and white) while being sympathetic to the wider trend towards 'sports for fashion, not for fitness.' Adidas is doing this incredibly well, having successfully engaged both the fashion consumer and sports enthusiast."
3. Nostalgia: '90s influence fails to waiver
"Nostalgia will continue to influence sneaker design, feeding also into our first and fourth trends. The '90s was known for its over-the-top, chunky trainer silhouettes (think Steve Jobs' footwear) and neon flashes. Brands will offer colourful, playful looks and exclusive collaborations like that explored by Reebok and Lisa Frank."
4. "Ugly" sneakers
"Ugly fashion is back, and it's here to stay, extending well into 2018. We'll see designers tapping into TV pop culture from the '90s and '00s, giving nostalgia its biggest reboot. Clunky is in, along with dirty, greyed-off finishes. Embraced already by luxury brands including Balenciaga and Gucci, we'll see this look filter down into the mass market, influencing clothing too."
5. Female sneakerheads take centre stage
"Female customers will become the priority for many of the big sneaker brands and for the long haul. We're seeing a growing female sneakerhead community emerge, which is driving how product rereleases are engineered, influencing design and a move towards unisex styling. Kicked off by Puma x Fenty, this trend, a huge area of growth, will gain new momentum in 2018."