I've made no secret of the fact that I love sneakers. I spend a fair amount of time wearing them and own quite a few pairs. I find I nearly always turn to trainers rather than heels, which, as a fashion editor, isn't the usual choice. And despite the fact that trainers have become way more acceptable in the fashion world, I'm probably still a bit of an outlier. Today, I want to talk about the best designer trainers. The thing is it's actually quite hard to nail down what designer trainers are. Yes, you could just easily say sneakers created by the biggest fashion houses today, such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. However, as a self-confessed trainer obsessive who has spoken to various experts over the years, these aren't always the kind of sneakers that are recommended.
Instead, they're more likely to be trainers that are best for selling on once you're done or the kind of sneakers that gain value over time. I'd also say that the best designer sneakers are the ones that have a lot of interest and hype surrounding them, such as the Adidas x Yeezy collaborations. Finally, I'd also consider designer trainers to be the ones that are sold on luxury retail sites. So with that in mind, I've taken all of the above into account and delved into the data to find the most popular designer sneakers around.
I've gathered intel via eBay on the most popular sneakers sold on the site and looked to Lyst's global shopping data to find out which brands have the best-selling trainers over the past year. I think you'll find the information not only helpful but also really interesting. Keep scrolling to read about the best designer sneakers.
1. Alexander McQueen Oversized Sole Sneakers
Titi Finlay, the social media manager for Laced, a leading resale site for sneakers, told me a few months ago when I was writing about trainer trends for 2022 that über-chunky sneakers such as Balenciaga's Triple S are on the way out. After looking at street style images from the most recent fashion month, these sneakers have definitely become less popular. However, there is one pair of chunky trainers that I'd consider a classic now: Alexander McQueen's oversized platform sneakers. The white sneakers are ideal for pairing with lots of different outfits, yet the various collar colourways allow for a touch of personalisation.
2. Nike Air Force 1s
Here's another classic pair of sneakers that never goes out of trend. According to Lyst, these trainers were the hottest product in the world between April and June this year. Finlay told me that this is "the one sneaker that never goes out of style" and "goes with every style and every outfit. Everyone needs a pair in their wardrobe."
Vejas are the kind of sneakers that can seem, at first glance, a little boring, but they're the kind of shoes that work with various outfits in your wardrobe. It's also worth bearing in mind that the brand is sustainable, which is a big draw right now. According to Lyst's 2021 sustainability report, "many streetwear brands have consciously moved away from overconsumption and hype to give back to their communities as well as implement more sustainable practices, like slower drops, repairs on offer and eco-friendly materials." Adding to this, the brand has attracted celebrity fans, including Emma Watson, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge.
4. Nike Air Jordans
This year, eBay launched an authentication centre for sneakers over £150. This means that consumers after the most sought-after brands being sold on the site could ensure what they are buying is authentic. Ebay revealed that a pair of sneakers is bought every nine seconds on the site, so it's not surprising the resale site has launched such an important tool for this community. According to eBay's intel, the biggest-selling style of trainers on the site is the Jordan 1. This is great news, as these trainers will continue to hold a lot of value if you want to sell them on.
5. New Balances
Another popular brand on eBay is New Balance. These sneakers, in various iterations, have become incredibly popular among the fashion crowd. From the sell-out Staud collabs to the 990 styles, these are my personal favourite designer trainers to invest in.
6. Adidas Yeezy Boosts
Finally, it should come as no surprise to learn that Yeezy's Boost sneakers are one pair of designer trainers that plenty of experts would recommend you buy. Finlay told me that "brands like Yeezy, Reebok and Pyer Moss are making waves with the chunky sneaker, bringing it into a much more futuristic aesthetic and away from the retro 'dad' style." Not only do they hold a lot of value when you want to resell, but they're also notoriously hard to get hold of, so they have a real exclusive factor about them.