I've spent over a decade working as a journalist and most of that has been working in fashion. Over time, those of us who work in this area find they're more drawn to certain subjects than others. For me, trainers and the surrounding trends have always had a pull. I'm not really sure what it is that has always fascinated me but I imagine growing up as a teenager in the late '90s with the likes of Oasis and Blur making sports casual something cool and desirable has a lot to answer for.
As I've gotten older, I've always enjoyed the softening effect that sneakers can have on outfits. Formal shoes can feel too old-fashioned with suits but the moment you wear a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths, you've got a Phoebe Philo-approved look. Add a pair of high-top Converse to a slinky slip dress and you're suddenly much edgier than if you'd gone for a pair of strappy heels.
Of course, for the past few years, sneakers have become very much part of the fashion insider's wardrobe. They're not just for hype kids or people who spend all their time working out. Fashion trainers are very much a thing. I personally believe that there is a sneaker for everyone out there, whether you're more classically dressed or love the latest trends. I've compiled a list of the best fashion trainers around, splitting up the sneakers into four distinct categories: classics, designer, vintage-inspired and hype. Keep scrolling to see what I rate and why you're bound to discover a pair you love.
This style of sneaker is the James Bond of the sneaker world: It flies under the radar but when they need to they can make people take notice. All of these trainers are great worn with quite literally anything in your wardrobe. Jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts, leggings, suits—whatever it is, you can guarantee these sneakers will be there to make your outfit look good.
All of the below trainers are definitely for the label-lovers out there. But that's not to say a bold logo doesn't have to be gauche. Chanel's new-season iterations are always chic as are Alexander McQueen platform sole sneakers. But if you're really going for it, you can't beat the chunkiness of a Louis Vuitton Archlight or the Balenciaga Triple S, which are still going strong. However, the latest brand to join this clique is Loewe, which is a much more pared-back approach to the designer sneaker.
I call this vintage-inspired, but I'd also say this is where the "dad" sneaker category falls too. Whether it's reissued sneakers from the 1970s such as the Nike Cortez or the 1980s style 990s from New Balance, there's plenty of old-school style to get stuck into, if that's your thing.
While sneakerheads would probably turn their noses up at this list, there's no escaping the fact that hyped-up trainers have definitely become more popular among the fashion crowd. Whether it's limited-edition Nike Air Force 1s or the Dior Nike collaboration, and of course, Yeezys, there's definitely a few who are always keen to get their hands on the latest offering.