We've spent a lot of time at Who What Wear thinking ahead and working out what everyone will be wearing in 2018. And seeing as it's still only a quarter(ish) of the way through the year, it seems only fitting to predict the trends for one of the biggest items around right now: sneakers. As they're now a staple for everyone's wardrobes, we're keen to know what we should invest for the rest of the year.
But 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 that gauges consumer behaviour to work out just what people might be shopping for in the future. Thanks to Gordon-Smith, we know the five key sneaker trends everyone will be wearing in 2018. 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."
Ready to try pastel shoes? Ease yourself in with pink.
2. Sport for Fashion, Not Fitness
"In the U.S., 75% of sneakers are bought for aesthetics and lifestyle rather than performance. 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."
Superstars are still super popular—if you don't have a pair of these already, we suggest you invest.
3. The '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's footwear) and neon flashes. Brands will offer colourful, playful looks and exclusive collaborations like the one between Reebok and Lisa Frank."
If you're not ready for a bold colour, try the '90s silhouette in a muted colour.
4. "Ugly" Sneakers
"'Ugly' fashion is back, and it's here to stay, extending. 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 like Balenciaga and Gucci, we'll see this look filter down into the mass market, influencing clothing too."
Chic chunky sneakers from Stella.
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."
Fenty is set to grow, so ensure you snap them up now before they get even more popular (and harder to get ahold of).