Arguably, 2019's sneaker trends have fallen in to one of two categories. Either they're very much on the "ugly" oversized sneaker side of things with the high street, as well as designers, continuing to push out bold-style trainers. Or, they fall into the more classic-style sneakers—Vejas sustainable trainers have been one of the shoes I've spotted the most over the year, with not only celebrities such as Emma Watson and Meghan Markle wearing them but a host of influencers.
So what about 2020's sneaker trends? While I very much believe that sustainability will be at the forefront of our minds when we shop for trainers in the new year, I have a theory that there will be a few stand out styles. I spoke to Diadora CEO, Enrico Polegato as well as Nia Jones, co-founder and creative director of new sustainable sneaker brand Good News, to get a better picture of what we'll see in terms of sneaker trends next year. I also spoke to fashion search platform Lyst and analysed the 2020 runway trends and street style looks from the past fashion month. From all this, I've gathered my evidence together on the trends I think will dominate the new year. So far, I can see there are four main looks that are going to be big in 2020. Keep scrolling to find out what they are...
Thanks to the prevalence of Vejas' classic sneaker styles, as well as the emergence of nu-minimalism, there is no doubt in my mind that we're going to see a recurrence of the pared-back sneaker. Of course, the real iconic version is now Adidas's Stan Smiths sneaker, so beloved by former Céline creative director Phoebe Philo. However, I spotted Stella McCartney had created her own minimal sneaker for this coming season and it's exactly the right kind for wearing with camel-coloured trousers.
Enrico agrees: "In fashion, everything makes a comeback and right now it's the turn of retro sneakers. While chunky ugly fashion silhouettes have dominated for the past few seasons, 2020 will see a return to nostalgic models of the past: classic sneaks, ‘80s runners and tennis shoes. Next year will be a new golden era for slimmer, lighter eighties retro silhouettes. I’m sure they will hit the shelves of all sorts of retailers. The archives are just a treasure trove of them."
Platform soles are not new. In 2018 and 2019 we saw the likes of Gucci, Ganni and Fila creating chunky, reminiscent-of-the-Spice-Girls-style, oversized sneakers. While I think there'll be fewer of these over-the-top trainers, 2020 sneakers will hold on to the chunky sole. Why do I think this? For starters on Lyst, in its round up of the year, revealed that Alexander McQueen's platform-soled sneakers were searched for every two minutes. Plus, I saw Yasmin Sewell wearing these sneakers during London Fashion Week and she's always a good yard stick for trends to come.
Arguably it was Balenciaga that really tipped this trend into the mainstream with its Triple S sneakers that sold out everywhere during 2018 and 2019. Other big fashion houses followed suit with Gucci's bejewelled version and Louis Vuitton's Archlights that were more on the sporty side. This coming season, however, the chunky, oversized "ugly" sneakers are going to take a hit on the popularity front. On the runways of both Balenciaga and Gucci, there were fluorescent sneakers that while "big" in colour were more pared back in style—more like a classic running shoe with bold hues. "Dad shoes," confirms Enrico, "will also continue to rock next year, it’s all about nostalgic throwbacks from the ‘80s where simplicity is key."
Similarly, Nia from Good News also reveals that the contemporary take on 2020's sneaker trends will be a "fluorescent effect or contrasting tones".
Expect old-school styles to make a comeback in 2020. While Reeboks are never unpopular, I predict that the classic versions are about to get more wardrobe time. Former Vogue features director Jo Ellison wore Reeboks during London Fashion Week, and I spotted this show-goer wearing classic Adidas sneakers too.