Sneakers are fast becoming as valuable a commodity in the fashion world as any other high-fashion accessory. You only have to see the increasing number of pairs worn at recent fashion shows to recognize their style merit. We even dedicated a whole street style feature to the 20 best sneakers worn at Milan Women’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.
The beauty of the aforementioned feature – aside from all the footwear, naturally – is the ambiguity of who’s wearing which sneakers; it’s difficult to tell whether the wearer is male or female. But that’s not to say the same freedom applies to the sneakers themselves. It’s rare that a sneaker release will come in a full range of sizes from womens to mens, which means that one of us is always going to feel left out. More often than not it’s the women but here are ten of the best womens sneakers that we wish had been designed for men.
10. ASICS Gel Lyte III “Snowflake”
The iconic split-tongue design of the ASICS Gel Lyte III has established itself independently and through its numerous successful collaborations with brands such as CNCPTS and St. Alfred. On its own the silhouette has lent itself to a variety of colorways but some of our favorites have been the pastel candy colors. The “Snowflake” edition was released in August of this year and featured a premium suede mint green upper with hints of baby blue at the collar and highlights of purple on the mid-foot, eyelets and heel. The cool upper was a breath of fresh air during sweltering summer but was only big enough to fit on the average sized feet of women.
9. Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 Sneaker
Chanel just dropped their Fall/Winter 2014 sneaker collection but the pair that have been the most outstanding for us so far are these ones from their Spring/Summer 2013 collection. There’s something about the clunky, practical, middle America sneaker silhouette combined with the neutral beige tones and finished off with the clean, interlocking “C” logo that just works. And Mellany Sanchez was lucky enough to cop a pair in a different colorway as shown in our Sneaker Rotation with her.
8. adidas Originals Superstar 80s “Metal Toe”
2014 saw the resurgence of adidas Originals classic low-top shell toe, with the all-white rendition seen all over bloggers’ blogs and Instagrammers’ Instagrams. And newer renditions of the classic style are already making their way onto the market. The Superstar 80s “Metal Toe” comes in two colorways, a crisp all-beige upper with a copper toe or the one you see above, all-black rich premium suede with a silver toe. It’s an unusual twist on such an OG silhouette, the metal toe, reminiscent of a steel toe cap boot, adds some kind of workwear edge. We’d be happy to see more variety of colorways in this style and more variety in size, too.
7. Nike Free Inneva Woven SP “Champagne Pink”
The Free Inneva Woven SP is one of our preferred fashion-focused sneakers from Nike. The combination of Chinese finger trap-inspired woven upper and buttery soft leather on the heel makes for a richly textured sneaker design. And it’s 10/10 for comfort too, sat on top of a Free 5.0 sole unit. There weren’t enough Free Inneva Woven’s which made the most of out of the weave and combined colors together for an interesting affect. The “Champagne Pink” model did just that and the result is something refined and bold all at the same time.
6. Nike Air Max 90 Premium “Black/Metallic Silver” Pack
Nike dropped the Air Max Premium “Black/Metallic Silver” pack earlier this year following a slew of monotone sneakers. The defining factor of this tonal black Air Max 90 style is the use of crocodile-embossed leather which is present on overlays throughout the sneaker, with matte nubuck leather beneath. Elsewhere the sneakers feature rubber corrugated paneling and silver volt detailing on the tongue patch. It’s a luxurious take on the more clunky AM90 silhouette.
5. Vans x Liberty Pepper Liberty Print Sk8-Hi
Liberty have been everywhere with their prints recently but that’s not to say they’ve been slipping with the standard of their choices. From Acne to H&M and their ongoing collaboration with Nike. And they teamed up with household skateboard brand Vans, our favorite of which is this iconic heritage Pepper print Sk8-Hi. The intricate 1974 Liberty Pepper print complements and contrasts with the masculine high-top and sidestripe design of the Sk8-Hi, which not only gives the sneakers a whole new look but makes them suitable for both men and women. Although unfortunately Vans and Liberty only agreed on the latter, with the sneakers only running in women’s sizes.
4. Nike Air Max Thea “Jacquard”
The Nike Air Max Thea release was one of the most exciting releases of last year, bringing a brand new contemporary silhouette to the table and in turn Nike’s repertoire. The sneaker style has since seen a number of iterations but none executed quite so exquisitely as the recently released “Jacquard” style. The upper has been crafted using Nike’s breathable knit upper and although the Dark Grey/Black/Metallic Silver colorway is subtle, it still stands out. This colorway in particular would look great in a few sizes bigger in order to accommodate the men among you.
3. Nike Roshe Run Metric
The pitfall of the Roshe Run IMHO is that the flimsy canvas upper gives little by way of protection in order to contain your feet. Sure they work as beach shoe but who wants to keep these little beauties for the beach only? The Roshe Run Metric has been perhaps one of their stronget Roshe Run releases yet, with a rubber triangular geometric pattern that gives as much protection as it does flexibility. All while looking dope as hell. And the materials mean you can chuck them in the washing machine to clean them up nice any time they’re started to look a little less than fresh. Only downfall? You guessed it. For tiny trotters only.
2. Air Jordan VII “Mineral Blue”
Nike’s staple Jordan sneaker the Air Jordan VII has seen its fair share of colorways, some strong, others not so strong, and others designed around the Brazil World Cup 2014. With inspiration drawn from the OG Air Jordan 5 “Grape,” this rendition is a much more refined take on an original, with a neutral grey nubuck base superimposed on white leather. The sneakers boast pops of purple and turquoise on the sole, midsole, tongue, heel tab, ankle collar and embroidered Jordan logo, resulting in what is pretty much our dream Air Jordan VII shoe.
1. Nike Blazer Mid Premium QS “Iridescent”
Although normcore might have won big in the style sweepstakes this year, Iridescence has still manage to conquer, with more footwear than ever covered in the bright, shiny, mesmerizing material – just check out our 10 outrageously iridescent sneakers feature for proof. Nike dropped this “Iridescent” version of their Blazer Mid, which is nowhere near as overbearing as it should be with an upper like that. Unfortunately, Nike decided to be cruel enough to only release it in womens sizes.