Summer is here. For the sneakerheads amongst us, that means a chance to put our boots and heavier, weather-proofed shoes away and pull out some of our lightweight sneakers for the sunshine.
A summer rotation means different things to different people, though a general rule of thumb is that brighter colors and lightweight materials come in to play because there’s nothing worse than your feet feeling like they’re in an oven. Usually, that results in a lot of running shoes — designed to be breathable and wick away sweat — being major players during the summer months.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the best, lightweight sneakers money can buy (at all budgets). So if you’re at home, wondering what you’ll be throwing on when you’re off to the shops, on your feet all weekend, or at the park or lake, give our selection of light sneakers below a scroll.
The best lightweight sneakers to buy for summer 2021
Soulland x Li-Ning Shadow
For designs that are sure to turn heads, look no further than Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning. The brand’s standout collaboration with Soulland is centered around a lightweight, carbon-plated runner, known as the Shadow. The key design element of the sneaker is its hollowed-out midsole, which makes it one of the most lightweight sneakers on our list and is outfitted with more than enough cushioning for you to log some serious summer miles — whether working out on the track or simply strolling around town.
ASICS GEL-Kayano 14
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 14 will bring some serious retro flavor to your summer sneaker rotation while sacrificing none of the comforts. The upper of the shoe is predominantly crafted from mesh, making it breathable during those long, hot summer days. From an aesthetic standpoint, the red accents really liven up an otherwise subdued colorway.
Loewe Ballet Runner Sneakers
While many other luxury houses look to chunky soles and futuristic, layered uppers to catch your eye, Loewe moves in the opposite direction. It works, too. The Ballet Runner is one of the most distinctive luxury sneakers on the market with its wafer-thin sole unit and lightweight suede and nylon uppers.
Acne Studios Mesh Sneakers
Acne Studios is offering a semi-see-through design that screams summer. The low-top sneaker is done up in semi-sheer mesh to make it the perfect lightweight sneaker option for the summer. You can accentuate the light-colored pair by wearing some bright socks that will peek through the sheer panels.
Saucony Endorphin Pro
The Endorphin Pro is Saucony’s carbon fiber-plated race-day sneaker. Whether for performance or leisure, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more lightweight sneaker this summer, as the Endorphin Pro weighs just 7.5 ounces. The upper is constructed from single-layered engineered mesh, making it undeniably breathable, while Saucony’s lightest and most springy cushioning is implemented in the midsole.
Originating in table tennis (yes, table tennis) the adidas Tischtennis never hit the big time. It's a shame really because this is one of the Three Stripes' most underrated silhouettes. Suede panels combine with wide-gap mesh in the upper for a slightly elevated take on a highly lightweight build. A retro gum sole rounds out this pair which is sure to have even the most dedicated sneakerhead asking you what model you're wearing.
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6
Designed for the trail, the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 is definitely one of the more durable options in this roundup. A rugged outsole combines with a technical knit upper for the best of both worlds: light and hard-wearing. It's yet another jewel in New Balance's Fresh Foam crown.
Nike Flow 2020 ISPA Sneakers
A bulky build means that the Nike Flow 2020 ISPA Sneakers don't look lightweight, but you're in for a surprise. The mesh upper features bonding throughout to save on weight and streamline the silhouette. The ergonomic lacing system not only looks wildly futuristic, it feels it. Up there with the comfiest selections of the lot, Nike's ISPA arm is yet to create something we haven't loved.
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