The intersection between fashion and function in sneaker designs has never been stronger, with technically-accomplished footwear at the top of the agenda right now. Numbered are the days of the Balenciaga Triple S head turning reign, with eyes increasingly drawn towards the sportier silhouettes of brands like Salomon and Hoka One One.
Whether your sneaker rotation is for display purposes only or you like to put your latest cops to the test in your sport of choice, below we’ve rounded up the footwear that performs in more ways than one. From the under the radar brands being adopted by the fashion elite, to the adidas runners and court-ready Nikes that have been on sporting radars since day one, our selection covers all bases.
Scroll on to pick the perfect performance-enhancing shoe for any occasion.
Regardless of whether you’re running up cliffs, aesthetically speaking, off-road shoes are front of mind for sneakerheads right now. Brands such as Salomon have been killing it recently, and its recent collaboration with French brand Satisfy Running is one of the nicest trail-ready shoes we’ve seen in a long time. Coming in clean black and white colorways, the sneaker is a minimalist approach to Salomon’s usual designs, while also breaking into the deconstructed trend with Satisfy’s trademark exposed label on the tongue.
For those of you who need to flash their brand allegiances off-road, however, adidas’ Terrex line brings the goods with its GTX Skychaser, offering a rugged traction sole, added stability, and weatherproof materials. Nike’s ACG line (which stands for All Conditions Gear), on the other hand, has been on point with its latest trail-ready Ruckle Ridge sneaker in a fall-friendly green colorway.
For those pounding pavement in more urban landscapes, the adidas Ultra Boost remains the OG runner. Lightweight and boasting super-responsive cushioning and Continental rubber technology for superior traction, the sneaker goes as well with your casual fits as it does with your running get-up.
But if you’re looking to really stand out from fellow racers, Hoka One One continues to emerge as the runner of choice for fashion’s most in-the-know joggers. The brand’s signature chunky sole nods to orthopedic silhouettes and allows for next-level cushioning.
When you’re hitting the gym, your footwear should be lightweight, flexible, and support natural movement. Might sound like a YEEZY boost, but the knitted uppers on the heavily discounted Pureboost below is primed for an adaptive fit that’s versatile no matter what you’re working out. Meanwhile, the durable support offered by Nike’s super affordable dadcore Air Monarch 4 might, ironically, be your best way to keep dad bods at bay.
Look out for the added ankle-support of high-top basketball sneakers if you’re regularly hitting the court. As for brand, do you even have to ask? Bball is where Nike excels, with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant-inspired models not only making you look the part on the court, but giving you that extra spring in your dunk attempts.
Skaters can’t really go wrong with a pair of classic Vans. The label’s flat, grippy soles that are perfect for nailing that ride life, and to really stand out on the court look no further than the recent DSM collab for some low-key but undeniable flex.
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- Curated by: Rhianna Matthews