At Highsnobiety, we’re fans of genderless sneaker releases, so we don’t often write roundups of sneakers for women. However, every time we do, we’re glad to say that there’s an ever-growing pot of sneakers to choose from.
It’s no longer a case of spending hours scouring the internet for the few releases available below a UK size 7 that haven’t sold out yet. More and more brands have realized that inclusive sizing is one way to achieve a more equal playing field for sneakerheads irrespective of gender. Long may that continue.
That being said, with warmer weather around the corner and the hope that we’ll be able to spend most of the summer outside, now’s the time to invest in a new pair of kicks and saunter into the summer months in style.
To help you build out your rotation with some of the best sneakers for women right now, our market editor and sneaker cognoscente Rhianna Matthews has put together an unbeatable selection. From women-led collabs to techy silhouettes and good old classics, Rhianna’s curation does not miss. Enjoy.
Shop the best sneakers for women in 2021 below
Gel-Kayano 27 De x Vivienne Westwood
“Vivienne Westwood proves age is just a number by continuing to deliver some of ASICS' most elite collaborative designs. This pair is equipped with the Japanese sportswear brand's original performance technology and enriched by Westwood's history of DIY and deconstructed design. The pair features SPACE TRUSSTIC technology within the midsole to aid in a smoother underfoot transition and is cosmetically enhanced with reflective accents and a touch of net detail.” – Matthews.
Nike x Sacai VaporWaffle
“A highly anticipated release. Nike and sacai sat down and, once again, cooked up a future classic. The sneaker combines futuristic performance with heritage and features a double-stacked sole, tongue, and lacing system. Don’t forget about sacai’s characteristically tasty colorways.” – Matthews.
“If you're more into your luxury sneakers, Lanvin really hits the spot. The brand's latest silhouette merges a '70s-style upper with a chunkier, discolored sole for a premium yet sporty feel. Similar to sacai, from the back it kinda looks more machine than sneaker, which we love.” – Matthews.
New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore
“Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance is an instant bucket. The 550 “Natural Green” easily makes it into our list of favorite sneakers for women this year and if you were lucky enough to get your hands on a pair, congratulations! The late ’80s basketball silhouette, despite having laid dormant since its initial release, has become one of the most sought-after pairs of late. The colorways, the vintage treatment – Teddy Santis is too nice with it!” – Matthews.
Nike Dunk Low Medium Curry
“Arguably the best recent general release Nike Dunk. Merging Sail, Fossil, and Medium Curry and constructed with a full suede upper, this premium pair is a cult favorite in the sneaker scene. Kinda like a creamy coffee dessert – an expensive one at that.” – Matthews.
Highsnobiety x ZX8000 Qualitat
“Highsnobiety’s latest masterpiece. This clean, luxurious pair makes use of some of adidas’ most elite materials and has been designed by our team for an ultra-cushioned step (we hid a little bit of Boost in the midsole). Elevated craftsmanship has gone into every detail of this pair, which marks another amazing milestone.” – Matthews.
Marni Leather Light
“Marni really came through with this pair. The buffed leather and white and beige color-blocking complement the silhouette perfectly. And the square toe looks wild! Premium and playful all at the same time.” – Matthews.
COMME des GARÇONS COMME des GARÇONS x Spalwart Hybrid Low
“Alongside Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawakubo takes the crown for being one of the best and longest-reigning female designers of our time. COMME des GARÇONS is a must-have when it comes to footwear collaborations. From Nike to Dr. Martens and even a recent Salomon collab, Kawakubo always seems to know what the consumer wants. The latest collaboration sees Spalwat combine its rich heritage of shoe-making with COMME des GARÇONS’s signature aesthetic for a premium and classic sneaker.” – Matthews.
Salomon S/Lab XT-4 Advanced
“Founded in the heart of the French Alps, Salomon is probably the biggest player in outdoor sports equipment right now but its S/Lab silhouette smoothly makes its way onto our list as a beautiful lifestyle sneaker. The XT-4’s durability and impressive grip mean it's ready for any terrain, whilst also retaining its lightweight form so it can be worn all year round.” – Matthews.
New Balance 990v2
“Outside of the odd Kith or Aimé Leon Dore releases, we’ve been starved of strong 990v2 collaborations, which is why I’ve turned to this general release version in a classic black, white, and silver colorway. It’s a really beautiful pick-up. Simple, classic, and overall great craftsmanship.” – Matthews.
Vein Sheer NY Taffeta Skin Covered Sneakers
“Koki Enomoto launched VEIN in SS20 at Paris Fashion Week and has since caught the eye of many industry insiders. The brand's creations are based on structural expressionism and its skin-covered sneaker embodies just this. A beautiful pair to add to your collection.” – Matthews.
Maison Margiela x Reebok
“Who doesn't love an elevated classic? Maison Margiela sprinkles its vibe over one of Reebok’s most iconic silhouettes. The pair features a trompe-l'oeil design created from a scanned image of the brand's original Club C shoe.” – Matthews.
Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike Dunk
“This list wouldn't be complete without throwing in an absolute grail. Cynthia Lu has not only taken a front seat in the industry over the past couple of years, but she has done it all whilst staying almost completely anonymous. Genius. This pair speaks for itself!” – Matthews.
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