While gym shoes have been popular for decades with urban fashion sets, high-end fashion designers from across the world are embracing the trend. With brands from Giuseppe Zanotti to Christian Louboutin to Nike designing their own version of the pumped up kicks, there are plenty of options for starlets and students from all walks of life.
“The bridge between contemporary and athletic lines are merging to appeal to the consumer,” said Stephanie Kennedy, who has worked as a buyer for the women’s department at Revolve Clothing for three years. “Brands were able to see that there is a market, people could have functional as well as aesthetically pleasing shoes that are aligned with current trends.”
Fast-forward two years, and the fashion world is experiencing sneaker fever. Kennedy said it was a natural choice for the “girl on the go” who was looking for both functionality and the right aesthetic.
For designers, this means employing an “elevated twist” with materials like suede and leather, embellished with metallic refinements and sported on double soles or hidden wedges.
While neutral and animal printed high tops and concealed wedge sneakers seem to be the most popular designs, neon orange and green low tops and sparkly slip-ons also feature prominently in the season’s trends. Even the boring gym shoe has undergone a glamorous transformation, with brands like Adidas and New Balance sending out their own electric-colored collections. They’re not for gym class, but they’re definitely meant for play.