The humble sneaker has been elevated beyond the gym floor and on to the runways.
Trainers were initially created out of necessity: In 776 B.C., athletes competed at the first Greek Olympics in sandals, as being barefoot was too unbearable. In the 1500s, people began to add moss to their shoes at an attempt to find comfort. Finally, in the 1870s, rubber soles were put into shoes, and thus the trainer was born. Today, trainers are pieces of both function and style.
Now, no longer the preserve of sporting events, trainers have moved past being modern wardrobe staples to reach new luxury heights. For sneakerheads (those who acquire and trade elusive trainers as a hobby), 2020 has been quite the year, with projects from Dior and Air Jordan, Jaden Smith and New Balance, and Nike, and, well, just about everyone from Stüssy and Supreme to Virgil Abloh and Travis Scott. The pinnacle though was the Adidas and Prada collaboration, which saw the Italian fashion house take on the iconic shell-toed Stan Smith.
In terms of trends, this season – like the rest of 2020 – has thrown us a few curveballs. The go-to umbrella terms of 'ugly' (read: chunky, bright and/or heavily branded) and 'classic' (timeless, muted and inoffensive) don't seem to cover the broader spectrum of shoes on offer to footwear fetishists currently. There are minimalist trainers with offbeat twists, platform soles that feel fresher than ever, and all the retro reboots one's feet could ever need. Put simply, this season’s footwear is a special brand of cool: the kind that can keep pace every single day of the week.
Keep scrolling for our edit of this season's best trainer trends for winter 2020.
Thanks to the popularity of Veja's classic trainer styles (as well as the ever-growing minimalist trend), there is no doubt that pared-back trainers are going to be huge this season. While chunky, 'ugly' fashion silhouettes have dominated for the past few seasons, this season will see a return to nostalgic models of the past: classic tennis shoes.
VEJA Esplar Trainer, €125, SHOP
elevated high tops
If as a kid you owned Nike Blazers or Converse in every colour, you'll be happy to know the high-top trend is getting a revamp this year with chic designer logos and modern silhouettes. These street-smart classics throw it back in the best way—adding a kick of cool to anything they come near.
NIKE Blazer Mid 77 Trainers, €100, SHOP
DIOR B23 High-Top Sneakers, €890, SHOP
TOM FORD Cambridge Leather-Trimmed Suede High-Top Sneakers, €690, SHOP
the future is here
Not just for cardio and counting squats—think of these tech-minded kicks as the Tesla of sneakers: sleek profile, smooth stride, and futuristic as hell (it’s the trifecta).
ADIDAS Yeezy Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Hyperspace Sneakers, €647, SHOP
NEW BALANCE Fresh Foam 880v10, €140, SHOP
VIVOBAREFOOT PRIMUS LITE II WOMENS, €110, SHOP
mom and dad trainers
If you were to root out an old photo album and inspect the footwear of your parents back in the day, chances are they would be wearing similar styles to the ones in this category. The name of this trend basically describes it all: they have hyper-normcore silhouettes and are practical to walk in.
NIKE air heights trainers, €88, SHOP
BOTTEGA VENETA Speedster leather and mesh sneakers, €630, SHOP
NIKE Air Jordan Delta Trainers, €150, SHOP
Statement trainers are the new statement heels, and you can amplify any outfit with a pair of maximalist kicks. Rock with a basic tee and jeans, or pair your bold footwear with an equally eye-catching outfit and watch the compliments pour in.
Main image by @nycbambi on Instagram