Leave your heels at home and brace yourself for the influx of new must-have sneakers. From retro kicks to dad-style wheels, these are the comfiest and best fashion trainers dominating the style set…

models wearing trainers trends

When a trend comes along that offers that magical fusion of comfort and style, you know we’re onto something special. Back in the ’90s, it was all about the Nike Air Max and Adidas Sambas, fast forward to 2011 and Phoebe Philo, then Creative Director at Céline, reignited the Stan Smith tennis shoe obsession. Today – well, this is so much more than a trend – trainers are owning the style spotlight. And not just in the gym. We’re seeing elegant tailoring teamed with chunkyAsics and dresses with old-school soccer shoes. This is a movement both you and your feet will want to join.

There’s a continued buzz around Adidas, specifically the Originals collections. The furore spiked when the collab with British-Jamaican designer, Wales Bonner, dropped. A revamped take on the classic Samba silhouette with a foldover tongue, folks grappled to get a pair, resulting in an astounding sell-out success. More are to follow, so stay tuned.

With those distinctive stripes flying off the shelves, retrocore is still hitting hard.  While we continue to slip on the classics in pared back shades, 2024 is looking way more colourful. Expect pinks, greens, blues and even some serious colour clashing. Adidas Gazelles, SL72s and Puma Palermo trainers are guaranteed to deliver. Influencers, however, are fully here for their yellow kicks, favouring the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66. A true icon within the brand’s range, you don’t get much more retro than this ’60s shoe.

If you’re after something chunkier and effortlessly cool (ironically what was once deemed the dad shoe), New Balance has you covered. This basketball shoe, revived from the ‘80s, includes Bella Hadid, Rihanna and Emily Ratajkowski as fans. All suggests we should add it to our wardrobe repertoire.

And then, there’s the hiking style. Perhaps we’re trying to convince ourselves that we’re more outdoorsy than we really are? Either way, the rubber-panelled expedition trainer is giving a new edge to both our suits and skirts. In the last year we’ve seen a rising interest in gorpcore – a term coined by Jason Chen in The Cut back in 2017, which stands for ‘good old raisins and peanuts’, AKA the trail mix eaten on hikes by outdoor enthusiasts. Think utilitarian or practical meets fashion, as designers created high-end hiking boots, fleece jackets and now trainers. Much like the snow boot trend, sneakers featuring GORE-TEX technology, lace-up detail and high performance elements are hitting the pavements just as much as the mountains. Start looking to Nike, Salomon, Hoka and Adidas.

Whichever look you go for, from low tops to high tops, we’ve got you sorted. In fact, as we all look to improve on sustainability, we have also included our favourite vegan trainers below, featuring brands Veja, Saye and Corail.

Retro Kicks

Disclaimer: These will sell out fast, so don’t hang about

Retrocore continues to win in the style stakes with soccer shoes dominating. It has become the look of a generation, with specific styles consistently selling out the minute they hit the shelves. We’re all waiting for the next drop from the iconic Adidas x Wales Bonner collab…

Bold Colours

Dad Sneakers

Gorpcore Hikers

Where function meets fashion: influencers and the style savvy are bringing together style and practicality. In 2023, it was all about ‘gorpcore’ – where the outdoors collided with insta-worthy urban outfits. In 2024, we’re calling it ‘quiet outdoors’. Think gorpcore but with a touch of luxury.

Shades Of Yellow

Scroll For High Tops

Pop on hi tops for that instant injection of cool. From Autry to Nike, all your fave labels have created styles worth coveting. Stick to muted shades or go bold in contrasting colours – they will look particularly good with tailoring. In other news, Converse are trending once again.

Vegan Fashion Trainers

Still the same stylish sneakers, only made from recycled materials. LØCI is one brand using recycled ocean plastics to craft a truly sustainable collection, while Saye Modelo ‘89 Vegan Apple is made from apple waste from the food industry. The advances in technology to support our planet are mindblowing, especially when they come together to create such an incredible range of covetable products. Veja has been at the forefront of the changes, but now the choice is great with innovative labels Momoc, Corail and MoEa all delivering eco- friendly fashion looks.

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Another brand to note is the Spanish label, SAYE – “Say Yes To Change”. It is making great strides in creating a planet-friendly collection. With the environment and sustainability at the company’s core, they consistently use innovative materials with recycled and biobased content plus their retro-inspired styles are on point.

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.

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