We could write an entire novel devoted solely to sneaker trends. Despite occupying a small, relatively niche subset of the sartorial umbrella, sneakers seem to be subject to just as many trend fluctuations as, say, outerwear or bags. From dad sneakers and platforms to the resurgence of Vans, Reebok, and Fila, there's always something to report on in the sneaker world.
This brings us to the topic of the best sneakers for women in 2021. After carefully considering the street style, runway, and retail trends, we've separated today's trendy sneakers into five main camps: dad sneakers, all-white sneakers, platforms and exaggerated soles, weekend kicks, and athleisure. Keep scrolling for the 2021 way to wear sneakers and to shop the most on-trend buys in each category.
1. Dad Sneakers
Generally speaking, dad sneakers are still going strong in the high-fashion world. But we're seeing a trend toward more true-to-era, less exaggerated versions of the look, like classic New Balance 624s.
Style Notes: Take notes from Princess Diana circa 1980 and opt for throwback sneakers and tall athletic socks pulled over leggings or tights.
Be prepared to get reacquainted with platform sneakers and exaggerated soles. Echoing the lug-sole trend currently dominating the boot sphere, brands like Gucci, Nike, and Alexander McQueen have all released their takes on the Spice Girls–inspired look.
Style Notes: Heed Alyssa Coscarelli's styling advice and pair your platform sneakers with split flares and a puffer jacket.
These sleek sneakers will go with everything in your closet.
4. Weekend Kicks
No wardrobe is complete without an affordable pair of weekend sneakers that you can scuff up without blinking an eye. A preferred choice for running errands or grabbing dinner with friends, classics like slip-on Vans, Stan Smiths, and Converse will never go out of style.
Style Notes: To elevate your weekend sneakers, pair them with patterned wide-leg pants and structured outerwear.
It's common knowledge that workout shoes are no longer limited to the gym. Brands like Nike, Athletic Propulsion Labs, Adidas, and Puma continue to infuse performance technology with street style aesthetics, resulting in athleisure-style shoes that can transition from boxing to brunch.
Style Notes: Lime green and other neon hues like yellow, orange, and pink are having a moment. Opt for a bold color and style your outfit accordingly.