I Did a Lot of Research, and These Are the 7 Sneakers to Own in 2022


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

This never used to be the case, but I’ve suddenly become a sneaker person. Not only have I started wearing sneakers more and collecting new pairs, but I’ve also been spending time studying the latest releases and waking up at the crack of dawn to try to get my hands on virtual drops. From all of my latest shoe research, I landed on seven cool sneakers that are important to own in 2022.

This list ranges from cult sneakers that are hard to track to retro styles that are making a comeback to the running shoes I’ve heard described as "the most comfortable sneakers ever.” While there are plenty of sneaker trends to have on your radar this year, I won’t be diving into those here. Instead, I’m highlighting the specific sneaker styles that are suddenly everywhere on the fashion scene and set to be even bigger throughout the year.

Converse Chuck Taylor Sneakers


(Image credit: @clairerose)

I started seeing Converse Chuck Taylors everywhere at the end of last year, so I ordered a pair for myself. Turns out the throwback sneakers are one of the easiest styles to pair with denim looks, and you can't go wrong with the high-top or low-top versions. I particularly love the styles ahead, which are finished with a cream sole instead of the more popular white.


New Balance 550 Sneakers


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Yep, another sneaker style I personally bought into: the New Balance 550s. After Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis did a collab to resurrect the New Balance 550s, the sneakers soared to cult status last year and have only been picking up more momentum. While the collab version is hard to track down, you can still hunt down the OG style. They were huge last year, and I don't expect to see them slowing down anytime soon, so I think they're worth the investment.


Nike Dunk Sneakers


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Like New Balance 550s, Nike Dunks are yet another cool retro basketball sneaker that's comin' in hot on the fashion scene. They originally debuted in 1985, providing further proof that throwback styles are trending hard at the moment. Oh, and they're currently one of the most popular styles on StockX in case you need any more convincing.


Hoka One One Clifton 8 Sneakers


(Image credit: @banniakabread)

Multiple editors and fashion people have told me that Hokas are "the most comfortable sneakers ever.” I've also noticed that they're taking over the hiking scene in L.A. I haven't tried them out myself yet, but that was enough to convince me to add a pair to my closet, so I just ordered my first pair.


Adidas Gazelle Sneakers


(Image credit: @emilyoberg)

Yes, that's right, another pair of throwback sneakers. This time around, it's the Adidas Gazelle style, finished with the brand's signature stripes on the side. Their current popularity proves that classics are always a solid investment.


New Balance x Aimé Leon Dore 993 Sneakers


(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

The latest collaboration from Aimé Leon Dore and New Balance is the 993, which dropped at the end of last year. With a silhouette and colorways that feel primed for a hike, the shoes solidify the rise of gorpcore and utilitarian, outdoors-appropriate pieces.


New Balance x Miu Miu 574 Sneakers


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Yet another pair of New Balance sneakers made the cut, this time around one of the most talked-about collabs in recent memory: the Miu Miu 574s. They debuted on the S/S 22 runways and were quickly buzzed about. Now released, they're set to be one of the cult items to own in 2022.


Next up: 45 spring fashion finds I'm currently eyeing.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.