If you were to draw a Venn diagram of the fashion crowd and the sneaker crowd, you'd see a major overlap. In the past few seasons, the two have become even more integrated than ever before thanks to a number of designer sneaker collaborations that have piqued both the interest of fashion insiders and in-the-know sneakerheads who are experts at clocking the latest drops.
Gucci x Adidas, Jacquemus x Nike, Loewe x On, Sandy Liang x Salomon—the list of designers linking with performance-sneaker brands is one that just keeps getting longer by the day. And with comfort being a top priority when getting dressed, a pair of cool sneakers has gone from being an afterthought to an absolute must-have among fashion people. On that note, I thought I'd get insight into the designer sneakers that are selling the best right now.
I reached out to the experts at Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, GOAT, and StockX for their insights and top picks of the hottest sneakers of the moment. Below, you'll uncover a smattering of A+ styles, including sporty kicks, classic high-tops, bold trail runners, and more.
"The sought-after collaboration with power brand Loewe and performance-focused brand On has generated positive reactions from our customers, with three of our 10 top-selling sneakers being from this partnership," Net-a-Porter Market Director Libby Page noted.
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Loewe's collaboration with On is a match made in luxury heaven.
Celenie Seidel, senior womenswear editor at Farfetch, is a fan of Prada's newest sneakers. "Originally created for the brand's Luna Rossa sailing team ahead of the 1997 America's Cup, this unmistakable shoe is a truly iconic style," she explained. "True to Prada's design principles, this understated sneaker is perfectly aligned with today's trend toward understated luxury."
"This high-quality, wearable collaboration debuted on the CDG Homme Plus runway for its F/W 22 show in Tokyo," noted Emily Minea, GOAT's director of digital merchandising. "It has remained one of the most popular designer sneakers since its release."
Asics has been surprisingly back on our radar as a fashion-person sneaker label ever since Bulgarian designer Kiko Kostadinov began his ongoing partnership with the brand. The sneakers to come out of his curation feature some of the most exciting color combinations and silhouettes we've seen in sneakers in a while.
"Gorpcore/techy styles have seen significant interest and sales due to current fashion trends heavily influenced by the media," shared Page. "We are seeing customers lean toward these styles due to their trendiness rather than technical purposes. Customers are specifically excited by the vibrant colorways to add a pop to any outfit."
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The collaboration between Nike and Jacquemus is the stuff of fashion-person dreams. The tech-forward sneakers are instantly some of the prettiest in the hiking category and extremely photogenic for that matter too.
Salomon has risen in the ranks over the past year, with its hiking silhouettes earning a cult following among celebs and the fashion set alike. "Since Rihanna wore the MM6 x Solomon Cross Hikes during her Super Bowl 2023 performance, there has been high interest in this particular designer collab," Minea shared.
Salomon's XT-6 style has been especially popular and near impossible to find in stock.
Roa's no-frills trail runners are an under-the-radar pick that's functional without compromising style. This butter-yellow hue is so pretty.
Sportswear monolith Moncler is getting into the gorpcore game, too, with its Trailgrip GTX Sneakers in a very Barbie-approved shade of pink.
Axel Arigato's take may be ready for trails, but they'd look just as good with relaxed trousers as they would with nylon shorts.
"Court sneakers are our best-selling classic silhouettes within sneakers, as their easy everyday look resonates with our customers," Page shared. "From Gucci to Golden Goose, our classic court selection has something for everyone."
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Seidel is a big fan of Gucci's latest sneaker release, the MAC80. "Following the success of recent Adidas collaborations," she noted, "the MAC80 is giving '80s dad energy, and the sturdy style has a throwback feel, appealing to lovers of an old-school mood."
Fans of throwback sneakers have another rising brand to love, Autry. The silhouettes reference classic basketball sneakers from the '80s but put a fresh spin on them with thicker soles and fun color pops.
Of course, it's not a conversation about popular designer kicks without a nod to perennial favorite Golden Goose, whose court shape just continues to draw a loyal fan base.
Experts at both GOAT and StockX named these Alexander McQueen sneakers as one of the most popular luxury styles this year, despite having been on the market for several years now. "Both the men's and women's versions rank among the top 10 best-selling luxury sneakers on StockX right now," StockX VP of Merchandising Cynthia Lee told us. GOAT reported that interest in the style on its platform has remained steadily high since it was first released due to its wearability, quality, and wide range of colorways.
"One of the most popular high-end sneakers is the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1," Minea shared, noting that GOAT customers have shown consistent interest in it since it was released in July of 2022.
Gucci's Ace sneakers are another style that, despite having been around for years (they first launched in pre-fall 2016), continue to be a popular and evergreen pick, especially among Net-a-Porter shoppers, as Page noted. They feature the brand's green-and-red heritage stripes and an embroidered bumble bee that Alessandro Michele introduced during his reign.
Retro sneakers are another major theme that's resonating with shoppers of all budgets, but especially in the luxury market. "Our customers, as well as the sneaker industry, have demonstrated a strong interest in the trendy, sleek, retro styles," Page informed us. "A customer favorite is the Loewe Flow silhouette. While classic colorways have been popular in this style, bold and vibrant shades have gained significant attention and traffic."
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With its exaggerated treaded rubber soles that curve up the front of the shoe, Loewe's Flow sneakers are one of the top picks of the season, as they perfectly encapsulate the retro elements that are so hot in sneakers right now.
Like Net-a-Porter, Farfetch is seeing a general preference for simpler, more streamlined sneaker styles. Seidel pointed to Maison Margiela's collaboration with Reebok as another example, noting that this style "has had great success and has exactly the right kind of early '90s energy."
Rag & Bone's pair is a nod the '70s with its warm-toned camel color and rich suede. It's a great option for anyone looking to invest in a retro pair without having a massive designer budget.
Fans of Toteme's pared-back aesthetic can now find it in the form of its sporty gray-and-white sneakers.
The Row always gets it right with its understated luxury accessories, and this pair is certainly no exception. The color combination and super-slim sole make them the ultimate stealth-wealth sneakers.
Tory Burch's new bags and shoes are all anyone can talk about, and that certainly includes the sneakers like this Hank pair that hit on the retro mood everyone's loving at the moment.
Simplicity and a return to classic wardrobe builders are at the top of everyone's mind this season, and sneakers are certainly no exception to this. According to what Lee's seeing at StockX, '90s nostalgia is a rising theme, and simple canvas styles from Comme des Garçons and Rick Owens are earning favor.
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"This Mihara Yasuhiro sneaker is one of the best-selling luxury sneakers on StockX right now," Lee shared. "A twist on the classic canvas sneaker, these combine '90s nostalgia with modern design elements like an imperfect sole. And the black colorway is versatile, making it a great pick for everyday wear."
Since 2009, the Converse x Comme des Garçons Play sneakers have maintained their position as a cult-favorite buy. Featuring the playful heart-and-eyes motif designed by Polish artist Filip Pagowski, the sneakers in both high- and low-top silhouettes are an instantly recognizable style that has all the classic appeal of Converse with a fun twist.
According to Minea, "Engagement with Rick Owens sneakers has risen dramatically over the past six months, with the Drkshdw leading the charge. Owens's aesthetic, and this silhouette in particular, encapsulates the recent renewal of indie sleaze and punk style, which has contributed to increased customer interest."
These Marni kicks are a cheeky nod to Mary Jane style shoes that are trending right now.
Punk icon Vivienne Westwood and her planetary logo live on in these classic kicks.
These cotton canvas sneakers from classic French wardrober A.P.C. are both nostalgic and forward-looking with their spillover soles.
This story was published at an earlier date and has since then been published.
Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.
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