Thanks to Bella Hadid, This Unusual 2022 Sneaker Trend Is Finally Blowing Up

Well, I can honestly say I didn't see this one coming. Fashion has had a fixation on "ugly" sneakers—and "ugly" shoes in general—for quite some time now, so I thought I'd seen it all when it comes to unusual footwear. It turns out I was wrong because there's officially a new sneaker trend in town, and it's… unexpected. The trend in question? Performance sneakers. To be more specific, these are pairs made for hiking and trail-running and those that generally have a tech element to them for outdoorsy activities. Call it part of the "gorpcore" aesthetic, but fashion is finally embracing the ultra-practical, and surprisingly, I'm here for it.

Like with many emerging trends, Bella Hadid is a big champion of this one. In fact, she's worn her pair of Salomon XT-6 sneakers so frequently that the style is continually sold out in multiple colors, but she's not the only celeb backing the look. Hailey Bieber has been wearing Balenciaga's chunky runners with her coolest oversize 'fits, and even platform-wearing Dua Lipa can be caught trading in her heels for a pair.

Whether you get your hands on the buzzy Salomons or the designer-label runners matters not when OG runners from brands such as Asics and Hoka are just as relevant and much more wallet friendly. Continue on to shop all the coolest performance sneakers defining the trend and glean some styling inspo along the way.


(Image credit: Gotham/GC Images/Getty Images)

On Bella Hadid: Nike top; Dior Your Dior 2 Sunglasses ($174); Mondo Mondo Lover Earrings ($245); Salomon S/Lab XT-4 Advanced Sneakers ($320) 

Hadid has been wearing her Salomon sneakers on repeat since last fall, and she's single-handedly put the popular XT-6 style on our radars.


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On Hailey Bieber: The Row trousers; Balenciaga Runner Sneakers ($1150) and bag

Hadid isn't the only celeb getting behind this sneaker trend—Bieber is also a fan. Bieber added Balenciaga's chunky runners to her wardrobe and continues to style them in fresh ways, like the combination of relaxed trousers and a shearling jacket here.


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While it's still bubbling stateside, this trend has really taken off over in Stockholm. Scandi girls are known for their eclectic streetwear vibe, so it's no surprise that trail runners are gaining steam there. Stylist and Danish It girl Emili Sindlev gave her Salomons a classic spin with a trench coat and beret.


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Fashion girls are establishing this trend in non-athletic outfits specifically. It's all about the combination of the granola kicks with forward styling elements that veer away from the sneakers' outdoorsy roots. Layered knitwear and a cool leather jacket do just that.


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Early trend adopter and all-around style muse Dua Lipa gave her stamp of approval to the trend as well, styling a pair of chunky black sneakers with loose denim and a boxy blazer.


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Traditional running sneakers are a subcategory within this overall vibe. Look for gel soles and metallic finishings, as seen on any of the Asics styles in this edit.


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As I noted earlier, the key to wearing this trend is to offset the sneakers' sporty nature with non-athletic styling. Here, relaxed tailoring and classic basics like a cable-knit sweater ensure the look is forward.


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While relaxed trousers are the styling of choice for most fashion people, the trend looks especially cool with relaxed cargo pants.


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Another spring 2022 trend they marry well with? Bold, saturated colors that pick up the tones of the sneakers themselves.


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Here's more proof that relaxed cargo pants and these sneakers are the unofficial uniform of fashion people everywhere.


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Bungee cord–esque laces and small treaded soles are the key details to look out for when picking out a pair.

Speaking of sneakers, shop the best retro-inspired pairs on the market.

Senior Editor

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.