It's Official: These 6 Trainer Trends Are Set to Replace White Sambas in 2024

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(Image credit: @rosiehw)

Let's face it, the past 12 months have given us a lot to talk about in the way of shoe trends (and if last year year wasn't the year that you bought a pair of ballet pumps, mid-heel boots, Margiela Tabis, moto boots, or kitten-heel slingbacks, what exactly were you wearing?). But if there's one shoe that we can guarantee will never go out of style, it's the humble trainer, and although I'm a card-carrying shoe girl, trainers haven't always been my go-to.

Forgive me, reader, as I must confess to being easily trend-led and distracted by the new and shiny styles that pop up on the runway, but this year was the year that I decided to make the sensible decision to invest in comfort as much as aesthetic, and trainers were the starting point. The pairs that I do own, I've been wearing for years; a testament to their enduring versatility, so for those on the hunt for a new shoe style to get behind, this one won't require regular trips to the cobbler.

Knowing just how important trainer trends are to sneakerheads, I set about finding out which pairs would come through as the most popular for 2024 in the only way I knew how: scouring the runways, searching street style images and asking my esteemed colleagues for their predictions on the biggest trainer trends for 2024. The results may surprise you.

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(Image credit: @threadsstyling )

Some styles you'll recognise (and frankly, white trainers never date), whilst others you'll find to be fashion Marmite (some of my personal faves), but either way, I'm confident that these are the trainers about to set the tone for the year ahead. So, if you joined waiting lists to buy a pair of Adidas Sambas, know your New Balance 550s from your 530s, or have ever carried wipes to keep your trainers box-fresh, this is the list for you.

Keep scrolling to see the five trainer trends that I know you're going to want to get your hands on in 2024.

1. FOOTBALLCORE

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK/ Courtesy Ancuta Sarca, @threadsstyling, Estrop by Getty Images for Cormio)

Style Notes: After the first drop of the Grace Wales Bonner X Adidas trainer collaboration landed and sold out almost immediately, we knew we'd have to be shrewd to get our hands on the next buzzy release, but we couldn't have predicted just how popular these uber-cool trainers would be. From the exaggerated tongue to the knee-high sock styling, the latest drop of Sambas is a loving homage to vintage football fashion. Take a look at the Ancuta Sarca and Cormio runways (pictured above) for a quite literal reinvention of the football boot that can be worn on and off the pitch.

SHOP FOOTBALLCORE TRAINERS:

2. NOT-SO-MELLOW YELLOW

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK/ @lucywilliams02, @deborabrosa, Courtesy Marni)

Style Notes: Those with a real sneaker sensibility will have seen Onitsuka Tiger's Mexico 66 trainers reappearing over the past year, brightening up street style pictures everywhere from London to Stockholm. Insiders at NET-A-PORTER have revealed that the brand will be dropping on-site from next year; conclusive proof that even luxury buyers are backing these instantly recognisable trainers, and if you're wondering how to style them, minimalists will love Lucy Williams' grey and denim pairing (pictured above), but maximalists—Marni's head-to-yellow moment might be for you.

SHOP YELLOW TRAINERS:

3. RETRO GYM KICKS

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK/@kendalljenner, @coco_floflo, Courtesy Miu Miu)

Style Notes: In a move away from colour and focusing instead on silhouette, retro trainers are still head and shoulders above modern offerings, as the "dad trainer" has evolved into the It girl's off-duty shoe of choice. Although they may be designed for activewear, it's highly unlikely these trainers will see more action than airport outfits and brunch, but I can appreciate any trainer with a sole chunky enough to add a little lift.

SHOP RETRO TRAINERS:

4. MINIMALIST PLIMSOLLS

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK/ @emmarosestyle, @modeamour, Courtesy Gucci)

Style Notes: Looking for something a little bit more pared-back? If you're in need of a style so discreet you'll forget you're even wearing anything at all, a super-simple plimsoll, tennis shoe or slip-on is the kind of shoe you can rely on to help the rest of your outfit stand out. These pairs are the embodiment of quiet luxury in an even quieter shoe.

SHOP MINIMALIST PLIMSOLLS:

5. COLOUR-POP ADIDAS

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK/@the_olawaseun, @emmarosestyle@francescasaffari)

Style Notes: Sorry, white and grey Sambas, you still deserve a place in our wardrobes, but judging by the incredibly low stock on just about every retailer I searched through, bold and bright Adidas SL72 and Handball styles are being snapped up like hot cakes. Perhaps it's their vintage charm, maybe the dopamine-inducing hues, but these rainbow brights are being styled up with everything from suits to summer dresses, and suddenly I find myself wanting a pair in every colour.

SHOP BOLD ADIDAS:

6. TAKE A HIKE

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(Image credit: @mv.taingue; @elizabethanneventer; Launchmetrics)

Style Notes: Spend any time looking at trainers and you'll recognise this trend from 2023. Last year's biggest trainer trend, the hiking and trail-running trainer, continues into this year too with an emphasis on any shoe style that looks part-tech, part-trek. Although the runways showed them with everything from pretty dresses to micro minis, we're wearing ours with loose-leg jeans and statement tops.

SHOP ALL-TERRAIN TRAINERS:

Remy Farrell
Fashion Editor

Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at TheOutnet.com styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.

In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.