The fashion sneaker has seen something of a rebirth. Perhaps it’s the constant evolution of the athletic trend, seeing sport fabrics and motifs on runways season after season. Maybe it’s the popularity of the California casual lifestyle of Lululemon leggings and sneakers for everything from errands to drinks with friends. But “fashion sneaker” no longer means a comfortable shoe not technologically advanced or well made enough for athletes but not cool or stylish enough to be worn stylishly. The sneaker is having a moment, and everyone from athletic brands to high-end designers knows it.
For a while, everyone was doing a diffusion line or a handbag line, but this summer, everyone fashion-forward is putting their name on sneakers. From preppy to punk, there’s something for everyone and these are our top picks.
KG by Kurt Geiger
In a style reminiscent of some of your favorite high school sneakers, the KG by Kurt Geiger Leo Print Sneaker is one of the most wearable of the bunch. Super casual, they'll fit in with a jeans and T-shirt crowd, but those in the know will recognize the cool black and gray leopard print. Perfect for travel and heavy-walking days, you'll pull these out of your closet for years.
Comme des Garçons Play
While you can't get more everyman than a collaboration with Converse, this is still Comme des Garçons –– these shoes are not available on the Converse site, and can mostly been found on Barneys.com online. The allover heart-print low-top version seen in a lot of the press for the collaboration isn't readily available online. This High Top is in the classic Converse style with a graphic heart in place of the Chuck Taylor logo.
Kate Spade for Keds
If you're headed to the Hamptons, any preppy enclave or just fancy yourself some Kate Spade style, her line with Keds should be on your must-have list. While there are some more nautical-inspired options on the Kate Spade site, this orange zig-zag option is exclusive to Nordstrom and my favorite of the bunch. They'd slide just as easily into a Kate Spade wardrobe as an Old Navy one.
Fans of the iconic British textile house Liberty of London will have a field day with this NIKEiD collection. You can customize your own sneakers with six different signature Liberty florals and a range of Nike nubucks in the mix. This is one of the collaborations that involves some serious athletic footwear, so you know you're getting quality running gear with your dose of style. There's also a tank and two pairs of shorts with Liberty print trim available.
Love Me x Vans
Vans teamed up with artist Curtis Kulig to create the signature "Love Me" tag for this Spring 2013 collection, which is inspired by his graffiti art in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. What's better for a music festival than the classic Vans slip on? It's also available in the Authentic and Sk8-Hi Slim styles. Super casual with a pricetag to match, get a piece of an iconic brand with an exciting artistic twist.