Vintage-inspired trainers have been kicking around (quite literally), for several seasons. This year, Onitsuka Tiger’s sunshine-yellow Mexico 66s enjoyed prolonged time in the spotlight; ditto Loewe’s leather and nylon Flow Runners.
As previously mentioned, Grace Wales Bonner’s ongoing collaboration with Adidas has made way for some enticing takes on retro silhouettes – the leopard pair from the most recent drop were an instant sellout at Matches says head of womenswear, Cassie Smart. Adidas’s mainline Sambas, Gazelles and Campus 00s have also seen significant trade growth this year, according to StockX, while Net-a-Porter reports a search increase of 80 per cent.
These spikes are thanks, in part, to celebrity endorsements, remarks Drew Haines, StockX’s merchandising director of sneakers and collectibles. “These collaborations and celebrity sightings help take a sneaker from a staple to a must-have collectible,” he tells Vogue. “The shift into a more “retro feel” is refreshing from a styling point of view,” Smart continues, noting the influence that collaborations can have. “If you are fortunate to buy on release (and not at the resale price), they are often an accessible way to buy into a key style piece of the season.”
Vestiaire Collective also reveals that retro styles – both originals and remakes – are on the up: “We have a lot of sneakers coming onto the platform anytime a new model is released on the market, as well as many iconic vintage models that can be found at more affordable prices.”
In the same vein as the shimmering flats that have captivated fashion fans this year, silvery trainers have also made a lasting impact. Command attention in Wales Bonner’s molten metal take on the Adidas Samba, Bottega Veneta’s shapely Orbit trainers or Asics’s Gel-Kayano 14s, all of which feature glimmering silver details that deliver on wow-factor. These styles are as special as a party shoe, but are still suitable for everyday wear.
Unsure whether to wear a trainer or a flat? Or is it a toss-up between trainers and boots? Why not try a hybrid shoe that incorporates the best of both? For example, the Salomon X MM6 Maison Margiela booties that Rihanna wore to perform at the Super Bowl, Kiko Kostadinov’s sporty lace-up pumps, Martine Rose’s heeled Nike Shox mules, or a pair of whimsical trainer-hybrids courtesy of Cecilie Bahnsen and Simone Rocha. Designers continue to test the parameters of what makes a “trainer” – and the results are wonderfully experimental.
The #core styles
It appears we’re still experiencing a hangover from the #Gorpcore and #Normcore movements. “Chunky silhouettes with running at their core are on the rise, and we’re increasingly seeing these designs from Asics, New Balance and Nike embraced for everyday wear,” Haines remarks, highlighting the strong year-on-year trades on the Nike Vomero (+5,104 per cent), the Asics Gel-1130 (+1,176 per cent) and the New Balance 9060 (+774 per cent) – the latter of which has become one of the brand’s top-traded sneakers on StockX since its release in 2022. Meanwhile Salomon’s range of techy trainers – some consider them the definition of #Gorpcore – have found new fans in the fashion space.
Designers have doubled down on sporty motifs, focusing on functional soles, preppy seam patterns, statement tongues and uppers. Fenty’s collaboration with Puma – headed up by none other than Rihanna – made a highly-anticipated comeback in September, debuting a brand new football-inspired sneaker, the Avanti, which hails from the German sportswear brand’s archives.
Elsewhere, Loewe released new trainer styles as part of its partnership with performance wear specialist, On Running. The lighter-than-air Cloudventure arrived in March, realised in six colourways, including lilac, yellow and turquoise, while the Cloudtilt – which features a computer-generated CloudTec Phase midsole – arrived in October.