I know, I know, it’s very Americanised to call them sneakers but the alliteration in the title just didn’t work with ‘trainers’. I’m not sure why we use different names. Trainers probably comes from them being used for sports or training. Makes sense. The Americans, meanwhile, call them sneakers. Is that because they’re suitable for sneaking around in? If so, it’s probably a more suitable name, because barely any of the ones I’m about to show you would work in the actual gym: they are purely for foot comfort and style.
Like jeans, I do tend to live mostly in trainers. I am definitely drawn to them over any other style of shoe. Mainly due to the comfort factor. I’m not a true sneaker-head. Unlike my sons, I wouldn’t get the tube to a football pitch in Ladbroke Grove at a moment’s notice for the chance to buy a pair from the limited-edition new Nike ‘drop’. They did. They were too late, though. I could have told them they would be, but they wouldn’t have listened to me and it was nice to have them out of the house for a few hours.
That said, I’m a sucker for the latest trainer trend. This year I have fully bought into the Adidas Sambas and Gazelles. Last year I was all over the Air Jordan 1s. In 2017 I scoured the World Wide Web to secure a pair of Vejas when they first came out, and yes, I am also guilty of a couple of pairs from Gucci and Golden Goose. What can I say? I love trainers. Let’s have a look at a few outfits you can wear with yours…
CONVERSE WITH A PRETTY DRESS
I know, I know, it’s the summer uniform of ladies-of-a-certain-age. But I AM that age and I WILL wear my summer dresses with trainers. I tend to keep the footwear simple when I’m wearing a dress, though. Stick with an all-white pair. The humble Converse work a treat here. I’ve really got back into wearing mine. I used to find them uncomfortable but not now. I don’t know if they’ve improved the design recently but I don’t get that weird little-toe rub anymore.
- Monica Vinader Deia large beaded gold hoops (use code KATEH20MV for 20% off)
- Rosie Fortesque Jewellery thin gold chain hoop earrings
- By Iris Vanessa Smocked V Neck Dress Blue
- Aligne Gabriella pink denim midi dress
- Converse custom All Star hi top trainers
- Nike Court Vision Low trainers
CHUNKIER WITH WIDE LEG TROUSERS
Your chunkier trainers will go well with a good wide leg. Currently, my favourite more substantial trainers are the Nike Dunk Low. Very comfortable and possibly slightly easier to wear than the Jordan 1. They come in lots of colours too, so it’s easy to find a pair that work with your existing wardrobe. Or find a pair (like my bright yellow ones) that are a talking point to your outfit.
- Matteu printed silk crepe de chine shirt
- Uniqlo relaxed tailored blazer
- COS wide leg tailored linen trousers
- Zadig and Voltaire Le Borderline leather tote bag
- Nike Dunk Low custom trainers
LOOK AT THE STARS
As a rule I don’t advocate buying designer trainers. Those made by actual sports companies are usually much more comfortable. But sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants. Are Golden Goose trainers worth the hype and the money? Probably not, but they do look nice. If you’re after a more dainty, lady-like trainer then they could be right for you. But you don’t need to spend loads to get the look. There are plenty of high-street homages available.
- H&M oversized linen shirt
- Le Specs gold clear cat eye sunglasses
- Maison M patchwork pouchette bag
- Abercrombie ultra high rise 90s straight leg jeans
- Rapanui organic cotton shacket
- Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Superstar trainers
THE ELUSIVE SAMBA
The Adidas Samba trainers are definitely the ‘it’ sneaker for 2023. Good luck finding them in your size. I got mine by signing up to the alerts on the Adidas website. They will email you as soon as they get a restock, but you’ve got to be quick. I can see why they are so popular, though: it’s the simplicity of the design. Minimalist and easy to wear with so many things. Sometimes three stripes and a gum sole is all you need.
- H&M oversized printed t shirt
- Zadig and Voltaire ZV initiale Le City bag
- AND/OR leather biker jacket
- M&S denim split front midi skirt
- Adidas Samba Vegan trainers
- Ivy Ellis vintage cotton quarter socks
THE SIMPLE WHITE ONES
If you’re not a trainer fan per se, (kudos for getting this far, if that’s the case) then you can just go for a simple plimsoll. Superga are timeless, comfortable and go with everything. Yes, they are a little bit dull, but sometimes boring can be good. They can also go in the washing machine, which helps. Normally I wouldn’t advocate putting your trainers in the machine – I use Cif cleaning cream and some elbow grease to get mine spick and span – but a canvas sneaker is OK to go in the wash.
- Self Portrait pansy cut out midi dress
- Missoma classic medium hoop earrings
- Benetton pure linen dark blue blazer
- Superga 2750 Coto classic plimsolls
- See by Chloe Hana mini textured shoulder bag
A SPOT OF COLOUR
Finally, something a bit brighter. I’ve gone for the Adidas Gazelle here, because they come in loads of good colours so there’s something for everyone. But you can go for any style in a bold colour if you want your feet to be the conversation starter. Which, to be honest, is preferable to having to make actual small talk a lot of the time.
- By Pollyanna vintage white sneaker nation sweatshirt
- Le Specs acetate black cat eye sunglasses
- Ganni green leather saddle bag
- Arket Cloud low loose fit jeans
- Pull & Bear navy varsity bomber jacket
- Adidas Mexicana originals trainers
I hope this has given you some sneaker style ideas. May your feet always be encased in a comfortable stylish pair.