Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or lost in a fashion black hole you’ll know that trainers are hot stuff right now. What started as a smattering of Nike’s spotted outside Somerset House has become a fully fledged revival and boy oh boy are we happy to see it. Here at Very HQ me and Steven often get distracted from writing about fashion by just talking about trainers – both being snearkeheads the temptation to spend hours Googling latest editions is more than a little tempting (shh, don’t tell the boss!!). Putting our knowledge, enthusiasm and many years of trainer wearing to good use we have created an insightful run down of this season’s hottest trainer trends, their history and how to wear them. So kick back, relax and get you geek on…
I think my love for trainers started when I got caught up with the romanticism of the 80’s casual movement in Liverpool; obsessing over the pictures of football fans all decked out in their fresh kicks, bringing with them a unique sea of colour. Later, influenced by stateside culture, my admiration of all things hip-hop led me to Run DMC’s tight relationship with adidas, whilst Michael Jordan was tearing up the NBA in his customised Air Jordan efforts. With a sneaker culture now bigger than ever, it’s takes me back to the excitement as an eight year-old, bouncing around in my first ever pair of Nike Air Max, walking on air without a care in the world.
Growing up in Bristol meant Dubstep and with it, trainer culture, was unavoidable. Like trip-hop and Dub coming together, sneakers and Bristol just work. Going out in trainers and dancing till the early hours has engrained a love of all things Nike, addias and Reebok in me that I just can’t shake. Something about the casual attitude of wearing trainers inspires me to this day, you’re not trying to hard or killing yourself in heels for a bit more height – you’re just wearing trainers because they’re comfy, colourful and you want to. I remember getting my first pair of Court Forces and strutting into town in them feeling on top of the world, and for me that’s what trainers are, a thing of beauty that you can strut, dance or run in.
History: It was in 2012 when Nike first introduced the Roshe Run, a lightweight, breathable and fashionable trainer that’s beauty was in its effortlessness. Simplicity was the main focus around the creation of the Roshe silhouette, whilst the concept of practising meditation and tranquil Zen gardens were the main inspirations.
A shoe created to cleanse your sneaker game, even the name ‘Roshi’ stems from the title that’s given to a Zen master. Built for casual wear, it’s certainly unlike anything else currently on the market. And with countless releases of fresh colours with each drop, there’s always something that appeals to everyone.
Style: Roshe’s are a great beginner trainer. For a 2013 girl your entry point trainer was a pair of New Balance, this year the forward-thinkers are stepping into Nike’s streamlined Roshe Runs. Their elegant shape, almost seamless upper and gorgeous curved sole means these trainers are the perfect pick for your smart casual looks – their simple shape works effortlessly with classic tailoring and luxe fabrics. The progressive silhouette is a relative wonder-kid in the trainer world which means there are no set rules for dressing your Roshe’s, but they do look almost edibly good with a sleek trouser and sharp jacket.
Nike Air Huarache
History: Initially, the Air Huarache was a brave move by Nike in 1991. Creator Tinker Hatfield used inspiration from a Native American leather sandal to create one of the most illustrious footwear silhouettes of all time. It worked, and the design is now as distinct as it’s name with the unique visible neoprene sock liner and iconic heel cage design that cradles your foot.
Grand Slam champs John McEnroe and Andre Agassi were icons in bringing the Nike Huarache to the forefront of elite level sports culture but many people took to wearing them away from the court because of their extreme comfort, bright colours, and futuristic appeal.
Style: While not new to the trainer scene, Huraches are making something of a comeback and where there are Huraches, there is also denim. This is no time to pull a Lilly Allen, if you’re slipping your feet into these almost mechanic looking shoes you have to pair them with your toughest, ripped, scuffed denims. The clean cut, technical look of these kicks mean they come alive when contrasted with off-duty casual wear and their chunky outline works wonders to streamline your shape. The colourway options for Huraches are vast, but me and Steven just can’t resist the all white numbers – is there anything more classic then white sneaks?
adidas Stan Smith
History: One of the best selling tennis shoes ever, the Stan Smith is footwear that’s stood the test of time since their introduction back in 1973. Named after American multi-Grand Slam winner Stanley Roger Smith, they’re a classic trainer that’s become favourite of A-list celebs such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
Always clean and sleek, their smooth grain leather, low top profile and famous three stripes offer an iconic simplicity and comfort that’s unparalleled in the sneaker community. Re-launched by adidas in 2014 after a two year hiatus, the Stan Smith has exploded back onto the scene with bloggers championing them as a must-have for the summer.
Style: The return of Stan Smith was a huge moment for sneakerheads. Stan’s are inseparable from the 80’s and you have to bear that in mind when styling them, there’s no pulling off contemporary with this iconic design rooting your look firmly in the past. Playing on the magnetic retro attraction clash your Stans with neutral colours like stone, creme, white and grey and go for loose tailored shapes like oversized shirts and boyfriend blazers. The play off between kitsch and cool will put you ahead of the style pack.
History: It was all the way back in 1917 when the All Star first came into fruition. In 1921, a b-ball player by the name of Chuck Taylor came into play and made a variety of improvement to the shoe he loved. The envy of the basketball court, the Converse Chuck Taylor became the go-to sneaker for all premium hoop-shooting athletes.
From its roots in sportswear it made waves into casualwear, with both the low profile and hi-top versions showing up everywhere from the streets to the clubs, on rock stars to rappers, in turn cementing a place as a mainstay of popular footwear culture.
Style: All bets are off when it comes to styling your Chuck Taylors. Converse have been part of the fashion girls wardrobe for so long now that they have been worn in every which way, twice over and then again! The beauty of this is that you can’t go wrong so clash your colours, lace up high or fold over and never be afraid of a jazzy sock pairing. For the ultimate in classic Converse looks go for a white pair and wear with skinny jeans, a chambray shirt and beachy locks – you’ll be snapped by FaceHunter in no time.
History: One of the most iconic kicks of all time; the Air Max was the design that broke the boundaries of fashion footwear. Innovation at its finest, the iconic Air pillow became visible for the first time in 1987. Some of the designs that followed have been some of the most sought-after sneakers of all time…
From the fierce and aggressive design of the Air Max 90, to the human anatomy-based Air Max 95, right through to the Japanese bullet train inspired Air Max 97; the Nike Air Max has made an eternal impact on footwear culture. Fusing a street status with revolutionary technology, the Nike Air sole continues to defy the conventions of comfort and style.
Style: With such a strong silhouette these classics deserve a look that’s built around them. Pick up on their bold stripes of colour in your outfit and colour block casual separates for a look that’s pumped to the Max. With such a sporty design these kicks look unexpected and playful with super girly pieces like sassy pencil skirts and floral prints.
Until next time, Steven and Roanna
p.s. Check out Roanna’s blog becomingraje for fashion highlights and thoughtful musings.
Sneakerhead graphics by Svea Carney.