Looking around campus at people’s feet, it’s easy to see that one of the most popular shoe choices of the moment is the trainer. Adidas Superstar, Converse, Vans, New Balance, Nike Free Run; the list goes on. Trainers used to be the shoe we wore to the gym, for a walk, or for a run, but now they are worn for any occasion with any outfit. If you’re walking into university for a lecture or going on a night out, the trainer is the ideal shoe to pair with jeans or a skirt. But why this sudden popularity? How has the trainer gone from a shoe associated with sports to a shoe associated with style?
The recent Fashion Weeks of London, Milan, New York and Paris have been proof to the fact that fashionistas are trading their heels for comfortable trainers, with even Victoria Beckham wearing a pair of simple white Adidas Original Superstars with a thick cream knit and navy trousers to showcase her new Autumn/Winter collection at New York Fashion Week. However, Victoria Beckham isn’t the only designer to ever wear trainers at her fashion show, as Phoebe Philo, the creative director behind the brand Céline, frequently wears white Stan Smiths to take a bow on the catwalk after her shows. Similar to Beckham, Philo wears her trainers with a pair of tailored trousers, encouraging women around the world to opt for the minimalist look that is both practical and fashionable.
Celebrities and fashion bloggers alike were photographed showing off their street style outfits during Fashion Week, most wearing trainers, demonstrating that fashion designers weren’t the only ones sporting the look. Tank magazine’s executive fashion director, Caroline Issa, was spotted wearing a pair of white trainers with a grey suit during London Fashion Week and The Telegraph features a gallery of the ‘50 Best Street Style Looks’ which includes a fashionista in a silver bomber with silver trainers to match, as well as a girl in a long printed dress paired with black and white Converse high tops.
The good news is there are plenty of different types of trainers to choose from, so even if someone will be wearing the same shoe as you, they will most likely not be wearing the same brand. Adidas has many styles to offer, including the Stan Smith which comes in white with the Adidas logo and the Stan Smith image at the back and tongue of the shoe in a range of colours, as well as the Superstar that has the brand’s logo on the tongue and has three racing stripes on the side of the shoe. These come in a range of colours but my favourites are the white ones with black stripes and the logo in gold, costing only £49.99. Converse and Vans are always a winner and are reasonably priced too, coming in a variety of colours and styles. My favourites are Vans’ Old Skools sneakers that have a thick sole and a cushioned collar, making them as comfortable as a pair of slippers. Nike also have a wide range of choices, including the Nike Cortez that were first seen on running tracks in 1972 then later in film Forrest Gump. The red tick on the side of the shoe and the blue stripe on the sole stand out and would look fanstastic worn with denim. All of these trainers are available in good shoe stores such as Office or Schuh, but don’t forget to take a look on Ebay or in vintage stores where older styles are available for much less; these trainers will feel and look unique and in a sea of similar shoes, will make you stand out from the rest.
Last year women did wear trainers as a fashion statement as well as a running shoe, but not as often and not as certain as this year, where it is obvious that the trainer is definitely in fashion and is not disappearing any time soon. The best thing about this trend is that everyone has been waiting for it and everyone wants to follow it; who doesn’t want to slip on some comfortable, practical trainers before stepping outside the house? Ideal for running to lectures, going for long shopping trips or relaxing in a beer garden after a busy week, it is the perfect shoe for every day use.
Photo credit: TSS