Best Fashion Sneakers Reviewed & Rated for Looks
Customers, in general, have become more focused on the fashionability of their shoes, especially when you consider that sneakers have become appropriate footwear even in more formal settings. Thus the demand for fashion-oriented footwear has become incredibly high, to the point where some special edition sneakers will not only fetch a high price but may even sell out in a matter of hours or days. You may even see some new sneaker designs on the runway, as we saw during NYFW 2018, where Chinese designer Feng Chen Wang showcased her collaboration with Converse with her deconstructed Chuck Taylors.
- Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
- Nike Air Force 1
- Adidas Superstar
- Puma IGNITE evoKNIT
- Steve Madden Lancer
- Adidas Tubular Invader Strap
- Kenneth Cole Crown Worthy
- Adidas NMD R1
- Kenneth Cole New York Kiera
- Baabuk Urban Wooler
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
Breathable Canvas Upper
Vulcanized Rubber Outsole
Removable Ortholite Insole
Easy To Maintain
Little Weather Resistance
The iconic design of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars is well-loved around the world. The simple style and wide range of color and size options make these canvas sneakers incredibly versatile and will go with anything in your wardrobe. The ortholite insole is designed for maximum comfort, while the vulcanized rubber outsole is built for superior traction and durability. You can't go wrong with a good pair of Converse.Read more
Ortholite is a very popular choice for insoles, and for good reason. They're designed to have a compression rate of about 5%, which allows them to keep their ideal shape longer, and as a result, you'll need to buy new insoles less often. The open-cell foam design allows for exceptional breathability and moisture wicking for temperature control and sweat/odor mitigation. These lightweight insoles are built for comfort and longevity.
The original method of vulcanizing rubber- as well as the most common- is by mixing sulfur with natural rubber and applying heat. Sulfur is often a byproduct of volcanic activity; hence the term "vulcanization." This makes vulcanized rubber a popular choice for outsoles because the process of adding sulfur changes the chemical composition of the rubber to make it more durable and provide improved traction. This is especially important in the case of the Chuck Taylor All Stars since they have a flat-bottomed outsole.
With most size and color options running under $50, the Chuck Taylor All Stars are a surprisingly affordable sneaker. That being said, the lightweight canvas design and vulcanized outsole make them durable so they will last you a long time, and the ortholite insole is specially designed to last longer than traditional insoles.
2. Nike Air Force 1
Designed in 1982, these basketball sneakers have become a staple in street and hip-hop fashion, being one of the most versatile pairs of fashion sneakers you can get. They’ll look amazing in any color or height (they’re available in a low, mid and high version), but you will probably fall utterly in love with the white-on-white and black-on-black versions which you’ll want to wear everywhere. And the best thing is, you can, as these sneakers will even look good with a suit and tie.Read more
These shoes were intended to be worn on the basketball court, and feature excellent cushioning that will keep you comfortable no matter how long you wear them. They will give you a soft, springy feeling, while you’ll love the padded collar that ensures your ankles are just as well taken care of as your soles are.
The upper of these Nikes are made out of leather, but is also available in synthetic and textile, depending on your preferences. You can get them in monochrome, or even opt for a pop of color, seeing that they come in a huge variety of colors. Whichever option you choose, you definitely won’t go wrong.
Cost and Value
While they will set you back a three-figure sum, these shoes still rank low on this list when it comes to price. If you’re just getting into fashion sneakers, or are looking for a style that is versatile and fashionable, these are the perfect option for you.
3. Adidas Superstar
Full Grain Leather Upper
Rubber Outsole And Toe Cap
Originally designed as a pair of tennis shoes that would allow players to perform to their maximum on the court, the Adidas Superstar has since become a fashion staple. You can opt for the classic white leather upper with the recognizable three stripes on the side, or go with something a bit bolder and get a pair on millennial pink, mint or even iridescent white, black, gold or silver.Read more
Full Grain Leather Upper
These shoes offer excellent quality and a durability you can count on, thanks to the use of full grain leather in the making of the upper. This ensures that you get a pair of sneakers that will allow the right combination of protection and flexibility, will breathe well and is very easy to clean with just a damp cloth.
Having been made for the court, these shoes feature a herringbone pattern on the rubber outsole, as well as a rubber toe cap that protects from damage in this area of the shoe. Thanks to this type of design, these shoes are an excellent pair of fashion sneakers that can also be used for long walks or even for travel.
Cost and Value
These sneakers rank quite low on this list when it comes to price, making them an excellent, affordable option if you’re looking for a classic looking leather sneaker. Even more, you’ll find that they offer excellent durability, and can even be worn for more strenuous activities such as skateboarding.
4. Puma IGNITE evoKNIT
Flexible Knit Upper
Asymmetrical Lacing System
Foam Midsole Absorbs Shock
Narrow Heel Section
At less than a tenth of the cost of the most expensive item on this list comes a pair of sneakers from Puma that look great and offer a wide variety of technological advancement to make your wearing experience amazing. With a knit upper that feels like wearing a pair of socks, these sneakers will perfectly follow the contour of your feet and will feel amazing to wear while still looking awesome.Read more
These shoes offer plenty of comfort through the various foam components, including the molded EVA sockliner that supports the arch, the midsole which offers energy return, as well as a ForEverFoam heel component that increases durability.
Flexible Upper and Outsole
Although you may expect a knit upper to offer flexibility, the surprise element with these shoes is the outsole that is made so as to allow natural foot movement with the help of the flex grooves located in the forefoot. This means that this pair of sneakers will follow your natural gait pattern and will give you a better experience during the push-off phase of your walking.
Cost and Value
These fashion sneakers are the most affordable pair of footwear on this list but offer excellent value. Thanks to their performance oriented design that looks amazing, they definitely deserve a place on a list of the fifteen best fashion sneakers available for purchase.
5. Steve Madden Lancer
No Arch Support
The Steve Madden Lancer is a truly unique pair of sneakers, available in 9 different colors. Featuring a futuristic style, they have a neoprene and rubber upper and an original lacing system that looks great and offers a greater level of customization to how these shoes will fit your feet. The rubber sole and fabric sock lining contribute to the practicality of these fashion sneakers, making them perfect for everyday wear.Read more
The fact that these sneakers are available in monochrome means that they are an excellent athleisure pair of footwear you will definitely be able to pair with your hippest outfits. The fact that they are slip on, with the addition of laces makes them easy to wear, which is perfect for when you’re on the go.
Although these won’t work with wide feet, they are an excellent choice for those who regularly go for normal or narrow shoes. They offer plenty of space, while the neoprene upper has a little bit of stretch that contributes to a cushy feeling comfort.
Cost and Value
Ranking low on this list when it comes to price, these sneakers are a great choice if you’re looking for something a bit different. You’ll definitely appreciate the beautiful color palette, as well as the roominess, and they’ll be the perfect pair of sneakers to wear with jeans or leggings.
6. Adidas Tubular Invader Strap
Added Ankle Support
Difficult To Clean
If you want all eyes on you, then the Adidas Tubular Invader Strap sneakers are a great place to start. With an out of this world, futuristic design, these shoes are unique and eye-catching regardless of what you pair them with. In a variety of different colors, the brightness of the red is certainly one of the favorites as it really showcases what Adidas has to offer. In a nice mid-cut design, you should find that you have good ankle support, as well as a comfortable sole and plushy, thick midsole. Not only do these shoes look great, but they really do feel great on as well.Read more
The majority of the colors feature a suede upper, which is nice and soft to feel. Suede is pretty durable but does have a downside if it becomes wet as it won’t do well with water. To ensure these shoes stand up well over time, make sure you put on a suede protector as this will remove one of the only downsides to this pair of shoes. When you don't have to worry about water, the suede look is one of a kind, and it really does make a shoe look more expensive, attractive, and well made.
Thick Upper Strap
The most obvious feature of these shoes is the thick upper strap which is referenced in its model name. The Adidas Tubular Invader Strap shoes take straps to a whole new level, and the ribbed band covers the laces and majority of the top completely. While the ankle support still shows above the strap, the most dominant feature is the wrap and it's what really makes the shoe look futuristic. Edgy and unique, it's not a feature that you are going to find on many other shoes, making these stand out nicely.
Cost and Value
For a mid-cut Adidas sneaker, this pair of shoes is very reasonably priced, and realistically shouldn't be too far outside of anyone's budget. For the price you are getting a well known and reputable brand, a solid build, and a unique design; all coming together to make for a very fashionable sneaker. Depending on the color option you go for, prices can vary, so if you want to save some money you can always opt for a lower priced color. With that said, price variation isn't too big, so the few extra dollars may be worth it if you want to get your hands on a more one of a kind color.
7. Kenneth Cole Crown Worthy
Suitable For Wide Feet
Added Ankle Support
Slim Profile Sole
These high top sneakers from Kenneth Cole are part of the Unlisted line, which features a variety of different shoe styles all created with the intent to be both fashionable and well-rounded. The Crown Worthy sneaker certainly lives up to its name, as it's synthetic upper is enhanced with quarter paneling to give this shoe a more unique and appealing look. With a stiff upper, you have additional ankle support, making these shoes more than just fashionable - they can be comfortable and supportive as well. The full lace-up front features well-woven laces, which are slightly off-color in order to make them stand out from the shoe itself.Read more
Slim Profile Sole
Many shoes on the market today feature thick soles that really stand out and pull the eye down towards the shoe. While this may be nice in some circumstances, the point of shoes is to enhance an outfit, not distract from it. With the Kenneth Cole Crown Worthy sneakers, the sole is slim and attractive, not overpowering the shoe or your outfit in general. This slim sole is still made of durable rubber and is comfortable, while not being excessive. Depending on which color option you go for, the sole may be contrast-colored, or the same color as the shoe, in which case you can barely notice it at all.
Being limited in choices isn't usually great, so it's fantastic that this sneaker comes in a variety of color options; making it easy to pair with whatever outfit you have in mind. From all white to all black, grey, brown and cognac, this shoe has an option for almost any occasion and will leave you looking sharp and attractive. Every color choice still features the same design staples, like the quarter paneling, so it really just comes down to what color you wear the most and how you want your shoes to fit in with your scheme.
Cost and Value
At under $100 these are an amazing bargain, as most fashion sneakers can creep way past the $100 mark. Any sneaker can be expensive, but when you add in fashion and designer names, those prices can skyrocket. With such a low cost to these shoes, it's worth checking them out and maybe even picking up a pair in one or two color options. These are versatile and attractive, making them a very valuable shoe to have on hand in your closet.
8. Adidas NMD R1
Durable Knit Upper
Can Be Worn Without Socks
TPU Boost Technology
Adidas performance shoes are not only very functional but also utterly fashionable. This is why their NMD R1 has become such a popular choice for casual wear. Even though they are, arguably, more popular for their looks rather than their performance, they still provide a very lightweight and highly breathable structure due to the primeknit upper, which wraps around the foot providing a snug but elastic fit.Read more
An EVA midsole in combination with the molded heel patch offers great responsiveness for both running and jumping. The build, in general, is very thin, providing a sock-like feel even after multiple hours of use.
Adidas’ most innovative technology, the Boost, creates cushioning which is more receptive than what you can find in any other sneaker, and it can be found in the NMD R1. It consists of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) molecules that deliver power for the next gait, giving you an extra spring in your step.
Cost and Value
While these sneakers cost quite a bit in the Adidas universe, on this list they rank average when it comes to price. Nonetheless, they’re worth the investment seeing that they are a freshly released pair of Adidas sneakers, featuring TPU technology. If you plan on using these shoes on a daily basis, you can expect them to last you plenty of time, which means you won’t have to replace them in the near future.
9. Kenneth Cole New York Kiera
Full Leather Upper
A gorgeous zippered high top, Kenneth Cole's Kiera sneaker is certainly what fashion dreams are made of. With a full leather upper, this shoe is stunning and it makes for a great casual or formal sneaker that can be worn on a variety of occasions. Due to their microclimate control, these shoes can be worn in any season, and the leather upper makes them perfect for keeping your feet dry in the rain. Warm enough for winter, and cool enough for summer, this is a pair of shoes you won't be able to get enough of.Read more
MicroClimate System - Moisture
The microclimate system in these shoes has three purposes, all with the intention of keeping your feet happy and comfortable. First, there are the moisture wicking properties, which ensure that your feet don't get sweaty and moisture doesn't build up in your shoe throughout the day. Even after long hours on your feet, you should find that this shoe remains cool and dry so you don't have to worry about smelly feet or shoes. This also means the interior will last longer, as there is no moisture affecting the material and causing it to break down faster than necessary.
MicroClimate System - Warmth
In order to work well in the winter, sneakers need to be able to keep your feet warm, and these are great at doing so. Using special particles within the upper, this shoe retains heat and keeps it trapped inside the shoe so that your foot never feels cold. While many fabrics allow heat to escape, this shoe ensures that all of your toasty warmth stays right where you need it to be all winter long. As hot air is trapped, you may worry that odors are as well, but these shoe's particles are able to trap odors and prevent them from building up so your feet and shoes remain fresh.
Cost and Value
These shoes are a bit on the pricey side, but given how versatile they are you may find that they are completely worth the extra money. Having a sneaker that is durable, warm, and able to be dressed up or down with ease is certainly a great thing to have on hand. With the added detailing of the dual goal zippers, and padded collar, these are going to be a comfortable and beautiful shoe that will turn heads wherever you go.
10. Baabuk Urban Wooler
Water And Stain Repellent
Easy To Clean
An absolutely gorgeous and unique shoe, the Urban Wooler from Baabuk is made from 100% wool, giving it a look you won't see in many other shoes. Slim and low cut, this shoe comes in a vast color array, making them a great choice to have on hand for a myriad of different outfits and occasions. Based off of the style of shoes worn in Russia to protect the feet from snow, this shoe is durable, long lasting, and is able to stand up to a variety of weather conditions. The fibers used to make these shoes are very durable and tough, while still remaining soft and comfortable on the feet.Read more
100% Wool Upper
The most stand out feature of this shoe is the full wool upper which is gorgeous to look at and extremely comfortable to wear. The fineness of the wool makes for soft feeling shoes, so no need to worry about them being itchy or scratchy while on. The wool is all sourced from New Zealand, where it is ethically and environmentally treated so that you can feel good about the footwear you purchase. Breathable, these shoes feel very light and they have natural antibacterial properties so you won't end up with stinky shoes over time.
Although they are not waterproof, these shoes do stand up well in the rain as they feature a natural wax coating on the wool that repels water and prevents it from soaking into the shoe. Water, dirt, and stains are unlikely to stick to the shoes so they will stay more dry and cleaner than other upper materials. As water will not damage these shoes, you are able to put them in the washing machine under the wool setting in order to clean them.
Cost and Value
For such a unique shoe you would expect these to be very expensive, but they are reasonably priced for what you are getting. Although they do cost more than several other items on this list, you aren't likely to find similar shoes elsewhere so you are paying for the rarity factor. Not only that, but these are ethically sourced and made, and are great in all types of weather. You should find your feet stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making these an extremely useful and versatile pair of shoes.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It should go without saying that when it comes to fashionable footwear, the pair you choose has to look great. Certain factors such as color scheme and the overall profile come into play here, though these are wholly personal and subjective. While some people will prefer bright colors and wild patterns, others may prefer muted tones and more minimalist looks. With style being a large factor here, we aimed to curate a list that showed a wide variety of designs that would appeal to an array of different tastes.
What's fashionable and "in" is a constantly changing concept, and pinning down what's currently en vogue can be tricky and elusive, but there are classic designs that are timeless and in style regardless of current trends. As such, we have included styles such as the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars that will be fashionable for years to come. We've also included other world-renowned brands such as Nike, who have a lot of iconic models that have become widely popular hits.
Whether you like minimal, outlandish, classic, or something in between, we've made sure to create a comprehensive list that covers all of these qualities, in order to truly showcase the most fashionable shoes on the market.
Sneakers will typically come in three styles, or cuts: low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut. While the difference it makes can seem minimal on the surface, the cut of the shoe is very important to each person in terms of appearance, fit, and overall comfort. Mid-cut and high-cut shoes sneakers tend to offer more robust ankle support, while low-cut designs are more flexible and not as stiff.
Low-cut sneakers, also know as low-tops, are made to sit below the ankle comfortably. If you're looking for some for summertime, or prefer a more lightweight design that feels free on your foot, low-tops are the way to go. While not all low-tops are the same, you'll find that they're typically lighter in weight and more flexible, allowing you to be quicker on your feet. They may not offer the same level of ankle support as a mid-cut or high-top, but offer support in other ways, such as arch support, as well as midsole and insole designs. The downside that they are generally less supportive overall and there is less shoe to protect the foot, so if you're going to be plaing sports you may want to consider a mid-cut or high-top sneaker instead.
Mid-cut sneakers tend to be the most popular choice as they sit in the middle of the ankle. They offer more protection and support than a low-top while being less bulky than a high-top, making them a perfect middle-of-the-road option for just about anyone. While the difference in cut is small, this can be important for those who are prone to ankle issues that could use the extra support they provide. While they don't offer as much coverage as a high-top, the difference in cut between a mid-cut and a low-top can make all the difference when it comes to proper support. The downside is that they are heavier than low-tops, though the significance of this is subjectibe and depends on the person.
High-tops, as their name suggests, cut high, sometimes even above the ankle. While they are markedly heavier than lower cuts, they also offer maximum ankle support and protection. For those that need this extra support, high-tops will be your best bet at protecting your ankles and helping to prevent injuries. For those who don't necessarily need this, high-tops still provide benefits. When paired with jeans they are quite fashionable, and the extra real estate allows designers more space to play around with embellishments and features. Some of the most sought-after fashion sneakers are high-tops for this reason. They are, however, heavier than lower cuts, and as such may not be the best for summertime or warmer weather. Also those with sensory issues may have some difficulty with the high cut. But again, this is subjective.
When it comes to any kind of footwear, comfort is one of the most important things to consider. Your feet are the foundation of your whole body, and poor-fitting and uncomfortable footwear can ruin your day. Even if you're purchasing shoes for appearance, if they're painful or uncomfortable they may never see the outside of your house. When we created this list, comfort was in the forefront of our mind, as we feel it's important to be able to enjoy your shoes wherever you go. Fashion shoes can be expensive, so having to limit how much you wear them due to discomfort can feel like a waste of money. As fun as quirky designs can be, footwear needs to be realistic and fit your comfort needs.
We've made sure to avoid designs that can cause blistering or chafing, as they ended up being more decorative than they are functional. As stated above your feet are the foundation for the rest of your body, and ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can even cause injury. As we saw with the cut of the shoe, the design and style are very important in regards to comfort. Make sure you are looking at fuctional aspects of the shoe such as the midsole and insole before making a purchase. You want to make sure it has the proper cushioning to properly support your feet and absorb shock. If you need extra arch support or a custom orthotic, you also want to make sure the insole is removable.
There are many things to consider when discussing the value of a particular shoe. You want to primarily consider comfort, durability, personal appeal, and of course, price. It's important to find the ideal balance between these aspects. For example, an expensive pair of shoes will not have much value if they are uncomfortable enough to not be willing to wear them. The issue with buying shoes online is that you can't try them on before ordering, so it's important to look at user reviews to determine how other people feel about the actual fit of the shoe. Also note that computer monitors and phone/tablet displays handle color differently, so the color in the picture may end up being slightly different than when they show up at your door. Be sure to look over user reviews before making your purchase, and don't be afraid to return or exchange them if you find they don't live up to your expectations. When it comes to shoes, you shouldn't have to make compromises on anything.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Wearing sneakers can either make a statement about your fashion sense, or give the casual laid back appearance we've come to love sneakers for. Pops of color can be paired with neutral colored slacks, jeans, or shorts for a statement accent, or you can show off your style using different textures or fabrics in your sneakers. Whatever the case, they pair well with mostly anything, so try something different with sneakers made to reflect your individual style!
Most sneakers made for running are built from mesh or synthetics, made to be lightweight and breathable. However, a sneaker made for fashion opens the doors to what fabrics are used to make the uppers. From velvet, to canvas, to patterns or combined textures, fashion sneakers are made to look good, and reflect your sense of flair and individuality. Try something you're not used to wearing for your next pair!
Frequently Asked Questions
While every season and year will see different trends come and go, there were some trends in the past year that were noteworthy enough to be mentioned.
Chunky Soles - One of the most popular trends of 2018 is that of the chunky sneaker with a white, muted or very simple upper and an overblown sole that is out there and eye-catching.
Classic Silhouettes - Sports shoes appropriated by the fashion industry are all the rave this year. Classic tennis shoes are very popular with their simple color schemes and recognizable embellishments. Although originally intended for the field, this type of sneaker is more likely to be seen on the streets these days (think Adidas Superstar).
90’s Inspired Looks - Nostalgia is hitting everyone hard in 2018, and one of the styles most evoked is that of the 90’s. With popular reimaginings of classics such as the Nike Air Max, you can comfortably go ahead and opt for something with a bit of a retro feel to it.
Metallic Coloring – While this may not be a new feature per say, as many shoes have been featured in metallic in the past, there was a heavy leaning towards brands dropping metallic colored sneakers. Generally only seen in sandals and pumps, the influx of metallic coloring was a popular trend that revived some life into sneakers which otherwise may have been boring to look at.
Velvet – This trend started to take off with clothing early in the year, so it was only a matter of time before footwear followed suit. While it may not be the most practical upper material featured on a pair of shoes, it certainly was popular and made for a unique look that hadn’t been seen in recent decades.
Wool – The Baabuk Urban Wooler which is featured on our top 15 list is made of wool, and this is becoming a bigger trend as the fashion industry moves into the winter season. While the fabric works as both a summer and winter upper, most people tend to think of it in terms of warmth so it didn’t really take off until it started getting a bit colder outdoors.
While general sneakers may not be accepted in a business casual environment, some fashion sneakers could easily fit the bill on acceptable footwear. Shoes that feature toned down colors, sleek designs and reduced embellishments will blend in well with a more business casual outfit. For sneakers that are vibrant, bulky, and unique you may find they are best suited for more casual attire and will not blend in, or seem as formal, in a business setting.
Some sneakers are absolutely running shoes, but not all sneakers are meant for running in. Sneakers tend to offer less support and cushioning than a running shoe and are more likely designed with appearance in mind rather than what you need as a runner. Styles like wedge sneakers should not be used for running, while others like the Nike NMD R1 can be used as a beginner running shoe.
Like with any shoe you purchase, a sneaker should fit your foot in a way that doesn’t cause any blistering, chaffing or pinching. You want to make sure you are picking a pair the comes in a width that suits your foot, and a length that gives you a tiny bit of space in the toe box. You don’t want your toes cramped up, but you also don’t want too much space as this can cause your foot to slide around inside the shoe. Some shoes do require a break in period, but this will only make them softer on your foot, not longer or wider. If your foot is being pinched, you need to size up and find the option that feels more comfortable.
There’s a general rule of thumb that says you should replace your sneakers around every 500 miles. For most people who use their shoes for walking, this means that you will get around 9 months of consistent use out of your shoes before you need to replace them. Many people push their shoes far past this limit, but the wearer will find that they become flatter and less supportive over time. Wearing shoes that are worn out can lead to foot problems and pain, as well as fungal problems and smells as bacteria can build up over the months.
- The 6 Sneaker Trends You'll Be Seeing Everywhere This Fall, Article, Nov 26, 2017 ,
- LOW Basketball Shoes vs HIGH TOPS: What to Choose?, Article, Mar 02, 2016 ,
- The 50 Coolest Sneakers of 2017, Article, Dec 22, 2017 ,
- The Best Sneaker of 2017, Article, Nov 27, 2017 ,
- Feng Chen Wang Debuts Deconstructed Pastel Converse Chuck Taylors, Article, Oct 16, 2018 ,