We might all be spending our days in carpet slippers and some version of a slide (one we hope is marginally more stylish than Crocs), but there will come a time where COVID-19 restrictions ease and we must once again venture outside. And you can only hope that when such a time arrives, you’re ready for it – that you haven’t regressed to elasticised waistbands for life but rather, can prove your style credentials once again when the opportunity arises.
And when it comes to sneakers to entice you into some fashionable clothes once again, we’ve rounded up some of the best. Whether you’re itching to go out into the great outdoors and do some hikes once social distancing restrictions are over, or are more inclined to dazzle colleagues in the office with your stylish footwear choices, these picks offer everything from form, function, and aesthetic design.
From a pair of Air Jordans that pay homage to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to an Adidas collaboration and New Balance silhouette that draws inspiration from the earth’s neutral tones, this week’s round-up will have you imagining what life is like post-COVID-19. And rather than grow apprehensive at the thought, it’ll have you smiling. See our pick of the best new sneakers below.
Air Jordan 5 “Bel-Air”, approx. $305
Regardless of whether you were a devout fan of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when it aired or not, there’s no denying that the beloved sitcom has become something of a sartorial how-to when it comes to nailing ‘90s fashion. With Will Smith at the centre of the show, the fashion it presented continues to be regarded as iconic, influencing sneaker brands and high-fashion designers alike.
Thanks to Nike’s latest Air Jordan 5, the Fresh Prince can be celebrated once again with an upcoming sneaker that features a white base with vibrant ‘90s detailing. It’s expected to even have neon accents on the soles and branding. The sneaker hasn’t dropped just yet, but rumours suggest it’s going to be a pretty incredible shoe and we can’t wait to see the real thing.
Adidas Consortium FYW XTA, $228
The latest product from Adidas Consortium doesn’t disappoint. With its chunky sole, it capitalises on the trend du jour of the chunky sneaker, while flashes of orange bring a pop of colour that make it instantly distinctive and eye-catching. This style is inspired by the OG XTA, released in the mid ‘90s to great adoration. Now, the updated model features a mesh upper and cross-lacing system for enhanced stability meaning that when COVID-19 ends and the outdoors beckons, you can go out in style.
Puma x The Hundreds Palace Guard, approx. $137
It’s the collaboration everyone was waiting for: Puma x The Hundreds. And what better silhouette to remake than the Palace Guard, the classic basketball-inspired sneaker that turns as many heads on the court as it does off it. When a collaboration is as anticipated as this one, it’s likely that a brand will miss the mark and not meet expectation. But that isn’t the case here. The Hundreds have left the silhouette relatively untouched, adding in subtle hits of pastel hues that pop and make this model a timeless one for every wardrobe.
No Vacancy Inn x New Balance 650 “Water & WiFi”, TBC
Drawing inspiration from neutral earth tones through the use of premium fabrics, when it comes to “staple” footwear you can’t do any better than this silhouette from New Balance. Drawing on the legacy of the 650 model, this sneaker features front lace closure along with a padded tongue and collar for a secure fit, with a heel tab for easy pull on. The gum soles are also a classic feature and bring the ultimate dose of nostalgia to a stylish shoe.
On Cloudnova ‘Eclipse’, approx. $229
If you’re looking for a sneaker that fuses function with performance, you can’t go past Cloudnova. The brand built its reputation on running shoes that were favoured by the top athletes due to responsive cushioning and now, they’ve brought that same design principle to shoes geared towards the everyday athlete and fashionable footwear fiend. These sneakers, with their all-black colourway, make the perfect winter staple for the gym and outdoors and with their CloudTec cushioning, you’ll see why these are preferred by athletes around the world.
424 x Adidas Originals SC Premiere, $213
In another collaboration worth every penny, Adidas have teamed up with L.A. streetwear label, 424 to put a fresh spin on their highly covetable kicks. Our favourite style happens to be the SC Premiere, with its timeless elegance thank to a crisp white silhouette and the brand’s red logo on the tongue. These sneakers will definitely prove to be a favourite, able to be worn in the office (when we finally return to one) as well as on the street, where you can flex your sartorial style with confidence.