While sneaker releases continue to come in thick and fast, it’s clear that this is a trend that refuses to go out of style. No longer is the sneaker a shoe to be worn to the gym class alone, but rather it’s fashioned itself into the footwear style of choice, able to be worn with confidence by those heading to the office, an important meeting, the club, and yes, even to that HITT boxing session you have at lunch.
Much of the reinvention of the sneaker has to do with what the innovation brands are drawing on, working with new technologies to fuse top-of-the-line sportswear with style. But aside from functionality, sportswear companies are also seeking to collaborate with the biggest names in fashion and consequently, they are injecting sneakers with a dose of serious style.
But while closed-in shoes tend to conjure images of wet weather and cold climates, these sneakers actually make a strong argument for all weather dressing. With light-weight materials and superb construction, they are our pick for the warmer months. This week, Nike enlists the services of the hottest designer of the moment, Virgil Abloh, to inject their iconic waffle racer with a dose of Off-White sartorial style. While the iconic sneaker is one that used to be relegated to the track, thanks to Abloh this is now one shoe worth sporting on the street, complete with a translucent overlay and nylon upper, pastel hues and injections of vibrant green in the lacing system.
Similarly, a collaboration with Tyler, The Creator sees Converse completely transform the iconic Chuck 70 High with an injection of summer-ready pastel pink and a blue “Golf le Fleur” logo on the side.
See these designs and more in the round up of our GQ-approved sneakers we have our eyes on this week.
Adidas Originals, Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “YEEZREAL”, approx. $318
It’s the highly anticipated sneaker from Kanye West, and fans are already signed up and ready for the drop. This latest instalment of the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 features an upper composed of re-engineered Primeknit. The side stripe is woven into the upper and reflective threads are woven into the laces.
Adidas Performance, 032C Salvation, approx. $258
In collaboration with Berlin-based magazine and media outlet 032c, adidas have created a summer staple with their Tactical Boot. Offering a sneaker in a lightweight mesh, leather, and nubuck upper, which is then paired with a lace cover and unique lacing system with toggle construction, these kicks make for a fresh instalment in your summer wardrobe.
Nike Sportswear, Waffle Racer / OW, approx. $215
Leave it to designer-of-the-moment Virgil Abloh to reinvigorate the waffle racer, giving the iconic silhouette the Off-White treatment. Constructed with a translucent overlay and nylon upper, the low-top Nike x Off-White Waffle Racer takes the foundation created by Bill Bowerman and turns it into a shoe worth having in your wardrobe rotation.
Golf le Fleur* x Converse, Chuck 70 High, $145
The Chuck 70 from Converse has always been something of a summer staple when it comes to sneakers, but this version courtesy of a collaboration with Tyler, The Creator elevates the sneaker to a whole new level. With its pink canvas and lace-up closure in cream, the terrycloth logo patch stands out in blue with beige at the outer side.
Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang, AW Puff Trainer, approx. $359
New York-based designer Alexander Wang already has a legion of followers due to his minimalist and on-trend designs, but that’s been taken to a whole new level with this sneaker collaboration with adidas. The AW Puff Trainer features sock-like construction with mixing athletics and hits of disco and soul style, which he likes to call “club leisure”.
Reebok, DMX Trail Shadow, approx. $287
The new DMX Trail Shadow sneaker from Reebok has serious Paris Fashion Week vibes thanks to its layered upper and upscale look. Constructed with a durable mesh upper, the hiking-inspired theme is cushioned by a DMX SHEAR air-transfer system, making for a supremely comfortable walking experience.