The offering of women’s sneakers has improved dramatically over the past 18 months. Thankfully, brands have left the outdated “Pink it and Shrink it” method behind in favor of a more creative approach to designing for female sneakerheads.
In addition to designing women-exclusive models and colorways (that don’t feature pink predominantly), brands have started to work with female designers and creators, developing a “by women, for women” ethos. Additionally, apart from sizing, there’s not a huge difference between men’s and women’s sneakers when it comes to design.
Men are entering raffles for women’s sneakers (Aleali May and Satin Jordan 1s, anyone?), while women are putting their own spin on how to style what would technically be considered “men’s sneakers.”
To celebrate this shift and to encourage female sneakerheads to continue to experiment and embed themselves in sneaker culture, Highsnobiety curator Yulia Pankova has rounded up some of her favorite sneakers styled by women on Instagram.
Curator’s Notes: We’ve been talking a lot about sweater vests this year, so please consider this laid-back outfit as your spring wardrobe inspo. This look is also a great example of how you can style bold sneakers with neutral tones in clothing.
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Ama’s ASICS are Kiko Kostadinov’s GEL-Delva 1 collaboration, which were released in early 2019. The silhouette is one of the more reserved models the Bulgarian designer has used in his fruitful partnership with the Japanese sportswear brand, which is why it’s also one of the easier silhouettes to style — even in this eye-catching orange colorway. Kostadinov is known to sneakerheads for the instantly recognizable design cues that make his ASICS collaborations some of the most interesting out there. Each of his past sneaker projects has featured premium materials and distinctive looks for a tastefully elevated dad shoe look.
Queen DIY did it again
Curator’s Notes: There is nothing better than simple colors and shapes that look very cool together.
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DIY-genius Nicole McLaughlin has gone for a pair of Salomon Speed Cross 4 sneakers, which — when compared with the XT-4 and XT-6 ADV models — fly somewhat under the radar. Still, if there’s one thing Salomon is known for, it’s the French brand’s penchant for high-quality, functional footwear. This is also the silhouette Palace collaborated with Salomon on, albeit in a sleek triple black colorway.
Color coordination on point
Curator’s Notes: Another lesson in styling multicolored sneakers here: pick 1 color from the sneaker to match with a top and some dark color pants. I also like that grey socks match the logo on the sneakers, I know that only 1% of people probably notice this, but details are everything.
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Bianca Valle is wearing one of this year’s best New Balance collaborations, namely the Aimé Leon Dore 827. The NYC brand’s choice in silhouette was somewhat surprising, as the 827 is rather niche compared to the usual 99X collaborations we see on a near-weekly basis. Still, ALD and New Balance proved they know what the people want — even if the people don’t know it themselves yet — as all three colorways promptly sold out upon release.
Another one (with great color coordination)
Curator’s Notes: Yeah, we don’t get to see the whole ‘fit here, but you can still take some styling tips here: you can try to find a printed pair of pants or jeans to perfectly align with your sneakers colorway and also, as Dilan puts it, “always match your shoes to your bags”. Noted ✍️
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The Nike Air Jordan 1 “Gold Toe” is about as heavy a flex as there is. Not only is the silhouette one of the most popular and sought-after sneakers of all time, the gold and black patent leather upper emanates exclusivity. Fun fact: an upside down-swoosh version sold for a rumored $96,000.
Curator’s Notes: I love this shade of dark green that Brenn is wearing, because they match the bright Dunks in a very “advanced” way. And yeah, grey printed sweater is a very seemingly effortless way to finish this look, but it really does balance out the colors in general.
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Much has been said about the Off-White™️ x Nike Dunk Low but it can’t be overstated just how important Virgil Abloh’s co-sign was for the silhouette’s mainstream revival. Travis Scott and other OG collaborators have also played a part but anything Abloh touches at the moment turns to resell gold. The “Pine Green” colorway was the most popular of the three released.
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- Curator: Yulia Pankova