Whether it's dressing up a casual outfit or dressing down formal attire, sneakers can provide both comfort and style on the go and shouldn't be minimized to only accelerating athletic performance. However, as every "shoeaholic" may know, trends come and go quickly, which is why it's important to stay up to date on them if you want to achieve the summer 2021 look. Here are eight trendy and fashionable kicks that you should add to your cart to stylize your closet for the summer.
1. Nike Air Force 1 Shadow
Platforms have been all the hype recently, which explains why this 2010s rendition of the 1980s Nike Air Force 1 is a loved pair by many. Since they typically enlarge the look of your feet, these kicks are best worn on baggy pants (e.g. sweats and mom jeans). These shoes aren't hot in the market just because they look good - they are also insanely comfortable and aren't too pricey (although it's worthy to note that keeping them dirt-free feels like you're in Mission Impossible). Prices range from $100 to $300 USD, depending on the collection; however, the most common are the plain white ones which retail for around $100 USD.
2. Converse All Star "Chuck Taylor" High Top Model
Enter the kicks best known for never going out of style. Since they were first released in the 1970s, these timeless shoes have been part of every trends list, and now, in the 2020s, they've been able to maintain the reputation of being a classic. We've probably all had a pair of Converse before and, needless to say, they're both comfortable and fashionable.
One important thing to note is that the Chuck Taylors can be difficult to put on and they aren't waterproof whatsoever. If you hope to use these in the snow or flood areas, just know that they aren't very protective. However, to make up for that, they are easy to pair with practically any outfit.
Many professionals in the fashion industry recommend wearing them with cropped jeans or shorts, so you're able to receive the whole effect of them being high-tops. These shoes generally are priced somewhere between $60 and $110 USD.
3. Valentino [Logo] Trainers
Looking for a more sumptuous pair of kicks that are great for business casual attire? These shoes are best worn with slacks and chinos, but can look good on a lot of other clothing as well. While they're a lot more expensive than the previous two mentioned, ranging from $300 to $1,000 USD, these shoes are known to be great quality and not too harsh on your feet.
4. Gucci Tennis 1977
An à la mode twist to the traditional Gucci Tennis Shoes of the 1980s, the 1977's (which were released in the 2010s despite the name) are both comfortable and timeless. These kicks are best worn on skirts, capris, and rompers - and any other clothing that screams "spring". However, for the average teenager, these may not be the most affordable, given that their retail value is between $600 and $800 USD. Therefore, it's a good idea to look into cheaper alternatives, such as Vans and Keds Jump Kick.
5. Jil Sander Low-Top Platform
If you couldn't tell by now, platforms are all in this summer. Known for minimalist fashion pieces, Jil Sander has a reputation for making it to the runway and these specific shoes have gotten comfortable with the scene many times. Acquiring comfort and sophistication (these look great on midi dresses and wide-leg/palazzo pants) can be a feat within itself, but these shoes make it feel less like a dream and more of a reality.
Sitting at a retail value of around $500 to $700 USD, these kicks may be expensive, but they have proven to have a long lifespan. With that noted, it's recommended not to purchase these shoes until you are certain that your shoe size isn't going to change by a significant amount anytime soon (early 20s for most people).
6. New Balance 574 (Casual)
For the longest time, there have been many jokes made about New Balance shoes, but in recent years, the shoes have been catching up with the trends again - and not just among dads. The 574's are reputed to be comfortable, durable, fashionable, and not harsh on the wallet - a great investment. One thing to note, however, is that many people complain about not being able to find the right fit and the selection being quite slim and unfriendly towards women above shoe size 7 and men smaller than shoe size 9.
Despite all those concerns, these kicks look great on practically anything you would wear for a walk in the park or a stroll through a grocery store. Furthermore, as mentioned before, these shoes are also kind to your wallet and probably the lowest-priced on this list, ranging from $70 to $90 USD.
7. Nike Air Force 90
These fashion icons have been a vital custom of streetwear since they were first released in the 1990s. Besides being fashionable, these kicks also provide comfort and even increase your height by a significant amount. Similar to the Air Force 1s, these shoes can enlarge the look of your feet, so it's recommended to wear these on tracksuits, tokyo pants, etc. The Air Force 90s typically range from $100 to $300 USD, but this can obviously vary based on the collection.
8. Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid (OG and Retro Collection)
Did you know that Air Jordans hold the record for the most expensive pair of sneakers ever sold? Makes sense, given that these kicks have been practically always on-trend since they were first released in the mid-1980s. It also explains why they start at $150 and can go all the way to $2,000 USD depending on the collection.