Sneakers are one of the best all-round choices of footwear for both men and women. Not only do they look great on everyone, they’re suitable to a wide range of outfits.
Whether you are going for an outing with friends or going for nature walks, sneakers come in handy all the time. They look stylish and give you the comfort that you may need. But the process of finding the right pair can be daunting. Besides fit and quality, most of us also want shoes that look good, which means you really have to do your research before hitting the stores.
While most specialty sport-shoe stores have knowledgeable staff to guide you, you’ll be a few steps ahead of the game armed with some basic knowledge about your feet and their specific needs. In this article, you will find some expert advice to heed before buying new footwear.
Types of Sneakers
There are a lot of different types of sneaker available in the market and it becomes daunting while finding the perfect sneakers type. Specific types of sneakers have become important over the last 15 years, yet so many people still don’t know the differences.
So here are 10 types of sneakers, what they look like and when you should wear them. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules so feel free to learn them, break them, then remake them!
1. Athletic Sneakers
Athletic Sneakers are referred to as “Sports” Sneakers. These are great for everyday use and at the same time, they are a deadly combination of style and functionality.
You can use them while running, jogging, physical activities, workouts, etc. Any activity faster than walking, and you’ll want to slip on a pair of these.
2. Plimsoll Sneakers
These types of sneakers are super famous, and happen to be the most common of the bunch. Also called Low Top Sneakers, they stop just below the ankle and are best worn with secret socks and skinny jeans, or jeans rolled to reveal your naked ankle. Don’t wear high socks with these!
3. High Top Basketball Sneakers
High Top Sneakers have been around for a while now. They have multiple advantages. You can wear long socks and no-one will see them. They look extremely stylish. These match especially well with the tight fitting jeans of today, even though they became famous on the basketball court.
4. Authentic Sneakers
When we say authentic sneakers, we are referring to the very famous Vans Sneakers. At one point in time, Vans Sneakers were the only pair of shoes people wanted to wear because of how comfortable and trendy they were. These sneakers can be worn with anything -dresses, overalls, shorts- which is what truly makes them revolutionary. The design is minimalistic and clean giving them the name authentic sneakers.
5. Slip-on Sneakers
The classic slip-on sneaker that has absolutely no shoelaces at all. You just have to slide your feet into the shoes, and thus it is extremely hassled free.
They are extremely comfortable and you can pair them up with your casual shoes. Do keep in mind to not wear high socks as it would ruin the look of the slip-on sneakers.
6. Leather Sneakers
Leather Sneakers are trending sneakers in the fashion industry and in the world. These are expensive in comparison with other normal sneakers but they are highly durable. They would not lose their feel even in the long run.
These also naturally suit business casual and more formal attire. As long as you don’t wear them with long socks! Leather kicks are also fantastic for sports, because they get softer the more you wear them and mold to your feet, which makes them flexible and great for the sports field.
7. Canvas Sneakers
Canvas sneakers are best described as conventional and comfortable. They are material based and low rise sneakers that received their fame from popular brands like Converse All Stars.
Since they are a conventional sneaker option, these sneakers are usually paired well with casual outfits. Moreover, these are the sneakers that sparked the rolled up jeans trend amongst the millennials.
8. Textile Blend Sneakers
Many types of sneakers these days are made from more than one sort of material. You get leather and textile blends, plastic and leather blends and more. Always understand the blend so that your feet can breathe. These are great for athletics and general wear.
9. Velcro Sneakers
Although, they are not the type of sneakers that can be worn with all types of outfits, Velcro sneakers are one that can elevate the look of a casual outfit with the right kind of style if they are paired correctly. Available in different colors and styles, these sneakers can be beautifully paired with streetwear outfits, an evening ensemble or a smart-casual one. The best part is that they are highly affordable!
10. Designer Sneakers
Designer Sneakers are sneakers that are manufactured by the designer brand. Some of them are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Valentino, etc.
These are usually worn with formal outfits. Even though they are ultra-comfortable, they look special, and expensive, automatically making an ordinary outfit look extraordinary. It is true; designer sneakers can make a fashion statement.
11. LED Lighted Sneakers
LED Lighted Sneakers’ trend begin with women, but now men also wear them. There are LED tube that is around the outer sole and the light can be of one colour or multiple colours.
These are popular with the younger generation and people in the fashion or entertainment industry. These can be mostly worn at parties or at concerts.
How to Choose the Right Sneakers for Different Needs
It is important that you choose the right kind of sneaker for different occasions and different needs. The one you wear for workouts cannot be worn at a party, the one you wear for walking cannot be worn for a formal gathering, and so on.
Since some sneakers can be expensive you need to be careful and think about your requirement while buying one before you go-all-out. If you understand how to choose sneakers on different occasions then it may change your outfit and style preferences.
If you are someone, who walks as a form of workout, then the perfect one would be the one whose cushioning is soft and is comfortable.
One thing to keep in mind is that you pick the perfect size for you otherwise your feet will hurt. Apart from walking, these can be worn when you are going shopping or for running and some errands.
If you are an individual who has a workout regime of running then it is important that you buy sneakers that are made for running as you need the apt amount of support and flexibility.
Most running injuries happen due to picking the wrong sneakers. The ideal one would-be high-top sneakers or athletic ones.
Workouts here refer to all forms of physical exercise accept running like Cardio, Pilates, Zumba, Weightlifting etc. The best possible choice would be to pick athletic sneakers.
One thing to keep in mind while buying is to check that the shoes are providing perfect cushioning, stability, and flexibility.
If you are going to the airport and you are taking a long flight, then you need to wear something that is super comfortable. As you would be on move from one place to another you need something like Slip-on Sneakers which are comfortable yet stylish.
Trips or Vacation
Trips are a great time to relax and enjoy with your friends or family. So, the important thing to keep in mind is to wear comfortable sneakers.
If you are going to a hilly, cold region or for camping then you can wear athletic sneakers or high-top sneakers. If you are going somewhere with regular surfaces then you can go for Plimsoll Sneakers. Just keep in mind to buy comfortable sneakers.
Night out with Friends
When you are going out with your friends for dinner or a party then wear something that is stylish yet comfortable. The perfect choice would be canvas sneakers or leather sneakers.
If you are someone who likes to experiment and If you are going to a party then you can definitely try out LED Sneakers and this will definitely make you the star of the party!
If you are attending a formal gathering people will expect you to wear the loafers but you break the conventional belief by wearing either leather sneakers or low top sneakers. It will not only make a fashion statement but also inspire others to break the stereotype of wearing only typical footwear.
Useful Tips for the Right Choice
Here are some tips and rules for choosing the correct pair of sneakers.
1. Choose a certified brand. You shouldn’t have issues with sizing and know what to expect.
2. Relying on the size doesn’t always end well. It’s always better to try shoes on.
3. Don’t underestimate the material. Suede, leather, canvas or rubber all have different qualities, which will in turn affect how comfortable you’ll be wearing them.
4. Consider the activities you’ll be doing. Will you head out into the city, nature or for a run?
5. Don’t make shoes multitask. Walking shoes are stiffer; running shoes are more flexible, with extra cushioning to handle greater impact. If you do both activities, get a pair for each one.
6. Darker sneakers are ideal for a rainy day. Leather sneakers are waterproof.
7. Shop late in the day. Feet swell over the course of the day; they also expand while you run or walk, so shoes should fit your feet when they’re at their largest.
8. Wear your own socks. You never know what the sample socks are going to be like at the store. They could be big, bulky wool socks, or they could be extra thin booties. If they’re not like the socks you wear when you work out, they could negatively affect the shoe size you purchase.
9. Don’t believe in breaking in. Running and walking shoes should feel comfortable right away.
10. Don’t over- or underpay. Good-quality running and walking shoes are fairly pricey – and usually worth it. But you’ll pay a premium for super-fashionable styles or those associated with a celebrity – and they won’t be any better for your feet.
11. Try on shoes with your both feet. Socks should be worn when you are trying on shoes.
Mistakes You May Make Buying Sneakers
1. Buying the wrong size and style for your foot.
One common mistake is letting another person tell you what shoes are best for you. The most important thing you can do is try them on, pace around the store, and continue trying on new pairs until you find something that feels good for you.
Another mistake? You buy a shoe that’s slightly too tight with the thinking that it will stretch out over time. That typically doesn’t work. Make sure the shoe fits you well in the store.
2. Not considering the activities you’ll be doing.
Pretty much any activity that someone wants do to, there’s going to be a shoe out there. Whether you’re going to be running, walking, or playing tennis, from an injury prevention perspective it’s important to pick a shoe that’s specific to the activity.
Plus, many people don’t think about one of the most important basics: the sole. A quality supportive shoe usually has a sole that is somewhat difficult to bend and has a slight heel to it. And, if you’re wearing everyday sneakers to go for a run, your sole will be compromised much faster.
3. You don’t replace your shoes often enough.
Another mistake people make is not replacing sneakers enough and wearing them for longer times. If they start wearing down then change them otherwise, they will cause you pain. If you bought a new sneaker that is giving you pain in your feet, hips, etc after wearing them for a few days, please replace them.
Everyone is different and the timing of when you need to change your shoe varies from person to person. However, a good rule of thumb for both runners and everyday shoe wearers is to replace your shoes after 400 miles.
4. Switching different brands.
If you like a brand then please stick to it. It is not necessary that you need to have sneaker from every brand. If you resonate with a brand and their sneakers fit you well, give you comfort, and provides support, then just buy from them.
5. You don’t check the return policy.
Before heading home with your new kicks, check the store’s return policy. Some specialty retailers are incredibly accommodating, giving customers up to 30 days to return shoes, even if they’ve been worn.
If the store you’re visiting doesn’t offer this type of return policy, you might want to make a note of the shoe’s model number, and head to a different retailer. It would be terrible to return home to find that your new shoes hurt or don’t offer the necessary support, without any option to return them.
This is everything that you need to know before buying sneakers. Sneakers are extremely comfortable and you must own at least 3 types of sneakers: everyday use, formal gatherings, and outings.
While fashion shouldn’t be a factor when selecting the right athletic shoes, there’s no shame in admitting that it matters. If you’re set on buying a pair of shoes in a particular color scheme, ask the store clerk if the model you love is available according to your preferences. Sometimes athletic stores don’t carry every colorway there is, but they can order the one you want and have it delivered to the location for free.