No disrespect to Stan Smiths—the Adidas style blew up two years ago among the fashion crowd, ushering in a new era of comfortable, sporty footwear that’s still going strong—while the sleek white style is definitely still cool (they’re classics for a reason) they’ve started to border on predictable, which is why we’re all about endorsing a new crew of sneakers making waves right now.
Here’s our guide to the best styles out there, from swank labels such as Gucci and Dior debuting their own takes on the trend to indie mainstays made with premium materials, from $40 to, well, $40 x 25.
The Venetian husband-and-wife duo (Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo) behind Italian-based label Golden Goose creates sneakers with a deconstructed edge—often covered in glitter. The leather star is a motif used in every design, and the brand sells silhouettes in high-tops and low-tops. The two self-taught designers founded their Golden Goose in 2000, and harness the premium leathers found in Italy while still retaining a modern edge.
Common Projects uses the classic sneaker shape, rendered in high-impact, lush leathers to make a statement. The best seller is the Original Achilles (pictured above), which pairs easily with almost anything. Founded by Prathan Poopat, an art director, and creative consultant Flavio Girolami, the label has quickly picked up a following in the style world. This is the chic minimalist’s new sneaker. Each shoe is printed with its own serial number in gold.
The Swedes do pretty much everything right, so it comes as no surprise that Stockholm-based Eytys is creating the perfect platform sneaks we want in our wardrobe stat. The Mother, which comes in various colors, is the label’s first shoe, marked by a trademark purple pull-tab. Also notable: The brand makes a real effort at providing comfortable footwear. Inside, there’s a cork arch support. Eytys was founded in 2013 by friends Jonathan Hirschfeld and Max Schiller.
We know, we know, Alessandro Michele is pretty much amazing at making any piece of fashion covetable. Before him, Gucci’s sneakers (while made with quality materials) definitely verged on orthopedic for their aesthetics—there was just something about the bland, khaki color and typical logo. For the Spring 2016 lineup, Gucci’s sneakers come with the trademark red and green ribbon but have been made more modern with metallics, studs, et al. We’ve already spotted them on insiders at Milan Fashion Week, and expect to see them en masse during the September round of shows.
You can’t get much more classic than a pair of white slip-on Vans—the original skater shoe. It’s so iconic that major luxury labels like Céline have produced their own “inspired” versions. Given how the world flipped for that recent “Damn, Daniel” viral video, the shoe has arguably become more popular than ever. Luckily, you can snag a pair for less than $50. Even Kanye‘s a fan.
If you’re looking for the ultimate splurge when it comes to sneakers, Dior is your best bet. The fashion house has been pumping out sneakers for a couple seasons now, but the Technical Dior Fusion slip-ons seem to have the most staying power, with everyone from Anna Dello Russo to Susie Lau consistently sporting them. Each pair is embroidered—a fun contrast to the sporty shape—and Dior describes them as a mix between the “exceptional craftsmanship of Dior and the urban world of Raf Simons.”
Brazilian brand Veja is an eco-friendly sneaker brand with vintage-inspired silhouettes. Each style has a “V” logo embellished on the side, though some are more apparent than others. Since 2005, founders Sébastien Kopp and Ghislain Morillion have worked with local farmers, small producers, and organic co-operatives to produce their pieces. They’re currently sold at chic stores like Merci in Paris and have collaborated with French designer agnès b.
Incurable Stan Smith fatigue doesn’t mean you have to kick Adidas to the curb forever, as the label also offers a similar silhouette in reinvented textures like faux snakeskin. So much more unique!