Sneakers are an athleisure staple that oft goes overlooked—unless you’re a sneakerhead, of course. But those of us who aren’t willing to stand in line at 4 A.M. just to get our hands on the latest Nike release tend to, well, ignore them—to fail to stock up on sneakers the same way we stock up on sports bras and leggings and honestly, even socks. The value of cute sneakers has fallen by the wayside, trumped, instead, by other comfy-cute basics. And anyone who understands the value of literally any other kind of shoe should know what a misstep this is.
No outfit is complete without a pair of shoes—both literally and aesthetically. Navigating the terrain of the world sans shoes isn’t a challenge I’d wish on anyone. And let’s be real, shoes are cute. Your dress looks better paired with statement-making stilettos, and your cropped trousers are truly complemented by the chunky cut of a Chelsea boot. The same goes for altheisure; nine times out of 10, your already-trendy ensemble is rendered even trendier by the addition of cute sneakers.
Not to mention, sneakers are probably the most vital element of any athletic outfit—if you intend to work out in it, that is. Lifting weights in open-toed shoes is poor form, and running on a treadmill in anything other than your go-to sneaks is straight-up ill-advised. Sneakers exist for a reason: They protect your toes and keep your feet in ship-shape, no matter what you’re doing. And cute sneakers exist for a reason, too: They protect your toes and keep your feet in ship-shape—while adding a little welcome flair to any outfit.
Thankfully, our go-to retailers have thoroughly gotten the memo on this one. A quick browse of your favorites will reveal that cute sneakers are available in spades online right now—especially cute sneakers of the colorful, retro-inspired variety. Whether you’re looking for the cherry on top of your go-to athleisure look, the ’90s accessory your super-retro wardrobe was missing or, you know, a pair of sneakers you actually want to work out in, your options are many. Scroll on.
Proof “cute,” “sleek” and “colorful” are far from mutually exclusive.
So fun you’ll be looking for excuses to wear them.
Sneakers that are so efficient you don’t even have to tie them.
Clunky, but veritably statement-making.
The perfect ’90s-worthy addition to any ’90s-inspired closet.
These look like a bona fide work of art. Seriously, couldn’t you imagine these on a pedestal in some museum?
Plays well with pink clothes. And yellow clothes. And blue clothes. And let’s be real, pretty much every other color, too.
Because you can’t really go wrong with black sneakers—especially when those black sneakers come with a couple colorful details.
Colorblock sneakers with metallic accents and patterned laces? Um, sold.
These are so pretty I’d probably stare at my feet all day if I wore them.
Because primary color-heavy palettes are always a good idea.
Colorful and simple can certainly go hand in hand.
Even Gucci’s getting in on the colorful-cute sneaker thing. (These are basically fashion-forward hiking shoes—I’m here for it.)
Because gray sneaks are made better by pops of orange, yellow and blue.
Probably the most ’90s sneaker you’ll ever lay eyes on.
These shoes make it easy to slip into statement-making style.
Pastel colors are definitely on the menu, too.
Pink metallic, gold metallic, blue metallic and matte red—talk about a power couple (er, quadruple?).
Because suede looks better when rendered in cerulean, magenta and baby yellow.
The kind of thing an alien would wear—well, the kind of thing a fashion-forward alien might wear.
These mesh sneaks are comfy, cute and colorful—are you sold, or what?
Colorful without being over-the-top.
All kinds of layers on these Balenciaga sneakers—and every one of them makes the shoe cooler.
Cute enough to wear with (practically) anything in your closet.
The perfect understatedly colorful complement to any all-black athleisure ensemble you’ve thrown together.
Shout-out to Kendall and Kylie for offering us a sneaker that’s cute, comfortable and affordable—all at the same damn time.
The most popular sneaker of 2018—the Balenciagas that look like socks.
Pink and green used to be your favorite color combo—resurrect it.
Colorful comes in delightfully washed-out tones, too.
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