I have a thing for sneakers. They’re comfortable and stylish, the right pair can transform an outfit, and they wear well with 70% of the stuff in my closet — namely, shorts, jersey dresses, pants, and skirts. I’ve been known to geek out on sneaker reviews and have a hard time passing up any cute sneak option at discount stores like TJMaxx or Marshall’s. So, it’s no surprise that I’m super excited about the fun factor in this season’s women’s sneaker trends.
Shoes are an interesting component of the fashion world. Yes, they follow seasonal runway trends to some extent — particularly with respect to colors and patterns. But shoes can also go off in their own direction. Take a look at current women’s sneaker options from Prada, Alexander McQueen, or Stella McCartney and you’ll see what I mean. They’re bold to the point of being unwearable (for those of us who aren’t into shock value as an accessory). That’s a good thing, though. Because those high-design trends get watered down just enough for the masses. By the time designer-inspired shoes hit our favorite stores, they’re more fun than shocking, and more interesting than ridiculous.
This season, sneaker trends revolve around new color combinations and more aggressive shapes. One thing’s for sure: low-profile sneakers are out and statement makers are in. Here’s a look at my five favorite women’s sneaker trends for fall.
5 best women’s sneaker trends now
1. Oranges, pinks, and reds
Oranges, pinks, and reds reigned supreme on the autumn/winter 2020 runways, and those fiery colors even made their way to shoes. Sneakers, thanks to their casual nature, can easily show off surprising color combinations. You might think that would make them less versatile, but that’s only true if you’re rigid about how you pair your colors.
Your sneakers don’t have to match per se; they only have to “go.” In other words, you probably don’t want to wear orange sneakers with forest green leggings, but you could absolutely wear orange sneakers with the right pair of red shorts.
If you’re craving an old-school vibe, these Nikes will scratch that itch. They also deliver vibrant pops of coral, peach, and yellow — a nice change of pace for fall, in my opinion. Wear them with jeans, leggings, or under a neutral-toned jersey dress.
Double-down on the orange trend with these New Balance sneakers. The combination of burnt orange and red is so eye-catching, it almost doesn’t matter what else you wear with these shoes — they’re going to steal the show anyway.
2. Dad sneakers
Chunky dad sneakers are having an extended moment in the limelight. It’s almost like, the more awkward the shoe is, the more women want to wear it. We can possibly thank Prada for that, given that the label has taken the dad sneaker to new heights of chunkiness.
H&M’s chunky sneaker offers a nod to the trend, but in a very wearable package. These neutral-toned shoes will go with anything as is, but they’re also available in solid white for more versatility.
3. Platform sneakers
Platform sneakers also continue to be popular, which is fabulous news for shorter ladies everywhere. Just take care not to take the platform thing too far. With respect to shoes, height reaches a point of diminishing returns when you can’t in them comfortably. That shouldn’t be a problem, because retailers have so, so many options right now ranging from subtle to bold in height. Two designs I like are Converse One Star Platforms and H&M’s simple pink platform shoe.
The Converse One Star pink platform sneaker is on point in terms of color and height. Plus, they’re Converse, one of those iconic shoe brands that’s always going to earn you style points. I like these shoes with jeans and a simple v-neck t-shirt — an outfit that says, “I just threw this together and it looks amazing.” (Between you and me, I strive for that look every day. Sometimes I land it. Other times, not so much.)
For more height and less color, try H&M’s platform shoe for a budget-friendly price tag of $35. To be clear, that’s a metallic pink, so these shoes do have a preteen princess vibe. Maybe that’s why I like them so much. There’s no rule that a woman of a certain age can’t wear metallic pink shoes.
4. Color blocking
Color blocking, by its nature, is jarring to the eye — so much so that, used right, it can make you look thinner and steal attention away from nearly anything else, as in:
“You didn’t see Ryan Reynolds just walk by shirtless?”
“Nope, I was looking at that lady’s color-blocked dress.”
Because color blocking is borderline aggressive, I personally limit my use of it to accessories — namely, purses and shoes. And this season, you have some really wild shoe options. Take these ASOS Day Social sneakers, for example.
OK, yes, they do have a Fresh Prince of Bel Air vibe, but they’re also super fun. Wear them with a grey jersey dress and denim jacket — no accessories needed! And the price tag of $40 is about the limit of what you should spend on this trend, given that it may not be around next fall.
Stripes, checks, plaids, and florals were spotted on the fall runways, sometimes even mixed together. And shoes, particularly sneakers, have followed suit. Seriously, have a look at these $680 Guccis featuring the brand monogram overlaid with an apple print. Crazy, right?
A more wearable, but no less fun choice is the Traq by Alegria Sneaq, which will only cost you about $100. And yeah, I know it’s odd to be talking about pink floral sneakers at the onset of fall, but hey, that’s 2020 for you.