Sneakers have always been an essential and a go-to staple for a lot of people. As the lines between streetwear and high fashion continue to blur, it’s no wonder high-end and designer collab sneakers have become the new standard among sneakerheads. Though it wasn’t so long ago when sneakers were bought for either the court or the field, sneakers have quickly progressed to a new context as designers, stylists and trendsetters started giving them the same respect afforded to calfskin uppers and leather soles. And as we witness sneakers graduate from the streets, it was only in due time that fashion designers got in on the action; all of a sudden, off-duty footwear become acceptable.
With the sneaker game continuing to shift towards a more avant-garde, sleek, sock-inspired makeup — which was initially introduced for better performance on the track — it’s no surprise the minimalist design has been popping up on the runways. With its initial high price range for a sneaker, such as the Nike Mercurial Superfly costing around $200 USD a pair, expect prices to be slightly more than their regular counterparts. To keep up on this sneaker trend, here are six sock-inspired sneakers that are worth the investment.
Balenciaga – Speed Trainer
Less is definitely more when it comes to Balenciaga’s “Speed Trainer.” Weighing in at just 240 grams, the shoes are certainly on the lighter side of things… and as the name suggests they’d be good for active use. The new silhouette features the sock-like ankle on a knit upper, all placed upon a white midsole housing shock-absorption memory sole technology. To finish off the look, an embossed Balenciaga logo can be found on the outsole, rounding out the luxurious look of the shoe. Available in a black or white colorway, the “Speed Trainers” will run you $545 USD. Pre-order online here.
Maison Margiela – Crunch Sneaker
The Paris-based fashion house Maison Margiela has also jumped on the trend with its latest offering. The “Crunch” sneaker takes its name from the unique uppers, which are crafted from a soft white jersey and finished with a cracked, black coating. Detailed with the avant-garde label’s signature stitching at the side and made in Italy, this silhouette is currently available for approximately $444 USD here.
Gosha Rubchinskiy x adidas Football – ACE 16+ SUPER
Gosha Rubchinskiy gave fans a sneak peek at his upcoming collaboration with adidas during his 2017 fall/winter runway show. Among the several Three Stripes pieces that graced the Russian designer’s runway were the ultra-sleek ACE 16+ SUPER futsals. Sporting a slightly higher ankle collar than usual, this special edition ACE 16+ SUPER comes in a seamless Primeknit upper in tonal red, black or white, bearing thick Three Stripes branding on the side panels for a striking visual. As we see several other designers hop on this sock-sneaker trend, it’s good to see one of the first iterations of this lifestyle design. The Gosha Rubchinskiy x adidas Football ACE 16+ SUPER futsals are expected to officially release this year.
adidas by Rick Owens – High Level Runner
The premium line takes cues on Rick Owens’s coveted runners. Taking references from the already iconic RO Runner, the “High Level Runner” mergers Rick Owens avant-garde vision with the adidas sneaker culture. Offered up in a deep black or crisp white colorway, the high-cut shoe fuses a futuristic comfort outsole and a sleek silhouette enhanced with luxurious stretch materials which will cost you $1,150 USD. Purchase a pair here.
COMME des GARÇONS x NikeLab Air VaporMax
The eccentric label COMME des GARÇONS teams up with the Swoosh to release a unique iteration of the Air VaporMax. First spotted at the Japanese label’s 2017 spring/summer show, the Air VaporMax receives a striking midnight tonal colorway alongside premium details. The COMME des GARÇONS x NikeLab Air VaporMax drops in all CDG shops today.
Alexander Wang x adidas Originals
After announcing that Alexander Wang and adidas Originals would be collaborating on another collection, images have surfaced online of the latest silhouette expected to appear in their 2017 spring/summer line. The mid-cut sneaker is crafted from part mesh, grained leather, and knitted constructions placed atop of a BOOST midsole with a stylish gum outsole. Standout features include the sock-like entry point and unique lacing system that’s adjoined at the back. Look for the “Mixed-Material” sneaker to hit retailers soon for a price of $230 USD.
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