Five Ways to Style Sneakers

By Susanna Granieri

As women, it is difficult to try and style sneakers for every possible outfit. In my case, I enjoy sneakers more than the next girl. Keeping my Air Force 1’s in the box with crease savers and wiping down my Adidas Superstars with a Clorox wipe every day is grounds for an obsession; but that is OK. Here, I plan to give you five ways to style your sneakers with everyday cool and casual looks.

However, my first rule is to NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER wear a dirty pair of sneakers. Before you say it, no it is not rustic if they’re dirty and they do not look broken in, they look as though you don’t take care of them, and that is NOT okay. Sneakers are precious, hold them close.

Lacing is an important part of sneakers as well, since tying them the way you were taught as a kid may not be the right answer. Some sneakers should be tied, others shouldn’t, but we’ll discuss that below.

  1. The Takeover of the Air Force 1’s

I am not innocent in this trend, but I do try to differentiate which pairs I purchase in a way to not follow the crowd. Below, I’ve shown three different pairs of Air Forces that I own.

First, we have the typical white high tops. If you follow any of my advice, please never close the velcro at the top, it makes you look lame. Air Forces are supposed to give a vibe that not many people can pull off, but closing that Velcro INDEFINITELY makes you one of those people.

Dress these with a pair of jogger sweatpants that may be a bit too loose around the ankles… the Air Forces will suction the bottom, and you’ll earn more of a swagger look. You can also wear these with boyfriend jeans and a cute top, to dress them up but keep the hip-hop vibe.

Next is the orange spotted low-tops. These are my favorite, because no one has them. I picked these up off of Nike’s website for only $40 about two years ago, so the price may change. For comparison, regular low-top white Air Forces go for a $90 retail price. These are easily matched with skinny jeans or jogger sweatpants as well. Be sure to note, however, the orange is bright, so neutral colors are the best bet.

Lastly, are my pink Air Forces that were limited edition back in 2018. It is harder to pair these, but it is nice for someone who has a much darker closet. For me, I wear a lot of blacks and greys, so the color pop in my sneakers is a perfect match for me.

All of my Air Forces are tied, not laced loosely.

  1. Nike Sock Sneaker; the Knockoff Balenciaga

If you are on any social media, you have seen the Balenciaga ambush of the speed sock sneakers, which go for about $700. Although I would love to wear a shoe of that caliber, my college bank account doesn’t seem to agree. In lieu of the expenses, I purchased a pair of Rise React Flyknit Sock Sneakers from a Nike outlet store down in Delaware for only $60.

I myself have difficulty in pairing this shoe with the right outfit, but after a few months I realize there are certain do’s and don’ts to the sock sneaker. The best look for these is a thicker jogger pant, like the grey Nike joggers most media rave about. On the other hand, if these are worn with skinny jeans, please do not show them off. In the nature of their compression around your ankle, it will seem as though your jeans don’t end until the tops of your toes.

  1. Adidas Superstars

I hate that I do wear these often, as any girl from five years old to 25 does, but they’re too basic to ignore. The white with black stripes allow these casual sneakers to dress down a sweater and skinny jeans. I wear these with my Adidas track pants most of the time.

In regards to lacing, I have them loosely laced and knotted so the laces hang a little on the side, making for convenience in slipping them on and off.

  1. Yeezy Powerphases

Typically a male shoe, the Yeezy powerphases are comfortable, black sneakers with a hint of red and green on the side. To create an outfit out of these, many people wear a crazy sock with a neutral jogger, as the shoes are very simple in and of themselves.

I have been working on my Calabasas with a new lace edition: purple shoelaces. But, here’s the kicker: the shoelaces say “shoelaces.” As my boyfriend knows me too well, he bought these laces to match the Chief Keef and A Boogie song “Glory Bridge.” In this song, they say “‘Off-white kicks my shoelaces say “shoelaces,” but in our case, we can never afford the $600 Italian leather sneaker brand Off-White, so we make do with what we have.

  1. Adidas Xplorer

These are my most favorite Adidas to wear, as they look great with track pants, sweatpants and jeans. Due to the green hues and beige tint to the shoe, I enjoy matching them with greens, blacks and greys. In this case, I paired them with black jeans, a white lace shirt and my green camo fall jacket. Mine are dirty right now, which definitely breaks my own rule.

At the end of the day, sneakers are as cute and fun as you make them. Take good care of them, and try your best to keep them clean. They’ll always let you put your best foot forward.

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