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The 30 Best Sneakers for Women

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

As we prepare to emerge from our homes post-pandemic, it’s time to give our house slippers a break and try some shoes with actual laces. And sneakers are the perfect shoe for venturing back into the real world, especially for those who’ve gotten used to 24/7 comfort. In spring 2021, there’s no one sneaker trend that feels overwhelming or obligatory. Right now, there are so many styles — ultramodern sneakers, spins on retro classics, cool designer collaborations — that you can easily find one that speaks to your taste.

Below, we’ve rounded up the 30 best sneakers to buy right now, no matter your style. Scroll down for everything from new ecofriendly sneakers to Gucci platforms and old-school throwbacks.

The Best Trendy Sneakers

Whether they’re remixed classics or a completely new style, these are the styles that feel especially of-the-moment.

These add a fresh twist to the dad-sneaker trend. And in the age of Instagram, bold colors make a big impact.

If you love color … and texture … and patterns … these futuristic, maximalist Nikes might be for you.

Air Force 1’s have been around since the ’80s, but the black-leather colorway and the “pixelated” chunky sole make these feel totally contemporary.

Leave it to Dior and Fendi’s Kim Jones to create a chic shoe in collaboration with Converse.

Rick Owens and Veja have already collaborated a couple of times, but this latest release feels like a fresh take on shoes that look like socks.

You don’t have to be a hypebeast to wear these. They’re chunky and playful without being too in your face, thanks to the mostly neutral color palette.

The Best Sustainable Sneakers

We’re seeing more and more sneakers made from more environmentally-friendly materials, like post-consumer recycled polyester and responsibly produced leather.

Everlane’s Court sneaker is made of leather from a gold-certified tannery that promises its practices are environmentally friendly. The sole is almost 94 percent free of virgin plastic, and the lining is 100 percent recycled polyester.

French brand Veja has really cornered the sustainable-sneaker market (with a little help from Meghan Markle). This white pair is made from ethically sourced materials like wild Amazonian rubber for the soles and responsibly produced leather for the upper.

The cotton lining, outer nylon, and rubber outsoles of these colorful dad sneakers are made from recycled materials. Plus the leather is sourced from a tannery that received a gold rating from the Leather Working Group, an organization that promotes sustainable environmental practices in the leather industry. So even if they’re mostly mustard, pink, and orange, they’re pretty green.

Madewell’s sustainable slip-ons are made of recycled cotton canvas and naturally sourced rubber.

These soothing seafoam-green vegan sneakers are made from recycled ocean plastic. And for every pair sold, the brand donates 10 percent of profits toward protecting and conserving sea life.

The Best Classic Sneakers

Fact: A pair of Chucks or Vans will never go out of style. They’re even cool when they’re all beat up, because that just shows you’ve had them for ages. And the best part about them is that they’ll never break the bank.

Whether you wear them sparkling clean or tossed around in the dirt, they are an unmatched classic.

Just add jeans and a T-shirt.

You’re not just a mom. You’re a cool mom.

From $62

Stan Smiths look good with literally everything.

A little bit nerdy and a little bit cool.

The Best High-Performance Sneakers

The ultrasleek, futuristic-looking sneakers do double duty, combining well-researched performance technology and a street-style aesthetic. They’re breathable, flexible, and just really cool looking, whether or not you’re actually exercising in them.

Reviewers rave about Hoka One One, saying that wearing these sneakers feels like walking on clouds. They’re comfortable and light and have a unique design.

Ultraboosts are known for their functionality and breathability. This blush colorway gives them a stylish makeover.

Asics GT-2000 8
$90

Asics’s “GEL” technology gives you protective shock absorption and comfortable cushioning, and these come in a variety of color options.

This version of Nike’s popular Flyknit has it all: style, function, comfort, and breathability.

Approved by marathon runners, Saucony’s newest shoe features “speedroll” technology to ensure maximum comfort and durability for runners.

Nera is a new sneaker brand combining craftsmanship, performance, and modern style.

These shoes are so lightweight that you’ll almost forget you’re wearing something that looks cool, too.

The Best Fashion Sneakers

Last but not least, here are the sneakers for anyone who wants a little luxury on their feet.

Both the Balenciaga Triple S sneakers and the ones that look like socks have had the spotlight for a while, but it’s time for them to make room for their more performance-focused siblings.

These Loewe sneakers offer a comfortable spin on a retro style and some loopy “L” branding.

Margiela’s signature “Tabi” toe lends an edge to these otherwise simple sneakers.

The British brand updated its ubiquitous sneaker with an exaggerated, translucent sole. It comes in a ton of color options.

Designer Daniel Lee has been making Bottega Veneta a destination for cool accessories, and his sneakers are some of the most coveted among industry insiders.

A classic sneaker shape gets the Valentino treatment in a metallic silver with stud details on the back.

A subtle Gucci flex on some otherwise unassuming platform sneakers.

30 Pairs of Sneakers to Buy Right Now