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Last Updated on 25th April 2023
From plain whites and gym-ready practical sport shoes to urban cool trainers, sneakers have come a long way in the footwear fashion world. No longer the reserve of the sports field, sneakers are now a wardrobe essential and can add an edge to both tailored and more laid-back styles.
So, it is no wonder that, with the continued rise of the post-Covid casual aesthetic, the sneaker culture remains central to many of this season’s designer collections. With dominant themes of comfort and class, we explore the top sneaker trends for 2022.
Stepping out in sustainable
Footwear continues to reflect consumers’ desire to dress more sustainably, with ‘green’ sneakers as a key 2022 trend. But going eco-friendly doesn’t mean sacrificing design quality or your sartorial edge. Today’s designers have focused on combining sneaker designs with high-quality sustainable materials to create covetable footwear that supports our planet.
From super-soft vegan leather and recycled laces to tech-foam made from algae, sneakers in 2022 are featuring some of the best material design innovations. With design houses such as Allbirds, Stella McCartney, and Yatay blazing the trail for eco-friendly footwear fashion, the sustainable sneaker is a must-wear trend that’s here to stay.
The Lanvin look
France’s oldest couture house, Lanvin, is set to be one of the hottest brands for 2022 when it comes to sneakers. Lanvin sneakers are really hitting the mark, mixing lux fabrics, beautifully pigmented colours, and wear-anywhere vintage designs.
We particularly love the Lanvin Curb sneaker, which channels the oversized aesthetic of the 90s skater scene. With its bold colours, chunky sole and contrasting laces, the Curb works well with paired down casual but can also edge up a longline dress or midi to take you from the park to the cocktail bar.
Bright and bold
This summer, neon is a big fashion trend, and bright sneakers are becoming a hot statement piece. Go bright or go home seems to be the mantra for many designers, with bright sneakers adding a pop of unadulterated fun to even the most classic outfit. Choose between full shoe neon for an electric look or opt for vivid accents on neutral sneakers for a playful colour splash.
Colour clashing is also a big 2022 trend if you like to create a high-octane impact, especially when worn with a muted neutral or all-black outfit. Acid colours such as lime green used to create contrast on a classic sneaker silhouette ticks several 2022 trend boxes, including the wearable vintage style.
The love for all things retro still looms large in 2022, and this can be seen in the must-have classic sneakers for the rest of the season. The beauty of sneaker vintage for 2022 is that it isn’t pigeonholed into a single defining decade but sticks with the classic silhouettes and retro classics such as the Adidas Superstar or Stan Smith, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, or Nike Air Jordan 1.
The ‘dad sneaker’ remains a top trend, with its chunky soles, thick uppers, and 90s-inspired sport patterns paying homage to the original ‘ugly’ sneaker design. The dad sneaker has also dominated many of the catwalks for 2022, including collections by Balenciaga and Versace.
But if you love your 70s vintage, this season will also give you your retro sneaker fix, whether that’s sports hall nostalgia or tennis lawn white and green. Or, mix it up with retro and futuristic design hybrids, such as Nike’s basketball high tops.
We finish our 2022 sneaker trend guide with probably the most versatile style in our review. And that is the ‘less is more’ vibe of the minimalist trainer.
The 2022 trend for minimalism is now taking the ‘comfort meets class’ ethos up a notch. Think clean lines, muted shades, and luxe fabrics including leather and suede.
The all-white sneaker is a classic with its nod to retro styling that makes it a go-to for smart casual styles. The minimalist white leather sneaker style also works with so many outfits, from jeans and sweatpants to more formal trousers, skirts, and smart/casual work wear. Or you can add a little more interest with flashes of fabric in cool, neutral shades or go simple colour block in light caramels or beige.
Smart, simple, clean, and timeless – we think the 2022 minimalist sneaker look is a particular trend that’s here to stay.