It’s nothing short of astonishing how the humble trainer, an item of footwear so entrenched in the lives of, well, virtually everyone, has taken the industry by storm over the past few years, albeit in a new guise: luxury trainers (sneakers for the our American readers).
Luxury Trainers More Common at Work
Nowadays, it’s perfectly acceptable to arrive at the office, or even go out to a bar in a designer pair of trainers. From Louboutin and Versace, to Church’s and Tod’s, almost every luxury footwear brand has latched onto the trainer craze.
It appears that this craze has very much be born out of the so-called ‘versatility’ of the trainer, along with the positive shift towards a more active lifestyle.
Additionally, trainers are reasonably ageless, very easy to accessorise and slowly becoming smarter and smarter, plus they’re damn comfortable.
“Anyone can wear them, as the huge variety of shapes and styles means there is a trainer to work with every aesthetic,” said Sam Lobban recently, senior buyer for Mr Porter, “This shows the depth and breadth of the trainer as a key element of modern menswear.”
We must also remember that trainers have always had a following. Since the launch of Nike’s Air Jordan and Air Max in the 1980’s, the trainer craze has boomed, with some vintage pairs reaching five figure sums.
So it’s little wonder that over time, designers started to notice the trend and began releasing ever nicer, ever-more-impressive items for the style-savvy gent.
Major Luxury Brands Have Gone “All In”
When brands like Valentino, Lanvin, Tom Ford and Bottega Veneta started to produce trainers using the finest leathers, patinaed finishes and hand-stitched techniques rather than glued ones, a bar was immediately set for the new-age of both smart and casual trainer manufacturers.
But it’s not all high-end manufacturers, oh no. Nike, for example, have an endless stream of high-street trainers to tickle the fancies.
And even Adidas, together with Kanye West, created the Yeezy, a trainer that sold out before it even left the production line, causing a wild, wild media frenzy.
What it really comes down to is the endless number of variations, patterns, materials and construction techniques. A goodyear-welted shoe, for example, has a finite number of variations.
However, luxury trainers can be low-cut, high-cut, suede, leather, canvas, velvet, rubber soled, lace-up, velcro, the list goes on. The outcome of this is that there’s a pair a trainers out there for every outfit.
Whether you’re wearing a three-piece suit or loungewear, you’re guaranteed to find something for every occasion, and what’s more, you won’t have to break them in. They’re trainers, remember, and their purpose is comfort.
It’s a win win!