A fashion sneaker's technical quotient is often only a fraction of its style factor. Balenciaga have tapped into the current penchant for them with their panelled leather hi-tops, which have gained a cult-like status and fellow luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Christian Loutboutin have all followed suit. And it doesn't end there. Today, you'll be hard pressed to find a fashion week-goer not sporting Isabel Marant's much loved wedged sneakers. The only problem with all of these is that none of them are actually fit for purpose. Despite being on point sartorially, they're hardly the best things to wear if you want to break into a sweat. Even New Balance, who position themselves as providing classic running sneakers that go the extra sartorial distance, are most fashion than sport.
Against that backdrop, what Stella McCartney is doing with her Adidas collection is to really usher in a rebirth of the fashion sneaker. First up, her trainers are for women. Sounds simple, eh, but the reality is that women have been ignored by the big luxury brands. The thought process seems to be that women spend major dollars on their heels so the luxury fashion trainer is the male counterpart but as the success of McCarney's trainers show, the big brands are really missing a trick.
You see it on the train. Those women, like Melanie Griffith in 1998 film 'Working Girl', wearing sneakers for the daily commute. As you'll know only too well, their outfits look good but their trainers often leave a lot to be desired. Are we just leaving our trainers as an afterthought or is it like I said, that there just hasn't been many options?
More of us than ever are cycling into work, gyming on our lunch breaks or simply wearing trainers on the way to work as we try to pick up our walking pace or take the stairs rather than the escalator; and it's hardly surprising why. In the wake of the continuous messages about the national obesity crisis or if, like me, you're trying to get into those trousers before fashion week, the need for stylish but effective trainers has become a must.
Stella's trainers offer the best of both worlds. You get the cool, fashion side that comes naturally to her as a fashion designer but also the technology and expertise that comes with teaming up with Adidas. One style in particular comes in black mesh with a neon pink underlay and a black and white mesh style is the perfect balance between an everyday shoe and one for hard core exercise. Many of them come with durable rubber soles, CLIMACOOL technology for 360 degree cooling for the entire foot and outer soles with wider outlines for better stability to make sure that, contrary to the common saying, we can have it all.
See my favourite styles after the jump