- While heels have been rendered a liability of the past along with the bra and contoured cheekbones, sneakers have emerged as 2020's spokes-shoe for statement making.
- The sneakerhead community is slowly growing, as it was predicted in March on Footwear News that slipper- and sneaker sales would spike during lockdown.
- If you're one of these people who've taken a liking to sneaks over mules, then the most recent drops from top brands such as Vans, Converse, and Adidas might be sole-grabbing to you.
Yes, you're mostly dressing from the waist up, but don't you miss proper shoes sometimes?
When last did you wear heels? Don't you miss the elevated posture, the way they instantly tone your legs and even the way the balls of your feet start cursing you out in Spanish when you've been wearing skyscrapers for an entire day?
But because two truths can always exist at the same time, I'm also a sucker for a good pair of kicks. And the more I accept that we're in this lockdown for the long haul, the more pairs of sneakers I move to the front of my shoe cupboard.
So it's safe to say that since we're now embracing the comfort economy, 2020 is finally the year sneakers and sandals have cemented their place in several shopping carts around the world. As people have realised they don't own enough knits, sweatpants, and loungewear during lockdown, comfort dressing has partially shifted our fashion gaze from aesthetics to sensibility.
So let's look at what some of our sneaker options are for this shift in consumer mindsets.
For the dual purpose of efficient running, yet also later serving as a trendy comfort companion for a streetwear getup:
Since its original launch in 1984, adidas Originals’ ZX series has been at the cutting edge of running shoe design. Relentlessly combining a forward-thinking aesthetic with the very best tech, ZX has always stood out as the off-beat innovator of the Originals family. Now, adidas Originals continues in this vein, welding the distinctive language of the ZX series with two other groundbreaking chapters in 3-Stripes history to create the squishiest ZX yet.
Designed with satisfaction over logic, each ZX 2K BOOST model fuses elements of the ZX series with Boost™ technology to create a new expression that needs to be felt to be understood. The audacious, hyper-modern ZX style is front and center, bolstered by unexpected technical details that push the series ever further into the future. Championing squishiness over everything while elevating comfort and satisfaction, the bold silhouette takes its lead from the more layered designs of later ZX models, such as the iconic ZX 00 Series.
More squish, more squeeze, more comfort. The next chapter of ZX will be available on ecom and at adidas Originals stores from 1 August 2020 with prices starting from R2299.
Global sports brand PUMA is releasing the brazen Pretty Pink Collection of women’s footwear, apparel and accessories with iridescent details paired with pink-on-pink and disruptive designs.
The Cali Wedge (R1699), Deva (R1699), RS-X3 (R1999), Rise (R1699) and Future Rider (R1599), some of the most popular women’s silhouettes from PUMA, are boldly reimagined for this collection. Details include hot pink, high gloss synthetic uppers and midsoles with fluffy textile accents. Styles are taken to an extra, thrice-exaggerated extreme and given re-imagined, bold new looks.
The Pretty Pink collection will be available at PUMA.com, PUMA Stores, The Cross Trainer, sportscene and Superbalist from today, 7 August 2020, while the Pretty Pink Rise and Future Rider will be dropping later this month.
PUMA has also released UltraRide, its latest performance running shoe, designed to remove excess materials for a light feel and responsive ride.
UltraRide is created for runners looking to reach their next running goal. Built on the foundation of Reductionist Theory, UltraRide reduces weight with outsole cutaways to leave runners with the basic running essentials: cushioning and responsiveness for limitless potential. A light, airy upper and supportive midsole plate merge through a dynamic bridge design. Combined with PROFOAMLITE for cushioning and rubber surface area for power transfer at toe-off, UltraRide helps runners reach their highest potential.
“With UltraRide, we designed the shoe to give runners what they are looking for in a running shoe,” said PUMA Run Train Global Director, Erin Longin. “The lightweight upper and responsive PROFOAMLITE midsole, combined with the PROPLATE ensures a spry and comfortable stride for runners training for their next goal.”
UltraRide has been available to shop for R1999 as of July 30th on PUMA.com, PUMA Stores and selected retailers.
The Nike React Miler gives you trusted stability for miles with athlete-informed performance. Made for dependability on your long runs, its intuitive design offers a locked-in fit and a durable feel.
Long-lasting and durable Nike React foam means better cushioning during wear and tear. The heel's shape takes insight from hundreds of runners, adding a soft, plush design for comfort on your footstrike landing.
Run the road:
A full rubber outsole delivers underfoot durability and traction for high-mileage training. High-abrasion rubber is placed in areas with the most wear.
R2299.95 on Nike.com
For cultural impact:
This season, Vans honours The Simpsons with a vibrant collection of footwear, apparel and accessories that celebrate iconic moments from the historic series.
The Vans x Simpsons collection celebrates the Simpsons family (Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie) with depictions and references that die-hard fans will appreciate. Key pieces from the collection include the Sk8-Hi and Men’s Chukka Pro. The entire Simpsons family makes an appearance on the outside of the Sk8-Hi, with the iconic checkerboard print on the medial in signature shades of blue and yellow.
The footwear assortment is rounded out with four more styles that pay homage to beloved Simpsons characters. The Bouviers occupy an Old Skool colourway, Scratchy gets a toon-filled Era style and Lisa is featured on a lavender Sk8-Hi. Rounding out the footwear collection is a Slide-On sandal inspired by the famous pink Homer Simpson donuts.
The Vans x Simpson Collection will be available from 7 August 2020.
The campaign involves 5 key South African artists that have been tasked to visually depict the African experience of the Covid-19 virus in a way that breathes a refreshed message of hope, strength, positivity and survival into the classic white Converse Chuck 70 Hi-top. With a unique take on the ideals of African expression each artist namely Fhatuwani Mukheli, Sindiso Nyoni, Nardstar, David Tshabalala, and Falko Fantastic, now have their designs available for sale for pre-order exclusively on Converse’s website.
Converse has selected the Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund as the establishment to which all proceeds following the sale of all sneakers will go.
This collection retails for R1600 a pair.
Converse X Comme des Garçons PLAY Chuck 70
The Converse X Comme des Garçons PLAY Chuck 70 features classic Chuck Taylor styling with a playful twist. The quirky heart-and-eyes logo, imagined by New York graphic artist Filip Pagowski and Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, is as recognisable as the Chuck Taylor itself. The two iconic brands collide on this simple, but remarkable execution – one that has become a style staple from Paris to New York.
The Converse X Comme des Garçons sneakers are available in both hi-top and lo-top styles and will launch exclusively online at www.converse.co.za from Saturday, 8 August 2020.
Price range: R1899.95 – R1999.95
Additional product descriptions and images provided by brands featured in article.