You’ve probably noticed that sneakers have gotten quite interesting the last few seasons, with chunky heel designs, platforms, sneaker boot styles, and bold colors and textures, such as holographic finishes and glittery accents. These shoes can be great fun to add to your streetwear style, and can be ideal for pairing with an athleisure type ensemble when you want to look and feel relaxed and active, but are they an option for the gym, or for other forms of actual exercise? To put it another way, if you are only going to buy one new pair of sneakers, and you want to work out as well as hang out in them, are any of this season’s funkier looks really a good option for you?
What Do You Want to Do?
Even some classic sneaker designs are absolutely useless for some kinds of physical exercise, as anyone who has tried to run in a pair of Converse All Stars will tell you. Shoes for sport have completely different designs depending on the demands of different activities, even if from the outside a pair of running shoes may not look all that different from a pair designed for general low impact gym use.
If all you really want to do is be able to get your 10k steps a day in on your Fitbit, then any kind of comfortable sneakers will be suitable for most people, but if you want to play a sport or run, then you need shoes made especially for that purpose to protect your body, avoid shock, and help you perform at your best without risking injury. So, it is a good idea to think realistically about your activities, and whether the style of shoe you are drawn to is going to be okay for it.
You may find you can enjoy a Zumba class in your chunky soles, or wear them to lift weights at the gym, but you can’t play sports on the grass in them comfortably, and you certainly shouldn’t run in them. If that is acceptable for what you actually want to do, then you can go right ahead and invest in the sneakers of your dreams!
Are You Okay with Abusing These Shoes?
If you take a look at some high end brands, such as this range of Balenciaga sneakers at SSENSE, then you can see that while some of the more ‘out there’ designs are definitely just for looking good in, there are also some great looking shoes that could definitely have more practical uses. The thing is, once you start taking your sneakers from fashion wear to functional by wearing them when you exercise, you will find their lifetime in terms of looking their best will get a lot shorter – you’ll also have to work a lot harder to keep them odor free and looking fresh.
Sports shoes take some abuse, and if you are spending a lot of money on a beautiful designer look, then you may find that even if you can exercise comfortably in your new shoes, you may not want to. It can be worth sacrificing looking awesome at spinning class and wearing some cheap sneakers for that to keep your on-trend designer sneakers looking amazing!
On the other hand, if exercise is a big part of your life and your social life, and you find wearing high end, eye-catching stuff while you do it motivating, then you may be willing to let your new sneakers have a shorter lifespan because your gym look is important to you. There is no judgment, but it is a choice you have to make when shopping for sneakers!
Toning Down the Trends
Another thing to consider is whether you want to really embrace a seasonal sneaker trend, or tone it down to make it versatile enough for your workouts. If you absolutely love the statement of big chunky heeled sneakers, then you won’t enjoy the fact that you’ll have to buy a very toned-down version of this look if you want to be able to make the shoes do double duties and be your workout shoes too. You just won’t love the shoes you buy as much as if you had been able to opt for a pair for fashion only, without considering their practicality for anything more strenuous than walking. But, if you are cool with just taking an element from the current trends, such as color or decoration, and wearing it on a sports-designed shoe, then you may find you can get a pair you love that are great looking for both streetwear and sport. If you fall into the former camp, it really can be worth considering buying some plain, simple and cheap sports shoes appropriate for what you want to do alongside your designer sneakers, rather than compromising with one big purchase.
As you can see, there are a few things to consider when you are an active person who wants to embrace the latest sneaker trends, and it is important to really think about what you need from your shoes before investing in an expensive pair!