The Rules of Sporting Sneakers

Twenty years ago and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The rules of sneakers were pretty simple; the moment you hit sixteen, leave them on the basketball courts. They were for sports and the fashionably impaired.

Then, Chuck Naylor’s started rearing their heads around shopping districts. Actresses were donning the Vans under a pair of rolled-up chinos while they sauntered around Beverly Hills. Suddenly, sneakers were everywhere.

That’s not to say that sporting sneakers is a free-for-all. There are still some do’s and don’ts that you might want to consider before stepping out in your new Nike Air Max’s with a black pencil skirt. Just, no.

Jeans and sneakers


Baby steps, people, baby steps. Jeans are bar-none the easiest way to wear sneakers. It’s time-tested, easy-going and comfortable.

To stand out, you’ll want to have a game plan. Jeans are a good excuse to flash the ‘big’ shoes; we’re talking blazer suedes, concealed heels and high tops. You also have a little more free reign with colours, since jeans aren’t particularly risqué. Try experimenting with electric pinks and purples, maybe throw a little green into the mix.

Alternatively, you can sport some low cut sneakers as long as it’s emphasised. DO crop and roll – show off those ankles. This looks even better if you’re displaying a suave pair of pastel jeans or bright chinos.


Leggings are a little more tricky. Big shoes work even better than they do with jeans, if they’re done well. Currently trending are disguised wedge shoes, which nicely complement some darker leggings; think grays and blacks.

Converse offer a nice punky style along with a pair of black leggings, while Vans look sweet sockless complimenting a patterned design. The important thing to remember is that leggings work as a centrepiece of the outfit, so keep the sneakers simply duochrome, soft tones – ultimately, a classic style.

Lovely schoolgirl in full length

Dresses & Skirts

Now for the grand finale. Sneakers with dresses have recently become pretty huge, but doing it well is a skill one must practice to master.

The good news is that dresses and skirts is your opportunity to really go to town on the ‘Sky Hi’ wedges sneakers, giving you a height boost and some serious leg definition for summer. A pair of cream Nike Dunks look amazing with a light floral dress, for example, finished with a cropped denim jacket. Keds and Vans look great too, for something a little more casual.

With summer being tough at the best of times – battling allergies and coming to terms with having your arms and legs visible nearly all of the time – it’s good to know that there is a comfortable way of making ourselves look great. Get in on this!


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  1. Thanks for these tips! I love wearing sneakers all day! It’s my fave footwear because it’s super comfy! I’ll make sure to try some of these pointers!

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