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Year after year, sneakers have been slowly—but surely—taking over footwear. What was once a shoe only worn by athletes and sports enthusiasts has turned into a full-blown fashion zeitgeist. And while heels, sandals, mules and boots are all wardrobe must-haves for the upcoming year, there’s just something about the 2021 sneaker trends that makes them stand out from the rest. Perhaps it’s the fact that each trend is cute and comfortable at the same time, or maybe it’s knowing that they add up to endless street style possibilities. Either way, these trends are ridiculously good, so go ahead and clear out your shelves.
Because sneakers have seamlessly made their way into the fashion world, there are so many ways to shop them. We’re seeing collaborations between sneaker brands and designers all over the place—from New Balance’s collabs with STAUD and Bodega to Nike and Dior teaming up. Sneakers aren’t just for working out anymore, people! They’re a major style must-have, approved by all your favorite retailers, brands and designers.
Of course, it’s likely you already have a pair of go-to sneakers in your wardrobe—but you can never go wrong with adding a few more. And once you feast your eyes upon all the 2021 sneaker trends, you’re going to want to shop each and every one. From futuristic vibes to fresh takes on vintage styles, there’s so much to love about these trends.
We’re leaving 2020 in the dust (good riddance!) and moving on to these impeccable sneaker trends. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about all the sneakers you’ll be seeing on Instagram—and hopefully in your closet—in the upcoming year. Grab your comfiest socks and get ready to slip on these stylish sneaks.
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We’re going back to the future with this 2021 sneaker trend, folks. Think Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century meets Yeezy vibes. Neutral shoes—with pops of metallic and other sleek colors—that look like they’re straight out of a sci-fi film abound. We saw a bit of this for fall 2020, and the trend is slated to continue into the new year. (!) Whichever way you choose to rock this trend, you’ll look lightyears ahead of everyone else.
These black and gold Puma Cell Magma Sneakers are ridiculously cool. The neutral colorway gives it ultimate versatility, but they still make a statement thanks to the gold details.
For a lighter futuristic shoe, opt for the Adidas Energy Falcon sneakers. The pastels will take you from winter through the rest of the year—so consider these a staple in your all-season wardrobe.
I couldn’t resist adding another black and gold shoe to the round-up! These Reebok Flashfilm Sneakers look like they could transform into jet-fueled shoes that fly you around—and I’m so into it.
Though high tops have often been considered a basketball-only shoe, styles like the classic Converse high top and picks from designers like Steve Madden have made their way in the mainstream—and they’re so on-trend for 2021. I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about the resurgence of the high top, but brands are whipping out some seriously cute styles already. Just add your favorite jeans and a graphic tee, and you’re set.
Ah, the classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops. It wouldn’t be a high top round-up without them, and they’re definitely the safest option to shop if you’re not sold on the trend yet.
Fans of animal print—and maximalist-lovers in general—are sure to wear these Dolce Vita High Top Sneakers through the entirety of 2021. Go bold or go home, right?
If you want something that’s a bit in-between the classic Converse high top and the over-the-top Dolce Vita sneakers, these Steve Madden Tracey Star High Tops are a great option. They have just a bit of glam to help you stand out in a crowd.
Call The Fuzz
If you’ve ever wanted to wear slippers outside of the house, 2021 is your chance. Sneakers featuring shearling details and fuzzy insoles are going to rule next year. These shoes really are just sartorially-acceptable slippers, and I’m not mad about it. For those who always have cold feet—or just like to stay cozy at all times—this trend is definitely a game-changer.
Honestly, these Keds Shearling Slip-On Sneakers look like slippers turned into sneakers—and I’m really not mad about it. The shearling look is so cute for chilly days, too.
If you just want a little bit of fuzzy action, try these Dolce Vita Zina Plush Sneakers. The croc print will have you looking ridiculously trendy, and the furry detail on the back of the shoe adds the perfect amount of coziness.
Really into both the high top and fuzzy shoe trends? These UGG Olive High Top Sneakers are the best of both worlds. Plus, the neutral hue is sure to go with all your cutest ensembles.
Brand To Watch: New Balance
If you’re always keeping your eyes peeled on Instagram or taking note of any street style round-ups, you’ve likely already noticed that New Balance sneakers are having a moment. The shoe brand has so many incredible styles that aren’t just for your trips to the gym. It’s safe to say that 2021 will bring even more New Balance looks, so you might as well stock up on a few pairs now.
For a simple, can’t-miss New Balance sneaker, opt for the 574 V2 Essential Sneaker in this cute, neutral colorway. It’ll pair well with all of your street style looks, too.
Or, go a bit bolder with the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav Sneaker. These shoes definitely adhere to the futuristic sneaker trend, but are neutral enough to wear every day.
If you’re not into neutrals, opt for the New Balance 527 V1 Sneaker instead! This white and red iteration is so cute for any season—paired with everything from maxi dresses to cut-off shorts.