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Killer kicks

Kick off spring in style with a pair of super-cool new season trainers. Here are our faves, plus how to wear them when you're not at the gym.

Having recently had foot surgery and been advised to retire the heels (boo!), I’ve been forced into trainers for the foreseeable. Well, I say forced but there’s so many stylish sneakers around, it’s no hardship really. Five years ago I would never have dared wear trainers to work, now every office I work in is full of Stan Smiths.

If you’ve always thought of trainers as strictly gym-only, it’s definitely worth having trying on a few pairs and having a play. They’re ideal for giving a formal look a bit of edge  – when it’s bare legs weather, I’m a big fan of the midi-dress/white trainers combo, and I think they look chic with a trouser suit too. And of course there’s nothing better to wear for running for the train. Or away from my children (JOKE! Although…)

My new favourite brand, and the one currently shodding the trotters of all my fashion editor pals, is San Fran start-up Allbirds. The pleasingly minimal, unisex designs in a muted colour palette are made from sustainable materials, including wool and eucalyptus tree pulp. They’re also ridiculously comfortable and machine washable. Basically they’ve got oodles of both style and substance.

And talking of sustainability, check out Veja. Every twentysomething actress I’ve interviewed in the last couple of years has been wearing these, thanks to their vegan and Fairtrade creds. If you’re a fan of New Balance, I think you’ll like their aesthetic. This week & Other Stories has started stocking the brand so they’re finally on the high street.

My hair colourist wears only trainers because she’s on her feet all day and she’s always clad in fabulous Louboutin ones (yes, he does make trainers).



Her theory is that it’s better to splurge on show-stopping designer kicks rather than designer heels as the former’s cost-per-wear is so much more palatable. (I can see my husband’s eye-roll from here on reading that sentence – but who cares what he thinks.)

The big labels are focused on what Vogue calls the turbo trainer right now, ie big ol’ chunky ’90s styles such as these Gucci clod-hoppers.


For £760 I would want it made very clear what label I’d bought from too though I’m not entirely convinced of their aesthetic appeal. To nail the designer trend in a more palatable way, you might prefer these less spendy, less scary Isabel Marant ones.

As a nod to the chunkier look, I’ve actually been digging out my ancient ’90s Nikes – you could ease in with these Nike Air Max (£110) which you too might have worn back in the day.

Then there’s the high street which is actually surprisingly good at trainers these days. If you’d told the Vans-clad teenage raver me that I’d one day be coveting M&S kicks I would’ve laughed in your face. Nowt wrong with this simple striped pair though and they’re an absolute steal at £25.

Elsewhere there’s more to LK Bennett than ladylike courts as you can see …

and these retro Boden ones, below, comes in three colourways.

Race you to the shops!

Words @Kerry_Potter

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2 comments on “Killer kicks”

  • HF April 4, 2019

    Great article and thank goodness no stilettos in sight – so sad what women do to their feet and backs and so on – heels shouldn’t be worn, men don’t walk around wearing ridiculous footwear which come on let’s face it are not that comfortable no matter how much you wear heels. I was shocked when I lived in Japan to see most 20 year olds with deformed feet thanks to heels. More trainers and flats I say and goodbye to your stilettos.

    • Katrina April 9, 2019

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts – so pleased you like the feature! There are some fab trainers and flats out there these days, but while stilettos can’t be for every day, we’ll still be dusting ours for the odd special occasion!


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