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Sneakers are a staple in everyone’s wardrobe, but there are so many options, it’s hard to pick a go-to favorite. Although nothing beats a clean pair of white Air Forces (if you can snag them), sometimes you have to switch things up depending on the occasion. We rounded up eight pairs of the best women’s sneakers for every style, taste, and budget. So whether you want to rock the latest trendy sneaker, go running, or wear something comfy while walking around the city, we’ve got you covered. We sourced our favorite sneakers from some of our favorite brands, including Nike, Vans, and more.
The Best Sneakers Are Versatile & Comfortable
A good pair of sneakers can last a long time, although if you use them to work out heavily you might want to replace them every year. If you’re wearing them casually — and buy the right cleaning supplies for your sneakers — they can last a while, so you’re always ready for brunch, your work commute, or an errand. Now’s the time to step your sneaker game up and elevate your style — the options are limitless, but we curated our favorites below:
Best Retro-Style Sneaker
If you’re obsessed with retro basketball shoes, you can’t go wrong with this sneaker. While some of you sneakerheads may be eager to bid on a pair of sneakers from the ’70s on eBay, you can sport the same look for a much cheaper price. The brand notes these shoes have both ’70s, 80s, and ’90s vibes — and we definitely agree. The mid-top shoes’ leather upper breaks in nicely and between the retro branding and suede accents, they look exactly like the shoe you may remember seeing your favorite players in as a kid.
Best Versatile Choice
For an everyday sneaker, consider white, gray, black, nude, and other neutral colors. The ULTRABOOST DNA 5.0s come in over 15 colorways, so pick a pair that will match your favorite jeans, leggings, and biker shorts. We picked these shoes for everyday wear for various reasons, but most have to do with comfort: they have a comfortable, snug upper and a molded heel counter. They have superior traction as well, so feel confident as you walk on pavement, stairs, and more — but they’re made for running, so these are a versatile pair you’ll get a lot of use out of. Not only do they have a snug, sock-like fit, but these comfy shoes are eco-friendly. They’re made with Parley Ocean Plastic. (Sustainability is important, y’all!)
Best Running Sneaker Under $100
Running shoes can be tricky depending on your needs. For instance, If you’re a trail runner, consider the Pegasus Trail 3 shoe instead. However, the Nike Winflo 8s are perfect sneakers for everyday road running, so think of this as a great shoe for running over puddles and potholes — or just for a couple of miles at your gym. Customers leave rave reviews about the foam cushioning: one writes that they’re like “walking on pillows.”
Best Casual Streetwear Option
I own many pairs of skateboarding shoes and have never skated a day in my life (okay, maybe that one time in Academy when I was bored in the bike/skate section). Luckily — you don’t need to be a skater to wear skate shoes, as they’re a popular, comfortable, trendy option for everyday use. Skateboarding shoes are kind of eclectic when it comes to style. My Janoski Air Max shoes gave more of the typical sporty vibe, while the SB Chron 2 Canvas shoe gives a classic SB shoe look (similar to Vans).The revamped design includes a reshaped collar and heel for a comfier fit — these are a clean, trendy shoe that have a little bit of edge.
Best Sneaker Under $50
Sneakers are getting so expensive these days, so we definitely understand the need to keep them budget-friendly. The last pair of shoes I bought for under $50 came from New Balance, and I’m impressed. My New Balances have been comfy for walking and running on the treadmill — plus, I’ve even put them in the washer at least 10 times by now and haven’t noticed any significant wear and tear. As for durability, New Balance is top-notch. These 100% synthetic shoes have a rubber sole, revlite midsole, breathable mesh upper, and a rubber outsole. We like this style for leisurewear and walking.
Best Sneaker with a Chunky Heel
I used to hate chunky sneakers, but they’re growing on me. Our pick for the best women’s chunky-soled sneaker comes from Vans. If you’re a fan of Converse or Nike SB shoes, chances are you have plenty of Vans in your closet as well. The platform sneaker looks similar to the classic sneaker we all know and love, but this pair has an added 1.5-inch platform height. They have a textile insole and synthetic sole for arch support — and these will look great with jeans and a leather jacket, or with a spring dress for an unexpected look. Choose between six different colors.
Best Walking Sneaker
Walking shoes are a must if you live in a city or get a lot of steps in throughout the day. Just as you put wear on your tires — you’ll put wear on your shoes, so be sure you have a walking shoe built for the many steps you’ll take. These options from New Balance have a classic, almost vintage feel and are ready to take on the treadmill, a long hike, or a walking tour. They have a rubber outsole and suede mesh upper for terrific traction. Grab these made-in-the USA shoes for under $100.
Best Classic Choice
White sneakers are a must for minimalists. If you’re ready to keep them in pristine condition with some cleaning supplies, consider White Air Forces. The crisp leather sneaker is iconic and will never go out of style. Seriously — you’ll be able to match these shoes with just about anything in your closet. You’ll fall in love with these shoes and will religiously replace them once they get too much wear and tear: they’re just that good, and they’ll never go out of style.