- Words by Mr Peter Henderson, Senior Fashion Writer, MR PORTER
The style legacy of the 1970s and 1980s is a mixed bag, containing both soaring highs (think Mr Ryan O'Neal in Love Story) and crashing lows (look no further than Mr John Travolta in Staying Alive, the cringeworthy sequel to Saturday Night Fever). Something which we continue to covet, though, from the decades that brought us flares, platform shoes and shoulder pads, is the retro running shoe. With the sportswear explosion that began in the 1970s and continued throughout the 1980s, an abundance of uniquely stylish track shoes, with streamlined styling and thick cushioned soles, were developed. These were largely swept aside by higher-tech (and uglier-looking) styles in the 1990s and noughties, but now brands from both the high-fashion arena (Valentino and Balenciaga) and from the sportswear world (New Balance and Nike) are reviving the running styles of the past - and we couldn't be happier. The only caveat is that these 21st-century renditions are much too nice to wear for training in, working as they do with everything from jeans and a bomber jacket to tailored trousers and a blazer. Valentino's version, which is available in different colours and patterns, has particularly piqued our interest, and was seen on almost every fashion editor at the recent menswear shows.