The Future Of Sneakers

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The Future Of Sneakers

Words by Mr Adam Welch

12 July 2016

Forget bright white and minimal styles – put your best foot forward in the slickest new-season kicks, which embrace innovative design.

Although some of us identify most readily with classics such as Stan Smiths or Common Projects, there is another side to sneaker design that we should all should try to appreciate. It’s not all about clean, straight lines, low tops, and white leather, you know. If you’re a sneaker head, you’ll already be well aware of what contemporary sneakers can bring to a shoe collection. In fact, you’ll have no doubt purchased every pair in our edit, below, twice (one to wear and one to keep box-fresh). If not, and you’re a little more conservative when it comes to casual footwear, we are here to make the case for living in the moment a little with some new pieces at MR PORTER. Or should that be living in the future?

The only thing that dampened the excitement of watching Marty McFly don his self-tying Nikes in Back To The Future Part II was that, well, it was a film, made in 1989 and they didn’t exist. But the year was 2015 and, true to life imitating art, Mr Tinker Hatfield is currently developing Nike Mags for commercial release (rumoured to be this year). In the meantime, we’ve got our eye on this futuristic pair from Marni. They may not be self-tying, but that Velcro makes securing your footwear a completely effortless task. Yes, they are as comfortable as they look. But no, a hoverboard is not included with your purchase. But may we suggest this T-shirt from Folk instead.

Creative British brand Christopher Kane is another designer flying the flag for daring sneaker designs. And, much like the Marni design above, this pair is made with the tough, synthetic rubber neoprene. Sounds incredibly modern, right? Well, it was actually invented in 1930 by DuPont scientists. Which means it has had plenty of time to be adapted into the pleasing spongy form that makes these sneakers look and feel really rather slick. With that silver panel, you may want to pare back the rest of your look, so we suggest some super-casual sweatpants, like these from Club Monaco.

Balenciaga know a thing or two about bold, streetwear-influenced designs when it comes to sneakers – evidenced by the fact that their creations are loved by rappers such as A$AP Rocky – a man whose style can’t exactly be described as traditional. Clearly influenced by a basketball shoe, these “murdered-out” (which is “all-black” to you and me) high tops are made with a rubberised leather, finished off with a shiny latex toe and sole for that extra bit of finesse. The disjointed lacing adds to their contemporary cool. We’d add some cuffed simple denim jeans to complete the look. Try this pair by PS By Paul Smith for size.