By Julia Gall published
We asked 21 fashion industry insiders—models, stylists, designers, and makeup artists—to give us the lowdown on the sneaker styles they swear by. Whether it's standing all day on a photoshoot set or running around all over town for appointments and fashion shows, most of their work involves being on their feet—and also happens to be client-facing, which means there's an extra pressure to look the part. Admittedly, this can be a little tricky to do in sneakers, but not for this group! For whatever craziness the day has in store, these pros know how to pivot (perhaps quite literally) and how to do it in style. Scroll down for the ultimate list of sneaker go-to's and trust, your feet and your look will be thriving.
1. Nike Air Max 90
“I’ve been wearing Airmax 90s since college, so it is a longtime comfortable shoe love of mine. Then and now, it’s like walking on a cloud!” – Aya Kanai, editor-in-chief, Marie Claire @ayakanai
2. New Balance W990
“The New Balance 990 really is a classic and the tagline ‘worn by super models in London and dads in Ohio’ pretty much sums up why I chose it: It’s pretty comfortable, looks great on feet, and works with pretty much any outfit, from simple denim and a tee to more feminine matched with a dress for a day or night out (we’ll get there, soon).” – Danielle Krasse, Head of Brand Activations, Sneakersnstuff @sneakersnstuff
3. Allbirds Women's Tree Runners
“I wear Allbirds when I’m working on a shoot or painting. They’re super light and I feel like I have nothing on.” – Lainy Hedaya Hoffstein, creative consultant @lainyhedaya
4. Vans Classic Slip-On™ Checkerboard Sneakers
"My go to... I slide in and slide out with minimum fuss. And they add a bit of a smirk to whatever I'm wearing... they make me happy. And these days, that's what counts." – Roxanne Assoulin, jewelry designer @roxanneassoulin
5. Cariuma Oca Low Sneakers
“These! A classic low-top kick that’s flattering and easy. They come in a whole bunch of colors.” – Lexi Cross, co-founder of @shoesof and now, @workfromhomekicks
6. 20 Reviews Hoka One One Gaviota Leather Sneakers
“Basically I love wearing Hoka's because I have a bunion and they are like clouds for your feet. And I guess they are ugly-cool? I also love the collaboration that Collina Strada [customized Gaviota leather style] does with them, they are so ‘funky’ - to quote my mother." – Kat Typaldos, stylist and consultant @kattypaldos
7. On Running Cloudflyer Sneaker
"This shoe has a great versatile design that reinforces stability and naturally transitions throughout the day." – Shefali Shah, Chief Merchandising Officer, Bandier @bandier
8. Nike Air Force 1 '07 Sneakers
"My go-to trainers are Nike Air Force 1’s. They’re modern and polished when I wear them with tailoring, and they disappear which is the ultimate luxury (unlike other styles that are too embellished for my preference). I have multiples and wear them on all sorts of occasions—meetings, fittings, on my travels (one day again, maybe!?), and on my evening walks along the Hudson! – Marina Moscone, designer @marinamoscone
9. Comme Des Garcons Play x Converse Chuck Taylor® High Top Sneakers
"My go-to [fashion shoot] set sneaker is my beloved pair of Comme Des Garcons Play x Converse high-tops. They are the perfect mix of fashion and function. Whether I am standing for 12 hours straight, dragging six over-weight duffle bags through the airport, or running 10 blocks back to set with a last minute look, these sneakers keep me looking cool and feeling comfy." – Shelby Comroe, Fashion Assistant, Marie Claire @shelbycomroe
10. Golden Goose Superstar Ponyhair Sneakers
"I was walking on average 15,000 steps a day meeting with consignors before we shifted to virtual consignment appointments due to COVID-19. For days like these where I knew I was going to be running around the city, I always wore my Golden Goose Superstar sneakers I purchased on The RealReal. They're the most comfortable to get me from meeting to meeting and don't give me blisters. I initially purchased Golden Goose sneakers because I know they hold strong resale value if I ever wanted to consign them, though I love them so much I can't imagine ever parting with them." – Norma Jeane Rispoli, Assistant Luxury Manager, The RealReal @therealreal
11. Louis Vuitton LV Archlight Sneaker
“These are the only ‘leisure’ sneakers I know. They are as sexy as a sneaker can get plus they give you a little height without a bulky platform.” – Deborah Pagani, jewelry designer @deborahpagani
12. Nike Air Zoom Spiridon Cage 2
“This style works for my day-to-day walks with my dog, Croissant. I like a lightweight sneaker that is also comfortable.” – Sandrine Charles, owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting @sandrinecharles
13. Vans x Realtree Xtra Old Skool Sneakers
“I love my Vans. They have bouncy rubber soles that put an extra pep in your walk. I got a pair in pink Realtree camo that I love.” – Soojoo Park, model and DJ @soojmooj
14. Chloé Panelled Hi-Top Canvas Sneakers
“The new Chloé high-tops are comfy! I wear these ALL day in the store and walked 8 miles in one day during Paris Fashion Week.” – Jess Knez, owner of All Too Human boutique @alltoohumanboston
15. Nike x Sacai LDWaffle sneakers
“These sneakers are in heavy rotation for me right now. They have the 3 C’s I like to look for in sneakers: comfort (I feel like I’m walking on air), chic (the all-white pulls an outfit together and ribbon laces help to elevate even sweats) and cool (Sacai x Nike so… obviously). – Shiona Turini, stylist, costume designer and consultant @shionat
16. Hoka One One x Engineered Garment Bondi B
“I love them because I can run in the but also love them with trousers or a suit. And they’re good for my knees.” - Jaime Kay Waxman, fashion editor and creative consultant @jaimekaywaxman
17. Converse Chuck Taylor® All Star® '70 Sneakers
“I’ve worn Converse my whole life because they are cruelty-free and not leather. I’m not sure how good they are for your feet but I’ve worn them my whole life and because my idol Jane Goodall famously wore them her entire life while working on her Chimpanzee missions! I always go back to my "Connies", or "Chucks" as I think you call them here.” – Campbell Ritchie, makeup artist @campbellritchie
18. Alexandre Birman Clarita Sneakers
"Prior to WFH, I was on the road at least 60 percent of the year and I live in my Alexandre Birman “Clarita” sneakers. They are as comfortable as his heels and keep me feeling chic from the plane to the office to a runway show.' – Gabrielle Katz, Senior Director of Communications at Karla Otto @hi_itsgabby
19. Adidas Superstar Sneakers
"I have to switch my shoes every day. I lift and carry so many things and I’m always on my feet! I wear these sneakers to death!!!” – Bette Adams, set designer @betteradams
20. Balenciaga Triple S Low Top Sneakers
“I like them because they are comfy and give me a little height. And they're so good for shooting all day!” – Kat Irlin, photographer @kat_in_nyc
21. Vince Saxon 2 Slip-On Sneakers
“For a more traditional slip-on sneaker, I love the Vince Saxon Sneaker in Tan. The color pairs perfectly with winter browns and greys but will also look amazing with crisp whites and bright colors for summer. It elevates a look and is more unique than your typical black or white sneaker.” – Marjorie Stribel, stylist at Nordstrom Trunk Club @trunkclub
Julia Gall is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion, as well as styling tips, wardrobe upkeep and sustainability. Check her out at @juliasgall.
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