10 lust-worthy designer sneakers

Luxe labels from Balenciaga to Mulberry elevate the workhorse tennis shoe for a look that's seriously sidewalk (and catwalk) worthy.
Isabel Marant sneakers
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This fall, fashionistas are getting their kicks by lacing up luxury sneakers from top designers.

Since Isabel Marant single-handedly launched the trend (with her hidden-wedge sneakers, pictured above), other luxe labels from Balenciaga to Mulberry have followed in her footsteps with their own upscale take on the workhorse tennis shoe.

The look’s not about fitness performance, just fitness style. “Women can wear these in place of their Louboutins,” says LA-based stylist Carrie Cramer, who admits that Nike probably makes a better actual athletic shoe. And a less expensive one. Most of these range from $295 to $850.

What accounts for the trend? According to Eleanor Ylvisaker, co-founder of custom designer-shopping site, Feyt, there’s a significant sportiness happening in fashion right now. “We’ve seen it on the runways of Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang: Subtle details like hoods, mesh, and perforated leathers,” Ylvisaker says.

So either fashion houses are taking a footwear cue from the fitness world, or, better yet, they’re joining the team. Peruse our top ten picks of the designer-sneaker trend now…

Photo: Isabel Marant via Instagram


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Lanvin Lanvin Shearling-Lined Suede High-Top Sneakers

Look cool and stay warm through fall and winter seasons in these shearling-lined sneakers by Lanvin. Here, the Parisian label fuses feminine grosgrain laces with a youthful high-top sneaker for a luxe suede look that’s sure to turn more than a few heads. Wear them on the weekend with skinny jeans and a cozy sweater.

$750, www.netaporter.com




Pierre Hardy sneaker Pierre Hardy Combo Low Top Sneaker

Pierre Hardy is a Parisian luxury footwear and accessories label that has graced the heels and hands of serious fashionistas since the line’s debut in 1999. Though this minimalistic running shoe is a departure from the typical sky-high stiletto the label normally produces, the sumptuous leather and canvas sneaker still oozes Hardy craftsmanship.

$470, www.barneys.com





Ash wedge sneaker Ash Quilted Leather Wedge Sneaker

These covered-wedge leather sneakers with a 3-inch lift are a more affordable counterpart to that Isabel Marant pair we know you’ve been lusting after. Wear them with skinny jeans and a blazer to add an athletic edge to your work ensemble.

$295, www.bergdorfgoodman.com








Mulberry floral sneaker Mulberry Blurry Bloom Canvas High-Top Sneakers

Mulberry has been the go-to label for quirky yet refined English style for decades. They recently hitched their Mini Cooper to the luxury sneaker trend. Witness this explosive floral print, the Blurry Bloom shoe, part of the debut sneaker collection. The canvas and suede achieves the classic yet cool factor Mulberry is celebrated for.

$380, www.netaporter.com



Giuseppe Zanotti Patent sneaker Giuseppe Zanotti Patent High Top Zip Sneaker

These patent leather high tops in ballet-slipper pink are a playful, feminine take on the tough street-style sneaker traditionally seen on hip downtown types. You slip them on and off with the zipper; the non-functioning laces are just there for looks.

$595, www.barneys.com











Maison Martin Margiela limited-edition graffiti sneaker Maison Martin Margiela Limited Edition Cement Sneakers

Avant-garde yet wearable is the design motif of Maison Martin Margiela. And these limited-edition sneakers are no exception. This unconventional shoe is made from lambskin that’s been coated to make it look concrete, and then hand-painted with “graffiti.” It’s a pair that most footwear collector’s would die for. Hence the collector’s price.

$860, www.shopbop.com



Balenciaga Resille Low Trainer

High-top Balenciaga sneakers are regularly seen on such stylish celebrities as Kanye West. This streamlined shoe provides a more subdued option for the rest of us non-celebs looking to sport the luxury sneaker trend. Dubbed the “Resille” trainer (French for “net”), the sneaker fuses mesh and stingray materials—a fresh catch for the city sidewalks.

$595, www.barneys.com





Jimmy Choo sneakers Jimmy Choo Tokyo Glitter-Finished Suede Sneakers

With these sparkling sneakers that rival the flashing lights of Tokyo, Jimmy Choo combines two high-fashion trends—glitter-dusted footwear and luxury sneakers.  Pair them with a chic neon dress and black leather jacket for a look that really pops. They’re glamorous enough to carry you from day to night.

$495, www.netaporter.com



Sonia Rykiel Glitter High Top Sneakers Sonia Rykiel Glitter High Top Sneakers

These platform sneakers dusted in (a restrained amount of) glitter have that je ne sais quoi—a look that channels the enviable style of a fashionable Lower East Side (or Left Bank) girl. Thanks to Sonia Rykiel, anyone can evoke her vibe in this classy gold-studded pair.

$455, www.shopbop.com








Lanvin Low Top Sneaker with Patent Cap Toe

This suede sneaker with contrast patent-leather toe and grosgrain laces are exactly what we’ve come to expect from the the Parisian couture house. Attention to detail, cutting-edge design, and subtle femininity are just three examples of what makes this show, and Lanvin, lust-worthy.

$595, www.barneys.com






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