Why retro sneakers have never looked fresher

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When it comes to fashion, everything old is new again—as you can tell by the constant parade of Calvin Klein tees and tracksuits on any given city’s streets.

The latest reason to click the “buy” button? Old-school kicks. Legendary styles from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s are experiencing a massive revival, and they’re finding favor among clued-in Instagrammers and New York Fashion Week’s elite right now. (Call it the post-Stan Smiths effect.)

Take the reimagined Reebok Freestyle Hi, a 35-year-old Jazzercise staple that’s having a major moment thanks to an exclusive partnership with retailer (and arbiter of all things sweaty-chic) Bandier. “The Freestyle Hi is so popular because it’s not only an iconic shoe, but it’s actually supportive, stylish, and durable,” explains Jennifer Bandier, the retailer’s founder. Another buzzy partnership uniting old and new? Fila and Urban Outfitters—where you can find the reissued version of the tennis brand’s original, Björn Borg-approved sneakers.

Insiders like fashion editor Eva Chen and the Urban Bush Babes bloggers are frequently spotted in the circa-’72 kicks.

Throwback trainers are also proving popular because their simple silhouettes can be rendered in just about any on-trend color or material—meaning that there’s a pair for every style tribe. For instance, the Vans Old Skool is now available in everything from palm print to glitter, while the Nike Cortez—which first dropped 45 years ago as the brand’s inaugural track shoe—has recently been updated in satin and velvet.

“The sleek design of the [Cortez] makes it easy for us to play with both essential and progressive colors that are very wearable,” explains Andrea Corradini, Nike’s senior product director for women. Wearable it is—insiders like fashion editor Eva Chen and the Urban Bush Babes bloggers are frequently spotted in the circa-’72 kicks.

And with dozens of OGs to choose from, it’s clear that shoe racks are only going to keep getting more crowded through spring. “It’s such an exciting time because girls are wearing sneakers—and they’re very proud to be wearing sneakers,” says Jenna Sarti, Reebok Classic’s senior product manager. Even better if those kicks have fashion history on their side.

Scroll down to see 6 must-have old-school sneakers for spring 2017.

Photo: Nike
Photo: Nike

Nike Classic Cortez Leather Sneaker, $70


Photo: Adidas
Photo: Adidas

Adidas Gazelle Sneaker, $90

Photo: Urban Outfitters
Photo: Urban Outfitters

Fila Original Tennis Sneaker, $70

Photo: Tretorn
Photo: Tretorn

Tretorn Nylite Plus Chambray Sneakers, $70

Photo: Vans
Photo: Vans

Vans Old Skool Lite, $65

Photo: Reebok
Photo: Reebok

Reebok Freestyle Hi Lux OG Sneaker, $90

Update your shoe rack with a few more of-the-moment styles: pom-pom kicksballerina trainers, and the one pair of sneakers fitness trainers actually wear

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