From the late Queen Elizabeth II's colorful frocks and hats to Princess Diana's little black "revenge" dress, the Royals have been a source of fashion inspiration for decades. In particular, Princess Diana had some of the most daring looks, which helped her ascend the ranks as a fashion icon and global phenomenon. Of all of Princess Diana's outfits, her athleisurewear looks were most notable, catching not only the attention of the paparazzi, but the admiration of the public. And now, they eternally live on in memes, fashion accounts, and in our hearts (obviously).
And all for good reason—she was a pro at marrying stylish yet comfy clothes with functional footwear, and it wasn't uncommon to spot her rocking an oversized sweatshirt, a pair of neon biker shorts (aka, the Princess Diana Uniform™), and her favorite pair of kicks, which usually consisted of dad sneakers or high-tops. As a cherry on top, sneakers are a year-round style staple, even as the weather grows cooler and more crisp. Goodbye sandals, hello Princess Diana-approved kicks!
To help you recreate some of her royal looks, we rounded up six of the Princess of Wales' favorite sneakers that'll have you time traveling back to the mid-'90s.
It wasn’t uncommon to spot Princess Diana in dad shoes, and this modern-day pair will have you recreating some of her most noteworthy ’90s looks. Why we love it? New Balance’s 990v5 blends performance and style with its firm and cushioned midsole, offering support all day long. The shoe features a dense foam collar to cradle the ankle, and has a mesh upper for breathability (no more sweaty feet). Pair with neon bikers shorts and an oversized sweatshirt to recreate Diana’s most iconic look.
High-top sneakers were another favorite of the Princess of Wales, and these Freestyle Hi shoes have all of the things. These retro sneakers feature a bubbly high-top reminiscent of Princess Diana’s sporty shoes and a cushioned sole for ultimate comfort. The leather upper encases the entire shoe, giving a clean look while also pairing well with athletic clothes or a sporty dress. It comes in black, white, and five other fun colors: fuchsia pink, lime green, purple, red, and neon orange.
Spotted on Princess Diana during her visit to Angola for a 1997 Red Cross mission trip, the 2750 Cotu sneakers are a classic. Made of a canvas upper and thick sole, the 2750s are as comfortable as they are breathable, and look incredibly stylish with casual sportswear (Princess Diana’s go-to fit). Plus, they come in other classic colors, such as white, black, navy, and gray.
Another comfortable and fashionable sneaker, Reebok’s Classic Vegan sneakers are versatile and minimalistic in style. They’re made of a lightweight midsole and rubber outsole for comfort and traction, and go with everything, from straight-leg jeans to biker shorts and a hoodie.
Thick, chunky sole. Mesh upper. Absurdly comfortable. The 530 sneakers are the ultimate dad sneakers that are not only Princess Di-approved, but are a total workhorse when it comes to runs. The breathable mesh keeps moisture and sweat at bay while the metallic silver and white overlays keep your feet looking fresh and elevated.
Another high-top option, the Forums mimic the kicks from one of Diana’s most iconic looks: navy Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt, neon orange biker shorts, and crew socks. Just like the shoes in her ‘fit, the Forums have black accents and a mid-rise height. The removable criss-cross strap keeps your ankles locked in and the coated leather outer keeps your outfits looking lux. It’s a shoe of pure class, just like the Princess herself.
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