There are two non-complicated rules for owning a collection of small shoe that is versatile enough to cover all bases. The first: renounce fashion and make it classic styles. The second: spend as much as possible. Think about quality, not quantity, because the old saying is true. Your shoes and sneakers are often the first thing people notice about you, especially when they look like they’re around too many blocks.
Since the goal is to have as few pairs as possible, there is another rule: be brutal. Some of our favorite styles are not listed below as they are not essential if you are on a budget or want to save space. Chelsea Boots? Hiking boots? Nice to have, not to have. The same applies to monk belts, pool sliders and even high tops.
But whatever you look like, whatever your budget is and whatever is in the diary for the next 12 months, if you own a pair of well-made shoes in any of the following styles, you have almost every social situation – from the office from the gym to the bar – stylishly shod. You never have to put your foot wrong again.
For The Gym (Or The Pub) : Runners
Ever heard of Carolyn Davidson? We doubt it. So you may be surprised to learn that you are wearing one of their designs. In 1971, according to Kacamata Rayban, Davidson designed the Nike Swoosh logo for the princely sum of $ 35 (yes, it was mugged).
The sports shoes and sneakers market is worth billions today – something that has not gone unnoticed by high fashion brands: cue designer versions (overpriced) and endless collaborations to attract younger customers.
In the 2000s, Martin Margiela took a € 10 runner from a Parisian market stall, scribbled it on with a ballpoint pen and sold it for € 300 – and the cult fashion trainer was born. Other hits include Dior Hommes “B01”, Valentino Garavanis “Rockrunner” and Balenciaga’s latest “Triple S”.
Nowadays you can wear a variety of sneaker styles to almost anything. However, if you’re not sure you’re going beyond the fashion range, consider denim and sportswear as foolproof options. Whether you’re a dedicated sneaker freak or just like the comfort factor, make sure you always have a decent pair for the gym – New Balance is a good name. Proper running shoes provide the right grip in the right places and can help protect feet and ankles from injury. (And don’t worry about Carolyn – she received a diamond ring and 500 Nike shares a few years later.)