If British style has one signature, it has to be the trainer. Over the past few decades, trainers have steadily claimed their reputation as an effortlessly cool shoe that more than deserves to be sported outside the gym. Comfortable, durable and surprisingly versatile, trainers have become the de facto shoe for daywear, with influencers, editors and street style stars alike all proving that the right pair can work equally well with jeans and skirts, tailored trousers and flowing dresses.
But with the growing popularity of trainers, and the seemingly endless number of styles available, there has also become a new game of trying to unpack which pairs carry serious fashion points. You don’t have to be a hardcore sneakerhead to know that there are certain status symbol trainers that carry more fashion weight than others.
Don’t be daunted—I’ve done the work for you. This time, we’re looking specifically at Nike trainers, which have long been at the top of our footwear fan chart. With their extensive archive and frequent drops of reimagined classics, this iconic brand seems to be constantly setting and engaging with the key trends. From retro-inspired designs to the still-popular “Dad sneaker,” these are the signature styles that you need to know.
One of the original Nike designs that has maintained its popularity since it debuted in 1987, the Air Max collection continues to be one of the most popular—and extensive—with the air technology in the sole providing unprecedented comfort. It’s also the first shoe to feature the peekaboo window in the sole—which was apparently inspired by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
The understated white Air Force 1’s have maintained their popularity for years, becoming the go-to off-duty trainer for the likes of Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and more. While the all-whites are the classic pair, Nike have also extended the line to include chunkier soles and plenty more colour-ways.
A shoe so important, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Viola Davis recently made a whole film about it. Named for the line’s face, star basketball player Michael Jordan, the collection has greatly expanded from the original red-and-white high-tops. We personally low the low-top styles, which provide just the right amount of chunkiness (and NBA champion-worthy comfort).
The “Dad sneaker” running shoe style isn’t going out of fashion any time soon, and the V2k is one of the best for pulling off the look. With the mix of textures, colours and chunky running role, these are perfect for pairing with jeans and a heavy jumper.
Another running shoe that works equally well on and off the track, the Vomero is a high-performance shoe that still manages to look seriously cool. With a distinctive early Noughties feel, these athletic trainers still manage to feel really contemporary.
This revolutionary track shoe were designed in 1972 by Olympic athletics coach and Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman—and they look and feel just as good today. Built for comfort and speed, these lightweight shoes are a sleek, easy everyday shoe that makes running around town that bit easier.