Gucci basket sneaker made with eco-friendly materials. $1370. Courtesy: Gucci

There’s a running theme in the latest crop of must-have sneakers, mainstream brands like Nike to luxury houses Gucci and Celine. Old-school sporting references that have been elevated by contemporary materials. Beginning with the basics of function, the form is given a modern update.

Take the iconic basketball sneaker.

At Gucci, sustainable or renewable materials are used to give the famous boot-style the kick it needs to take on modern day demands off-court. Made from sustainable Demeter – a leather alternative that comes from renewable, bio-based sources. The bright and bold colourway is a glaring contrast to Celine’s minimalist version of the same silhouette. Made with calfskin leather, this all-rounder sneaker benefits from Celine’s signature luxury touch and ’80s panache.

Celine sneakers
Celine “Z” Trainer High Top in Optic White. $1250. Courtesy: Celine

Off the basketball court and onto the track, the intersection between runners and sneakers – the former a sport-specific style and the latter a leisure shoe that brands are very distinct about when discussing their difference – seems to be happening more and more.

New Balance ML2002RE. $220. Courtesy: Above The Clouds

New Balance has recently undergone a revival of their style codes, bringing their original track and field aesthetic that made them famous before becoming synonymous as the dad shoe of choice. The 2002R is 2021 tweaking of their 2010 running shoe – still with the chunk of today but the streamlined lightness of yesteryear.

Nike Flow 2020 ISPA. $250. Courtesy: Sneakerboy

But for pure technical glory, Salomon and Nike continue to run neck and neck as they integrate the aesthetic with genuine improvement for foot support and comfort. It could be because both brands come at their designs from a running, or training first, needs first and shape the shoe around that, meeting the current market trend for sport motif.

And Wander X Salmon 4th collab. $505. Courtesy: Sevenstore

Curated by Kim Payne.