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Our stylists' favourite trainers

Our stylists' favourite trainers

Trainers can mean many things to different people. To some, they’re a way of getting from A to B more comfortably and to others, they're a cult style statement worth waiting hours in zigzagging lines for. No matter where you land on this spectrum, there's no denying that trainers are personal, and they certainly are to our stylists. 

While the past decade saw a rise in the minimalist all-white classics like Stan Smiths, and the more statement-making chunky trainer trend lead by Balenciaga, this year has already set the tone for the 2020s, with ‘ugly’ sneakers and running shoes making headway, as well a return to some skate-inspired classics. We asked our style experts to rummage through their wardrobes and pick the top styles they think you should know about.

Photographed: Salomon XT-6 ADVANCED (£155)

1. Alexander’s trainer of choice: Salomon

Salomon XT-6 Advanced

Why it's a favourite

“These trainers are the perfect option for both running on rough terrain and wearing day-to-day. The style embraces the rising popularity of the ‘ugly’ trainers trend, which isn’t for everyone, but the chunkiness is where the appeal really lies, and the performance-focused hiking style means they’re lightweight and super comfortable.”

“I love colour and I’m not afraid of incorporating it in my looks, but it needs to be in the right place. The colour contrasts in these outline the silhouette of the shoe, making them stand out for all the right reasons.”

How to style it

“Running shoes work best with something that echoes their likeness, so something casual like a loose-fitting jean or cargo pants, or nylon joggers if you want to go all-out on the athletic look. On top stick to something sporty like a sweatshirt or a bold overshirt.”

2. Toby’s trainer of choice: Vans

Vans UA Classic Slip-On 98

Why it's a favourite 

“These trainers are an iconic skate style that are super comfortable and don’t go out of fashion. They were designed for skateboarding, so have a really comfy insole that protects the foot and doesn’t wear out easily. If you’re still not convinced of their versatility, just know that Frank Ocean wore them to the White House!”

How to style it 

“At a glance, the checkerboard might make it seem hard to style, but due to their cultural nod and iconic status, you only have to search this shoe on Google to see the wide range of fashion icons who have worn them throughout the years. For off-duty dressing, pair them with skate-inspired brands like Carhartt and Dickies, but when you want to go smarter, they still look great with chinos and a shirt.”

Photographed: Veja V-12 Leather (£115)

3. Luke’s trainer of choice: Veja

Veja V12

Why it's a favourite

“Veja V12s are the ultimate minimal trainer. They balance versatility with elements of interest where so many other plain trainers miss the mark. The accents of colour make them distinctive for a subtle white shoe, and the good-quality leather means they’re long-lasting, which is ideal in a pair of timeless classics like these.”

How to style it

“There isn’t much you can’t style Vejas with – they’re the most versatile white trainer going. 

They’ll work with anything from a dressed down suit look to shorts and a t-shirt. If you’re one to pay attention to the finer details, look for colourways that will compliment the colour accents in your existing wardrobe.”

4. Freddie’s trainer of choice: Converse

Converse 70 Canvas High-Tops

Why it's a favourite

“This shoe is up there with Toby’s pick as one of the most iconic trainers ever. A cultural legend that’s also rooted in skateboarding history, Chuck Taylors were originally designed as basketball shoes before being adopted by more fringe sports cultures.

“In recent years the design has been updated to make them more comfortable with a more cushioned sole. While the classic black canvas colourway might be more versatile, I love the freshness of this pastel green – it’s perfect for summer.”

How to style it 

“High-top Converse look great with straight leg trousers that fall over the top of the shoe. For a more summery look, try navy or cream linen trousers and a white t-shirt for a simple pairing that makes a big impact.”


Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Alexander McCalla, Freddie Kemp, Luke McDonald, Toby Standing