When you have Karl Lagerfeld declaring that sneakers are the “jeans for the feet” after sending laboriously embellished sneaks down the Chanel Spring 2014 runway, and then again for his Fall 2014 “shopping market” show, you know that sneakers have finally gone couture. It’s not just Lagerfeld at Chanel lacing up the most down-to-earth shoe there is; stiletto gurus like Jimmy Choo, Valentino, and Christian Louboutin have all showered the humble sneaker with their designer glitz (see these Diors for the most bedazzling wtf example out there currently). High-end designers aside, the sneaker overall is having a fashion moment with celebs (other than Kristen Stewart) pairing sneaks with designer duds at traditionally heel-appropriate events—how cute is Alexa Chung’s tomboy chic suit paired with New Balances at fashion week a few months back?
To examine this trend fully, we’ve gathered a few examples of ultra-lux Haute sneakers to look at for fun, along with some picks that are more realistic options for the rest of us. If you ignore the silliness of high-end fashion poaching low-end without sacrificing their upper three and four-figure prices, statement sneakers are a much-needed break from the neck-breaking heels that have been the badge of a fashionable lady in recent history. Finally, some shoes that are made for walkin’!
Haute Sneaker Bank-Breakers
- Valentino Rockstud Camo-Lace Sneaker, $745: Take away the macrame and these pretty much look like New Balances.
- Christian Louboutin Louis Spikes High-tops, $1,095: If you’re wondering whether or not the soles of these Louboutins are red, the answer is yes. Also, does anyone else think of candy button paper tape when looking at these?
- Saint Laurent Signature Court Classics In Gold Glitter, $795: Disco Air Jordans.
- Jimmy Choo Tokyo Studded High-Tops, $1,095: It’s still hard to believe that a brand like Jimmy Choo (which is practically synonymous with “high heel”) is making sneakers.
- Versace Studded Leather High-Tops, $1,525: So this is what $1,500 worth of studding looks like to the Italians.
- Giuseppe Zanotti London Leather And Printed Silk High-Tops, $1,150: Whoa at the mixed prints, whoa at the price tag—just, whoa. Though, we’re sure they’ve been wearing sneaks just like these in Japan for years.
Statement Sneakers You Might Actually Buy
- Ted Baker Callistri Opulent Bloom Hi-Top Sneakers $95.99: Ted Baker is typically demur, so it makes perfect sense that when putting out a high-top sneaker, it’s going to be one that’s dolled up with pastels and floral. Pretty cute!
- Rebecca Minkoff Setta Stud High Tops, $250: The dirty-on-purpose look is a little bizarre for $250 shoes, but overall Rebecca Minkoff has created a relatively affordable grunge-meets-punk version of the studded Jimmy Choos a few backs on our list.
- Rita Ora Adidas Originals, $100: Rita Ora’s collaboration with Adidas continues, and rainbow soles add just enough pop to make these otherwise run-of-the-mill black high tops interesting.
- Ash High Top Spirit Sneakers, $97.50: Whhhaatttt?? Who needs Versace and Saint Laurent when you have these razzle-dazzlers for less than a hundred? They are kinda over the top, but also kinda awesome. If you’re going to toe-test the statement sneaker waters this fall, just go for it and jump all the way in with these babies.
- Adidas ZX Flux, $90: Technically, these are men’s shoes, but the print is just too cool not to at least consider in whatever men’s size translates into your size (generally two sizes below your regular, if memory serves).