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While our sneaker heels are getting chunkier and their neon accents are getting bolder, it’s safe to say that the sneaker-sphere in 2019 is extremely audacious, evolving, and a breeding ground for all things stylish, tech and cool. Sneaker trends come and go, but only a handful of pairs can really make a mark in this fast-paced industry. As the lines between athleisure, sportwear and fashion dwindle further, we’ve listed the most definitive sneaker trends of 2019.

Science and tech for intimate workouts

Under Armour HOVR™ Phantom Connected

It’s unmissable that the trend of fusing tech and style has been a wave for the past few years now. Starting off with smartwatches and fit-bands, this workout analysis and digital tracking tech have found a fitting spot in the sneaker industry. The futuristic endeavour started off with PUMA’s RS computerized shoe from the 80s, which was later revived by the glorious Nike Air Max. A cornerstone in sneaker history, it gave the world a glimpse of the sneakers of tomorrow.

Spearheading this in today’s sneaker cult is the Nike HyperAdapt and the revived Puma RS Computer Show that acts as a digital coach and fitness tracker. On the end of the spectrum where fit and performance matters most, the Under Armour HOVR™ Phantom Connected and Nike’s Adapt Huarache are the most prominent models.

White sneakers for everyday hustle
Nike Air Force 1s

White-washed kicks have been on a constant rise since the Stan Smiths hit the court back in the 60s. Over time, this trend dipped a little but bounced back in 2016 as athleisures and casual silhouettes. In 2019, white sneakers prevail but only as classic silhouettes. Take the adidas Superstars, Converse All Stars or the Nike Air Force 1s. There hasn’t been any new entrants in the league, turning these classics into everyday essentials. Premium lifestyle brands like Zara and Tommy Hilfiger have also hiked the bandwagon. Its clean look and side detailing are the most recognizable and common silhouettes here.

Designer texture and print-play for party-starters
New Balance 997

Designer sneakers have ruled 2019 for making not just strong fashion statements but also for highly desirable collector’s pieces. But what really goes into a designer sneaker? It’s essentially all about maintaining the original silhouette yet swapping the fabrics. Velvet, suede, and leather detailing have been a major theme this year. The play of mismatched patchwork and use of bold neon hues have been a recurring silhouette.

On one end of the spectrum, we have just a colour swap with the Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordans, whereas things can go as extreme as the Virgin Abloh Off-White x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5, where the chunky heel was exchanged for a spikes, just like a running shoe.

Athleisure for court instead of track
Reebok Aztrek Double

Athleisure footwear was designed to meet fitness with fashion and functionality with elegance. What started off to match the aesthetic of joggers has now evolved into two completely different sports. Tennis and basketball footwear silhouettes have taken over the athleisure section of 2019’s sneakerhood and it’s no surprise why. These sports require a chunkier sole rather one where only the heel and toe offers grip. The continuous and unbroken sole bridged itself towards casual wear and became a breeding ground for athleisure accents. The classic Jordans have prevailed, but brands like Puma and Asics dug deep on this opportunity and extended a basketball line.

4D printed sneakers for the win
adidas Futurecraft 4D

3D printing will soon be a part of our everyday lives. They’ve already started printing metal beams for construction, car components, and tons of industrial machines. In the sneaker-sphere, so far we’ve only seen development in the performance section. While Nike seems to have mastered the art of tech-infusion, adidas overtook crafting techniques. Adidas’ most futuristic pair yet, is the ZX 4000 4D, that is 4D printed, as the title suggests.

As it made a wave in August, the pair was also one of the world’s first premium 4D printed pairs. Even though this trend does not have too many sneaker brands chasing them, it’s still one of 2019’s most obsessive sneaker trends.

The Neon explosion
Asics Gel Saga Pastel GEL-SAGAs

The 80s was a weird place for fashion; denims were loosening up and colourplay had gone too far. But one trend prevailed and turned into one of 2019’s best sneaker trends. It’s across the board and every mainstream sneaker brand has played with it – from tiny pops of colour to going into full-blown neon mode. It’s been a key detail for designers in 2019 and it’s here to stay.

Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.