Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
Good to know
Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
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Thanks to the athleisure trend, the line between casual and athletic sneakers became a blur. More than activewear pieces like cycling shorts and sports bras shifting to everyday wear, running sneakers became not only limited for marathons or long-distance hauls but as a stylish piece for every day.
What is the difference between running shoes for athletic and lifestyle?
Sneakers, like everything else, evolved with time. It means that not only did brands need to keep up with trends but the technologies also innovated as continuous research regarding different sports is made. Running was one of the pioneer sports that catapulted sneakers into popularity, but as it transformed and were used for lifestyle, some of its footwear was better off as a stylish piece.
It delivers requirements that are needed for the said activity. Stability, motion control, arch support, durability, and traction are only some of the characteristics that one look and require. It means that in order to attain those, materials, technologies, and craftsmanship should be a priority as well.
Why should I get a black pair?
Not all descriptions that come with the hue are positives. Despair, death, and evil are only some of the associated words. But is it all bad? We beg to differ. Here are some of the reasons why we think black is best.
Based on studies, black is the favorite color of adults of both sexes.
Forget about the Pantone of the year. Black doesn’t need a spotlight because it is a year-round color.
Whether it comes in a low-top, mid-top, or high-top silhouette, it can be styled to suit for any occasion.
There is a good mix of old, new, and everything in between. There’s just a pair that would suit your style, be it a trendy dad shoe or a classic retro piece.
All Black running shoes
A jet-black pair clad on each element of the shoe is a magnificent way of making a statement discreetly. Whether you are all out by pairing these with an all-ebony outfit or injecting some color on your clothes, you can rarely commit a fashion crime with an all-black pair. If you’re looking for one to add to your collection, here are some on our list:
Nike Air Max 95
The release of the Air Max in 1995 was groundbreaking as it placed the renowned cushioning system on strategic locations like the forefoot and heel. The reflective accent is a beneficial feature for runners, especially during low-light situations. Once it shifted into casual use, the Air Max 95 remained to be a stylish and timeless item that even the millennial audience continues to appreciate.
Nike Air Max 95 is inspired by human anatomy.
The mesh and nylon upper portray our muscle fibers, the lacing system shows semblance to our ribs, and the outsole resembles our spine.
Despite its success, designers Hiroshi Fujirawa and Tinker Hatfield admitted that it is not their most favored pair from the Air Max collection because it slightly deviates from the running profile.
Its high demand caused Nike to return it back in stock.
Conceptualized by the genius Tinker Hatfield, the Nike Huarache is an epitome of the minimalist concept that is apparent on most contemporary shoes. Taking inspiration from water-skiing, it utilizes a neoprene upper which provides a unique fit resulting in a lightweight shoe.
The Huarache idea was initially not approved by the Nike team as it was far from the usual releases. If it were not for Hatfield’s stubbornness, we wouldn’t be able to witness this revolutionary shoe. After all, deviating from the Swoosh logo and focusing on the technology wasn’t much of trend during its time.
The Air Jordan VII and Nike Air Mowabb are both inspired by the Huarache fit.
Some of the models under this line are the Nike Air Huarache City, Nike Air Huarache Drift, Nike Air Huarache Gripp, Nike Air Huarache Premium, and Nike Air Huarache Light.
Huarache is a term for Mexican sandal which is the design concept of the sneaker.
Its design resembles a huarache because it has no heel counter.
Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
The Mexico 66 is dubbed as the brand’s most iconic and most popular item from the brand. During its launch in the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1966, it was branded as a state-of-the-art running shoe. More than its achievements, it also garnered several firsts. One of which is it is the first shoe to sport the ASICS stripe.
Even though the yellow colorway of these kicks’ version is widely a favorite because of Bruce Lee and Kill Bill, other colorways are part of this collection including a pure-black one.
Other renditions of the Mexico 66 is available -- Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Delegation Shibori, Onitsuka Tiger Mexico Mid Runner, Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Slip-On, and Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Deluxe.
As part of the celebration of the brand’s 50th anniversary, Onitsuka Tiger teamed up with 50 Singaporean creatives to create a unique pair utilizing the Mexico 66 silhouette.
Black and White Running Shoes
For Michael Jackson, it don’t matter if you’re black or white. For us, the combination of both is classic and timeless and aims to provide versatility despite having the contrast. Here are some of the most famous runners that we have on our list.
Nike Classic Cortez
While modern pieces easily catch one’s attention, the classics are also a worthy inclusion on one’s rotation. If retro pieces are included on your shopping list, the Nike Classic Cortez is a no-fail option. These sneakers are dated since the conceptualization of Nike, quite vintage given that the brand carried the name Blue Ribbon Sports and was closely working with Onitsuka Tiger when it was released.
The Nike Cortez is the first sneaker created by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman.
Its design is intended for runners to aid them on uneven terrains and long-distance running.
Some of its key features it the raised heel and aerodynamic upper which is beneficial for runners.
Several design alterations were implemented including the raised heel for injury prevention, thicker rubber sole for durability, and usage of different upper materials.
Adidas Deerupt Runner
Minimalist sneakers have been on the trend list for quite some time. It combines both practicality and style which, necessarily, is the best combination there is. The Deerupt Runner may bear that concept, but it is also packed with spunk to get your second glance.
Taking the old and new, these sneakers are highly inspired by the Marathon, which is Adi Dassler’s last shoe he participated in conceptualizing before he passed. On the other hand, it takes notes from Generation Z and Millenials’ Instagram poses a toe-down, which is where the foot is pressed down. The Deerupt Runner bears that concept on its design.
Though it bears semblance with the Tennis Hu and NMD R1, what makes these sneakers unique is its web overlay blanket.
The success of this model spurted the conception of the Deerupt Pride and an eco-friendly version called the Deerupt runner Parley.
Deerupt is a combination of disrupt and erupt.
Nike Air Vapormax Plus
It’s not just Jordan that loves hybrids. Being under the same umbrella, it is not surprising that the concept is apparent even on Nike. The mesh of a comfortable cushioning system and innovative look easily makes the sophisticated Air Vapormax Plus a hit since its release in January 2018.
The Nike Air Vapormax Plus is a combination of Air Max Plus and Vapormax hence the name.
It represents the bold structure of the Air Max Plus and the whale-inspired and supportive arch of the Vapormax.
The ocean sunset inspires the waves on the upper.
Aluminum is one of the recently launched colorways for this model, a black and gray running sneaker.
The all-black version looks extra sleek because of the play of texture and materials. Its monochromatic color also highlights the structure of the shoe, especially the outsole.
At first glance, you might ask what makes these very ordinary-looking shoes be the most popular shoe of 2018? Simplicity, which is only fitting given its Japanese name, is its best feature. However, digging deeper, all of its features are what one needs for everyday wear.
Unlike the Yeezy’s that banked its success based on its high price point and limited pieces, the Tanjun is the opposite.
Even though white is a trendy piece, people love to grab black and white running shoes since it needs less maintenance as it does not show up dirt easily.
The Tanjun is highly inspired by another Nike sneaker, the Roshe Run.
Fans cannot deny that its $65 price point is one of its most significant highlights.
Aside from black and white, a black/blue and black/gray running shoe are available for this model.
Black and non-neutral shoes
If injecting some color into your wardrobe is your cup of tea, we can’t blame you. Most of the time, a hint of color is just what an ensemble needs in order to be more interesting. The same goes for sneakers. Below are some of the most popular ones on our list:
Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD
When Pharell’s name gets attached with something, you’d know that it is bound to be extraordinary. The multi-talented artist crafted the Hu collection, which stands for Health Ultimatum, aims to represent each race. Sneakers included in the line takes advantage of different colorways.
The black and gold running sneakers included in this line include the words “Human” and “Species.”
Although a slip-on because of its Primeknit upper, it sports laces which delivers the adjustable fit and the option to style it different ways.
Not entirely for show, the Adidas Human Race NMD is equipped with Boost technology for maximum energy return.
Not everything that looks vintage is actually old. Sometimes, all that is needed is a throwback design inspiration, modern technologies, and a couple of editing to master the perfect formula for a stunner. The Iniki from Adidas was first released in January 2017. However, rumors have it that because of a lawsuit filed against the brand, they had to drop the name Iniki. The first letter was kept and attached another 70s runner’s shelf number, which is the 5923.
Because of the success of this, several versions were released after the OG. The I-5923 Pride and a collaboration with The Neighborhood are some of them.
The collaborative piece with The Neighborhood comes in almost an all-black silhouette with just a few speckles of white.
Aside from a black and white, there is also a black and pink and black and burgundy iteration of the I-5923.
Adidas EQT Support 93/17 Yuanxiao
Adidas has been known to make the most of its successful releases like the NMD. Being the most popular shoe in 2017, the brand also stretched the potential of its EQT line through a new adaptation. The EQT Support 93/17 brings a fresh idea of fusing the Chinese culture and festivities on a German-brand shoe.
Yuanxiao is translated as Chinese Lantern Festival, which marks the last day of the New Years’ festivities.
These red and black running sneakers sit atop a Jade-inspired ash green Boost midsole. It is a rare event that we get to see this cushioning system in another color aside from white.
The upper exhibits a stone-cracked design and accentuated with reflective hits.
The emergence of the Adidas Yung-1 combines different fashion forecasts in one. It admittedly exhibits the revival of the '90s and chunky shoe trend. Albeit, we know that it is more than meets the eye. Style and fashion come on equal footing with the Yung.
Also available in an all-black number, another funky rendition of this collection is a black and plaid colorway, which is a different injection of another on-trend pattern.
The Adidas Yung-1 is a modernized version of the Falcon Dorf, a 90’s runner.
Despite a relatively new silhouette, these sneakers are already a favorite among collaborators. Dragon Ball Z, Size?, and WARDROBE.NYC are some of the partners that experimented with these.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy black running shoes?
Essentially, you can find this type of sneakers just about anywhere, be it a physical store or online. Almost any sneaker store would most likely house a black running-inspired pair. On the other hand, if online shopping is your preference, we recommend you to check out Zappos.com, Shoes.com, as these are some of the reputable to offer a wide selection of authentic running-influenced footwear.
What are the technologies infused on some of the running shoes?
Whether they are a retro running sneaker or inspired by one, it doesn’t mean that the technologies placed on them are all outdated. Even though the requirements of sneakers are not as much for running, companies are still competitive in putting technologies that would make it apt for everyday wear. Some advancements on the top of our list are:
Free Technology ( Nike)
Can I wear my black running sneakers to more formal occasions?
Yes. Fashion rules are not made to be followed forever, and there are ways to style sneakers without raising eyebrows when on a formal event. Many celebrities have attempted to do it for the red carpet. Some of them include Robert Downey Jr., Nick Jonas, Orlando Bloom, and Will Smith.
How much should I shell out if I’m going to buy black running shoes?
Despite enclosed in a particular category, black running sneakers come in different assortments like the brand, material, and technologies causing it to be priced extensively. An advantage of this is there is a pair that would quench your budget needs. There are affordable ones like the Reebok Royal Nylon that retails for $55. But there are also pricer ones like the Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD that is $240.
What to wear with black running sneakers
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to dressing up. The great thing about black though is that anything is possible and styling comes to a no-brainer because everything seamlessly works. Just keep in mind that the best styling advice anyone could wear is confidence and a smile.
Can women wear running shoes?
Without a doubt! The great thing about these sneakers is that there is absolutely a pair that would suit each person. Though at first glance black running sneakers exude the look of manliness, it can be also suitable for the everyday needs and style of women. To help you fashion it, here are some of our suggestions of wearing it:
Whether you are wearing an all-black pair or something more adventurous like a black and gold running sneakers, wearing it during the summer is excellent. If you plan on grabbing some brunch by the beach, pairing these with denim shorts and a flowy top will complete that sporty casual vibe. A sundress is also a more daring choice but provides a unique look.
What better way to achieve this look than by wearing these kicks? Because of the athleisure trend, it is quite easy to find celebrity inspirations to copy the look. Selena Gomez pairs her women’s black running sneakers with cropped sweater and leggings. Kate Middleton on the other hand looks effortlessly chic in her black and blue running sneakers paired with a collared shirt and skinny jeans.
While black running sneakers are meant for casual use, it doesn’t mean that you cannot dress them up. One way of doing it is like American Pie artist Nadia Forde who paired her black running sneakers for women with an all-black outfit and a black leather jacket.
Can I skip the socks with my black running shoes?
No specific rule says you can’t. Of course, it would always be a yes. Just keep in mind though that socks do not only keep your feet fresh, but they also protect the shoe from your sweat. Moreover, it is also an excellent piece in injecting a specific color especially when it contrasts your black running sneakers.
Is there a difference between athletic running shoes and lifestyle running shoes?
Yes. Though the line can sometimes be a vague, lifestyle running sneakers are only inspired by the athletic running shoes. Retro models, meaning those that were intended for running before, may be included on the casual sneaker list as the features placed on them aren’t up-to-date already.
Athletic running shoes are those that are built for the sole purpose of running. It means that the brands have spent the time to study the specific movements for running and crafted technologies that would better its users with the sport. Wearing the wrong shoes can sometimes have adverse effects on the body mainly on the feet, knees, and back.
I’m on the hunt for eco-friendly options. Can you suggest some?
Great that you are injecting green options into your wardrobe. The good news is, brands, even the top brands, are already on the move on transforming their products and becoming more aware of their damage to Mother Earth. Some of the products we have on our list are:
Adidas NMD_CS1 Parley Primeknit
Adidas EQT Support ADV Parley
Nike Roshe Two Primeknit 365
I have the dad shoe fever! What are the best ones out there?
We’re not kidding when we say that availing a running shoe will keep you fashionable. One of the most significant trends we have witnessed for the past two or three years is the chunky or ugly shoe trend that turned the market divisive, but no one seems to get enough of. The most ubiquitous ones on the market are as follows: