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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No matter the season, wearing comfortable footwear always dictates the pieces of clothing one puts on. If centuries ago, donning a pair of shoes was out of necessity, today, the design, colorway, material, and designer become a part of one’s casual outfit and lifestyle.
Sneakers have become an essential part of every individual’s wardrobe for the simple reason of its practicality and functionality. The first sneakers mass-produced in the latter part of the 18th century consisted of canvas upper.
However, as shoe wearers were more conscious of the importance of wearing shoes, they too were more aware of the comfort one can experience based on the materials used.
Part of the design process shoe manufacturers consider is the appropriate season a shoe is meant to be used. And summer is the best season to show off the sneakers that have been stowed away for the colder months.
Top 3 breathable materials for shoes
Shoe manufacturers, in a bid to dominate the consumer market, continue to experiment on various materials to craft better and more comfortable footwear that fits everyone’s activities.
In the sneaker culture of hype collaborations, sought-after designers and limited editions, revolutionary technologies are also one crucial basis for a shoe to be worn.
Germany-based Adidas was the first shoe company that used mesh in its shoe. The Adidas Americana, available in low and hi-top, was released in 1971. It was well-received for its breathability and lightweight feel.
New Balance 420
Inspired from running, NB 420 is favored by many for the retro overall design. The uppers, which are made of mesh and suede, afford the wearer breathability with or without socks.
It is popular among runners for its versatility where they can wear the shoe from their exercise straight to the grocery store.
Apart from the vintage feel, the color selection on the NB420 caters to various personalities.
The padded collar provides ample ankle support for everyday walks.
Some editions feature the REVlite® technology - a lightweight foam that provides the same energy responsiveness and underfoot cushioning and stability.
Nike Air Huarache Ultra
An iteration of the notable Nike Air Huarache. Many wearers with flat feet favor this for the removable insole that can be replaced with custom orthotics.
The additional perforation on the upper adds additional breathability -- a feature absent in the original Huarache model.
Not only is the design for stylish purposes, but most of the purchasers appreciate the versatility of this trainer. This can be worn in the gym and basketball court for the good ankle support it provides.
The varied colorways make any outfit look stylish.
A budget-friendly, low-top shoe for both men and women. To give reinforcement to the predominantly mesh upper is a plastic panel to secure the wearer’s feet.
This tamed version of the InstaPump Fury features Reebok’s 3D Ultralite technology, an injection-molded foam material to be more lightweight yet durable and responsive.
Fans of this shoe, love the lightweight feel of wearing this kick.
Adidas ZX 750
Another footwear from Adidas’ running line, this is marketable not only to runners but also to sneaker collectors for the comfort and vintage vibe of the design.
For stability, this lace-top trainer features Adidas’ Torsion system.
According to many users, this version feels more lightweight because of the injection-molding on the EVA.
Various color schemes allow for numerous styling options.
The battle between shoe giants Adidas and Nike on who came up with the first knitted shoe is debatable. To the point that both shoe manufacturers filed legal battles against each other.
On a better note, both companies are helping the environment by minimizing wastage in the shoe manufacturing industry by using knit in its footwear.
Nike Flyknit Trainer
The Flyknit Trainer is one of the most sellable shoes from the brand. A first in the industry, this sneaker features Nike’s Flyknit technology -- using high-strength fibers to create lightweight uppers that fit like a sock targeting areas for support, stretch, and breathability.
This best-seller low-top is commended for the ankle support it has because of the low padded collar feature.
Aside from the function, the Flyknit Trainer design is stylish enough to be worn for those who live a casual lifestyle.
Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit
Simplifying the complex design of the Adidas Tubular Runner, this version is among Adidas’ popular silhouettes. Apart from the all-knit upper, most sneaker wearers appreciate the OrthoLite sock liner that provides added cushion and microbe-free feet.
With most of the tonal color schemes available, shoe hunters do not have a hard time matching this with any outfit.
A favorite by many for the similar look of the Adidas Yeezy 350 but at a much more valuable price tag.
Nike Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer
This running shoe consisting of a one-piece knit upper is favored by many for its lightweight feel. Apart from the knit material, the Zoom Air cushioning overall lightness of the shoe.
Popular among those who prefer an athleisure lifestyle.
Durable enough for a quick run or daily grind in the busy streets of the city.
Multiple hues are available to suit anybody’s fashion choices.
Notable for the breathability and sock-like feel on the feet.
Puma TSUGI Jun
An update from the Puma TSUGI Shinsei, this mid-top trainer is praised for how much foot support it provides the wearer. Many love the ease of slipping on this sneaker aided with its heel and tongue pull tabs.
Not only is the Tsugi Jun wearable for casual outings, but it is also great for the gym buds.
Various color schemes are available for both sexes.
It is a common impression that many do not find leather material breathable. Surprisingly, shoe companies have research facilities that aid in crafting leather sneakers that afford breathability.
Nike Air Force 1 07
This version of the iconic Nike AF1 silhouette is lauded for its breathability despite the leather upper material. Big perforation holes on the toe box and a couple on each sidewall allow the feet to breathe easily while sporting on this timeless model.
For a classic-inspired design, the AF1 07 is favored by many for its budget-friendly price.
The shoe is available in a multitude of neat, solid hues which makes for pairing outfits versatile.
Reebok Classic Leather
Several shoe collectors comment on how this vintage trainer is underrated compared to more hyped shoes nowadays. Another well-known design from the Classic Leather sneakers for the utmost comfort it affords the wearer.
Sellable to many because this icon fits true to size.
The major reason why this shoe is still a must-have for many is apart from the classic status it holds, the shoe is durable.
Despite the leather upper, this sneaker, initially crafted for running, ensures breathability to keep feet dry.
Ecco Urban Lifestyle Low
Aside from the ample support, this shoe is a favorite of many for the leather upper. The leather allows the user to be paired with casual office attire.
Additionally, the non-slip outsole that allows the wearer to trod over wet pavements.
Frequently asked questions
How to wash mesh shoes?
Mesh footwear is best manually cleaned using water and mild detergent soap and let it air dry. Spot cleaning using an old toothbrush will take a quicker time to dry rather than wetting the entire footwear. It is not advisable to wash a favorite pair using the machine.
Is mesh material waterproof?
Polyester mesh is naturally water-resistant. However, it is important to note that most mesh sneakers nowadays have different materials incorporated on the upper.
Why do some mesh-made shoes feel hot?
Although mesh material is generally praised for its breathability, one major factor that contributes to the warmness one feels when wearing is the padded foam on the collar and tongue.
How to avoid shoes from smelling?
Surprisingly, there are two essential household items that help prevent shoes from smelling.
1. Baby powder
For sweaty feet, douse a good amount of baby powder on each foot before putting on socks.
2. Baking soda
Sprinkle sufficient volume of baking soda on the insoles and let it sit overnight.
Remove the powder the following day.
Which among mesh, knit, and leather material last longer?
Definitely leather. As it is made from animal skin hide, thus making it more durable. Mesh and knit are synthetic fibers made from polyester or nylon; woven together to create a net-like fabric.
What is the best upper material for shoes?
There is no correct answer to this. Every shoe is made for a certain purpose. So picking out the material for the shoe would solely rely on what it’s for.
How to clean knit material?
Because knit is made of woven fabric, cleaning it manually will preserve the footwear.
Bowl of water
Mild detergent soap
2 dry cloths
Put detergent soap in a bowl of water.
Dip 1 dry cloth and wring it out completely.
Gently dab the soaked cloth in areas that need cleaning.
Wet a second cloth in plain water and wipe the soaped area.