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When you’re ready to step out of those high heels and pair your baggy jeans or low-rise denim with something more casual, you really can’t go wrong with a great pair of sneakers. A step up from basic white kicks, retro runners transition well for casual back-to-the-office looks for fall and beyond, all while looking to the past to add a bit of old-school playfulness to modern-day wardrobes.
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Rihanna recently released her own take on the vintage shoe style with her Fenty x Puma Avanti VL sneakers, which quickly sold out (however, there are some available at StockX), and Veja has debuted a new ’90s-inspired silhouette, the V-90.
Meghan Markle has worn eco-conscious sneakers from Rothy’s and Veja, and classic athletic footwear brands like Adidas, New Balance (recently spotted on Taylor Swift) and Nike are regularly seen on stars including J. Lo, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Naomi Watts, Shay Mitchell and Katie Holmes, to name just a handful.
If you’re looking to add vintage-inspired flair to your fall ensembles without crossing too far into the dad shoe trend or ugly sneaker territory, we’ve rounded up the best retro sneakers for women. You’ll find a slew of unisex trainers from the above go-to sportswear labels, as well as sustainable styles from Everlane, Madewell and others. See all of our top picks ahead.
1. Veja V-90 Sneakers
Hands-down one of the best eco-friendly sneaker brands, Veja is regularly seen on the feet of stars like Chloe Grace Moretz, Emily Ratajkowski and Emma Watson. The Certified B Corp. brand’s new V-90 sneakers are a nod to the ’90s and are made of 100 percent organic traced leather sourced from Uruguay, which Veja says is “known for its culture of animal husbandry and the quality of the leather.” The leather is tanned in Brazil using a process that requires less water, and it’s sourced from cattle that are not from deforested areas or exposed to antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs or chemical fertilizers. They’re finished in the label’s signature V appliqué on the sides and logo print on the back collar, and come in other colorways.
Veja V-90 Sneakers
2. New Balance Women’s 237 Sneakers
New Balance’s 327 sneakers nod to the brand’s 1970s running heritage while adding modern touches such as the oversized N logo the angular wedge sole and the trail-inspired lug outsole.
New Balance 327 Sneakers
3. Cariuma Pantone OCA Low Canvas Sneakers
Add a pop of color to your fall footwear with eco-conscious label Cariuma’s Pantone collection, which includes the OCA Low sneakers in this vibrant navy peony color. Other fashionable shades are available, including Ruby Wine, Fuschia Purple, Greenbriar (a shade similar to the one that Dame Helen Mirren wore to Cannes) and more. They feature a vintage-inspired low-top silhouette and are made of cotton canvas, a mamona oil bio-based cork insert and recycled plastic and organic cotton laces. Plus, for every pair of shoes purchased, the Certified B Corp. plants two trees in the Brazilian rainforest.
Cariuma Pantone OCA Low Canvas Sneakers
4. Madewell Kickoff Trainer Sneakers
Madewell’s stylish retro trainers will please co-conscious wearers, which are made of sustainably sourced nubuck leather and recycled cotton lining and rubber outsoles. On top of all of that, the shoes are made with the brand’s “supercushy, ultrasupportive” Cloudlift insoles.
Madewell Kickoff Trainer Sneakers
5. Everlane ReLeather Court Sneakers
On sale for $78, Everlane’s ReLeather Court sneakers (reg. $130) are made from — you guessed it — recycled leather. Also available in men’s sizes and other colors, these sleek steppers are an eco-friendlier version than the direct-to-consumer brand’s original style, thanks to a manufacturing process that requires no dyes, uses less water and creates less waste.
Everlane ReLeather Court Sneakers (reg. $110)
6. Charlotte Stone Conway Sneakers
Charlotte Stone’s kinder-chic Conway sneakers put a colorful spin on classic ’70s strap shoes. They have a memory foam insole and come in an array of playful colorways.
Charlotte Stone Conway Sneakers
7. Adidas x Humanrace Samba Shoes
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t look good in Adidas’ cult-favorite Superstar sneakers, but for a Pharrell-approved fashion statement, go for the Humanrace Samba Shoes instead. They nod to the iconic silhouette’s soccer roots and feature luxe upgrades, as seen in the buttery leather upper, toe cap, lining and laces.
Adidas x Humanrace Samba Shoes
8. PF. Flyers Center Hi Top Unisex Canvas Sneaker
Originally founded in the 1930s by B.F. Goodrich (yes, old automobile tire company), PF. Flyers has changed hands over the decades — it’s been owned by Saucony and New Balance — being acquired in 2021 by designer Kassia Davis. (She’s the daughter of New Balance majority owner and chairman Jim Davis). Nostalgia enthusiasts will love the relaunched label’s Center Hi Top unisex canvas sneakers are
PF. Flyers Center Hi Top Unisex Canvas Sneaker
9. Rag & Bone Low Top Sneakers
Earn fashion and eco street cred with Rag & Bone’s retro low top sneakers, which feature an upper of suede and recycled polyester (made of 100 percent plastic bottles) and a cushioned EVA footbed with arch support. For a limited time, they’re 25 percent off as part of the brand’s Friends & Family sale.
Rag & Bone Retro Runners (reg. $245)
10. Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Next Nature Sneakers
Though Nike has no shortage of vintage-inspired sneakers (think the Cortez and Waffle trainers, to name a few), we’re fans of their classic Air Force 1 ’07 Next Nature kicks for their sustainable makeover. The ’80s-born silhouette features lightweight cushioning and a padded, low-cut collar for comfort, and it’s made from at least 20 percent recycled materials; other colors are available.
Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Next Nature Sneakers
11. Puma Unisex Roma Basic Sneakers
Originally created for sprinters in 1968, Puma’s vegan Roma sneakers come in stylish leather and suede options and feature a comfortable low-profile cut and a reinforced heel for comfort. (Rihanna has served as creative director for the brand.) The shoes come in men’s sizes, so women should order 1.5 sizes down from the listed size.
Puma Unisex Roma Basic Sneakers
12. Converse Women’s Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneakers
Originally released in the 1920s, Converse’s classic Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers have been worn by everyone from punk rockers like the Ramones to rap stars including Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. The iconic footwear brand’s high-top kicks come in a range of colorful canvas and leather options, and you can get them in the Lift Platform Leather silhouette for a statement-making upgrade for fall.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Sneakers
13. Tretorn Women’s Rawlins Sneakers
Available in more than 10 stylish colors, Sweden-born brand Tretorn’s Rawlins sneakers evoke the classic tennis shoe silhouette with hints of lavender. These shoes have an EcoOrtholite insole, extra heel cushioning and a natural rubber outsole for all-day comfort, breathability and traction.
TRETORN Women’s Lace-up Rawlins Sneakers
14. Saucony Women’s Jazz Original Sneakers
Heritage running brand Saucony is a natural choice if you’re looking for the best retro sneakers for women, men and kids. The label’s Jazz original sneakers come in more than a dozen stylish shades, such as this very Renaissance World Tour-ready silver color. Other colors available.
Saucony Women’s Jazz Original Sneakers
15. Vans Old Skool Stackform Sneaker
Whether you’re a Sk8-Hi or low-top type, there’s something for every laid-back aesthetic from iconic Cali-cool brand Vans. The brand’s classic trainers feature the signature side stripe, a padded collar for comfort and a platform design. They come in other canvas and suede colorways.
Vans Old Skool Stackform Sneaker
16. Rothy’s Women’s RS02 Lace-Up Sneakers
These incredibly comfy lace-up sneakers from Rothy’s are made from the brand’s signature knitted material spun from plastic water bottles. The terry-lined shoes channel courtside-ready vibes with grooved soles for traction and durability, and the padded ankle collar is cushioned with excess yarn. You’ll walk easy with the contoured footbed and grooved gum outsoles that are made of 20 percent bio-based materials, and they’re also conveniently washable.
Rothy’s The Lace-Up Sneakers
17. Clarks Craft Match Lo Sneakers
Clarks’ Craft Match Lo sneakers are among the most comfortable shoes if you need all-day arch support. They feature perforations in the upper for breathability and are equipped with the brand’s ultra-light ergonomic Contour Cushion footbed that “eases pressure and supports and stabilizes the heel and arch, cradling your feet in natural lasting comfort.”
Clarks Craft Match Lo Sneakers
18. Reebok BB 4000 II Women’s Shoes
For a pastel-hued basketball vibe, Reebok’s BB 4000 II kicks scores points in the style and sports-inspired departments.
Reebok BB 4000 II Women’s Shoes
19. Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Banned Sneakers
Swoosh superfans who prefer rare kicks can find some of the coolest retro sneakers at Kicks Crew, the global resale platform for in-demand sneakers and streetwear. (They’ve even got Billie Eilish’s sold-out AF 1 High ’07 collab in the mushroom colorway.) Sneakerheads who prefer a bolder pop of color can go for Nike’s Air Jordan 1 “Banned” style that throws it back to 1985, and the pair has been a classic since then.
Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Banned Sneakers
20. Merrell Alpine Sneakers
For when you plan on scrambling up the trails, Merrell’s vibrant Alpine shoes are among the best hiking sneakers for women who want to traverse rugged terrain in style. These cool retro shoes have a leather and nylon upper, a breathable mesh lining, an EVA midsole for comfort and a rubber outsole for traction. It’s also got a removable Kinetic Fit contoured insole so you can customize your foot support.
Merrell Alpine Sneakers (reg. $100)
21. The Row Owen Runners Sneakers
Taylor Swift wore a cream version of The Row’s Owen runners, which come in black or brown shades that fit seamlessly with almost any fall look.
The Row Owen City Leather and Mesh Sneakers
22. Karl Lagerfeld Kapri Kushion Leather Sneakers
Long live Karl Lagerfeld, whose charming likeness graces these Barbiecore pink Kapri Kushion sneakers from his namesake brand. They’re made of white and light pink leather with gold tone accents that add an edgy-luxe touch to your wardrobe.
Karl Lagerfeld Platform Trainers
23. Gucci Ace Sneakers
For label lovers, Gucci’s Ace sneaker is the ultimate luxury upgrade. This made-in-Italy pair features the fashion house’s signature green and red web motif and is finished with a gold thread-embroidered bee.
Gucci Ace Sneakers
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