Sneakers are the new pumps … and the new booties, boots and loafers, too. They’ve upstaged all other footwear as the go-to shoe whether we wear leggings, joggers or jeans. Those of us who have returned to actual clothes even wear sneakers with tailored work pants and midi dresses. Our bunions and hammertoes love them, our calluses and sensitive soles, too. And if you’re looking for extra traction (and who isn’t over age 50?) what’s not to love about rubber soles? Here are the ones to snap up.

  • item 1 of Gallery image Keds Champion-Canvas CVO in Black Canvas; Superga Women’s Classic Low-Top Sneakers in Grey Sage; Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi-Top Sneaker in RedPHOTO BY: ZAPPOS (2); FAMOUS FOOTWEAR(Clockwise from top left) Keds Champion-Canvas CVO in Black Canvas; Superga Women’s Classic Low-Top Sneakers in Grey Sage; Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi-Top Sneaker in Red1. The classic sneakerThey’re old-school, iconic and a great blast from the past of sneakers we’ve wore before. Cotton canvas sneakers with white laces are classics, so think of them as basics — just like a navy blazer, a crisp button-down shirt or a pair of dark-wash jeans. In other words, you can’t go wrong. Choose low-tops — like the Keds Champion-Canvas CVO in black canvas ($50, zappos.com) or the Superga Women’s Classic Low-Top Sneakers in grey sage ($65, zappos.com) — or a high-top like the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Top Sneaker in red ($60, famousfootwear.com).
  • item 2 of Gallery image PHOTO BY: BLOOMINGDALE’S; DSW; ZAPPOS(Clockwise from bottom left) Cougar Women’s Lace Up Faux Fur Trimmed Sneakers in Pewter; Steve Madden Debora Mid-Top Sneaker in Dark Olive Green; Sperry Crest Lug High-Top Quilted Cozy Suede in Griffin2. The snow sneakerHi-tops and hiking boots have joined forces in a toasty new alternative that keeps our ankles sturdy and our soles from slipping, in fleece and faux fur trimmed ski-lodge style. Yes, they’re a little more expensive, but they are multitasking and worth it if you live in a cold climate. Try a cozy pair like the Sperry Crest Lug High-Top Quilted Cozy Suede in griffin ($85, zappos.com), Steve Madden Debora Mid-Top Sneaker in dark olive green ($100, dsw.com) or the Cougar Women’s Lace Up Faux Fur Trimmed Sneakers in pewter ($160, bloomingdales.com), and start looking forward to chilly icy days like never before. And unlike clunky/heavy storm boots, they’re a cinch to drive in, too.
  • item 3 of Gallery image Steve Madden Coulter Quilted Slip-On Sneaker in black; Naturalizer Zola Slip-On Sneaker in black; Dr. Scholl’s Nova in blackPHOTO BY: NORDSTROM; DSW; ZAPPOS(Clockwise from top left) Steve Madden Coulter Quilted Slip-On Sneaker in black; Naturalizer Zola Slip-On Sneaker in black; Dr. Scholl’s Nova in black3. The leather slip-onThis is the faux black leather shoe substitute that fashion editor me calls a “sh-neaker” — a chic hybrid with a more dressed-up look. The structured fit is way more foot friendly than thin-soled ballet flats, pointy toe pumps or mules. Try sophisticated styles like the Dr. Scholl’s Nova in black ($50, zappos.com), Steve Madden Coulter Quilted Slip-On Sneaker in black ($60, nordstrom.com) or Naturalizer Zola Slip-On Sneaker in black ($70, dsw.com).
  • item 4 of Gallery image Steve Madden Wavery Wedge Sneaker in taupe; Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker Bootie in grey; Blondo Glenda Waterproof in Mushroom SuedePHOTO BY: DSW (2); ZAPPOS(Left to right) Steve Madden Wavery Wedge Sneaker in taupe; Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker Bootie in grey; Blondo Glenda Waterproof in Mushroom Suede4. The wedge sneakerThe truth is some of us can’t let go of the need for a little more “height.” We’re the heel and wedge fans who like a few extra inches and a leggier look. Once again shoe design geniuses have given us a solution with rubber soled sneaker booties — like the Blondo Glenda Waterproof in mushroom suede ($76, zappos.com), Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker Bootie in grey ($70, dsw.com) and the Steve Madden Wavery Wedge Sneaker in taupe or black ($70, dsw.com) — with a hidden wedge and an easy zipper entry/exit.
  • item 5 of Gallery image Dr. Scholl’s All In Platform Sneaker; Hush Puppies Sabine Sneaker in Leopard Haircalf; Naturalizer MacaylaPHOTO BY: NORDSTROM; ZAPPOS (2)(Clockwise from bottom left) Dr. Scholl’s All In Platform Sneaker; Hush Puppies Sabine Sneaker in Leopard Haircalf; Naturalizer Macayla5. The wild leopard sneakerThey are wild — as in, “I love your sneakers! They’re wild!” Animal prints (especially spotty ones) are one of our favorite things, so no wonder they’ve migrated to our love of treads and athleisure. For a posh touch choose a calf-hair style like the Hush Puppies Sabine Sneaker in leopard haircalf ($86, zappos.com), Dr. Scholl’s All In Platform Sneaker ($110-$130, nordstrom.com) or the Naturalizer Macayla ($80, zappos.com) in a cheetah print. The combo of elegant texture, sporty look and neutral colors makes them polished enough for any occasion you’d wear tailored ankle pants and relaxed enough to put on with your comfiest clothes.
  • item 6 of Gallery image Ugg La Daze; Michael Kors Georgie Trainer; Saucony Originals Jazz Original Vintage in yellow/white/silverPHOTO BY: ZAPPOS (3)(Clockwise from top left) Ugg La Daze; Michael Kors Georgie Trainer; Saucony Originals Jazz Original Vintage in yellow/white/silver6. The retro sneakerThey’re a little bit been-there with a modern twist thanks to a slanted tapered shape that lifts at the heels. You’ll see this trendy sneaker in luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga and Gucci, but the look is definitely casual, comfy and oddly edgy. In fact, they feel like you’re walking on throw pillows. Retro looks — such as the UGG La Daze ($84, zappos.com), Saucony Originals Jazz Original Vintage in yellow/white/silver ($64, zappos.com) or Michael Michael Kors Georgie Trainer ($80, zappos.com) — will add stylish attitude to your closet now through spring.
  • item 7 of Gallery image Kids x Kate Spade New York Champion Leopard in Tan Multi Glitter; Steven New York Rubie in White Leopard; Forever Link Remy Women Sequin Lightweight Glitter Sneakers in goldPHOTO BY: ZAPPOS (2); WALMART(Clockwise from top left) Kids x Kate Spade New York Champion Leopard in Tan Multi Glitter; Steven New York Rubie in White Leopard; Forever Link Remy Women Sequin Lightweight Glitter Sneakers in gold7. Glam sneakersThese are the new party shoes — the equivalent of slipping on sparkly slingbacks or dangling jeweled earrings for an evening out (not that we have many of those these days). Kicks covered in sequins or glitter — like the Kids x Kate Spade New York Champion Leopard in tan multi glitter ($68, zappos.com) or Forever Link Remy Women Sequin Lightweight Glitter Sneakers in black or gold ($23, walmart.com) — or a joyful pair of embellished lace-ups such as the Steven New York Rubie in white leopard ($99, zappos.com) will certainly add a festive feeling to anything from sweatpants to jeans any day or night of the week.
  • item 8 of Gallery image Skechers Ultra-Flex Harmonious Slip-On Sneaker Women’s in black/charcoal; Bzees Indigo in Black CloudLite Mesh; Blondo Karen Waterproof Knit Sneaker in Black/White KnitPHOTO BY: DSW; ZAPPOS (2)(Clockwise from top left) Skechers Ultra-Flex Harmonious Slip-On Sneaker Women’s in black/charcoal; Bzees Indigo in Black CloudLite Mesh; Blondo Karen Waterproof Knit Sneaker in Black/White Knit8. The comfort sneakerHopefully we’ll be able to travel in 2021, and these lightweight knit sneakers are just what we need. They slip on and off for long car trips, plane rides and terminal walks, and the soft fabric has more breathability and toe-wiggling ease (especially for those with corns and hammertoes). Knit sneakers like the Bzees Indigo in black cloudLite mesh ($59, zappos.com), Skechers Ultra-Flex Harmonious Slip-On Sneaker-Women’s in black/charcoal ($60, dsw.com) and Blondo Karen Waterproof Knit Sneaker in black/white knit ($66, zappos.com) feel like your favorite thick socks with a sturdy rubber sole. Why wait to fly? Right now, they could be your everyday around-the-house choice instead of slippers or clogs.
  • item 9 of Gallery image Steve Madden Hanly Platform Sneaker; Vans Ward Lo Deluxe Sneaker; Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker in WhitePHOTO BY: DSW (2); ZAPPOS(Clockwise from bottom left) Steve Madden Hanly Platform Sneaker; Vans Ward Lo Deluxe Sneaker; Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker in White9. The chunky white sneakerSome call them “Dad” sneakers, but white lace-ups have a modern street-smart vibe and are still high on the trend list for 2021. They obviously go with anything, but keeping them pristine is the only real fashion challenge here. Look for updated classics with a bold but clean shape like the Vans Ward Lo Deluxe Sneaker-Women’s ($70, dsw.com) or Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker in white ($65, zappos.com), or opt for simple but stylish platforms like the Steve Madden Hanly Platform Sneaker ($60, dsw.com).
  • item 10 of Gallery image Adidas Edge Lux 3 Lightweight Running Shoe-Women’s in red; New Balance Nitrel V4 Trail Running Shoe; Nike Women’s In Season 9 Training Shoe in navy/pinkPHOTO BY: DSW (2); FAMOUS FOOTWEAR(Clockwise from top left) Adidas Edge Lux 3 Lightweight Running Shoe-Women’s in red; New Balance Nitrel V4 Trail Running Shoe; Nike Women’s In Season 9 Training Shoe in navy/pink10. The sports sneakerIf you really run, hike, brisk walk or do serious gym stuff, then a little more support, cushion and bounciness is a good idea. The sportier brands are best here — they have the experience and technological improvements and features that protect your feet and boost your balance and traction for safety and foot health. Look for those that target your need — like the Nike Women’s In Season 9 Training Shoe in navy/pink ($75, famousfootwear.com), New Balance Nitrel V4 Trail Running Shoe ($65, dsw.com) or Adidas Edge Lux 3 Lightweight Running Shoe-Women’s in red ($80, dsw.com) — in upbeat colors and mixes that accent neutral workout clothes and add plenty of incentive.

a a r p membership card

Save 25% when you join AARP and enroll in Automatic Renewal for first year. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here