Comfortably Cool: The Most Stylish Sneakers For Every Occasion

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been more of a sneakers chick than a stilettos gal. Don’t get me wrong — I love a shiny, new pair of strappy heels just as much as the next girl, but I’m way more inclined to drain my paycheck on a new pair of Vans or Nike shoes. I just know when I lace up my trusty pair of sneakers in the morning, I’m going to be feelin’ so fresh n’ so clean à la OutKast all day long.

Sneakers aren’t just for the gym anymore, dear reader. Thanks to the ever-evolving world of fashion, there are literally thousands of shoe styles for every possible circumstance. Whether you’re getting ready for work in the morning or dashing out the door to run a million and one weekend errands, a fun pair of sneakers is the answer to your fashionable prayers. Keep reading to get see how sneakers can be worn for five different occasions, all while getting some serious shoe envy. Get those credit cards ready, ladies.

1. Sneakers for Work

Sick of those same old nude flats that somehow still give you blisters even though you wear them every day? A cool pair of sneakers is just what you need. I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is this girl talking about… sneakers in an office setting?!” This suggestion is definitely dependent on your office culture, so if you work in banking or law, this would be a 0/10 do not recommend. But if you’re in a more laid back industry like graphic design or media, go for it. Muted colors are a safe bet, but don’t be afraid to go for fashionable patterns like animal print or geometric cutouts.


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How to Wear Them

Pairing a skirt with sneakers is a fun way to mix feminine yet tomboyish vibes, and it’s especially appropriate for the steamy summer temperatures. But if you’re on the more conservative side (or if you haven’t shaved your legs in two weeks), the tried-and-true blazer and trousers combo is right up your alley.


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2. Sneakers for Shopping

Nothing says “treat yoself” like a good old-fashioned shopping spree. But nothing ruins said shopping spree like having to untie and retie shoelaces every time you go into a dressing room. Avoid this #firstworldproblem by opting for a cool pair of slip-on sneakers for a day of spending your paycheck on clothes and shoes rather than groceries and bills like a responsible adult. Slip-on shoes are the most hassle-free, but if you want a lil’ more pizazz, go for an edgy zip-up pair. These shoe styles ensure that you’ll be in and out of those dressing rooms in no time.


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How to Wear Them

When it comes to shopping, comfort is key. Think casual slip dresses that are easy to repeatedly take on and off in the dressing rooms. Instead of wearing those super tight skinny jeans that you have to wiggle into every time, try a looser pair of boyfriend jeans with a plain white T-shirt — a classic combo that’ll never let you down.


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3. Sneakers for a Night Out

I know, I know… those heels you just splurged on make your calves look great and make you strut like Beyoncé, etc. But sometimes a glam pair of sneakers is a welcomed change of pace (literally… because I’m sure you would be able to walk 10 times faster in a comfy pair of sneakers than in your usual heels). All those who think sneakers are restricted to casual wear: Prepare to be proven wrong. All you need is a platform here and a metallic accent there, and you’ll be turning more heads than the girl wearing 5-inch heels at the bar. Plus, wearing sneakers ensures that you’ll actually be able to stand in the pizza line at the end of the night, whereas your gal pals will probably be sitting on a bench taking off their blister-inducing pumps.


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How to Wear Them

In order to avoid the casual stereotype associated with sneakers, the color black is your new BFF for nighttime wear. (Then again, when isn’tblack the perfect go-to color?) A leather skirt and crop top combo is cute if you’re looking to show some leg, but high-waisted skinny jeans are another ideal option. Don’t forget deep red lipstick to finish off the look!


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4. Sneakers for Running Errands

Just as with picking an outfit for shopping, comfort is definitely vital for a jam-packed day of crossing things off your to-do list. Browsing grocery store aisles, returning that lipstick you regret splurging on and finally picking up that package at the post office are way more enjoyable when your feet are nice n’ snug in a pair of cool sneakers. Go for shoes that show a little personality, like a pair of palm tree-patterned kicks, or try ones that are sure to provide all-day support, like a pair of Vans or Nike skateboarding shoes.


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How to Wear Them

If you choose a standout pair of shoes, go for a more muted ensemble, and vice versa. A lightweight romper is always a perfect go-to for running errands, and it takes away the added stress of picking a semi-matching top and bottom. Joggers also rank high in the comfort department, as do leggings.


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5. Sneakers for Exercising

Last but definitely not least, we have the original occasion for wearing sneakers: Exercising. Sneakers are really your only option for when you hit up the gym or go for a run… unless you want to break your ankles or look like a dufus wearing flip-flops in the weight room. If you’re a gym regular (or if you’re a Netflix-and-chill regular with a love for the athleisure trend), do yourself a favor and invest in a quality pair of sneakers. There are plenty of options to tickle your fancy, whether you want a cute patterned pair or need extra arch support.


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How to Wear Them

You’ll feel way more driven to get off the couch and hit the gym once you invest in yoga pants that make you feel like a million bucks or a killer sports bra that keeps the girls tamed on your run. I’m personally a big fan of graphic tees for athletic wear, especially ones with witty or otherwise motivational sayings.


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Lace ‘em, zip ‘em up or slip ‘em on. No matter how you wear your sneaks, be sure to rock ‘em with confidence. You’ll have all your friends saying, “Daaaaamn, Daniel.” Or should I say, “Daaaaamn, [insert your name here].”


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