12 Different Types of Sneakers (Plus Famous Sneaker Brands)

Sneakers are probably the ultimate go-to when it comes to footwear because of the many different types of sneakers that you can choose from. Discover them all here.

A pile of sneakers make a collage of a sneaker.

Whether it is a lazy day, you are out completing chores, or you are heading out with friends, the most reliable pair of shoes you can get your feet into would be sneakers. Apart from being comfortable, sneakers are considered as being the “friendly shoes.” Moreover, most people on the streets are often sporting this type of footwear as well. The reason why sneakers are so loved is that they are available in different styles and forms, and are trendy, comfortable, and affordable. There are also some obsessed individuals that collect famous sneakers that get added to their sneaker collections. These unique individuals are referred to as sneakerheads.

On a different note, did you know there are some sneaker styles that can be worn without socks? Or that you can customize your sneakers as well so they can fit your definition of “trendy”? Believe it or not, there are many types of sneakers available that can be worn on different occasions with different types of clothing. Whether you want to dress up your outfit with limited-edition sneakers or stay low-key, casual with the infamous white sneakers, this foot apparel can be your ultimate and reliable go-to.

Many believe that when you wear sneakers, you can easily “sneak up” on someone, which is how they received their name. Just because sneakers have a unique meaning behind their name, it does not mean you should go around sneaking up on people because it is unethical. On the other hand, what is important though is that this type of footwear is quite fashion-forward and in-style these days. On this –positive- note, let us take a deeper look into the different types of sneakers that can be paired with the different clothing pieces in your closet.

Types of Sneakers

Plimsoll Sneakers

Plimsoll Sneakers

Plimsoll sneakers are the most famous and most common type of sneakers available. Also referred to as low top sneakers, plimsoll sneakers are available in different styles that cater to every individual’s unique taste. With these sneakers, the key is to wear no show socks so the sneaker can be the center of attention. They can be worn with skinny jeans or with jeans that are rolled up. Revealing your naked ankle with this sneaker is a fashion statement in itself. Just remember, you should not wear high socks with these sneakers!

High Top Basketball Sneakers

High Top Basketball Sneakers

High top sneakers have been in fashion for quite a while now. The reason for this is that they have advantages. One, you can confidently wear long socks without worrying about them peeking through your shoe top. Two, they always look good. Apart from becoming a staple at basketball courts, high top sneakers pair really well with tight fitted jeans and basketball shorts.

The Athletic Ones

Black athletic sneakers

Ordinary shoes with shoelaces do not look as good as they do when there are shoelaces on athletic sneakers. Athletic sneakers are usually considered the “sport” sneakers, which made by our favorite athletic brands, Adidas and Nike. These sneakers are the best combination of style and functionality. Despite what you are doing –walking or running-, the best option would be to get a pair of these sneakers on your feet.

Slip-on Sneakers

Slip-on Sneakers

Slip-on sneakers are considered as classic sneakers. These sneakers do not have any shoelaces on them which makes it easy to slide your feet into the shoe. Recently, slip-on sneakers have made a comeback. They are available in different patterns and metallic surfaces, but they are still as comfortable as ever. It is safe to say that these sneakers are extremely comfortable and casual. However, since they are low rise sneakers, make sure you are not wearing high socks because it would kill the look of the shoe.

“Authentic” Sneakers

“Authentic” Sneakers

When we say authentic sneakers, we are referring to the very famous Vans sneakers. At one point in time, Vans sneakers were the only pair of shoes people wanted to wear because of how comfortable and trendy they were. These sneakers can be worn with anything -dresses, overalls, shorts– which is what truly makes them revolutionary. The design is minimalistic and clean giving them the name authentic sneakers.

Leather Sneakers

Leather Sneakers

The hot trend in the sneaker world currently would be leather sneakers. Although, they are on the expensive side, with these sneakers you will be investing in something long term because these sneakers do not lose their appeal so easily. Since they are made with expensive material, these sneakers are paired best with formal and business attires.

Believe it or not, leather sneakers are a good option for sports as well because they are softer compared to the other options. In addition, they fit in your foot like a glove (as in, they mold in perfectly). Just make sure you are not taking away from their attractive appeal by wearing long socks.

Canvas Sneakers

Canvas Sneakers

Canvas sneakers are best described as conventional and comfortable. Canvas sneakers are material based and low rise sneakers that received their fame from popular brands like Converse All Stars. Since they are a conventional sneaker option, these sneakers are usually paired well with casual outfits. Moreover, these are the sneakers that sparked the rolled up jeans trend amongst the millennials.

LED Lighted Sneakers

LED Lighted Sneakers

LED sneakers have quickly gained popularity amongst ladies and the younger female generation, but males wear these shoes as well. What makes these sneakers so special is that it features a LED tube that runs around the outer sole area of the shoe. The color of the LED can be one or multiple, depending on what the owner wants. Since this sneaker is kind of flashy, it looks the best at parties or at concerts.

Textile Blend Sneakers

Since it is 2019, there are sneakers available for you that are made with more than one type of material. These sneakers are made with blends of different materials like plastic and leather, leather and textile, and so many more. It is important for you to understand what blend your sneaker is made of (if you are getting these ones) so your feet get accustomed to the material. These sneakers can be worn on a daily basis or for athletic purposes.

Synthetic Sneakers

Synthetic Sneakers

Synthetic sneakers are the worst kind of sneakers made, and –unfortunately- they are everywhere. If you have ever purchased inexpensive, appealing sneakers that made your feet smell really bad so you had to discard them immediately, there is a high chance that those sneakers were synthetic ones.

Synthetic sneakers are not breathable, they absorb all sorts of smell, they are not comfortable, they will your feet feel hot and they are made with the lowest quality materials. If you are someone who wants sneakers that can be worn on a daily basis, then these sneakers are the ones you should avoid at all costs.

Velcro Sneakers

Velcro Sneakers

Although, they are not the type of sneakers that can be worn with all types of outfits, Velcro sneakers are one that can elevate the look of a casual outfit with the right kind of style if they are paired correctly. Available in different colors and styles, these sneakers can be beautifully paired with streetwear outfits, an evening ensemble or a smart-casual one. The best part is that they are highly affordable!

Designer Sneakers

Designer Sneakers

As their name suggests, designer sneakers are sneakers that are released by a designer brand. For example, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, and other designer brands release high-end sneaker lines that are usually worn with formal outfits. Even though they are ultra-comfortable, they look special, and expensive, automatically making an ordinary outfit look extraordinary. It is true; designer sneakers can make a fashion statement.

Famous Sneaker Brands


A pair of Nike Balenciaga sneakers.

Without any doubt, Nike is one of the most popular and successful sneaker brands because they have sneakers for everyone’s taste. It is not possible to not find something appealing at Nike. Moreover, Nike has created one of the most successful basketball sneakers line of all time, the Air Jordans. Air Max is another famous Nike release. From minimalistic, low cut sneakers to bulky high tops, Nike has it all.


Rainbow colored Adidas sneakers.

The biggest competition for Nike sneakers would be the sneakers released by Adidas. Adidas has sneakers that have a fashionable inspired appeal. Moreover, Adidas is a brand that has had many designer collaborations and each new shoe features something new. These sneakers are being highly appreciated by everyone especially the individuals that are into streetwear and retro fashion.


Many Vans sneakers.

Although they were originally created as skater shoes, they have become popular in streetwear. Vans create sneakers that are versatile, attractive yet simple. Moreover, the sneakers are extremely durable and can be paired with almost anything.

Other brands

Nike, Adidas, and Vans are the most popular brands for sneakers but there are a few more that create sneakers that are comfortable, durable, and ideal for streetwear and retro fashion:

  • Puma
  • Converse
  • Common Projects
  • New Balance
  • Saucony
  • Asics
  • Filing Pieces

Famous Designer Brands

  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Fear of God
  • Margiela
  • Rick Owens
  • Raf Simons

Choosing the Right Sneaker for Different Occasions

Shot of a woman's legs in ripped jeans and wearing a pair of beige sneakers beside a row of multi-colored sneakers.

It is important to choose the right kind of sneakers for different occasions. The sneakers you choose to wear during a workout will be different from the sneakers you wear on a night out with your friends. Since some sneakers can be on the expensive side, it is important to see which one caters to your needs before splurging. However, it is not necessary to purchase a new pair of sneakers for every single occasion.

Sneakers are a versatile piece of footwear that can be mixed and matched. If you have a comfortable pair of jogging sneakers, they can be worn to the airport, whereas your basketball shoes can be worn with skinny jeans and a plain tee. Since sneakers are the kind of shoes that can be tricky to understand, we are making things easier on your part.

Here is how you can choose the right pair of sneakers for different occasions flawlessly:

Going for a Walk

Back profile of a pair of women's legs strolling on a road.

If you an individual that walks -as a form of exercise-, then the right kind of sneaker for you would be one with some sort of cushion for your foot and is flexible, but it must be supportive. Your foot must feel secure at all times when you are wearing walking shoes.

If your sole purpose of purchasing athletic sneakers is for ultimate comfort when you are walking, make sure you get your foot professionally measured. With professional measurements, you will be able to choose shoes that fit in your foot perfectly. After getting the right size, make sure you try them out.

If the shoe does not feel comfortable, choose a different one. The best part about getting walking sneakers is that if they are comfortable, you can wear them to the mall when you are shopping or when you are going out for groceries.

When You Are Running

Person wearing running sneakers and running.

If you run on a daily basis, it is crucial to get a pair of sneakers that are made for running purposes. The reason why it is crucial to get a pair of sneakers that are specially made for running is that they have the right amount of support your foot needs.

When your foot is moving in fast paces, it needs extra support, but the shoe must be breathable. Your feet will be moving in jarring motions, which is why it is important to have a little extra cushioning at the sole of your foot to prevent it from jabbing against the ground. The ideal option would be high top sneakers or athletic sneakers.

Most running injuries occur because of bad sneakers, making it even more important to get your hands on the right pair of shoes. Therefore, when you are heading out to purchase running shoes, make sure they have the right amount of support around the ankle area and cushioning at the sole (if you are unaware, feel free to ask the employees).

Sometimes, running shoes are on the bulky side which is why they do not go well with everyday outfits, but if you are going for a street-style look, they can look great.

Into Cross-Training?

Woman wearing cross-training sneakers.

By cross-training, we are referring to doing all types of activities except for running. This means you can wear the recommended athletic sneakers when you are on the elliptical while doing some cardio or

when you are weight lifting. You can wear these athletic sneakers to exercise classes that are held at the gym where you will be performing a combination of different workouts. When it comes to choosing the ideal athletic sneakers for cross-training, what you need to consider is extra cushioning and stability.

Your foot will be moving in many different directions, so you will need a stable shoe that will protect it from getting injured. Cross-training sneakers can be worn when you are going on a hike or a camping trip because they will provide your feet with the comfort they need even during uncomfortable circumstances.

Cycling or Spinning

Individuals wearing cycling sneakers.

When you cycling or spinning, there is no need to purchase a new pair of sneakers. You can get a pair of regular athletic or plimsoll sneakers because all you have to do is slip your foot into the pedal and strap it on.

However, if cycling is a regular practice for you, it would be good to get sneakers that would clip on the pedals of the bike. Although it is not a requirement, if you have these specialized sneakers, it will make the whole experience much better, safer, and easier.

Keep in mind, since you will be investing in special sneakers for this practice, it will not be possible to wear them when you are out and about.

Head to the Airport in Style

Airport fashion of a person in white shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

When you are headed to the airport, it is important to wear something that is super comfortable and casual. Since you will be on the go, moving one thing from one place to another and –probably- be in a hurry, you should wear slip-on sneakers or athletic ones as they are comfortable yet trendy.

These sneakers are available in different patterns and colors, which means they can be paired easily with trousers, denim, and rugged jeans. If you are an individual that wants to travel in, then these sneakers are the ideal option.

Trips during the Weekend

Person wearing high top sneakers.

The weekend is the ideal time of the week for most families to go on trips together. Moreover, these trips are the most adventurous part of many people’s lives, which is why everyone should make the most of it. However, since these fun-loving trips usually take place in unusual destinations, it is important for you to wear shoes that are ultimately comfortable.

The best option for a weekend trip would be high top sneakers or athletic ones. Despite what you choose to pair them with, rest assured that you can easily perform different tasks with this footwear. On the other hand, if you are not wearing shoes that are comfortable, your entire trip will be ruined.

Night Out With Your Friends

A trio wearing canvas sneakers.

When you are going out with your friends for a fancy dinner, it is important to wear sneakers that are timeless yet go with what you are wearing. The ideal option would be canvas sneakers or leather ones. The reason for this is that these shoes can easily be paired with jeans, trousers, dresses, dress pants, and what not! All you have to make sure about is that your sneaker should be clean, if it is not, give it a clean and wear it out!

Formal Gathering

A pair of sneakers, a belt, and a shirt with a tie on a wooden background.

When you are going to a formal gathering, everyone will expect you to be suited up in a suit with suede loafers, when in reality, you can break away from this “formal gathering” stereotype. The best way to do that would be by wearing leather sneakers or low top sneakers that either match or contrasts the color of your suit.

Although they are considered to being casual, the trends are changing and people are wearing sneakers with almost anything. Step outside your comfort zone and pair sneakers with a formal outfit. It will not only be a fashion statement, but also the ultimate game-changer for many.


This is everything you need to know about sneakers. This is all the information you need before purchasing the ideal type of sneaker for yourself. Since you are giving into sneaker culture, make sure you are stepping outside your comfort zone and wearing a pair of sneakers you might have never imagined wearing.

Sneakers are becoming a fashion statement and they are crossing every fashion boundary. They are now being worn at casual gatherings, formal events and they have even been sported at famous fashion shows. As 2020 approaches, the only thing we can predict is that sneaker culture will take over more than it has taken over everyone right now.

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