6 sneaker trends to keep in 2023 and 2 to leave behind



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Photoshop of New Balance 993 and wide leg cut out jeans.

Y2K fashion will remain popular in 2023, as will New Balance. Danni Santana/ Revice Denim
  • Insider asked three stylists for the most popular sneaker styling trends of 2023.
  • Performance shoes like Hoka are in and Y2K fashion is  here to stay.
  • Dunks are no longer the “it” shoe, and Yeezys are out after Ye's public divorce from Adidas

Pair performance shoes with casual wear

Hoka CHALLENGER ATR 6

Hokas HOKA ONE ONE

Chunky performance shoes are now firmly part of casual wear. So expect to see more Hoka One One, Asics, On, and Salomon shoes on feet in 2023 in and out of the gym. 

"What's interesting is the brands are very performance focused. They're not very focused on looking cool," said Heather Newberger, fashion stylist, author, and television commentator. "But they are becoming cool now because of this idea of, like, oh, right, you do have to walk everywhere."

Some specific silhouettes expected to be popular with consumers in the new year include the Hoka Clifton and the Asics Gel-Kayano, stylists said. Another good example of this trend is the  Salomon XT-6.

"The Salomon XT-6 is a big shoe for 2023 for the simple fact that you get a nice, comfortable shoe that appeals to lots of different consumers, " Bryce Moore, a sneaker and fashion Youtuber, said. The Salomon's XT-6 comes in a wide range of colors across general releases and collaborations

It'll be another great year for New Balance

New Balance 993 Aimé Leon Dore

New Balance 993 Aimé Leon Dore Danni Santana

New Balance, yes, the brand synonymous with "dad shoes," is very much in right now. 

New Balance has been emerging in the sneaker community since 2019, according to Moore. Collaborations with designers such as JJJJound and Joe Freshgoods have elevated the popularity of silhouettes like the 990 V3 and 993. 

Moore predicts the chunky New Balance 1096R can be the next big sneaker for the brand.

The 1096R is similar to the 2002R that grew in popularity among sneakerheads after the 2021 release of "Protection Pack" a line of sneakers with suede overlayed on mesh that was designed to look worn.

Dunks and New Balance 550s are not the "it" shoes anymore

Nike Dunk 'Panda' with X

Nike

With so many pairs of Dunks and New Balance 550s released to the public during the pandemic, they will be easy to spot on the street in 2023, but the hype for these shoes will cool down this year.

But Adidas' Samba is having a moment

Adidas Samba

Addidas' Samba Adidas

"The Samba is probably the successor to the New Balance 550 or the Nike Dunk," Moore said.

The Samba has been around since 1949 when it debuted as a soccer shoe. This year, Adidas is releasing a highly anticipated collab with designer JJJJound. The company has also successfully partnered with British designer Grace Wales Bonner on multiple Samba releases, including in June 2022. 

"Soccer trainers, AKA Sambas, are really in right now. And a lot of that comes from this sort of like post-World Cup hysteria," Newberger said. "It's a kind of shoe that they've already been loving for a long time in the UK or overseas."

Yeezys have fallen out of favor

Yeezy with X

Yeezys are out Adidas

Wearing Yeezys will officially be out of style in 2023, following the divorce of Adidas and Ye.

The rapper formerly known as Kanye West was dropped by Adidas in October after a public feud and multiple anti-Semitic comments.

Ye has given those shoes "a bad connotation," Brendan Cannon, stylist at Cannon Media Group.. "People just don't want to wear Yeezys because they don't want to have people say comments to them on the street."

Adidas now plans to release Yeezy silhouettes without Ye or the Yeezy branding as early as this year. But for many sneaker purists, it won't be the same

"Yeezy is not designing them, so Yeezy stock will drop," Moore said. 

Wear sneakers with comfortable clothing and dresses, too

Sneakers with a dress

Pairing sneakers with a dress in London Jeremy Moeller / Getty Images

Comfortable and relaxed clothing has long been the best way to style your favorite pair of sneakers. And the casual trend will continue, stylists predict. 

"Everyone is going to go for the relaxed and cool fit because it is fashion-forward as well,"   Cannon said.

2023's casual look includes wearing straight-leg or wide-leg pants and an oversized tee or vest. Tracksuits and sweatsuits are also back. Donning sneakers with dresses is also acceptable.  

"Gwen Stefani was on the forefront of" the dress and sneaker look, Cannon said. But the look is coming back because it combines comfort and style. 

Sustainable style hits sneakers

Unless Collective's "Degenerate" sneaker, which biodegrades

Unless Collective's "Degenerate" sneaker biodegrades. Courtesy Unless Collective

More brands are catering to millennial and Gen Z shoppers' desire for sustainable clothing, Newberger and Cannon said.

Established shoe brands like Allbirds and Veja are both well-known for manufacturing sustainable sneakers. Industry giants Nike and Adidas have begun touting the use of recycled plastic in some of their designs.

There are also a slew of footwear startups focused solely on sustainability, including Holo, Blueview. Unless Collective, a Portland, Oregon-based streetwear startup founded by a former Adidas executive, recently released a new shoe called the Degenerate, which will decompose at the end of its useful life.

Y2K style is here to stay in 2023

Air Max 96 II ‘White/Grape Ice’

Air Max 96 II ‘White/Grape Ice’ Nike

For older millennials, Y2K fashion being dubbed "retro" has felt a little awkward. Expect that awkward feeling for a bit longer, stylists say. 

The trend has been largely brought back by Gen Z and TikTok, where numerous videos under the hashtag #Y2KFashion show how to dress like it is the late 90s or early aughts. Popular clothing items include mini-skirts, chunky sneakers, oversized tees, baby tees, and leather jackets. And the louder the colors and materials, the better. 

In terms of footwear, Y2K fashion includes platform shoes and boots and chunky sneakers, often peeking out of wide-leg jeans. 

"Bringing it back seems like a perfect fit for right now because it was all about comfort and style," Cannon said.

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