Any fashion editor worth their salt will tell you that the best trainers can absolutely make an outfit. And that includes me. I'll be honest, I used to hate wearing trainers outside of the gym, but now I'm a convert.
It certainly helps that some of my favourite designers like Chloé, The Row and Loewe have just brought out sleek styles for the new season. Now that I've invested in a couple of pairs, I wear almost no other footwear, since they go with a surprising amount of what I own, from jeans and t-shirts to knit dresses.
Tempted? Here's everything you need to know about which fashion trainers to invest in this season.
AW23 trainer trends
For autumn/winter, we're seeing plenty of crochet and embroidered trainers, a trend set by the sell-out Chloé Nama sneaker, launched as part of their SS22 collection and an instant hit thanks to its sustainable design (Katie Holmes can't stop wearing hers).
Retro styles like the adidas Gazelle, the Converse Chuck Taylors and the Nike Blazer sneakers are still going strong, and I'm loving Gucci's vintage take with the 1977 slip-ons.
Chunky trainers are still high on the agenda, with New Balance Unisex 530 still selling out on a regular basis. For something minimal, try a white trainer, seen everywhere on TikTok and at Fashion Week.
Of course, sustainability is at the forefront for AW23, and we're seeing some great vegan options from the likes of Veja, Waes and Yatay - head to our sustainable trainers edit for even more styles.
What trainers are best for running?
If you're looking for more of a practical shoe to help reach your fitness goals, we've got you covered. Our Health Editor, Ally Head, has tested lots of sporty styles for you to choose from, and included loads of information on what to look out for in her guide to the best running trainers, so make sure to check that out.
The best trainers to buy now
I'm a fashion editor who used to hate trainers, but I've cherry picked the best fashion trainers that I would genuinely buy and wear. Shop them below.
When I say I've always hated trainers, I'm not being entirely truthful, I have owned a pair of burgundy suede Gazelles for about a decade and love them. However this season I'll be investing in this gorgeous green colourway.
Vejas are one of the trainer brands I see the most on the cobbles at fashion week, and it's easy to see why. Not onyl are they loved by The Princess of Wales, they have sustainable credentials too. The shoe's inner lining is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, while the outer sole is made from 54% bio-sourced and recycled rubber.
I have been lusting after Chloé’s new lower-impact sneaker every since it launched for SS22, and this autumn is when I finally cave in. I won't feel guilty about it either. The brand has calculated that the Nama emits 35% less greenhouse gases and consumes 80% less water than its predecessor, the Sonnie sneaker.
The Dunk Low "Next Nature" collection is part of Nike's 'Move to Zero' sustainable campaign featuring sneakers made with at least 20% recycled material. The neutral tones mean that they will compliment any outfit.
Loewe's latest sneaker, part of their latest collab with cult trainer brand On, has already been snapped up by Emily Ratajkowski. New in this design is the CloudTec® Phase midsole technology, which is said to feel as comfortable as walking on clouds. Sold.
I actually already own these trainers and can testify that they are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own.
Gen Z assemble. The Asics Gel-NYC trainers combie elements of the early 2000s Gel-Nimbus and the Gel-Cumulus tooling structure - it's no surprise I've spotted them loads on TikTok already.
Hiking trainers are having a bit of a moment, and these Reebok trainers offer the chance to dip into the trend.
Allbirds use natural matierials like merino wool and eucalyptus fibre. They also plan on cutting their carbon footprint in half by the end of 2025, then reducing it to near zero by 2030. I love this arty style, part of their collaboration with Tiffany Bouelle.
The perfect way to add a pop of colour to your winter wardrobe, these trainers are a fresh take on a Karhu classic. Wear with an oversized black suit for major 80s vibes.
Told you retro trainers were back. This latest addition Gucci's 'Tennis 1977' collection is inspired by that decade's sports shoes.
These trainers are everywhere at the moment, and it's not hard to see why. They are one of the comfiest pairs I own, with a breathable mesh upper for freshness and comfort. I especially love the vintage vibe that they add.
This season everyone is loving retro designs, and the Converse Chuck Taylor high tops, while not new by any means (they were named in 1932 after a basketball player and coach who helped redesign them), is the perfect way to embrace it, especially in this classic colourway.
Meet your ultimate all-weather adventure companion. These trainers have the whole package - waterproof, ice-grip soles, and Thinsulate lining for rock-solid performance. They're stylishly wrapped in water-repellent leather, cozily snuggled with faux-fleece, and designed for ultimate comfort and durability. Get ready to conquer any adventure that comes your way.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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