The Ultimate Sneaker Style Guide
Aside from being arguably the most comfortable category of footwear, one of the best things about sneakers is that they’re seasonless. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, you can rock a pair of trainers and still be dressed appropriately for the weather. Not only that, but tennis shoes are always in style.
Everyone knows what a sneaker is, but there are numerous styles to choose from. If you love laidback footwear and want to step up your game, we recommend brushing up on your knowledge of the various types of casual sneakers for men and women.
9 Types of Sneakers
You can wear tennis shoes with jeans, workout clothes, athleisure outfits, shorts, and even dresses. That being said, not all sneakers are created equal. Some are designed as streetwear, while others are intended to be worn for exercise. And then, of course, many trainers fall somewhere in between.
So, what are all the different types of sneakers? The most popular styles for men and women include lace-up athletic sneakers, bungee lace sneakers, slip-on active sneakers, Mary Jane sneakers, walking sneakers, fashion lace-ups, casual slip-on sneakers, high-top sneakers, sneaker booties, and anti-slip sneakers. Find details about each type below.
1. Lace-Up Athletic Sneakers
When it comes to active footwear, lace-up athletic sneakers are front and center. They usually have relatively thick rubber outsoles and uppers made of mesh (or another moisture-wicking material) with traditional tongues and shoelaces. While there are many variations—such as running shoes and cross-training sneakers—athletic shoes are made for performance. Not to mention, they’re one of the most comfortable walking sneakers for women.
Check out the lace-up athletic sneakers from Vionic. You’ll find active styles with standard tongues, high-quality laces, raised eyelets, sturdy outsoles, and flexible mesh and neoprene uppers. Our lightweight, breathable trainers for women and men are made with podiatrist-designed orthotics concealed within each shoe. And believe it or not, you don’t have to be a gym rat to rock athletic sneakers. Our collections include both neutral styles and playful designs you can wear for sweat, play, or every day.
2. Bungee Lace Sneakers
Bungee lace sneakers are another type of athletic shoe. Instead of standard shoelaces and tongues, this style is loosened and tightened with thin bungee cords. This is convenient for runners and other athletes who want to avoid retying their shoes while training.
The bungee lace sneakers from Vionic are notably comfortable and lightweight with reliable and buoyant rubber outsoles. They’re engineered with breathable, flexible uppers made of mesh, neoprene, and other performance textiles. And with bungee laces, you can easily adjust the fit exactly to your liking. Bold pops of color against neutral hues make our bungee lace sneakers stylish too.
3. Laceless Active Sneakers
Laceless active sneakers are a popular sporty chic style for men and women. Instead of traditional laces or bungees, this type of athletic tennis shoe typically features hook-and-loop straps, velcro, or just stretchy uppers you can effortlessly slip your feet into.
Vionic carries a variety of slip-on trainers with breathable, adjustable mesh, knit, neoprene, or flexible leather uppers and cushioned outsoles. Choose from criss-cross hook-and-loop closures, velcro straps, or stretchy slip-on designs. Most of our styles have pull-tabs on the back heels, making them easy to take on and off. Our laceless active sneakers are suitable for working out or hanging out—there are no rules!
4. Mary Jane Sneakers
Mary Janes are a flat women’s footwear style characterized by a strap across the instep. As you can guess, Mary Jane sneakers are a sporty version of this classic shoe. With a chic, on-the-go vibe, this style is one of the best athleisure shoes.
The Mary Jane tennis shoes from Vionic are made with all-day comfort and support in mind. Featuring mesh uppers, adjustable Gore-Tex straps, removable textile-wrapped footbeds, and dependable rubber outsoles, these shoes pull out all the stops. Our Mary Jane sneakers are practical and feminine with an athletic flair, and they go with both active and casual sporty outfits.
5. Walking Sneakers
If you track your steps every day, a good pair of walking shoes is crucial. There are many variations of this type of athletic sneaker on the market, but the best designs will have high-traction outsoles, arch support, and a secure, comfortable fit. With Vionic walking sneakers, you’ll get these essential features and then some.
Designed to move with you and support your natural stride, our walking shoes are some of our top-selling footwear styles. They have water-resistant full-grain leather uppers with moisture-wicking mesh lining, action laces, and a PU foam base to reduce friction against your skin. Plus, you’ll get removable orthotic footbeds, a firm heel counter, outsoles with patterned tread, and an antibacterial top cloth to help control odors. Many walking shoes from Vionic are also podiatrist recommended shoes with an AMPA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance.
6. Fashion Lace-Ups
As we mentioned, many types of sneakers are designed specifically for streetwear. If you’re wondering how to wear sneakers fashionably, these are your go-to. Fashion lace-ups are casual yet sporty shoes that nod to current trends. Some feature subtle designs, and others are bolder.
The fashion sneakers from Vionic come in a broad range of styles, colors, and prints. We’re talking modern silhouettes, eye-catching metallics, statement animal prints, camouflage detailing, and vibrant hues. We also carry classic throw-back designs and simpler, sleek styles with neutral leather, suede, or textile uppers. And like all Vionic shoes, our fashion trainers are created for comfort. They have built-in (and completely hidden) orthotics, extra cushioning, and dual-density soles.
7. Casual Slip-Ons
Slip-on casual sneakers are another streetwear style. This laidback, versatile shoe is a favorite among men and women alike. You can wear casual slip-ons with shorts, jeans, rompers, pants, and dresses for an effortlessly cool vibe. Simple white sneakers are a wardrobe staple for both ladies and gents.
When you shop the collection of casual slip-on sneakers from Vionic, you’ll find a broad range of options with eco-conscious cotton, soft leather, suede, or weather-resistant uppers. As for colors, prints, and embellishments, you can choose from versatile neutrals, vibrant hues, chic metallics, fierce camo designs, delicate perforation, and animal prints, like leopard and snake. Our slip-on classic sneakers are also biomechanically engineered to hug your arches, promote natural alignment, and keep you comfortable for hours on end.
8. Sneaker Booties
Sneaker booties (or sneaker boots) combine aspects of both active footwear and traditional booties for women. For instance, you might have a trainer with an elevated heel that laces up to the ankles. Or you might have a Chelsea-style leather boot with performance outsoles.
Vionic is proud to offer sneaker boots and booties in supple nubuck or nappa leather. When you shop our inventory, you’ll find lace-up styles, slip-on sneaker boots with pull-tabs, and zipper designs. We love sneaker booties because you can dress them up or down for a broad range of occasions throughout the fall and winter.
9. Anti-Slip Sneakers
Anti-slip sneakers are typically designed with professional wear in mind. With non-slip outsoles and easy-to-clean uppers, they’re ideal (and sometimes required) for nurses, doctors, restaurant workers, and other essential employees. That being said, the slip-resistant shoes from Vionic can be worn inside or outside the workplace.
We carry numerous styles for women and men with anti-slip outsoles that pass ASTM F1677 (MARK II) performance testing and suede or leather uppers treated to repel water and oil. With built-in orthotics and contoured footbeds, Vionic’s non-slip sneakers are comfortable and supportive enough to wear for several hours on your feet. But that’s not all. They come in fashion-forward prints, colors, and silhouettes so stylish you’ll want to rock them on your days off.
Men’s and Women’s Sneakers from Vionic
Which types of sneakers do you already own and which are on your footwear wish list? Here at Vionic, we believe everyone can use at least a few pairs of tennis shoes. Whether you like to walk, run, cross-train, or just live an active lifestyle, our athletic sneakers will not disappoint. As for casual styles, it’s always good to have a neutral, wear-anywhere pair, but we recommend exploring some statement designs too.
Are you ready to expand your horizons in the world of sporty footwear? Shop men’s and women’s sneakers from Vionic today.