These 5 "Classic" Sneaker Styles Will Always Have You Running Back To Them

by Rachel Besser

When you really break it down, there are only two types of sneakers in this world. There are the trendy sneakers like “those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks,” a style that even Cardi B declares her like for in her Billboard topping song, “I Like It.” These on-trend sneakers usually have a quick rise to fame, and often their fall from grace is just as quick. The other type of sneaker is the tried-and-true classic that will never go out of style. These are the sneakers that you can wear into the ground without ever worrying whether or not they are “over.

To be clear, one category of sneaker is not necessarily better than the other. Sometimes, an of-the-moment sneaker pulls on your heartstrings even if the trend is ephemeral. That being said, a tried-and-true classic delivers the same cool factor and has longevity, too (not to mention classic sneaks are almost always a fraction of the price of their designer counterparts).

So, to help you navigate your way through the sneaker world, here's a list of classic styles that have stood the test of time. While a trendy Balenciaga sneaker is still an excellent item to have in your closet, the below styles will surely maintain their cool no matter how the trends ebb and flow.

Air Force 1

Nike Air Force 1 ‘07, $90

One sneaker everyone should have in their closet is a pair of white Nike Air Force 1s. The monochrome colorway and sturdy build make them a shoe that goes with everything — from jeans, to dresses, to pantsuits. These sneaks have kept their cool since their release in 1987, but the best part about the Air Force 1 is that Nike constantly releases fun, enticing iterations of this classic. So, if you’re not sold on the OG solid white colorway, there are plenty of other awesome variations available (like the Nike Air Force 1 Jester XX).

2. The Air Jordan 1

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Premium, $145

This is one of the most iconic sneakers in the game. It’s also a bit trickier to procure than other classics, like the Air Force 1 for three reasons: the Air Jordan 1 is on every sneakerhead’s list, the most coveted colorways tend to sell out before you know it or are only sold in resale stores (like this OG Chicago colorway), and many of the most desired colorways don’t come in women’s sizes. That being said, you can always find some cool iteration of this style on Nike’s site and on other sites, too. This sneaker will always be a solid choice, no matter what.

Vans Sk8-Hi

Vans Sk8-Hi, $65

First thing’s first, you do not need to be a skater to relish in the beauty of the classic Sk8-Hi Vans sneaker. Yes, this sneaker is rooted in skating. The Sk8-Hi was the first hightop option that provided skaters with ankle protection. While it’s important to know the impact that the Sk8-Hi made on skating culture, this sneaker has transcended the skating world to become a classic wardrobe staple that is low-key, looks good with any outfit, and offers ankle support, too.

Adidas Samba

Samba OG Shoes, $80

Similar to Nike, Adidas has a ton of definitive styles that we could viably add to this list, like the Stan Smith and the Superstar. While we love both of those styles, the Samba is a better fit. Here’s why: both the Stan Smith and the Superstar had a very on-trend moment a few years back. Now, the Stan Smith and Superstar trend has started to see a dip, and while that doesn’t take away from the classic nature of either style, the Samba is the low-key sibling that is equally classic and has maintained its cool all the while.

New Balance 990
New Balance

Women’s 990v4 Made In The US, $174.99

While there’s no denying that the New Balance 990 is a classic sneaker (it’s been around for over 30 years), this shoe can be a bit more polarizing than the rest. In our eyes, this sneaker carries no stigma. We see anyone from dads to fashion influencers rocking these sneakers on the reg. If that isn’t indicative of a classic, we’re not sure what is.