Your cheat sheet to this season’s throwback trainers

A new season is a new excuse to take stock of your trainers, and for SS20 we’re looking across the pond for inspiration. All-American icons, circa the early 00s, are cropping back up in current collections, only this time the shoes are that bit slicker. So, whether this era is fresh ground for you or you’re keen to throw it back, these are the styles to hot-foot it to right now.

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Bottega Veneta – Dodger

Here’s a word to add to your trainer vocab: Intrecciato. Brand of the moment Bottega Veneta’s decades-old leather-weaving technique makes its way onto the Dodger trainers this season. Selfridges’s Lead Stylist, Vincent Levy, notes how the Italian brand is “playing on the classic checkerboard print of this time, by swapping this out for their similarly patterned, beautifully crafted, Intrecciato leather weave”. Clever. By doing so, Bottega transforms the ultra-casual skate shoe into a style you could slip on with tailored trousers, as well as ripped jeans.

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Balenciaga – Track 2.0

Like your favourite beer/cheese/running route (delete as appropriate), the Track 2.0 is complex. No fewer than 176 pieces of mesh and nylon make up Balenciaga’s most intricate chunky trainers to date. They’re high-tech (that dual-density EVA sole is both lightweight and comfortable), highly breathable (thanks to the open-air structure), and high on our list when it comes to donning with straight-cut denim or slim joggers.

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Maison Margiela – Tabi high-tops

The double-take trainers of the season, Maison Margiela’s bright-white Tabis are where classic basketball high-tops (a favourite among garage and indie bands of the early 00s) meet the Belgian brand’s signature cleft toe (inspired by Japanese socks). They’re basically a recent style history lesson in shoe form, as well as an ultra-easy pair to lace up alongside turn-up, dark-wash jeans (guitar optional).

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Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh – Off-Court

There’s box-fresh, and then there’s the Off-Court. Their flat, heavy soles might come straight from a basketball game, but this pair hasn’t so much as heard the squeak of rubber on hardwood – that Zip-Tie tag is there to stay. The low-top cut sets them apart from last season’s high-riding pairs (and the styles we remember from old-school b-ball kit), and they’ll work well when summer hits – just pull them on with loose-fitting shorts and a polo.

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The flat, heavy soles and minimal uppers of Louboutin, Yatay and Off White’s designs bring to mind the box-fresh kind favoured by the stars of Hype Williams’s music videos, made more grown-up and covetable through unique material and colourway choices.

– Vincent Levy, Lead Stylist

Yatay – Neven

The low-riding, noughties-inspired design of Yatay’s Neven trainers belies the long sustainable checklist that comes with this pair. We’re talking bio-derived vegan leather, recycled foam and rubber, organic cotton and Italian hemp laces. Look out for the code on the heel – it’s for tracking a tree in Yatay forest, Kenya. That gives a whole new meaning to “crep check”.

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Christian Louboutin – Happyrui trainers (coming soon)

Christian Louboutin – Happyrui

Picture Christian Louboutin putting 70s tennis shoes through a 00s filter and the result is the Happyrui trainers. The French brand keeps the styling minimal, mixing up this low-top pair with textured panels to contrast the thick, flat midsole and signature flash of scarlet underfoot. It’s been a while since this silhouette was subjected to grass stains and racquet-bashing; now you can serve these up just about any day of the week.

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