Style

Cool Sneakers

White, red and blue sneakers were big in the 70s. (Nike launched their iconic Cortez shoe during the 1972 Olympics, and Farrah Fawcett famously wore them when she was in Charlie’s Angels.) This fall, similar styles are everywhere again. I’m digging the look of a cool, old-school running shoe, and I’d love to wear a pair this fall with jeans and sweaters.

Here are five fun pairs: perforated, classic, suede, sporty and lace-up.

Thoughts? Are you into them?

P.S. Our favorite fall colors, and how not to get blisters from shoes.

(Photo by Kate Ogata/Instagram.)

  1. Yes! It’s amazing how a good pair of sneakers can make me feel far more put together than I probably am. ;)

  2. My current cortez pair is so worn out actual holes appeared on my big toes. I need to get a new pair stat, they’re the best!

  3. Emily C says...

    I have been looking for a fun, casual weekend sneaker for MONTHS and have not been able to find anything. What a timely post. Just ordered this exact shoe :)

  4. layla says...

    I’m a long time reader and love the community here. I really love the week of uniforms posts and am wondering if you are still doing those? It’s been quite a while since the last post and I have to admit that’s what drew me to your site! Hope we will see one soon! Thanks!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Glad to hear you love them! We have quite a few coming up! xo

    • layla says...

      So glad to hear that you have more lined up! i can’t wait to read them!

  5. I do not really like sneakers. They tend to feel to sporty on me. I am more of a boot / ballet flat kinda gal. *shrug* I do like the classic look of the retro though, the white looks a bit more refined.

    • Suzanne says...

      Aren’t sneakers supposed to look sporty? I think that’s the appeal to me!

  6. Definitely into them! I have a pair of Internationalist Nikes in Black/Gray/White that are my go-to shoe for… everything. Living in Portland (aka Sneaker Town) means sneakers are always appropriate. ;) The Cortez looks great too (I too had a pair in high school) but I’d probably buy another Internationalist, I love their retro look! I don’t think I’d personally go for red, white and blue though.

  7. Catherine says...

    I had a pair of white Cortez with a purple suede swoosh in the mid-eighties. I begged my parents endlessly for these sneakers! The first day I wore them to school (I was in 3rd grade), I peed my pants during recess while playing kickball. I was simultaneously mortified and repulsed by my pee sneakers and promptly left them in the corner of the garage with all of our family’s “outdoor” shoes, never to be worn again. My mom routinely lectured me, “You begged for those shoes and NEVER wear them!” but I never did tell her why.

    These days, I don’t wet my pants (except during an occasional sneak sneeze attack) so my sneakers are safe, dry and well worn! I love Adidas Stan Smiths and Veja (I have a metallic gold color) BUT…if you really want a treat, I suggest Golden Goose. I recently bought a pair and they are like walking on what I believe clouds would feel like. And, they already come “broken in.”

  8. Christine says...

    Love sneakers! I’ve got some Adidas, new balances, nikes and vans. Also, Onitsuka Tigers are soooo comfortable. I went through a few pairs when I was teaching and on my feet all the time.

  9. Sarah says...

    I love them. Funny, I had the black and white leather and non leather back in the early 90s. It all comes back around.

  10. shannon says...

    Last year for Christmas I picked out red, white, and blue New Balance sneakers from J.Crew. They are really fun and brighter than my usual tan or black shoes, plus since I wear a lot of neutral clothes they go with a lot of my wardrobe. I’d recommend the “trend.” :)

  11. Carol-Anne Powell says...

    I keep wanting and trying to embrace the sneaker thing….So far without real success. No matter which I try & what I wear them with, I always feel sloppy and grandma-like.

  12. Sandra says...

    Even though I haven’t been on board with a lot of the trends that have come back around lately, this is an exception. I love these!

  13. Eliza says...

    Love the Onitsuka sneaks! I’ve been lusting after a pair for a while but just haven’t committed-maybe I will now! ;-) On a side note, I’m always fascinated by the regional differences in what people call items. For example, tennis shoes vs. sneakers. I grew up in Brooklyn and we always called them sneakers!

    • Trisha says...

      haha agreed! I am from Memphis and my parents always said tennis shoes, or “tennies”. I still say “gotta grab my tennies!” before running out the door for a walk!

    • Lenna says...

      Another Onitsuka/Tigers fan and similarly interested in regional terms. (“Shrimp” for pill bugs has to be the most endearing.) I will always say “gym shoes” as someone from the Chicago area. This I cannot change!

  14. Oh yes….beautiful.

  15. I had the blue one when I was in junior high! Would definitely wear them. I have the adidas version now

  16. Rebecca says...

    Oh, the Cortez! Didn’t know what they were called before now but I coveted them as a kid in the early ’80s. I never asked for them, I think because I sensed they would be out of our budget, but then one miraculous day the mom of my older sister’s best friend showed up with a pristine hand-me-down pair. My first style memory. I may need a new pair . . .

  17. Krista says...

    Am I the only person who feels like Jerry Seinfeld when they wear jeans and sneakers?

    • Claire says...

      lol!

  18. I bought 1 pair of Adidas Stan Smith with naive details! And I bought a pair of Conver All Stars in black, the sneakers that I wore all my life! I love both of them and I can wear any type of garments because… they look cool on everything! :)
    Kisses*

    • I LOVE my Stan Smiths! I got the navy detailing too. No matter what I wear them with I feel instantly cooler!

  19. Sasha says...

    can you let us know where the sweater is from?

  20. Sonja says...

    I have bought three pair of retro sneakers over the past year. I bought a pair of magenta Nike with white stripe, a pair of red and navy new balance from j.crew, and classic navy adidas with white stripes. I am 42 with two elementary school kids. I get tons of compliments on my retro tennis very time I wear a pair. Great for my mom outings and casual Fridays. I love them.

  21. Katie says...

    Anyone into sneakers should check out Detroit based company Stock x
    https://stockx.com

    Great selection and everything is authenticated. Tons of cool stuff!

  22. Simone says...

    I love the Cortez! They were so popular in the 90s too when I was a teenager. So were adidas Superstars, but those aren’t quite my cup of tea. So funny that they’re both having another moment ?

  23. Rainbeau Tharp says...

    sneakers yeah yeah yeah— what about that Clare V bag though! (drool)

  24. You have me waxing nostalgic over long-ago Tretorns! (Though mine were white + various pastels.)

  25. Marti says...

    They remind me of Forrest Gump….which isn’t a bad thing ?

  26. SanDe says...

    As a kid who remembers when Farrah wore the Cortez in that ultra-cool Charlie’s Angels episode so long ago, I had to order a pair! Now if I could just work a skateboard like she did!

  27. Allison says...

    Yep. I’m into them. Comfort and style? Win and win.

  28. Totally dating my self here but I had a pair of Cortez sneakers back in the 70’s when I was a teenager!

    • Me too. They were part of my pom-pom uniform. We thought we were so radical, wearing them instead of saddle shoes.

  29. Teri Wade says...

    Love them! I want a pair and so does my twenty year old!

  30. Meg says...

    I just read the post on finances and was so inspired by the comments to work on budgeting aaaaand now I want $400 worth of sneakers.

    • sooz says...

      Right there with you! But I’m going back to an earlier post and purchasing a pair of birch allbirds…

  31. Lily says...

    The classic Cortez is so good. I am into the veja pair too.

  32. Sarah says...

    LOVE.

  33. Megan says...

    I’ve been spying on the Cortez for a while now and want a pair so bad!!