Forget about the retro trainers that take you back to a moment in time when you were the coolest kid in sixth form. That’s not what we are looking for here. When it comes to retro trainers that retain their appeal, it’s all about the period they represent as a whole. After all, one person’s Chipie classics would make an Adidas Gazelle fanatic’s brow furrow in an instant.

You don’t need to scroll through JD Sports customer feedback to find out that certain retro trainers have a cool factor that seems destined to be eternal, but how do you know which styles to try on? It’s simple – you read this article and find out! The following retro kicks are widely accepted to be forever awesome:

Low-top canvas sports shoes

Back in the day, Converse trainers were actually worn for sport, not just showing some ankle with your turn-up jeans, yet they have weathered the storm of fickle fashion and remained a hugely popular style.

Today, other brands have tapped into the classic rubber sole/canvas upper design, offering us all more choice in terms of colour and limited-edition patterns, while never veering too far from that original timeless look. They have even become a business casual staple, too, with vivid contrasting socks thrown into the mix as well.

Understated tennis shoes

Retro Trainers AdidasThe humble plimsoll. Who knew that such a simple shoe concept would stand the test of time to become a firm favourite for wearers of all ages? Born out of the all-white dress code of high-end tennis tournaments, the chic white tennis shoe, perhaps with a little accent colour here and there, has made the move from court to catwalk with ease and there is will stay.

If your dad has a pair of old school Dunlop Green Flash trainers lurking in the loft somewhere, now might be the time to claim them.

Old-school runners

Nike Converse Retro TrainersDespite running shoes having become more hi-tech than your smartphone, there is still a place in many a fashion-conscious heart for retro runners. King of them all, the Nike Cortez, with its simple lines, swish colourways and big Swoosh logo, works with everything from skinny jeans to vintage 501s and everything in between. The more worn-in they get, the better they look, too, so these are an investment that keep giving back.

For a Nike alternative, don’t sleep on New Balance and Puma, both of which have similarly styled kicks in their stable.

Good old skate shoes

Vans maketh the man (and woman and kids!), and in terms of fashion, they are leading the charge for the traditional skate shoe that keeps getting more popular. Coming in slip-on or lace up styles, it’s the waffle-sole giant that has garnered so many fans, as well as the easy comfort, huge variety of designs and collaborations and the plethora of vegan-friendly options.

You don’t actually need to ride a skateboard to work a pair of skate kicks, in case you were wondering.


Nike High Tops Retro SneakersLast, but not least, we come to hi-top basketball retro trainers, made famous by Michael Jordan in the 1980s. Great for on the court as well as the street, the classic tall silhouette has stood the test of time and become an easy staple for anyone trying to get a more hip-hop inspired ensemble together.

Comfortable, casual and designed to demonstrate serious fashion savvy, it’s little wonder hi-tops have become so beloved by countless generations.

Trainer styles may come and go but some retro classics are definitely here to stay. The only question is, which of today’s offerings will be priceless classics?