Get Ready for Warm Weather With 13 of the Best Summer Sneakers

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Summer is coming, the sun is shining, and the great outdoors is calling your name, so head outside for a bit of shopping, brunch with friends, a stroll through the park, or any kind of workout al fresco. Soaking up some sunlight comes with multiple benefits, from vitamin D to an enhanced moodโ€”and possibly even a longer life. The only thing that could make an outdoor adventure even more enticing? A fresh, cute pair of summer sneakers.

There are many ways to enjoy your warm-weather days, but why not celebrate the energy and vibrancy of the summer season with bright and fun sneakers? Lacing up a new pair of warm-weather kicks can transform your mood and motivate you to get out the door while providing supportโ€”more than a sandal would.

Experts In This Article

  • Nejla Renee, Nejla Renee is a New York City-based personal stylist.

Summer sneakers are typically light and airy designs made with breathable fabrics such as canvas or mesh, ensuring your feet donโ€™t get sweaty or feel suffocated. And, thanks to many brands like Keds, Converse, and Vans, many styles marry fashion and function. The best way to style them? The options are endless, explains New York City-based personal stylist Nejla Renee. โ€œFor example, I’d pair a low-profile sneaker such as Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Low Tops with anything from a feminine dress or skirt. On the other hand, a retro runner I recommend teaming with wide-leg jeans and trousers for a modern but unexpected take.โ€

Keep scrolling for the 13 best summer sneakers that will keep you stylish and comfortably on your feet no matter where the season takes you.

The best summer sneakers, at a glance:

What shoes are suitable for hot weather?

You know the saying, โ€œSandy toes, anything goes?โ€ Well, that quote couldnโ€™t be more accurate in the summer. Yes, some shoes are more suitable than others for summer, but we believe you’re dressing appropriately as long as you feel comfortable and confident and stay true to your style DNA.

Summer shoes, like sneakers, come in all shapes and sizes, making shopping overwhelming. However, if you want to focus on the styles that will keep you cool, lightweight sneakers designed with subtle colors like pale pink, baby blue, light, and white and breathable materials such as canvas and leather will be your best bet. And because blisters develop most frequently in the summer from swelling feet, youโ€™ll want to ensure your sneakers feature moisture-wicking materials and have ample cushioning to ensure your feet donโ€™t rub against something uncomfortable.

Shop 13 of the best summer sneakers

cole haan zerogrand runners, one of the best summer sneakers

Cole Haan, 5.ZERร˜GRAND Running Shoe โ€” $200.00

Available sizes: 5 to 11, including half sizes

If youโ€™ve been searching for a stylish running shoe, you can end your hunt thanks to the Cole Haan 5.ZERร˜GRAND Running Shoes. These lightweight, breathable sneakers can be worn straight from your run to Sunday brunch or shopping with friends.

Cole Haanโ€™s proprietary cushioned foam attenuates impact forces and provides some energy return to give you that cravable spring in your step. The 5.ZERร˜GRAND suits low-mileage runners looking for a functional, fun running shoe.

Materials: Textile and leather upper/textile lining/rubber sole

Colors: 3

Cushioning: Maximum

  • Comfortable for people with neuropathy
  • Lightweight & breathable
  • Proprietary GRANDFร˜AM provides generous cushioning, absorbs shock, and provides rebound with each step
  • Pricey for an everyday running shoe

allbirds trail runner swt, one of the best summer sneakers

Allbirds, Women’s Trail Runners SWT โ€” $140.00

Available sizes: 5 to 11, including half sizes

Trail running shoes are often drab, muted hues of gray or brown. But the Allbirds Womenโ€™s Trail Runners SWT will be the bright and colorful footwear you need to liven up your summer trail runs and hikes.

This shoe has the traction and protection of a hiking boot with the comfort of a sneaker. With a water-repellent finish to keep your feet dry come rain or mud, it is made with Allbirdsโ€™ signature sustainable materials like sugarcane, recycled plastic water bottles, and eucalyptus tree fiber.

Materials: FSC-certified TENCELโ„ข Lyocell (eucalyptus tree fiber), ZQ Merino Wool blend upper, ZQ Merino wool and recycled polyester ripstop, SweetFoamยฎ midsole made with sugarcane-based green EVA

Colors: 8

Cushioning: Medium

Drop: 7 mm

  • Comfortable & lightweight
  • Made with sustainable materials
  • Water-resistant & breathable
  • Has a large toe box, which is excellent for bunions

new balance fresh foam x 880v13, one of the best summer sneakers

New Balance, Fresh Foam X 880v13 โ€” $140.00

Available sizes: 6 to 11, including half sizes

Your summer runs are about to get a lot more flashy. The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 is as fun as it is functional.

Designed for serious runners who are racking up the miles, these running shoes feature a soft foam compound, and dual-layer midsole for optimal support and cushioning. The jacquard mesh upper is designed with strategic zones of support and breathability to keep your feet cool and happy no matter how hot the weather gets.

Materials: Rubber and mesh

Colors: 7

Cushioning: Maximum

  • Good arch support
  • Lightweight & bouncy
  • Comfortable for standing all-day
  • Runs small
  • Limited sizes in some colors

Hoka Bondi 8, one of the best summer sneakers

Hoka, Bondi 8 โ€” $165.00

Available sizes: 5 to 12, including half sizes

Hoka has a huge lineup of brightly-colored, fun running shoes that provide cloud-like cushioning mile after mile. This vivid, summery running shoe has a color pop that just screams, โ€œWear me!โ€ The shoe itself has the ultralight EVA midsole and maximal cushioning Hoka is known for. Who says you canโ€™t have cute shoes and run fast?

Materials: Upper mesh with 50% recycled polyester, 87% Recycled polyester strobel board, 100% recycled polyester sock liner top cloth, 40% recycled polyester eyestay lining

Colors: 15+

Cushioning: Maximum

Drop: 4 mm

  • Symmetrical bed of cushion for neutral stability
  • Best for everyday running and walking
  • Plush cushion
  • Offered in regular and wide widths
  • Can rub against the side of the foot

bike air force 1, one of the best summer sneakers

Nike, Air Force 1 โ€” $115.00

Available sizes: 5 to 12, including half sizes

The Nike Air Force 1 should be in everyoneโ€™s sneaker collection. It is the perfect summer shoe, especially in the triple white colorway. Itโ€™s beloved by all shoppersโ€”young, old, male, and femaleโ€”and for good reasons. It has a simple design, a signature Nike swoosh logo, and a subtle platform. Plus, it features Nike Air Cushioning, which delivers cushioning for all-day comfort.

Materials: Foam, rubber

Colors: 2 (plus a design-your-own option)

Cushioning: Medium

  • Timeless
  • Versatile
  • Great for everyday wear
  • Comfortable
  • Run large
  • It takes some time to break in

onitsuka tiger mexico 66, one of the best summer sneakers

Onitsuka Tiger, Mexico 66 โ€” $200.00

Available sizes: 5.5 to 15.5, in half sizes

Sleek statement trainers have been flooding street-style looks, and itโ€™s safe to say they wonโ€™t be going anywhere anytime soon. The top style thatโ€™s giving the Adidas samba a run for its money is the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66. This shoe first came out in 1949, so it makes sense that everyone canโ€™t get enough of themโ€”fashion girls are loving circular fashion and nostalgic elements. We love the yellow pair because theyโ€™re a great way to bring color to your summer outfits and deliver that cool girl look.

Materials: Leather

Colors: 8

Cushioning: Minimal

  • Not great for those who need arch support
  • Lack of cushion

converse chuck taylor all stars one of the best summer sneakers

Converse, Chuck Taylor All Stars โ€” $60.00

Available sizes: 5 to 18, including half sizes

The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Low Top sneaker is the best value option on this list. This iconic style was designed for basketball but has become mainstream because of its immense comfortability, versatility, and attainable price tag. Itโ€™s instantly recognizable with its minimal construction, which consists of a breathable canvas upper and rigid, long-lasting rubber sole.

These are an excellent choice for the warm weather and especially great for those who want a no-fuss, low-maintenance silhouette. With over 20 colorways, you can find a pair that fits your style needs. โ€œI always rebuy a pair of black Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars every summer because to me they are just the best summer sneaker; lightweight, easy to slip on, breathable, comfortable, and they just go with everything,โ€ notes Renee.

Materials: Canvas

Colors: 22

Cushioning: Minimal

  • Versatile
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Many color options
  • Affordable
  • No arch support
  • Run narrow

adidas gazelles, one of the best summer sneakers

Adidas, Gazelle Sneakers โ€” $100.00

Available sizes: 5 to 14, including half sizes

Adidas Gazelle sneakers are not going anywhere this year, and theyโ€™ll be just as popular this summer as they were last. Theyโ€™re all over the streets and the internet because theyโ€™re incredibly wearable, versatile, and attainable. While they have the same look and feel as the coveted Adidas Sambas, they have โ€‹โ€‹a wider forefoot and a flatter, shorter toebox, which offers the wearer a more relaxed and comfortable fit, especially for those with bunions or wide feet. Plus, the Gazelles have a unique gum sole, making them typically more challenging to get your hands on. We love all the color options offered in the Gazelle, but for the summer, weโ€™re gravitating toward the white styles with the colored 3-stripes.

Materials: Leather (or suede), rubber

Colors: 20+

Cushioning: Minimal

  • Soft insole
  • Always on-trend
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Minimal arch support
  • Run a half-size large
  • Run narrow

asics gel kayano 14, one of the best summer sneakers

Asics, Gel Kayano 14 โ€” $150.00

Available sizes: 6-10, including half sizes

If comfort is your top priority this summer, Asics Gel Kayano 14 shoes are for you. They are also fashion-forward and on-trend with the overtaking Y2-inspired aesthetic. We love the metallic iteration, but if thatโ€™s not your speed, the Gel Kayano 14 shoes come in muted hues like taupe and white. While these shoes have more of an athletic style and make sense to team with sweat shorts or workout leggings, we love them with cute socks and a flowy maxi dress or lightweight cargo pants to nail the โ€œwrong shoe theory.โ€

If this style isnโ€™t your jam, one of Asicsโ€™ more athletic Gel Kayano styles (with plenty more color options) might be for you.

Materials: Textile and synthetic upper/textile lining/rubber sole

Colors: 3

Cushioning: Maximum

  • Packed with gel cushioning, plus rebound and stabilizing technology
  • Removable, cushioned insole with arch support
  • Fashionable
  • True to size

sam edelman poppy sneaker, one of the best summer sneakers

Sam Edelman, Poppy Espadrille Sneakers โ€” $120.00

Available sizes: 5.5 to 11

Are you tired of wearing sandals in the summer? Sam Edelmanโ€™s Poppy Espadrille sneakers are for you. These summer kicks sit between dressy and casual. The espadrille sole keeps them casual, but the platform and leather or suede upper add a level of sophistication, making them suitable for the office or dinner. They give off the vibe of a sandal but provide more comfort. Style them with ecru-colored denim and a lightweight button-down or a cotton poplin mini dress.

Materials: Jute, faux leather, faux suede

Colors: 3

Cushioning: Medium

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • The platform gives a little height
  • Runs true to size

salomon xt-6 sportstyle, one of the best summer sneakers

Salomon, XT-6 Unisex Sportstyle Sneakers โ€” $200.00

Available sizes: 5 to 14 (unisex sizing)

Salmonโ€™s XT-6 sneaker is another style you must get your hands on this summer. This silhouette is one of the brandโ€™s best and most popular offerings. Itโ€™s incredibly stable, boasting a downhill chassis that cradles the feet with each step and a gripsole that provides excellent traction. Plus, they have nice arch support, making them great for those with flat feet, high arches, heel pain, knee pain, and back pain. I own the black pair but have my eyes on the white for summer. They have a fresh and refined sensibility that elevates anything from a casual bike shorts look to a more formal linen trousers one.

Materials: Synthetic and textile upper/textile lining/rubber sole

Colors: 10+

Cushioning: Medium

  • Grip sole and heel-to-toe stability
  • True to size
  • Removable insole with arch support
  • Durable
  • EndoFit sleeve keeps the foot in place
  • Pricey
  • Rugged, gorpcore look thatโ€™s not for everyone
  • Run narrow

gola elan sneakers, one of the best summer sneakers

Gola, Elan Sneakers โ€” $110.00

Available sizes: 5 to 11

Golanโ€™s Elan sneakers are the most underrated kicks you could wear this summer. Theyโ€™re shoes that not enough people are chatting about, so weโ€™re here to talk about them. These shoes feature all the design elements in this yearโ€™s popular sneaker styles โ€”a retro-silhouette, leather paneling, suede toe box, and a range of color options. Best of all, theyโ€™re under $120. While you might not think to wear suede in the summer, itโ€™s okayโ€”it can be chic and seasonal, especially in light colors like mustard yellow or sand.

Materials: Faux suede, leather

Colors: 6

Cushioning: Minimal

  • Can add custom inserts
  • Fashionable
  • Many color options
  • Versatile
  • Run large
  • Minimal arch support

Things to consider before buying:

Material: Fabric is the most important factor when choosing sneakers for warm weather. Especially if you have sweaty feet, youโ€™ll want to look for styles made with natural materials like canvas, leather, mesh, and nubuck. All these materials are natural, meaning theyโ€™re more permeable, allowing heat or sweat to pass through and your feet to breathe. Plus, theyโ€™re the more easy-to-clean materials. Remember to look at the shoeโ€™s upper and insole material, as this will determine how your feet feel.

Personal style: โ€œYou definitely want to consider your style when it comes to shopping for summer sneakers,โ€ says Renee. โ€œThink about what you plan to wear the sneakers withโ€” dresses, jeans, shorts, or skirtsโ€”and if your taste leans more toward minimalist, feminine, edgy, or trendy. Lastly, consider your lifestyle and what you will do while wearing the sneakers.โ€ This is important because if you plan on touring a new city on your feet, youโ€™ll probably look for a summer sneaker different from one you would need when running on the boardwalk or meeting friends for a nice brunch.

Budget: Summer sneakers can range from $50 to $500 and more, so consider how much you want to spend before shopping. Your budget should depend on where you will wear the sneakers and whether or not they style well with garments already in your wardrobe. For example, if youโ€™re searching for summer-friendly running sneakers that youโ€™ll wear every morning, investing in a high-end pair makes sense, as you will get maximum use.

On the other hand, if youโ€™re looking for sneakers that are appropriate for traveling or something you donโ€™t do very often, then your wallet would probably be happier if you purchase sneakers that cost under $100. Regardless of how much you want to spend, get the most out of your summer sneakers by finding a pair you can wear after summer as you transition your wardrobe to fall.

What are the coolest summer sneakers? What’s trending?

The sneaker trends for 2024 will be an extension of what we saw last year but in newer iterations, mainly when it comes to colorways and fresh collaborations. Plus, the idea of wearing running sneakers casually with semi-formal wear like dresses and skirts will continue.

โ€œFor the upcoming 2024 summer season, most brands are leaning towards two classic silhouettesโ€” the court shoe and the retro runnerโ€” and putting modern twists on them,โ€ notes Renee. โ€œCourt shoe styles like Rag and Boneโ€™s retro court sneaker, Vinceโ€™s The Oasis, The Rowโ€™s Marie H, Totemeโ€™s The Leather sneaker, and Koioโ€™s Capri sneaker are great options for the effortless summer energy Look to Veronica Beardโ€™s Balentina, Loeweโ€™s Flow Runner, and Rag & Boneโ€™s Retro Runner for nostalgic-inspired runner styles. Also, the recently re-discovered checkered Vans are rumored to take over this summer. Donโ€™t believe us? Morgan Stewart was recently seen in these unmistakable kicksโ€”so, yes, theyโ€™ll be everywhere.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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