Fresh new takes on old-school plimsolls

Summer sneakers – with a vintage vibe or a modern twist – are a versatile staple, says our fashion blogger

Eytys canvas Mother sneakers, £100
Eytys canvas Mother sneakers, £100

Fresh canvas plimsolls are every inch the modern fashion perennial. They pair equally well with summer dresses, rolled-up chinos and wide-leg linen trouser suits. It’s a look closely allied to the Wimbledon championship that has just come to a close: think of the sports shoes worn by Fred Perry in the 1930s – but also of Serena Williams, who wears her Off-White x Serena Williams x Nike trainers magnificently on and off court.

Clockwise from top: Veja canvas Nova sneaker, £80. Good News cotton-canvas Softball 2 Weave Low sneaker, £130. Acne Studios canvas sneaker, £290
Clockwise from top: Veja canvas Nova sneaker, £80. Good News cotton-canvas Softball 2 Weave Low sneaker, £130. Acne Studios canvas sneaker, £290

In the more traditional plimsoll camp are the Mother canvas lace-ups (£100) by Swedish brand Eytys, which have a pared-back, preppy feel. Over at Acne Studios, an elegant sporty style (£290) is giving the brand’s high-tech “Dad shoe” a run for its money. Marni’s take on the old-school classic is instead souped up with an exaggerated sole: there’s a slip-on version (£440) in cream canvas with a supersized black sole, as well as an equally striking lace-up style (£460) in black canvas with a white sole.

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There are some great sustainable options too. French brand Veja was founded by childhood friends Sébastien Kopp and François Morillion in 2004 and works directly with producers and small cooperatives in Brazil and France. Its canvas designs, such as the cool Nova (£80), are produced from eco-friendly wild rubber and organic cotton. From London comes sneaker specialist Good News, which fuses sustainability with a social conscience by donating residual stock and samples to the homeless and people in need. Its chunky, retro-chic tennis shoes feature rubber soles made from recycled tyres and organic cotton canvas; both the flax-coloured Softball 2 Weave Low (£130) and the Abe 2 Tri Colour Low (£115), which combines pastel and white panels with a black trim, would look elegant with a pair of relaxed chinos and a white cotton shirt.

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Lastly, if it looks like rain might stop play, look to leather versions – of which Loro Piana’s Nuages sneakers (£670), Primury’s Dyo chunky-soled trainers (£175) and Common Projects’ vintage-inspired lace-ups (£320) are the best of the bunch.

Alyson Walsh is the author of Know Your Style, published by Hardie Grant, £12.99. She blogs as That’s Not My Age. To read more of her How To Spend It columns, click here.

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