Summer is here, and your sneaker and trainer collection no doubt needs an update. Slippers may have been your footwear of choice for the last year or so, but it’s time for something with a harder sole. The last few months have seen some pretty exciting sneaker and trainer drops from fashion and fitness brands, so why not treat your feet to something special? Whether you’re looking for a pair of running shoes to break a sweat or want to turn heads with a stylish pair of kicks, this list has something for everyone.
From Vans to Puma, we have gathered the trainers and sneakers worth investing in to take your footwear collection to new heights, including covetable collaborations you will want and need as soon as possible. Here are our favourite new footwear drops to have on your radar for the summer season:
Vans Eco Theory Collection
Vans has introduced a more sustainable approach to everyday classics with the Eco Theory collection. For this exciting new collection Vans’ iconic silhouette has evolved with natural rubber and water-based inks. The collection marks the brand’s first steps in a journey to create more sustainable products and leverages responsibly sourced materials across timeless colourways. With Eco Theory, Vans set out to rebuild more thoughtful versions of Vans Classics and evolve the brand story by combining environmental consciousness with the iconic aesthetic fans of the brand have come to expect.
Leading the way, the Eco Theory Old Skool Decon features a canvas upper made with 100% organically grown cotton. The outsole is made from an all-new responsibly sourced natural rubber instead of petroleum-derived rubber, derived from tree farms that follow ethical and sustainable practices to minimize harm to the ecosystem. The outsole has been engineered to maintain the grip and durability for which Vans is known. Laces are crafted from natural jute fiber, a natural cork topsheet finishes the footbed, and the whole package is held together with water-based glues.
The Old Skool Decon taps into water-based inks and dyes with four neutral colourways, including white/natural, winter sky/natural, cornstalk/natural canvas in Checkerboard and peachy keen/natural canvas in Checkerboard.
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Puma Gloaming Capsule Collection
Puma has released the new Gloaming capsule just in time for summer. Appropriately, this new drop of apparel, accessories and footwear is inspired by summer sunsets, blending the colours of the sky, using a gradient of pastel blue and pink hues in the designs. Sport staples like bra tops and biker shorts are paired with fashion-forward platforms for a capsule that’s fresh and dreamy.
The Cruise Rider Gloaming (R1,899) stands out with fun colour blocking, a dynamic material mix, and a stacked outsole. A playful touch comes from the gradient laces. This out-there style will turn heads when paired with tie-dye socks and a custom manicure that mirrors the capsule’s gradient design.
Other sneaker highlights from the collection include the Oslo Maja Gloaming (R1,899) and the Cali Star Gloaming (R1,899).
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Under Armour HOVR Machina 2
Looking for a pair of high-tech running shoes? Under Armour recently introduced its new, high tech HOVR™ Machina 2 in South Africa. The new and improved Machina 2 takes run coaching to the next level and comes complete with an embedded chip that allows runners to connect with the UA MapMyRun app to access a bevvy of features. These features include Form Coaching, cadence and gait tracking, audio-coaching, interval training and tracking, and more.
Whether you’re looking to knock off a few seconds on your personal best or aiming to attempt your first 5k, the Machina 2 is the perfect running shoe to help you peak your performance. The UA HOVR Machina 2 mixes the speed of a racing shoe with the comfort of a long-distance trainer. Combine that with real-time Form Coaching, and you’re equipped with the tools you need to reach your fitness goals for 2021.
The original Machina was designed to be a high-end trainer or entry-level racing shoe and is UA’s first plated shoe. The NEW Machina 2 is Under Armour’s highest cushioned shoe to date. It is a neutral shoe designed for runners who need a balance of flexibility and cushioning. The shoe provides a soft, energy-efficient ride with a propulsion plate built-in for added springiness.
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Puma Voyage Nitro Trail Running Shoe
The Voyage Nitro (R2,799) is Run Puma’s first trail running shoe. The specialised shoe features a two-part midsole with Nitro cushioning underfoot for cushioning and responsiveness on the trails. Puma’s new advanced foam technology, Nitro, is infused with nitrogen through an innovative new process that makes it possible to combine three key benefits to the runner — responsiveness, cushioning, and an extremely lightweight feel for a more effortless run.
The Voyage NITRO also features durable PumaGrip to enhance the traction of the outsole and provide multi-surface traction. To design this trail running shoe, Puma analysed the best fitting running shoes in the industry to develop an improved performance fit through new last shapes based on different usages. As a result, the Voyage Nitro will fit a variety of foot shapes. Optifit technology wraps the foot for a secure fit on uneven terrain. Additionally, the Voyage Nitro women’s shoes are created with a specific last engineered for the female foot, providing a narrower heel, lower in-step, and sculpted arch shape.
This shoe is made with Optifit technology that wraps the foot for a secure fit on uneven terrain. Feel free to venture off—Voyage will shrug off dirt and debris and drain any water you collect along the way.
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Converse Jean-Michel Basquiat Collection
Calling all art lovers, Converse has reworked its classic silhouettes with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artworks. In collaboration with the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Converse is releasing a collection of sneakers inspired by the late artist’s graffiti designs. The lineup consists of two high-top kicks and one pair of low-tops integrated with Basquiat’s famous works, namely the Chuck 70, Chuck Taylor All Star and Skidgrip.
The Skidgrip comes in a low-top design crafted with black polyester on the upper, which is splashed with vibrant graffiti motifs. Basquiat’s Kings of Egypt II artwork appears on the sides, while his name is stamped onto the tongue and heel. Finishing off the pair is are chunky off-white soles.
The Chuck 70 and Chuck Taylor All Star are also crafted with polyester on the upper. The former boasts details from Kings of Egypt III along with embroidered white linework. Highlighting the shoe is the suede Converse logo and all-black lettering on the heel. Additionally, the Chuck Taylor All Star is printed with Basquiat’s Pez Dispenser design in bold colours. The tongue is printed with the artist’s name while the heel is stamped with an All Star logo.
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