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The term Sneakerhead is often associated with men in their mid-20s who frequent stores like Supreme and Aimé Leon Dore and drop upwards of a grand on hot designer releases like it’s NBD. But I’m here to say that you don’t have to spend seven paychecks to know and love a good pair of sneaks when you see them. I have dozens of sneakers in my closet and rarely spend more than $150 on a pair. The reason why? I opt for classics that never go out of style, so when I buy a new pair, I can wear them for years.
I’ve found a few brands that I can depend on the most for getting high-quality shoes that are equal parts trendy, unique and durable as hell. And none are more reliable than Nike, of course. Yeah, when it comes to sneakers, the store’s best-known for its all-white Air Force 1s that you probably see on the street a few times a week (I’m not hating, these are versatile good shoes!) but as a shoe-obsessive, I’m gonna challenge y’all to take a look past those shoes and see all of the other incredible styles that Nike has to offer. Seriously, you’ll be shocked to find some incredibly unique ones that are within budget and special to your own personal style.
When I look for a new pair of Nikes there are a few rules I like to follow. First, I ask myself if the shoes are in a style I don’t have. If I already have a chunky pair, maybe I’ll go for a skater shoe or something a little more sporty. Second, I’ll see if there’s a style that comes in a colorway I love or one that’ll match a lot of my closet. One of my favorite pairs of Nikes are black and brown Air Maxs because they look so dope with truly anything I’ve got on. Third, I’ll check out the price tag. Again, I try not to spend more than $150 on a pair, but since these are from a brand I know that creates long-lasting kicks, I’ll consider going slightly above budget if they fit my style, taste and needs.
I know it’s intimidating to go into a sneaker store when it seems like experts and style snobs are surrounding you, but trust me when I say every shopper is in the same boat. We’re all just trying to find a cool new pair of shoes that’ll make us look and feel as good as possible. To make your sneaker shopping easier, though, I rounded up some of the most on-trend Nikes you can buy now. These include a pair of low Blazers that are fit for the office, some Air Max 97s that’ll bring alllll of the vintage vibes to your closet and some low-top Jordans that any basketball fan will be jealous of.
Nike Air Max Plus
These are my absolute favorite pair of Nikes right now. Nothing is sleeker to me than a fresh pair of Air Maxs, and these midnight black ones are hot. The second you put them on, you’ll feel like an off-duty model who sets trends the second she walks out the door.
Nike Air Max Plus $175
Nike Air Force 1 ’07
Listen, Air Force 1s are popular for a reason. Get a pair that aren’t all white to stick out from the masses. This brown and black colorway is my absolute favorite. Though it’s got some different shades of color, they’re all neutral enough to not clash with bright tops, dresses or pants. Let these shoes be your new neutral.
Nike Air Force 1 ’07 $100
Nike Air Max 2021
Sporty Spice meets Posh Spice with these Air Maxs. They have air cushions that’ll make you feel like you’re walking on a cloud.
Nike Air Max 2021 $160
Nike Blazer Low ’77
Blazers are the kind of retro-inspired shoes that will never, ever go out of style. Wear them with jeans, shorts, dresses, whatever you want, I don’t care! You’ll look cool and your feet will feel comfortable—and that’s all that really matters. Also, if you want to personalize a pair as a present to yourself or to somebody else, Nike gives you the option of picking everything from the materials used to the color of the swoosh. This way, you can get a pair of shoes that nobody else in the world has.
Nike Blazer Low ’77 $115
Nike Air Force 1 Shadow
This colorway reminds me of a classic Nick at Nite show in the best way possible. It’s retro, funky and fun as can be. These are the kind of shoes you’ll wear and get a compliment on within a few minutes of going out and about.
Nike Air Force 1 Shadow $120
Nike Air Max 97
Add these Air Max 97s to your chunky shoe collection and you won’t regret it. The wavy design on the sides adds a depth of style and sophistication to the sneakers.
Nike Air Max 97 $175
Courtesy of Nike.
Jordan Series .05
If you think a neutral pair of shoes is boring, let me introduce you to this pair of Jordans. The soft iris shade of suede and the neon accents combine to make a piece of art in the form of shoes. Ditch your old white kicks for these elevated ones and thank me later.
Jordan Series .05 $80
Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage
If you want a stylish shoe you don’t have to think twice about, get yourself some mid-calf blazers. They’ll match anything and look sleek as can be.
Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage $100
Nike Dunk Low Disrupt 2
These sustainable babies don’t go on sale until June 8, but I had to include them because I’ve never seen a shoe more worthy of my hard-earned $110. My calendar is marked for the release, and yours should be, too.
Nike Dunk Low Disrupt 2 $110