Sneakers/trainers – Should we or shouldn’t we wear them?

Sneakers/trainers - Should we or shouldn't we wear them?

Sneakers or trainers seem to have crept up on us and are undoubtedly here to stay. Do you love or hate them? They are an item of footwear that some may categorise as “age inappropriate” whatever that means.

I am firmly in the love trainers camp. I love them and wear them nearly every day with a wide range of outfits from casual to dressy. I especially like the plain white ones for the summer.

I am not alone in being a sneaker fan, there are many women who wear them. Pinterest is full of chic older women in sneakers.

For me, they have two great advantages. They are comfortable and they support my feet (they have a tendency to pronate, which means my ankles roll inwards, thus putting pressure on my knees and hips). As I am often in a hurry, aren’t we all these days, I can walk fast and run to catch a bus.

This season’s sneakers: Not surprisingly I have my eye on the pink pair.


  1. 12th February 2018 / 13:00

    Sneakers and trainers: absolutely. My feet kill me, and there’s nothing elegant about limping. Of course, there are “cool” styles and “uncool” styles. Nothing too bulky. Serious running shoes, with flared soles that offer stability, should be worn only on the track. The cool styles tend to be not really for athletics but for leisure. At least they’re comfortable and won’t ruin our feet.

  2. Eleni
    12th February 2018 / 14:18

    Sneakers are here to stay, for sure. Due to a number of reasons I had to stop wearing high heels !! What was I to do? I did the ortho……. types but felt frumpy. Now I actually have a collection of sneakers, some for the gym, some for running errands, some definitely more “dressy” Never did I imagine having a collection of sneakers at “speeding” towards 80 years. Love the post, it’s keeping me up to date. Thank you.

  3. Linda
    12th February 2018 / 14:19

    I have to wear sneakers! I have to wear orthotics in my shoes that elevate my heel so I need a deep foot bed. But now I can find somewhat nice sneakers to wear! I love ECCO. The worst thing is I can NEVER WEAR HEELS AGAIN. boohoo

    • 12th February 2018 / 15:34

      Hi Linda
      I had to wear orthotics for a while. I found that as well as sneakers I could wear good quality lace-ups which looked better with more formal outfits.

  4. Dawn
    12th February 2018 / 14:33

    I usually don’t like trainers but you have posted some nice looking outfits with them. Maybe I will change my mind? Thank you for style advice, terrific!

  5. Sara Shaw
    12th February 2018 / 14:40

    I can see why sneakers have taken off but for me they are best kept for serious walking. I do like the slightly platform “trainer” that doesn’t make my (largish) feet look as ungainly as the traditional sneaker. Try (my favourite) Jones neutral suede Gala (I think) or the ever wonderful Converse. Definitely never too old for those and I have just bought a pale, pale pink leather pair from Moda in Pelle that are wonderfully comfortable and do not make either my feet look big or my legs like Minnie Mouse.
    My heels are only for special occasions and I have become quite skilled at finding fabulous flattering flats that are style personified and comfort par excellence. So much choice!

    • Sara
      12th February 2018 / 14:46

      Jones shoes are Gigi, not Gala

    • 12th February 2018 / 15:32

      Hi Sara
      I like Converse and always used to wear them. I now find them a bit flat for my feet. I need a bit more support.

  6. Sue J.
    12th February 2018 / 15:23

    I like sneakers and trainers. They’re good for my feet…and knees…and there are so many attractive styles and colors. Love your blog, Josephine!

  7. 12th February 2018 / 15:30

    Oh, do I have trouble with these! I know, I know, they are so comfortable. But I just feel SO clunky with anything tie up and anything what? soft? I search high and low for good looking, slightly orthotic that is more of a “real” shoe! And I find them. Really, these are my shoe of last resort. For the winter, I have finally found several brands of boots and booties that can fit my orthotics and are SO comfortable. For summer, I much prefer something open toe. The Geox I wore all over your country last June were perfect!!! I’ll have to do a post, right?

  8. Suzanne Lagle
    12th February 2018 / 15:46

    I wear sneakers almost every day. My back is in much better shape! My latest find, which is reasonably priced, is Keds triple deckers, that come in grey flannel that seem to go with everything. I loved the black velvet for dress up!

  9. Sandra Hooker
    12th February 2018 / 16:18

    I love Sketchers, they have some really attractive styles and are so so comfortable.

  10. Christine
    12th February 2018 / 16:42

    I love sneakers too and have a couple of pairs but the more athletic type of trainer/sneaker, whatever you call them, to my mind should be kept for athletic purposes only. Sneakers are so comfortable and easy on the feet for all the running around chores that we all do.

  11. Lynda Banister
    12th February 2018 / 18:12

    I don’t even like the word ‘sneakers’ (!) but I do wear well padded trainer type shoes for walking, especially when sightseeing on holiday. I’ve discovered Clarks’ Cloud Steppers which come in a small wedge style with a diagonal strap and don’t look too bad, as well as being very comfortable. In winter I wear boots and in summer sandals with my dresses. I wear heels for going out when I won’t have to walk much & for evenings on cruises. Podiatrist say we should avoid thin-soled flat shoes with no fastenings – ‘ballerinas’ are painful for me.
    ‘Sensible’ shoes just don’t work with elegant glitzy dresses, but I don’t go any higher than 3 inches, preferably with a small platform. As I get older the heels will get lower and thicker (or wedges) but not just yet!

    • Melissa Hebbard
      12th February 2018 / 21:06

      Lynda, I know that they are expensive, but try the Ferragamo shoes. I bought a lovely mid heel patent leather black pump shoe called Vara, which I find super comfortable. I can stand in them all night at a cocktail party and walk longish distances from hotel to the Opera all in super comfort and looking elegant. They are worth the investment.

      • 13th February 2018 / 07:47

        I agree Melissa Ferragamo are very good quality. I invested in some Tods many years ago and they are still going strong.

  12. jenny
    12th February 2018 / 18:39

    I have spent an absolute fortune on shoes due to problems with my feet. I have worked my way through multiple pairs of converse, vans, Skechers and Ecco and they all are not padded enough any more. I can wear Fitflop as they have a lot of cushioning (but a bit on the ugly side). I can wear trainers but they have to be the proper sports kind for the cushioning, so that eliminates the ones like Adidas etc. Ash ones are ok-ish. I was haven’t yet tried the Golden Goose brand but have you seen the price?! I love the colour of the first pair of Michael Kors trainers you showed, and am very very tempted. I so miss being able to wear what I call normal shoes

    • 13th February 2018 / 07:57

      Hi Jenny
      You might like to take a look at Vionic trainers. They are designed by a podiatrist. I am wearing a pair in the photo standing on the rocks. They also offer less sporty styles. I find them more padded than some of the other brands. They have UK and US websites.

      • Glenis
        24th February 2018 / 07:57

        I have worn trainers for many years (30+) and recently purchased Vionic too they are excellent and I also wear
        Clarke’s walking shoes which look similar to trainers and give really good support. Love all your stylish looks Glenis aged 78

  13. Wendy
    12th February 2018 / 18:43

    Oooh, tough one! I don’t like proper sporty trainers but I do like Converse, Sketchers and other less chunky, more feminine styles. Basically, unless I’m going to a wedding, I need a flat shoe. Walking, shopping, traveling, looking after grandchildren etc – it’s got to be a flat shoe. In order to go about my daily business and remain safe, upright and comfortable – it’s got to be a flat shoe. So, although I don’t like proper, sporty type trainers I am interested in anything that’s flat and good for walking!

    • 13th February 2018 / 07:53

      Hi Wendy
      Luckily manufacturers are now producing trainers that are less sporty looking more fashiony and can be worn every day.

  14. Lynne Savage
    12th February 2018 / 19:28

    I have a small collection of lightweight Kroten sneakers you might like Wendy.
    Future generations will think we were mad to wear high heels. Foot binding anyone?

  15. 12th February 2018 / 20:23

    I wear sneakers and trainers as I do a lot of walking and I have an inflamed nerve between my toes. I like Skechers and Clarks but would consider any brand. Thanks for this – I’ll check out the list…

    • 13th February 2018 / 07:51

      Hi Jane
      I suffered for many years with an inflamed nerve between my toes. They were extremely painful. They were finally diagnosed as Norton’s Neuroma. I had an operation to remove them and that completely solved the problem.

      • 13th February 2018 / 14:04

        Agree! Surgery totally solved it…

  16. Lynn
    12th February 2018 / 21:05

    I have never been one for trainers, apart from going to the gym, but last summer I found a silver pair in ‘Office’ shoes, and I love them, they are so comfortable and ‘shiney’. I am a bit of a magpie, so attracted to anything that sparkles, but they are just for the summer. Winter time I am in my boots, with a block heel no more than 2″ high, gone are the days of high heeled ones.

    • 13th February 2018 / 07:48

      Hi Lynn
      I love silver shoes. I think that they can really lift an outfit

  17. 12th February 2018 / 21:50

    Look at Frankie4 an Australian brand designed by a podiatrist! Amazing range and not just sneakers.

  18. edebock
    13th February 2018 / 04:02

    I’m 65 and I just bought a pair of Circus by Sam Edelman sneakers in a fabulous colour called Rose Taupe! I can’t wait for our snow to disappear (here on the Canadian prairie that won’t happen for awhile) so that I can start wearing them.

    Elaine @ Following Augustine

    • 13th February 2018 / 07:46

      Hi Edebock
      Rose Taupe sounds like a gorgeous colour, I will see if I can find something similar over here.

  19. Jayne
    13th February 2018 / 04:13

    I am a big fan of skechers. Sooo comfortable and stylish. I don’t really like laces though that are on most of the sneakers. I am on the lookout for a silver pair of flats There’s much less choice down here in NZ but one day I shall find them. Mostly I prefer dressing up with heeled sandals and boots.

  20. 13th February 2018 / 11:42

    What a wonderful topic and what great advice from everyone! Loving all this info about foot issues, footwear, and fashion. Thanks, Josephine. 🙂

  21. Joan
    13th February 2018 / 17:39

    Great post and great question. There are so many stylish options now for sneakers and if your look is Sporty Elegant or Sporty Chic they will work great with your wardrobe. You can dress them up and dress them down. But whatever your shoe choice, make sure you create head-to-toe balance in your outfit

  22. Alice
    13th February 2018 / 18:06

    I have always worn flat shoes, oxfords, loafers, etc, but am loving all the great sneakers now avialable. My favourites are Axel Arigato, they look modern, and are great quality leather so they don’t become scruffy after a few wears.I hop this trend lasts!

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