Women are multi-faceted. We are busy corporate hustlers, cat-walking street stylists, casual observers of the world, and active movers and shakers. Our bodies, spirits, and minds are always spinning up the next best thing. Is it any wonder, then, that we are constantly chasing a balance between style, utility, comfort, impact and expression in the clothes we wear?
Women in the techwear scene are overhauling the fashion world by demanding more from every garment. Techwear is like that feeling you get when you realize your dress has pockets, but multiplied by one hundred because all of your clothes are serving you. This collaboration between function and finesse is possibly never more important than within the realm of footwear. Before the emergence of techwear, we already dreamed about shoes that could serve airy comfort, high-design, outfit flexibility and reliable function. Techwear turned all of these demands into something sleek and cosmopolitan. Techwear is a motif once relegated to men, which has since been captured and re-purposed by savvy women who don’t see function as something only men should benefit from.
If you’re looking for shoes that merge impeccable style with form and function, utility, durability, and a modern architecture – you’re home. Check out our five favorite basic techwear staples for women’s footwear in 2018:
5 FOOTWEAR STAPLES FOR WOMEN WHO LOVE TECHWEAR
The Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit Utility Sneaker
The tactical quality of most techwear staples is ever-present in this ultra-efficient sneaker. The less-bulky laces and mid-top, snug collar are unmissable elements of the techwear experience, features that have been made slim and accessible for women. The allure of this sneaker is how it employs the innovation of the VaporMax comfort without embodying all the extra curvature and heft to which other “comfy” sneakers fall victim. Because the features of this sneaker are similar to your typical running sneaker, but with a techwear flair, these shoes feel accessible and wearable for ladies who are new to the trend.
While the Flyknit Utility sneaker comes in a range of color combinations, the all-black is a techwear basic you can’t miss this year.
Grab Your Flyknit Utility Sneakers Here.
The Nike x Off-White: "The Ten" Sneaker
In this collaboration between Off White and Nike, women with a hungry eye for style can achieve an inimitable look without sacrificing one ounce of functionality. Here’s a primer: Virgil Abloh – designer and music producing DJ – is the artistic director at Louis Vuitton and has his own label called Off-White. His style is urbane, unapologetic, and chic and he brings this allure to the Nike cosmos with The Ten. This sneaker is iconic, reimaging the Nike classics but with raw and rudimentary materials, simplistic design, and advancements in tactical prominence that will appease even the most particular techwear palate.
Check out The Ten collaboration here.
The Adidas Arkyn Sneaker
Whether your vibe leans more toward the classic Core Black, the iconic Cloud White, or the audacious Glow, you will stand out in the Arkyn sneaker. This is one of Adidas’ most classic plays into women’s techwear fashion and they’ve done their homework. The fresh-til-death mesh is a total power-play over top the neoprene base – a big signal of the techwear influence. The sock-like upper shape plays on a runner’s silhouette in a way that’s surprising, even for techwear fans who are used to paying triple this price for style. The midsole boost and TPU accents are bringing this shoe into the 2020s while the simplistic lacing keeps this shoe ultra-functional, lightweight, and clean.
Explore the Arkyn sneaker here.
The Brand New Air Huarache Gripp Sneaker
The term huarache actually refers to a Mexican sandal made of leather. The purpose of huaraches is to provide a sock-like fit and flexibility juxtaposed against sturdy and reliable functionality. Nike rebranded the term in 1991 with their first series of huarache-inspired shoes for men, women, and children. The overlapping strap technology in these shoes has evolved over the last 25+ years and has now become a techwear-friendly option as the look has become more and more streamlined.
The latest in the Nike Huarache family is the Gripps, which we’re especially loving in the FLIGHT variation. This high-top architecture plays on the original huarache models with cross-strap flexibilities and simplistic lacing but there’s more – this sneaker is actually more like a utility boot with an inner layer to grip the foot, and a removable outer layer that shrouds the sock-like layer in dense webbing and traction mechanics. This is a shoe that was built for use and though the palate is for bolder techwear femmes, there are many huarache options to explore for the right vibe.
Try on your own Huarache Gripps here
The Nike Sockdart Sneaker
This is THE classic option for techwear beginners. This unisex shoe is as minimal as Nike gets with a knit mesh underbelly and a phylon midsole to provide tactical support for every day wear, runners, and anyone hunting for a lightweight shoe. This shoe is the perfect companion to any techwear ensemble whether you opt for the cool and digital white, the more athletic black and white combination, or the volt black.
Sockdarts can no longer be purchased from the Nike website, which makes them increasingly more rare. Let us know where you get yours!
While there are many techwear shoe options on the market, any of which can be borrowed from the boys if you choose, women’s-specific techwear shoes are still catching up. These five options are solid contenders for techwear purists, bold badasses, and anyone who wants to give this style a try.