Types of Sneakers & Trainers- Your Ultimate Guide

Originating as footwear designed for physical activity, sneakers, also referred to as trainers in certain regions, have been reinvented over the years from simple athletic gear to icons of style and status. Buying trainers and sneakers is not as easy as it sounds. Every activity requires finding the perfect fit and support to ensure comfort and performance.

Running Shoes

If you are a serious runner, you'll want shoes that offer the right amount of cushioning, support, and stability to help prevent injury and enhance performance. Like the Cloudswift running shoe from On is designed to provide the specific support and cushioning needed for the high-impact nature of running.

Trail Running

Built to handle the unique demands of running on uneven, off-road terrain, Trail Running Shoes are perfect for those who love hitting the trails, as they provide more traction, durability, and protection than regular running shoes. These trainers generally have a rugged outsole with deeper lugs for better grip on uneven terrain, and a sturdy upper that can withstand rocks and other obstacles. Check out Primus Trail II off-road shoe from Vivobarefoot.

Leather Trainers

Known for their exceptional durability and timeless appeal, Leather Trainers provide excellent support and structure, ensuring long-lasting comfort and a polished appearance. The premium leather material not only adds a touch of refinement but also molds to the shape of your foot over time, creating a personalized fit. Leather trainers, like the Vivobarefoot Geo Court III can seamlessly transition between different settings, making them a versatile and reliable option.


For fitness enthusiasts who engage in various types of workouts such as weightlifting, cardio, and circuit training, Cross training shoes are the right choice. For example, Under Armour TriBase Reign 5, these trainers offer a balance of cushioning and support, with a wider base for better stability during lateral movements.

Athletic Trainers

Designed for sports and physical activities, Athletic trainers are lightweight, breathable, and offer good support. These trainers often feature cushioned midsoles to absorb impact and provide comfort during high-impact activities like running or jumping. Brands like On Running & Hoka are known for their athletic sneakers.

Mesh Trainers

Mesh trainers are prized for their breathability and lightweight construction which makes them an ideal choice for activities that require ample ventilation and flexibility. The mesh upper allows for optimal airflow, keeping your feet cool and dry during workouts or casual wear. This makes them a popular choice for hot weather or intense physical activities.

Casual Trainers

Casual trainers are the go-to choice for everyday wear, offering a balance of style and comfort. Whether you're running errands, meeting friends, or simply relaxing, these trainers provide the support and cushioning you need for all-day comfort. For example, The ECCO Soft 7 GTX combines functionality and cushioning for all-day comfort.

Low-Top Sneakers

Low-top sneakers are the most common type of sneakers out there and are perfect for any casual outing or day out with friends. These sneakers have a lower cut that doesn't cover the ankle. Trainers like Brisk Miles from Vionic are great for warmer weather and provide a more casual look.

High-Top Sneakers

Hi-top sneakers have a higher cut that covers the ankle. These sneakers are designed to provide good arch support and cushioning which makes them a comfortable choice for all day wear. Plus, high-top sneakers like Ash Rainbow trainers are really versatile and allow you to integrate them in a wide range of personal styles. 

Slip-on Sneakers

Easy on, easy off- slip on sneakers are both comfy and stylish. With no laces to fuss with, they're perfect for those busy days when you're on the go. Many slip-on sneakers like the HOVR Infinite 3 Storm by Under Armour also incorporate advanced comfort features, such as cushioned insoles and flexible, lightweight materials. This allows you to enjoy all-day comfort and support.

Designer Sneakers

Designer sneakers are stylish and luxurious, crafted with attention to detail and premium materials. They come in distinctive silhouettes, and bold embellishments that add sophistication and flair to any outfit. Whether you are on the streets or gracing the red carpet, sneakers like Gobi III from Vivobarefoot make a chic and cool statement.

Retro Sneakers

Throw it back with Retro Sneakers inspired by iconic styles from decades past. Whether you're rocking Air Jordans or classic Converse Chuck Taylors, Adidas Superstars or Ecco Golf Biom H4, these kicks are a timeless addition to your collection. Retro sneakers offer a nostalgic appeal, allowing you to channel the style and culture of bygone eras while still maintaining a contemporary look.

Vegan Sneakers

If you are seeking cruelty-free options, Vegan sneakers can be your companion.  Sneakers like Cloud 5 Terry from On are made from synthetic materials that mimic the look and feel of leather without harming animals. Brands like On Running lead the way in sustainable fashion, offering chic options that prioritize ethics and aesthetics.

Orthopedic Sneakers

If your job requires long hours of standing or if you are facing any foot issues like plantar fasciitis, Orthopedic sneakers like Geo Racer from Vivobarefoot are designed to provide ultimate comfort and support. With extra cushioning and roomy toe boxes, these shoes work like a charm for anyone seeking relief from foot issues.

Walking Shoes

Walking shoes are designed with cushioned soles and breathable materials to keep you feeling fresh and comfy all day long. Shoes like WK400 from Keen are perfect for leisurely strolls and casual outings, plus with so many options out there it becomes a blessing to choose the one that suits your style.

Recommended Brands: Discovering Their Unique Appeal

When it comes to trending sneakers and trainers, these brands are leading the pack:


Known for their minimalist designs and focus on natural movement, Vivobarefoot offers sneakers and trainers that prioritize comfort and sustainability without compromising style. Here’s what makes them unique;

Natural Movement Focus: Vivobarefoot believes in letting your feet move naturally. Their minimalist designs promote better posture and foot strength by allowing unrestricted movement.

Sustainability: Choosing Vivobarefoot means opting for eco-friendly materials and production methods. Their commitment to sustainability resonates with environmentally conscious consumers looking for stylish footwear with a smaller environmental footprint.

Comfort and Style Fusion: Vivobarefoot strikes the perfect balance between comfort and style. Whether you're hitting the streets or navigating the trails, their shoes offer the best of both worlds, ensuring you look and feel good with every step.

Vegan Options: For those who are committed to ethical consumption, Vivobarefoot offers a range of vegan footwear choices. You can enjoy the same quality and style without compromising your values.

On Running

More than just a footwear brand, On Running is a fusion of Swiss engineering and cutting-edge design. Here's why they stand out:

Swiss Engineering: On Running brings Swiss precision to every pair of sneakers. Their designs are crafted with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring top-notch quality and performance.

CloudTec® Technology: The hallmark of On Running's success lies in their CloudTec® technology. This innovative cushioning system provides unparalleled comfort and support, transforming your runs into smooth, effortless experiences.

Stylish Design: On Running understands that style is just as important as functionality. That's why their sneakers boast a sleek and modern design that seamlessly blends fashion with performance. Whether you're hitting the track or the streets, you'll look and feel your best in On Running shoes.

Versatility: Weather you are going for a casual outing or indulging in some intense workouts, On Running shoes are versatile enough to handle it all. Whether you're pounding the pavement or hitting the trails, you can trust On Running to deliver the comfort, support, and style you need to conquer any challenge.

Hoka One One

Hoka One One has made a name for itself with its distinctive maximalist approach to running shoes. Their sneakers are ideal for both trail running and pavement pounding. Here's why they're a standout choice:

Maximalist Design: Hoka One One's oversized midsoles offers superior cushioning and shock absorption. These shoes provide unmatched comfort and support, allowing you to push your limits without feeling the impact.

Performance-Driven: Whether you're tackling rugged trails or pounding the pavement, Hoka One One shoes are up to the task. Their versatility and adaptability make them the go-to choice for runners of all levels.

Innovative Materials: Hoka One One doesn't just follow trends; they set them. By incorporating innovative materials into their shoes, they deliver a winning combination of lightweight comfort and long-lasting durability. You can trust Hoka One One to keep you running strong mile after mile.

Wide Range of Options: No two runners are alike, and Hoka understands that. That's why they offer a wide range of models to cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a weekend warrior, there's a perfect pair of Hoka One One shoes waiting for you.


Specializing in orthopedic footwear that doesn't compromise on style, Vionic is renowned for its blend of orthopedic expertise and fashionable design in its sneakers and trainers. Here's what makes them stand out:

Orthopedic Expertise: Engineered with podiatrist-developed technology, Vionic shoes prioritize stability and support, especially for individuals with foot issues. This focus on foot health sets them apart, ensuring wearers can move comfortably and confidently.

Style and Functionality: Unlike many orthopedic footwear brands, Vionic seamlessly integrates orthopedic features into stylish designs. This fusion of fashion and function allows you to look and feel good simultaneously, whether you are at work or play.

Quality Craftsmanship: Each pair of Vionic shoes reflects the brand's commitment to quality craftsmanship. From premium materials to meticulous construction, Vionic ensures long-lasting comfort and durability, making them a reliable choice for everyday wear.

Versatile Options: The brand understands that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to footwear. That's why they offer a diverse range of styles, from casual sneakers to performance trainers, catering to various lifestyles and activities. Whether you're running errands or hitting the gym, Vionic has got you covered with supportive and stylish options.


With a long history in the running shoe industry, Saucony has solidified its position as a trusted leader in the running shoe industry. Here's why they're a favorite among runners:

Heritage and Trust: Saucony's long-standing reputation in the running shoe industry speaks volumes. Athletes and enthusiasts alike trust the brand for its consistent quality and performance, knowing they're investing in footwear that delivers results.

Durability: When it comes to durability, Saucony sets the bar high. Their sneakers are built to withstand rigorous training conditions, thanks to durable materials and expert construction techniques. With Saucony, you can count on your shoes to go the distance, mile after mile.

Responsive Ride: Renowned for their responsive cushioning, Saucony shoes provides a comfortable and supportive ride for runners. This responsiveness enhances performance and reduces fatigue, allowing runners like you to push their limits without sacrificing comfort.

Innovative Technologies: By continuously integrating cutting-edge technologies into their shoes, Saucony stays ahead of the curve. From advanced cushioning systems to lightweight materials, Saucony is committed to enhancing performance and improving the running experience for athletes of all levels.


Ecco sets itself apart with its Scandinavian-inspired design ethos and unwavering dedication to quality craftsmanship. Here's why they're a top choice for discerning footwear enthusiasts;

Scandinavian Craftsmanship: Ecco reflects its Scandinavian-inspired design ethos and unwavering dedication to quality craftsmanship. Each pair is meticulously crafted to marry style with practicality, ensuring a timeless aesthetic that transcends trends.

Premium Materials: Ecco's philosophy is to prioritize the use of premium materials. From luxurious leathers to high-performance textiles, every component is carefully selected to guarantee superior comfort, durability, and performance.

Innovative Technology: Ecco seamlessly integrates innovative technologies into their shoes to enhance your experience. Features like FLUIDFORM™ and BIOM® NATURAL MOTION® deliver unparalleled comfort and support, adapting to the natural movement of the foot for a truly personalized fit.

All-Day Comfort: Whether you're exploring the city streets or enjoying a leisurely day out, Ecco sneakers are designed for all-day wear. With cushioning and stability engineered to perfection, they provide the support you need for any activity, ensuring you stay comfortable from morning to night.

Sneakers & Trainers Care Tips

To ensure your trainers and sneakers remain fresh and perform at their best, follow these simple care and maintenance tips:

Regular Cleaning: After each wear, make it a habit to clean your sneakers, especially if they've been exposed to dirt or mud. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove surface dirt, then gently scrub any stubborn stains with a mild detergent and water.

Air Dry: After cleaning, avoid putting your sneakers in the dryer, as high heat can cause damage to the materials. Instead, let them air dry naturally at room temperature, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Proper Storage: When you're not wearing your sneakers, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving them in damp or humid areas, as this can promote the growth of mold and mildew.

Rotate Your Shoes: Give your sneakers a break by rotating them with other pairs in your collection. This not only extends the life of your shoes but also allows them to air out between wears, reducing the risk of odor and bacterial growth.

Protective Spray: Consider applying a water-repellent spray to your sneakers to help protect them from moisture and stains. Be sure to choose a spray that's suitable for the specific materials of your shoes and follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.

Lace Care: Keep your laces looking fresh by removing them from your sneakers before cleaning. You can hand wash them separately with mild detergent or replace them if they become worn or frayed.

Midsole Maintenance: Pay attention to the midsole of your sneakers, as this is where most of the cushioning and support is located. If you notice any signs of wear or compression, consider replacing the insoles or seeking professional repairs.

Know Your Materials: Different materials require different care techniques, so familiarize yourself with the specific care instructions for your sneakers. Whether they're made of leather, mesh, suede, or synthetic materials, proper care will help prolong their lifespan and keep them looking like new.

Running shoes