We’re Fashion Editors Who Secretly Love Comfy Shoes—Here’s What We’re Shopping

When you think of shoes that fashion editors really, really love, you might imagine sky-high stilettos, over-the-knee leather boots, feather-adorned platform slides, or strappy sandals with a sculptural heel. And while these styles are plentiful in our wardrobes, it’s not a very well-kept secret that there’s a slightly more low-key shoe we rely on to get us through our busiest days.

Thanks to the rise of athleisure, gone are the days of hoofing it between business lunches and showroom appointments in deeply uncomfortable, arch-destroying shoes. These days, whether it’s the weekend or a weekday, you’ll find us in our favorite sneakers—and more often than not, they’re from New BalanceTo get a sense of which styles are starring in editors’ ’fits this fall, I polled a few Who What Wear staffers from both coasts. Below, they’re showing off the Fresh Foam X 1080v12 sneakers along with their go-to athleisure looks of the moment.

How would you describe your everyday style, and how are you switching it up for fall?

With a hybrid work schedule, my outfits can change drastically throughout the week—I’ll wear everything from casual knit sets to tailored separates. However, I tend to stick with pieces that don’t take a lot of effort to style, which means lots of simple trousers, solid-colored tops, and neutral sweaters. Last season, I was really into bright colors, but the cooler temperatures influenced me to embrace strong neutrals like navy and dark green along with materials like tweed and cashmere.

What makes this the perfect athleisure look, and how does it make you feel?

This look feels very L.A. Everyone likes to wear athleisure-inspired outfits around here, so the leggings and sporty jacket are right in line with that laid-back vibe. I tend to stick with all black for my athletic looks, but the punchy, electric-blue sneakers and trendy shield sunglasses make the entire outfit feel cooler than the norm. It’s nice that these sneakers are easy on the feet and still look good. I don’t really have to worry about packing an extra pair of shoes to slip on after my a.m. workout.

What are your tips and tricks for styling running shoes on those days when you’re doing more than running or exercising?

Generally, stick to one color palette. Don’t try to mix a ton of colors, shapes, and silhouettes. When in doubt, minimalistic pieces are much easier to style with running sneakers than sporty pieces that have a ton of bells and whistles.

Why is New Balance your go-to destination for athleisure looks?

The brand really knows what’s going on in terms of trends and athletic performance. Usually, you have to sacrifice one for another—like going for not-so-cute running shoes because they’re better performance-wise or going for elevated sneakers that aren’t really comfortable. But New Balance offers the best of both worlds at an affordable price point.

How would you describe your everyday style, and how are you switching it up for fall?

My everyday style is always simple and polished, but with fall’s swift arrival, it’s time to layer up. When I’m headed out to exercise, it’s imperative that I have a cozy fleece jacket and a pair of joggers to help me embrace the cold.

What makes this the perfect athleisure look, and how does it make you feel?

This outfit would be incomplete without a pair of New Balance sneakers. We fashion people can’t get enough of this brand, and these sneakers add a touch of trend to what would otherwise be a basic activewear look. There’s something about oversize layers that makes me feel instantly cool. New Yorkers have mastered this effortless look, and I’m following suit.

What are your tips and tricks for styling running shoes on those days when you’re doing more than running or exercising?

I’m a city dweller, so a sneaker is always my footwear of choice. Lately, I’ve been reaching for this pair because of its monochromatic colorway and simple design.

Why is New Balance your go-to destination for athleisure looks?

I’ve been wearing New Balance athleisure since my dance-competition days. Today, I still opt for New Balance because of its performance-level quality and on-trend styles that fit easily into my aesthetic.

How would you describe your everyday style, and how are you switching it up for fall?

I try to keep my everyday style as effortless as possible. My wardrobe leans on high-quality basics but integrates a good number of trendy pieces to make things feel fresh. This fall, I’ll be styling outfits with the intention of creating feel-good moments. For example, with this outfit, I wanted to wear something that made me feel confident and pair it with what I’m predicting will be the next It-girl sneakers.

What makes this the perfect athleisure look, and how does it make you feel?

The perfect athleisure look always begins with a great pair of sneakers, so fresh kicks are the best place to start when building an outfit. These sneakers are officially the most comfortable pair that I own, and I genuinely feel like I’m walking on memory foam when I wear them. Nothing feels better to me than heading out for a casual day in leggings and an oversize zip-up. And while that might sound boring, it’s a look that always turns heads. Plus, after spending a whole day in these shoes, I went for a run, and they passed my test.

What are your tips and tricks for styling running shoes on those days when you’re doing more than running or exercising?

I like to wear something form-flattering on casual days spent in running shoes to separate the look from my looser activewear wardrobe. A matching set also makes things feel more elevated. Plus, wearing running shoes on casual days is one of the most underrated sources of joy.

Why is New Balance your go-to destination for athleisure looks?

I grew up seeing New Balance as the ultimate athleisure destination. Unlike other activewear brands, its mission is based on living a comfortable and performance-focused lifestyle 24/7, and I’m so here for it.

How would you describe your everyday style, and how are you switching it up for fall?

My motto for a minute has been “fewer, better things.” Whether that’s really good sneakers or quality coats, I’ve been trying to invest in quality pieces I’ll wear on repeat that elevate my everyday looks with minimal effort. That said, it’s all starting to feel a bit too classic, minimal, and neutral! So now, I’m being intentional about dabbling in pieces that inject some color and keep things feeling a little more playful.

What makes this the perfect athleisure look, and how does it make you feel?

I love athleisure that’s understated. I generally shy away from louder, sporty pieces that really get in your face with huge logos. But since I’m trying to avoid defaulting to the safety of neutrals, it was the little pop of electric, minty green that did it for me. It feels fresh without getting too wild or demanding everyone’s attention. This look makes me feel put-together but insanely comfortable, and the sneakers are so light and bouncy. They make me feel like I’m ready to sprint up the street at any moment.

What are your tips and tricks for styling running shoes on those days when you’re doing more than running or exercising?

I really love a good off-duty look. You just can’t beat a sporty weekend vibe that’s finished with polished outerwear and accessories: sneakers and structured handbags, hoods popping out from oversize wool coats. If you bump into me anytime soon, this is 100% what I’ll be wearing.

Why is New Balance your go-to destination for athleisure looks?

Every fashion editor I know has at least one pair of New Balance sneakers in their wardrobe. They’re the secret sauce for making any sporty look feel intentional. I’m a huge sucker for New Balance collabs and love going down the rabbit hole exploring the brand’s main line.

Next: According to Editors and Influencers, These Shoes Are Winning the Popular Vote

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