The hi-top trainer – once an exclusive American sports shoe – is now more of a high end silhouette than ever before having appeared on catwalks and in designer collections all over the world. Its not just the skater kids wearing hi-tops these days – it’s people of all ages, and it’s now one of the most popular casual footwear styles there is.
By definition, the hi-top is a shoe that extends over the wearer’s ankle like a boot. A design which was first created to protect the delicate ankles of basketball players as they twisted, turned and jumped during games. It was an iconic shoe which nearly every NBA player wore at one stage, a level of popularity that helped it make its way into fashion too.
In recent times, Luxury sportswear – especially retro – has become increasingly prominent in men’s fashion, contributing to the popularity of such as the hi-top, with brands like Converse, Nike and adidas all becoming keen advocates of the style.
Here are some of the picks in the Mainline Menswear range:
The Varial Mid is a classic basketball mid top aimed at the skater groups that began wearing them. Their defining feature is the toughened structure, featuring a mid-cut for extra stability with a robust synthetic upper and an adjustable Velcro strap for support. Available in both black and white, it also catches the eye with its clean aesthetics.
A perfect example of how hi tops have infiltrated high fashion comes in the form of Y3’s diverse Qasa. The luxurious slip-on design in all-black boasts a futuristic aesthetic made up of neoprene uppers and a unique curved EVA outsole. The result is a sophisticated hi-top from this cult collaborative brand.
Converse are the original creators of hi-top trainers and still remain the go-to brand for them. Even though their design has barely changed since they first designed it, there’s a huge variety of colourways and outers to choose from such as the new winter-ready leather versions and the special edition MA 1 Zip Hi Top.
The Scottish heritage brand is well known for creating high quality and this season they’ve responded to the growing appetite for hi-tops with the Lunan trainers that are designed as a twill plimsoll with contrasting suede heel panels, finished with a vulcanized rubber sole. The understated black silhouette offers a subtle take on the classic sportswear silhouette.
Like many of the most iconic sports shoes, hi-tops have become cultivated, cementing their place as a lasting footwear trend. Furthermore, the hi-top trainer has proved to be a style that can perfectly transition through the seasons including different weather and outfits that come with it, mainly because they are made in such a large range of colours and materials.
How to Wear
The hi-top has always been seen as a youthful trainer that older people tend to avoid at all costs, but as MenswearStyle.co.uk say: “High top sneakers are difficult to get right, but it is most certainly possible. Three things in particular need to be paid attention to – size, colour and outfit choice.”
One popular way to wear them is with shorts during the summer or a slim fitting jean in the winter. By contrast, a loose fitting sits awkwardly next to a hi-top silhouette. Another un-written rule when wearing hi-tops is that you should never match the colour of the leg-wear with that of the trainer itself.