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Bye bye, buyer’s remorse. In The Essentials Edit, In The Know’s editors and creators share the favorite basic items they can’t live without. From treasured white tees to favorite face moisturizers, these are the tried-and-true products our editors love — and the items you need to know.
High heels can cause cramps, while flats can pinch. Dress shoes can squeeze and boots can be stiff. But sneakers are old faithful footwear for all genders, providing comfort, performance and style in a shoe.
The best sneakers are versatile and durable, with a comfortable construction and a sturdy sole. A choice sneaker will go with almost everything in your closet. You can wear sneakers with a casual pair of jeans and a tee, or toss them on with a dress or suit to add edge to your outfit. A good pair of sneakers will also outlast trends, remaining a staple for years and years even as fast fashion comes and goes.
In The Know’s commerce editors have tried and tested countless sneakers, weeding out the gems from the not-so-perfect pairs. And these shoes deserve to be on your radar. Here are the sneakers our editors love—and you will, too.
Shop: Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage, $100
“Those who know me may describe me as a mid-level sneakerhead. I don’t stand in line for the latest releases, but I do have a pretty expansive collection and they all feature a particular aesthetic. With that said, Nike Blazers (the Mid ’77 Vintage series only) make up at least 85 percent of my collection. The classic black and white colorway is, by far, my favorite. The contrast of the stark white and true black make this the perfect pair of sneakers that complement arguably any ‘fit. Also, its streamlined and clean design adds a timeless elegance that’s not often seen in ‘trendy’ kicks today. A must-have!” — Moriba Cummings, Commerce Editor
Shop: Asics GEL-Nimbus 22, $150
“My favorite sneakers would have to be the GEL-Nimbus 22 from Asics. While I’m not a runner, after I was introduced to these shoes I wanted to be one. These sneakers feel incredibly light on my feet and are the most comfortable athletic shoes I’ve ever owned thanks to their gel cushioning. I love that I can wear them to pretty much any workout class I want, and they are still cute enough and comfortable enough to wear to brunch afterward. I’ve had them for about three years now and they are just as comfortable today as the first day I slipped them on.” — Julia Webb, Commerce Editor
Shop: Nike Jordan 1, $90-$170
“When I’m not in sky-high heels, I’m in sneakers — specifically, my Jordan 1s. I love how a Jordan 1 fits my foot (I have pretty large feet) and they essentially go with everything. I’m someone who will wear them with a tracksuit but also with an oversized shirtdress and call it a day. My summertime wardrobe are Jays, biker shorts and an off-the-shoulder top.
“Living in New York, you want something fly on your feet, and I can’t think of a better shoe than one that’s so richly tied to Black culture, sports and fashion. A lot of people aren’t privy to sneaker culture or why there’s a literal cult following, but even from a business perspective, it makes sense. Jordans rarely depreciate in value, and the right investments can dub you the style icon on your block. When I buy sneakers, I don’t rush out to get the latest drip just because it’s what everyone else is saying. I do what makes me happy. At the moment, I’m loving the High Game Royals that originally came out in 2018. The colorway is super simple, but the blue is strong enough to make its own statement. I’ll be rocking these all summer.” —Jamé Jackson, Senior Beauty Commerce Writer
Shop: Adidas by Stella McCartney UltraBoost x 3D Running Shoe, $160.97 (Orig. $229.95)
“I recently splurged on the Stella McCartney x Adidas Ultraboost and they did not disappoint. While we spend all of this new found time at home, I wanted a chic pair of kicks for my walks around the block and at-home workouts. They are a slip-on design, which is super convenient, and feature the same performance of the brand’s signature Ultraboost sneakers. The best part? The upper knit is crafted from recycled beach and ocean litter. Sustainable and stylish — it doesn’t get better than that.” — Laura Galvan, Commerce Editor
Shop: Cariuma IBI, $98
“I’m usually a firm believer of ‘the hype,’ and the buzz around this sneaker didn’t disappoint. The Cariuma IBI sneakers had a 12,000 person waitlist when it launched. It’s actually the only sneaker I put on when I do have to leave the house nowadays. It’s legit my most comfortable shoe. Plus, I love the fact that it’s biodegradable. Also, since I have wide feet — which makes finding comfortable footwear anywhere a challenge — I love that there’s a ton of stretch in these babies, too.” — Ari Bines, Commerce Editor
Shop: Keds’ Crew Kick 75 Leather, $69.95
“For when you need a classic pair of all-white sneakers, you might want to try my favorite Keds. The company has been around since 1916, which automatically makes the brand timeless, especially since Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were once fans. While the Keds Champion was the first style ever made, my favorite pair (and a best seller) is Keds’ Crew Kick 75 Leather sneakers. Not only does the thick sole give you a little extra height for a sneaker, I’ve walked miles in these in New York without any blisters, which is hard to come by.” — Madison Alcedo, Senior Home Goods Commerce Writer
Shop: Adidas Stan Smith Shoes, $64 (Orig. $80)
“The biggest staple of my everyday wardrobe has to be a white pair of sneakers. Whether I’m going to work, doing errands, grabbing a drink or going out with friends, throwing on a pair of white sneakers instantly pulls together my outfit of choice, regardless of what the rest of it looks like. While I have a ton of favorites —Vejas for comfort and making a difference, Common Projects if you’re looking to splurge and hi-top Converse if you’re not afraid of scuffing them up, to name a few— the classic that I always fall back on are Stan Smiths from Adidas. They’re durable, comfortable, crisp and feature a pop of color that is just the right amount on any given day (which is saying something, as I wear them multiple times a week). If you’re looking for a starter pair of white sneakers or just want to add a classic shoe to your existing collection, make it a pair of Stan Smiths — trust me.” — Gibson Johns, Host and Producer
Shop: Nike Tennis Classics, $59.97 (Orig. $80)
“I had been looking for the perfect pair of white sneakers — nothing too flashy, yet still fashionable and definitely comfortable. Over the past few months I’ve ordered several pairs online and finally, I found my match: Nike’s Tennis Classic sneakers. They’re low on the ankle, made of leather and have enough cushion for getting in my 10,000 steps a day. I especially like that they’re all white. They don’t have any colorful labels or tags, so they really go with everything.” — Ellie Conely, Commerce Editor
If you liked this story, check out the five basic white tees In The Know editors would buy again and again.
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