There’s no one thing a sneaker has to be, except maybe comfortable. During the 2000s, sneakers got a leg up thanks to hidden wedges. Today, there are platform sneakers, sneaker boots, hiking boot–sneaker hybrids, intentionally ugly sneakers, and the reigning champ, the dad sneaker. While there’s something to be said for staying abreast of trends, it is always important to have a timeless, reliable pair of sneakers in your daily rotation too. Think of it as another wardrobe essential, like a great pair of blue jeans or a fitted black blazer.
Enter the gum-sole sneaker. Often found in sleek, low-top silhouettes, the rubber-soled trainer is an understated yet cool way to polish off any look. Their gummy bottoms make them extra-comfortable, too, and provide a bit of contrast with their leather, canvas, velvet, and even snake-print uppers. Unsurprisingly, these easy, relaxed kicks have become a must on the streets of Fashion Weeks around the world.
In the spirit of sticking to the classics, here are 11 ways to try out a pair of gum-soled sneakers.