Slip-On Skater Sneakers Are, Like, a Thing Now

Thursday, January 09, 2014

When I was in high school, in the early ‘90s, all of the alt-punk skater guys wore Vans slip-ons. The black and white checkered ones were particularly popular. Who would have thought that I’d be talking about the fashionable rise of slip-on skater sneakers just like those Vans today…

It doesn’t take a lot of looking to realize that slip on sneakers are showing up all over the stores, in an appropriately huge range of price points. Some of the more expensive versions are ridiculous – huge prices, with nothing particularly interesting about the style. But, after wading through a few dozen pair, I’ve narrowed the field down to the most unique and fun looks for all budgets.

I can’t quite trace the new luxe skater sneakers trend back to a single label, but I’m thinking Prada and Saint Laurent are each partially to blame. Both labels are offering several versions of the high end slip-on this season. I’m particularly fond of Saint Laurent’s printed canvas version with the cool, truly unique pineapple skull drink print.

Saint Laurent Skull Print Skate Sneaker

→ Buy the Saint Laurent Skull Print Skate Sneaker, $395.00, at; shipping and returns are free.

Another option in the luxe category is the leather slip-on. This genre has the same silhouette as the classic canvas sneaker, just constructed from leather. There are a lot of options, but I like the stark black and white version from Common Projects the best. It has a high fashion minimalist vibe thanks to super smooth Italian leather stamped with a gold ID number.

Common Projects Leather Sneakers

→ Buy the Common Projects Leather Sneakers, $455.00, at

Vince’s basket weave sneakers have a more athletic feel than other designer versions, but still vibe upscale. The upper is constructed from a woven mesh with grey elastic inset panels and a bright white rubber sole. Like a multimedia painting at a museum, I can't help but want to reach out and touch them.

Vince Blair Slip-On Sneakers

→ Buy the Vince Blair Slip-On Sneakers, $195.00, at; 3-day shipping and returns are free.

Despite all of the designer options, I find that I’m closest to buying these Steve Maddens! The juxtaposition of the unconventional leopard-print calf hair and the ultra-casual sneaker shape is ridiculously fun. The fact that they are super affordable also helps.

Steve Madden Ecentric Pony Hair Flat

→ Buy the Steve Madden Ecentric Pony Hair Flat, $99.95, at; shipping and returns are free.

I couldn’t resist indulging in a little nostalgia by featuring one pair of classic Vans. When I went searching out the perfect pair, I happened upon this fashionista worthy version… metallic Vans! So fun.

Vans Metallic Slip-On Sneaker

→ Buy the Vans Metallic Slip-On Sneaker, $59.95, at; shipping and returns are free.