Fashion & Beauty

What We Want to Buy Now: 04.24.24

From left to right, clockwise: Asics’s best bet for tennis; a shiny, sporty shoe from J. Crew; a classic Vans style with stars; anyone for pickleball? and Puma’s baby-blue retro option. 

By Janet Kelly

REMEMBER those chunky “Dad” sneakers of a few years ago? They’re mostly toast—no love lost there—while new versions of Adidas’s circa 1970 soccer shoe are selling out. Sneakers have become so popular and accepted they’ve entered the footwear establishment—to wear almost anywhere. While your heels are gathering dust like mine, here are 10 ways to refresh your sneaker selection.


I know some of you will say, oh, white sneakers, how boring. Not I. That’s especially true when it comes to Cariuma’s OCA canvas sneaks with its gum rubber outsole. I own a pair that I wore all last summer, rain or shine, with jeans, dresses and skirts. The canvas is tough; the insoles are made from cork (for comfort) and the outsole is sturdy. The shoes stood up to the sometimes 17,000 steps a day I walked during a vacation in Dublin. They sell for $85.


That’s not to say I’m not charmed by color, like this Alohas Tb.490 sneaker, made from acid-green suede with those fab purple accents. Available in pink with a navy stripe and ivory with green accent stripes as well, they sell for $180 from Anthropologie. The Hawaii-founded, Barcelona-headquartered, made-in-Spain Alohas doesn’t shy away from vivid hues, and even more colors (including burgundy, lilac, orange and olive) are available on the brand’s website.


I happened to notice a pair of these Elan sneakers (in black and white) sitting under the bench at the entrance to my Pilates studio and noted how fresh and ready for spring they looked. From the British label Gola, they’re constructed with a faux suede upper, leather insole and rubber outsole. Available in a few other colors—yellow, pink and gray and royal blue and white—they sell for $110 at Anthropologie.


For those who appreciate the benefits of a slip-on for a fast getaway, these sneakers with denim inserts and starry appliqués on the upper, might bewitch you with their whimsy but sell you on their cushioned insoles, padded collars and rubber waffle outsoles. Did we mention their $65 price tag from Vans?

It was only a matter of time before athletic shoe manufacturers jumped on pickleball as a potential new market. Asics, which makes shoes for golf, tennis, running, soccer, volleyball, etc., is hoping to capture some of the 13.6 million people who played pickleball in the last year with its Gel-Renma shoes ($85). With grooves in the outsole to accommodate side-to-side movements, they also have a midsole for increased stability. Although I’m fond of this sapphire color, unless you’re an avid pickleball player, I’d stick with the tennis sneakers you may already own.

If you have your heart set on a pair of Adidas’s Samba OG sneakers, especially a pair in a more offbeat color combo—like the dark brown leather, contrasting marigold stripes and suede toecaps above—you need a Plan B. They’re sold out as are most of the color options. The white with black stripes has the most availability in the most sizes as we go to press, but keep checking the Adidas site for other combinations. The price runs about $100 but can vary wildly depending on the vendor.

Puma’s Palermo Leather Sneaker is similar in style to the Adidas Samba except it’s not sold out almost everywhere in every color—at least not in this pale blue suede, which I think is quite fetching. It sells for $90 at Zappos.


How cute are these color-block retro tennis sneakers ($140) from Boden? So cute, unfortunately, they’re almost all sold out. But they also come in a preppy pink and green and a white and metallic combo. Take the tennis in the name with a grain of salt—these shoes are playful but not for playing tennis.


Speaking of tennis, at my clinic last Friday, I noticed a woman wearing these Asics Gel-Resolution 9 shoes. When I complimented her on them she told me she swears by this model and has bought it on repeat. (New York magazine’s “The Strategist” rated it as best overall women’s tennis sneaker.) Although I didn’t get a chance to see her play, I know she understands looking good is part of the game plan. The shoes sell for $150 at Zappos.


If you’re tempted to dip your toes into a shiny pair of sneakers, consider this:  J. Crew’s Field Sneaker in metallic leather sells for $118, but with code SHOPNOW, you get 30 percent off that price.


Grownup Girl Fashion by MyLittleBird

Fashion and beauty for women over 40. A Substack from the writers who bring you MyLittleBird.
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2 thoughts on “What We Want to Buy Now: 04.24.24

  1. Cynthia Tilson says:


    You make shopping fun! Loving the Puma’s and the TB490’s but so glad you turned me on to the Cariuma’s that Judy Dench likes…best all-around go-to’s in my closet!

    Thank you!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      I do love those Cariumas. Don’t think you can wash them in the machine, though. How do you keep them clean?

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