The technical trend that combines innovative fabrics and functional utility is everywhere right now in both apparel and footwear. Building off the chunky runner spectacle that began gaining traction in 2015, mainstay sneaker brands and luxury labels have been gravitating toward a more performance-focused approach.
Cycling back to the nostalgic design habits of the late ’90s, brands are now refueling their footwear ranges with that same nostalgic energy. Generally, these shoes combine a technical/trail running–inspired aesthetic with pumped-up properties like water-repellent uppers, breathable mesh paneling and 3M reflective accents for a contemporary appeal that’s still functional for running or combating harsh weather.
While the chunky runner trend focuses more on the bulky shape that runners of the early ’90s embodied, technical running footwear mimics the styles that one might actually wear while trail running or hiking. Often sleeker in their design than throwback running sneakers, technical running sneakers are notoriously designed with waterproof materials to keep feet dry, lugged outsole patterns for enhanced traction and greater cushioning in the midsoles to suppress impact during strides.
Here are five sneakers for you to consider that have taken the technical running and performance trend of 2019 by storm: