My friend Beth, in Dublin, has another sartorial quandry. She writes:
I need a new pair of cute, casual, NON-ATHLETIC sneakers. Know of anything?
I told her I’d take a stab at it for her. My first thought was Converse. I love my Converse All-Stars. They’re cute, comfy and cheap. Plus, they come in a rainbow of colors. You can go from basic black or navy to purple or bright yellow! In Europe, I remember seeing everyone from yummy mummies to rebellious teens wearing Converse. They really are pretty versatile, depending on the rest of your outfit.
I’m also a big fan of Puma sneakers. My favorite styles are the Future Cat Lo ($89.95) and the Speed Cat ($70.95), both available in several color combinations. I wore my blue and yellow Future Cats and my brown and cream Speed Cats all over Europe and in Tokyo. Puma is perfect for when you want to be totally comfortable, but not sacrifice style.
Some other options to consider (if you don’t mind dropping a little more cash) are Prada Sport and Coach. Although, Coach can tend to get a little too logo-happy so I’d be careful with that… Overall, I think the main things to look for when shopping for a chic sneaker are smooth, clean lines, interesting color choices and combinations and a thin sole.