Athleisure shoes: A definitive buyer’s guide


Athleisure shoes: A definitive buyer’s guide

Fashion and footwear have seen a fair share of trends come and go, but one trend that has stayed in the spotlight for decades is athleisure.

Athleisure's success is far from a lucky break. Athleisure styles check all the most important boxes when it comes to timeless characteristics: versatility, comfort, and convenience.

When most people hear athleisure, they might think of leggings, joggers, athletic t-shirts, or varsity sweatshirts. Footwear, however, is just as essential to the athleisure look and lifestyle as any other part of an outfit, if not more so.

Here at Kizik, we've taken the core of athleisure to heart. That’s why we built our innovative shoe styles with similar qualities to ensure all of our styles can suit your needs and are ready to become your go-to shoes.

In today's guide, we're going to walk you through how to pick the perfect shoe for your athleisure lifestyle. We're keeping in mind the diverse, ever-changing needs of most modern lives and talking about how the right shoe can help you tackle any and every challenge.

Let's get started!

What is athleisure?

Athleisure is all about balance and versatility. Built for active, on-the-go lifestyles, the athleisure style needs to be ready to handle the fast-paced flow of the day but also be capable of taking it easy.

From going out for a stroll in the park to a night out with friends, an athleisure style fits either occasion and anything in between. You can wear athleisure shoes in a yoga class, at a restaurant, at the park, in the grocery store, or even in many workplaces!

What should I look for when shopping for athleisure shoes? 

The biggest and best trends often bring out plenty of low-quality options hoping to ride the wave of popularity. That's why it's so essential to know exactly what to look for when you shop for athleisure shoes.

Not every shoe that bills itself as athleisure is actually built to handle the needs of your everyday life, especially over time. We all know the experience of trying on a pair of shoes that fit comfortably in-store, only to later realize the pain of wearing them for longer than a few minutes.

Practical versatility 

While appearance is crucial for athleisure, nothing comes before practicality. Athleisure shoes should be incredibly comfortable and ready to support your feet during activity.

When it comes to comfort, many factors are involved. For an athleisure shoe, you need to think about the many diverse situations in which you might wear your shoes.

For instance, if you have an active lifestyle, your day might start with a morning walk and stretch into a lengthy commute to work. After that, you may have plenty more walking throughout your shift at work, followed by a night out with friends, and finally, a few chores or a walk with your dog at home before bed.

The right pair of shoes can help carry you through challenging days like this so you can enjoy every moment. However, the wrong shoes can quickly leave you feeling tired and miserable before you even get to work.

The key qualities for the right pair of shoes are a perfect fit, plenty of flexibility, breathability, good grip, soft insoles, great outsoles, and high-quality materials from heel to toe.

Here at Kizik, our expert designers use innovative technologies and proven techniques to build every pair of shoes with practicality in mind. From our HandsFree Labs® technology to our Rabbit Foam™ outsoles, Kizik shoes have all the practical versatility you need to overcome any challenge in your daily life.

Aesthetic versatility 

Most people may not see footwear as the centerpiece of an outfit, but make no mistake that the shoes you choose can significantly impact your look. One of the main reasons athleisure works so well is that it's easy to style for nearly any occasion.

When choosing athleisure footwear for your own wardrobe, think about the colors you wear most often, especially in everyday settings. 

To ensure your shoes work well with as many of your outfits as possible, choose a shoe color that complements or matches the colors you wear most often. Shoes with neutral tones such as black, white, and brown go well with most colors.

Your shoes can also enhance your outfits by providing a sharp contrast to the colors you normally wear. If you tend to wear outfits that are very neutral or heavily monotone, having a bright, colorful shoe option can add some pop to your look.

Color isn't the only aesthetic aspect to think about. Material and construction matter too, especially when it comes to athleisure.

Our Kizik Athens style leans more towards the active side of athleisure, with an appearance that will match your on the go, active lifestyle.

If you prefer to put a bit more focus on the casual side of athleisure, our Kizik Vegas shoe hits that stylish sweet spot for casual occasions but can still handle the pressure of more active days too.

Athleisure shoes vs. athletic shoes: Is there a difference?

With all this talk about athleisure shoes, now is a good time to talk about how athleisure shoes are different from athletic shoes.

The main difference is that, while athleisure shoes may be used for athletic performance from time to time, they aren’t specially designed to be an athletic shoes are. At the same time, athleisure shoes are typically built to be a bit more versatile, especially for everyday general use, compared to athletic shoes, which have more specific design elements for their particular sport or athletic use.

Some athletic shoes have enough athleisure qualities that they blur the lines and vice versa. Ultimately, you have to judge every shoe individually, and the label you put on them is much less important than the actual qualities they possess once they’re on your feet.

So instead of worrying about whether a pair of shoes is technically athleisure or athletic in its design, focus on the more critical questions: 

  • Are the shoes comfortable?
  • Are the shoes versatile?
  • Are the shoes durable?
  • Are the shoes convenient?

At Kizik, we prioritize designing every pair of shoes so that the answer to each of these questions is a resounding yes. That way, you can buy any pair of Kizik kicks with total confidence.

What should I wear with athleisure shoes?

Athleisure has been around for some time now, so most people are aware of what athleisure outfits look like. The trademark look includes leggings, joggers, or sweatpants with a top that’s athletically inclined but stylish enough to wear out of the house.

General principles aside, let’s talk about a few of our favorite Kizik athleisure shoes and some outfits that might work well with them.

How to style Kizik Lima shoes

Our Lima line is one of our most popular, thanks to a streamlined look and extra-breathable knit material. Our Limas definitely fit the athleisure vibe to a T, with features that are similar to classic running shoes and tennis shoes.

Some running shorts, a tennis skirt, joggers, or even chinos can pair perfectly with a pair of Lima shoes. We also love the look of Limas paired with some Kizik Ankle Socks for additional comfort and style.

Top things off with just about any athleisure T-shirt, sweatshirt, or zip-up jacket. A baseball cap is a nice way to round off a Lima-based athleisure look while getting a little extra sun protection while you’re out and about.

How to style Kizik Prague shoes 

On the other side of the athleisure spectrum, our Prague shoes have a more casual aesthetic, reminiscent of skater shoes. 

A sleek, modern take on a classic look, our Prague style doesn’t slack off when it comes to practicality either. Not only does the Rabbit Foam™ outsole offer incredible comfort, but the canvas upper provides quality breathability for all-day wear. 

Hugely versatile when it comes to style, you can match our Pragues with just about anything. Comfort is the name of the game, so slip them on with some joggers and a sweatshirt, soft jeans and a basic Shirt, or even a sundress! These shoes are seasonless and easy to style.

How to style Kizik Madrid shoes

Designed using our eco-friendly fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, our Madrid Eco-Knit shoes are an athleisure style with exceptional quality that benefits both you and the planet.

Thanks to a 4-way stretch air mesh upper, your feet can enjoy extra breathability that is perfect for hot days or super active schedules. Responsive cushioning rounds out an all-around comfort package.

Our Eco-Knit shoes have a similar vibe to the Lima style but with a streamlined, minimalist look, which is perfect with a more form-fitting outfit. Leggings, for example, are an ideal bottom to wear with this style, especially paired with a tank or long-sleeve tee.

Final remarks

Whether you’ve been living the athleisure life for some time now or you’re new to the whole idea, Kizik has got your athleisure footwear style covered. 

Our versatile, comfortable, convenience-oriented shoes are designed with everything they need to be your new favorite shoes, so pick a pair and give them a try today!

For all things footwear, answers to footwear FAQs, and more, stay tuned right here on our Kizik blog.

How Did Athleisure Take Over American Fashion? | The Atlantic
Breathability - An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics
Wellness and Prevention: Sun Safety | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Written By: Chris Fry

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