Journal / How Brands Focused On Womens Lifestyle Sneakers

How Brands Shifted Focus On Women's Lifestyle Shoes


The sneaker game is at its most intricate point in history. Innovation and style have converged, attracting enthusiasts of all genders and ages.
In response, athletic brands have adapted, as consumers continue to receive waves of new product that feels crafted to their interests in a bespoke way. More importantly, the range of products available have evolved our perception of sneaker culture – no longer monolithic in its ethos or what gender it caters to.

Though it's still leaps and bounds to go, lifestyle women's shoes have been a direct beneficiary of these developments. Especially in regards to design, and in many cases, accessibility. From traditional releases to collaborations, we've seen brands be more adamant in creating products that truly speak to women and the narrative they want to be sold through their products.

Stadium Goods highlights some of the hottest footwear options for women on the market. Peep the selection below.

Nike Air SF-Air Force 1 "Binary Blue"

Style: 857872 400

Stadium Goods Link: Nike Air SF-Air Force 1 "Binary Blue"

The Nike SF-Air Force 1 reaffirms the explanation in the intro. From a design perspective, the amended AF1 sports a masculine look, with its traditional construction on the toe and mid-panel, canvas on the heel, and removable double paracord straps on the high-top ankle. However, the Swoosh brand has catered a handful of the releases exclusively to women, including this “Binary Blue” colorway.

adidas NMD_R1 "Primeknit" Essential Pink"

Style: BB2364

Stadium Goods Link: adidas NMD_R1 "Primeknit" Essential Pink"

The glitch camo motif was made famous on the NMD_R1 silhouette, as it’s used intermittently on designs. Spring 2017, we saw the design return on the “Essential Pink” colorway, which is the antithesis of the “Shock Pink” shoe; both are available in women’s sizes only.
Per usual, the model is defined by its woven Primeknit construction, this time appearing in Core Black with matching accents. But it’s the Shock Pink accents on the rear bumper that provide just the right pop of color to make the sneaker standout.

Rihanna x Puma Fenty Bow "Pink Tint"

Style: 365054 02

Stadium Goods Link: Rihanna x Puma Fenty Bow "Pink Tint"

The tonal look has defined much of what we've seen from the Rihanna x Puma line so far. With summer approaching, one particular model features silky satin construction and a pastel tone that register for the season: Fenty Bow. What can only be considered a sleek running silhouette, the name references the oversized bow that replace a traditional lacing system.

COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Air VaporMax

Style: 924501 001

Stadium Goods Link: COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Air VaporMax

Nike was masterful in how efficiently they rolled out their innovative Air VaporMax model in spring 2017. Not only were the shoes given sensible colorways in both men and women's sizes, but we also saw a special pair created in collaboration with Japanese fashion label COMME des GARÇONS.

Designed by CDG founder Rei Kawakubo, this laceless women's version features a murdered-out black colorway (aside from minor dark grey accents on the ankle collar). CDG branding appears on the lateral side of each shoe.

Nike Air Max 97 LX "Swarovski Crystal"

Style: 927508 001

Stadium Goods Link: Nike Air Max 97 LX "Swarovski Crystal"

The month worth of festivities for Air Max Day 2017 were greatly dedicated to the Air Max 1 30th anniversary celebration and grand unveiling of the Air VaporMax. In turn, it was easy to miss releases like the stunning Air Max 97 LX "Swarovski Crystal."

The upper on this lux, women’s edition of the silhouette is construction with premium nylon materials in an all-black colorway. Well, unless you count the shimmering look seen throughout – which are actual Swarovski crystals embedded into the design. The original Air Max 97 mold appears on the white sole, which features a full-length visible air unit.

NAKED x adidas Ultra Boost

Style: BB1141

Stadium Goods Link: NAKED x adidas Ultra Boost

In an era when black monochromatic looks reign supreme, it's great to see a shoe boasting vibrant colors receive the proper shine. Set apart by its oceanic hue, we highlight the NAKED x adidas Ultra Boost. Constructed with Primeknit materials, the difference maker here is the mesh cage overlay – a departure from the traditionally plastic look.

Nike Air Max 97 OG QS "Metallic Gold"

Style: 885691 700

Stadium Goods Link: Nike Air Max 97 OG QS "Metallic Gold"

One of the most coveted Air Max releases of 2017 is the classic Air Max 97 in "Metallic Gold." The model itself is a marvel to see, as it draws inspiration from the Japanese bullet train. The metallic gold colorway just adds an additional dynamic.

The sneaker is essentially a piece of art thanks to its many working pieces, including the placement of mesh, hints of red on the Swooshes and black accents on the outsole and inner lining. A white midsole with a visible air unit completes the design.

Reigning Champ x adidas Ultra Boost 3.0

Style: BW1122

Stadium Goods Link: Reigning Champ x adidas Ultra Boost

Reigning Champ have chiseled out an unique place in men's fashion with their take on form-fitting cozy wear like sweatpants, sweatshirts, hoodies, et al.

The Canadian label channelled that aesthetic in a collaboration with adidas that brought us an Ultra Boost 3.0, AlphaBounce, and matching apparel. Here, we spotlight the Ultra Boost featuring a woven Primeknit upper and premium suede cage system.

adidas NMD_R2 Primeknit "Polka Dot"

Style: BA7560

Stadium Goods Link: adidas NMD_R2 Primeknit "Polka Dot"

Polka-dots always make for an interesting design choice. adidas incorporated the motif throughout a tonal navy Primeknit upper on a NMD_R2 model. Subtle accents like suede on the heel and a brown leather pull tab add nuance to the shoe.

adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 "Salmon"

Style: S80686

Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 "Salmon"

adidas dropped two colorways of the Ultra Boost 3.0 on February 1, with the "Salmon" shoe being the more ambitious option. Black is speckled throughout Primeknit-constructed upper. The Three Stripes branding on the translucent caging is tonal in the Salmon look. Black continues to have an assisting role on the heel and outsole, while the white Boost midsole balances the design.

Air Jordan 11 Retro "Heiress"

Style: 852625 650

Stadium Goods Link: Air Jordan 11 Retro "Heiress"

The Air Jordan has a sparse history of releases exclusive to women. But that's sure to change as we've seen an uptick in its most iconic silhouettes receiving lifestyle makeovers.

A recent example of note is the Air Jordan 11 Retro "Heiress," which arrived December 2016. It's nearly impossible to forget this shoe, given its rich Night Maroon colorway and premium construction – it features an upper in a synthetic nubuck and a velvet mudguard. From a design standpoint, the "Heiress" denotes luxury as opposed to an ultra-feminine look. Just ask all of the men who wish the grade school girls sneaker was available in their size.

Rihanna x Puma Fenty Creepers

Style: 361005 06

Stadium Goods Link: Rihanna x Puma Fenty Creepers

When news broke of a Rihanna-branded line by Puma, your best bet was to expected the unexpected. The pop star, known for having ambitious and, at times, avant garde style, showed and proved with her Creepers sneaker for the ladies.

The upper is a key ingredient in this model's success, as the look draws inspiration from Puma's classic Suede model, providing consumers with a level of familiarity with the product at first glance. When paired with the thick platform sole, we see a fashionable women's shoe with roots in the past and future.

Just Don x Air Jordan 2 "Arctic Orange"

Style: 923840 805

Stadium Goods Link: Just Don x Air Jordan 2 "Arctic Orange"

Perhaps no present-day model listed here was as divisive than Don C's luxurious reworking of the classic Air Jordan 2. For that reason, he implemented a new game plan for the “Artic Orange” colorway, which was only available in children’s sizes upon releasing – with grade school, pre-school, and toddler options.

Don C explained that his own family had difficulty purchasing past Just Don-branded releases due to availability in predominantly men's sizes. In putting his family first, we see the first instance where women who love sneakers could cop a pair he created. This vibrant shoe was crafted with the same dedication to detail seen on past iterations. It features a tonal pinkish hue, with the patented quilted upper appearing in premium leather. Suede overlays are thematically consistent with the luxury look. Gold lace tips make the complete the show.

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