Wearing the trend: Sneakers

by Sylvia

How to wear sneakers over 40

While shopping in Holland it was clear that sneakers were everywhere. They sold them in all kinds of heights, colors and patterns and many even had inbuilt heels to give you extra height.

My friend Saskia was celebrating this trend when she found her longed for Kennel & Schmenger sneakers (see above) which she had first spotted in Berlin. 

I must admit I’m sitting on the fence when it comes to this trend. I have never been a huge sneaker fan and don’t find much use for them in Singapore. Wearing sneakers leans too much to the casual side for me so I tend to stick to hip sandals and flats when I want to be sporty.

Can women over 40 wear sneakers?

That said, I still own a pair of high Nike sneakers that I dusted off and gave a better place in my closet. They are the ideal option for a nice walk in the park or a casual outfit for an activity. Also, sneakers are now so hip that you can either dress them up or down.

So the quick answer is yes, of course you can wear them. But I would not make them too casual or too young, since you don’t want to look like a teenager. Here are some ideas to get you started.

sneakers trend

I have actually given myself an idea here as I very much like the middle option for a casual afternoon of sightseeing or shopping in Europe. Perfect for my holidays! I guess I will be on the lookout for a low pair of sneakers as well…

Below are some of the best sneakers I found online and that you can buy right now. Use as inspiration or enjoy your shopping!

Will you embrace the sneakers trend or give it a miss?


{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carelia

Sylvia, I am 42 and I am not planning to give up wearing sneakers, as a matter of fact…as I am getting older I am finding sneakers more appealing and comfy for everyday wear.
This is a great post and I love your suggestions. I am a huge fan of Converse Chuck Taylors and I am always looking for new styles and colors. Right now I am enjoying my silver Jack Purcell for Converse, they are very practical and versatile as most metallic shoes.



2 Sylvia

It’s funny because when I started writing this article, I thought this trend was really not for me. But the more I thought about it and played with it, the more I started liking it. A pair of fun low sneakers are now on my wish list!


3 Rita

Oh yes…at least one new pair every summer. I like to have a white/neutral pair (last year I bought gray and white slip-on Vans) and maybe another fun pair, like my floral Top-Sider sneakers that I just started wearing. I’ve always liked Vans or Keds the best as I like the slightly narrower toe. I saw some “Taylor Swift” Keds the other day in some very cute patterns…kind of nautical and patriotic colors. I’m more than twice her age, but I’d wear them. They were really cute!


4 Rita

I should add that I’m not into high tops (too masculine) or wedge sneakers (not practical), though.


5 Sylvia

I foolishly forgot to mention your fabulous sneakers Rita. I’ve corrected that now and added the link to your forumpost in the article above and will mention it here too (https://40plusstyle.com/forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=472). Keep rocking those sneakers and if you ever have the courage, show us a full outfit!


6 Rita

Awe…thanks, Sylvia! I had no idea when I bought them that they were actually an upcoming trend. An example of how I get lucky now and then. 🙂


7 Lorraine

What are Vans and Keds or are you speaking Klingon?


8 susan

neither are available in my country – such a shame. sneakers tend to be skate style (way too young – I made that mistake last year!) or crazy expensive designer stuff.
wondering how i could import Keds…


9 Rita

Well, more like “Wookie”. 🙂 I always liked that Chewbacca! I don’t own any Keds right now but I’ll post a pic on the forum next time I see them. They used to be just little white canvas sneakers back in the day but now come in all sorts of colors. Vans are the “surfer” sneaker of California. The 4th picture down, in the center above are Vans. Oh, and I forgot TOMS. Not really sneakers, but canvas casual slip-ons. They are great for bopping around the house. I have a couple pairs of those. 🙂 The company gives a pair to a child in need for every pair sold, which I love.

Susan, can you order them on line from Nordstrom, Zappos, or another company that ships internationally? I saw a pair of Prada sneakers recently and just laughed and laughed…but I guess serious Prada fans will love them. 🙂


10 Heather Fonseca

Vans are simple, slip-on, rubber-soled, shoes. They come in solid colors and wild prints and are usually worn by skaters.

Keds are the first “sneaker” ever made. They are a simple, lace-up, canvas sneaker. They come in solid colors and prints. They’re my favorite casual sneaker!

Converse also makes a simple, lace-up sneaker, but they have a rubber toe. They’re often sold as high-tops. My daughter has several pairs.


11 Sylvia

Thanks for this clarification Heather!


12 Lorraine

Thanks Heather and Rita! You are opening up a whole new (sneaker) world for me!


13 Tangobabe

I have lots of sneakers and I love them. Lower ones, higher ones, in all colors of the rainbow. What I would never do is go for the ones with built in heel, like some of the ones shown above. I mean, the only thing I like about heels is the look…it makes you look more feminine and beautiful. But in general I find them very uncomfortable and painful to walk in (due to my feet). So why on earth would I choose for this uncomfortness while NOT having that sexy look that heels give? I don’t see the advantage of that. Do other women? I’m anxious to hear;-).


14 Sylvia

I get your point and am not keen on those myself. Yes would love to hear (and see pictures) from others rocking that look!


15 Rita

I agree. If I wear heels I want them to be pretty, nice shoes to make up for them being not so comfortable. I just don’t care fo the look of high-heeled sneakers and my guess is that it is atrend that will fade quickly. I guess comfort-wise they’d be more like a wedge, which I do find to be a comfortable way to wear heels. Still, not ones I will go for.


16 Heather Fonseca

I love my new little keds! But other than a casual, classic, sneaker I don’t think I’ll be doing the trend. I really don’t like the high heel ones, and I’ve seen some really ugly versions of those. For me sneakers should be simple, but I do like the little printed keds. They’re cute.


17 Sylvia

Yes, that’s what I’ll probably go for…


18 Rita

I had a pair of Sketchers a few years ago that were very simple with white eyelet material over the canvas…so cute!


19 Lorraine

I don’t own any and can’t really see myself wearing them – certainly not high tops (although the ‘on-trend’ Rita might convince me with some cute floral ones LOL!).
If I am running around I like loafers but then that’s my preppy side coming through! Ha ha!


20 Sylvia

At least they are just as comfortable 🙂


21 Rita

Ya know…I was noticing a few people wearing penny loafers this last month or so. Maybe making a comeback? Loafers are always comfy no matter what style.


22 Lorraine

It’s funny but I was struggling to get any loafers last year and now I keep seeing them! Fashion has caught up with me. Ha ha! I like the snaffle (bit of glitz!) or tassel ones (fun!) rather then the plain penny loafers.


23 Rita

I love tassels! It is funny how things come around. I had a pair of penny loafers years ago that I wore with slacks to work. I haven’t seen them in years and all of a sudden, they are popping up again with skirts, slacks, dresses, and guys are wearing them with…wait for it…CAPRIS! WHAT??? J Crew was filled with skinny guys wearing skinny capris and penny loafers. My husband just said, “I’m not sure I’ll find anything I want here.” LOL!!


24 Lorraine

Ha ha! I bet the guys don’t agonise about the length of their capris, sister!


25 Rita

Haha! That’s right. They just go with the flow. I saw a guy in a restaurant yesterday with the leg-flapping variety, too. :-O


26 Saskia

Nice outfits! With my small-boned ankles the low model sneaker make me look plump. The high heel sneakers make me feel uncomfortable because of associations I’m aware of but can’t ignore yet. After all, I’m happy to wear sneakers and it brings variety in styling my outfits from classical into more casual. Curious to Vans and Keds mentioned by Rita.


27 Sylvia

yes I think you can totally rock those high sneakers Saskia. Of course I want to see pictures! (hint, hint, you can upload some to the forum….)


28 Saskia

yeh, I will that’s a promise


29 Greetje

OK guys…. here is a 59 year old one talking… Like Sylvia I am not a sneaker fan. My problem is flat feet and sneakers usually make me look silly.
And, as Anja pointed out, high heeled sneakers don’t do my poor feet any good, so I might as well wear high heeled shoes than.
Having said that, I do own 1 pair of sneakers. I took the inner sole out and put my supporting soles in and they are heaven. Not your average nice, blending-in kind of sneakers, but I don’t mind that a lot.
As I have uploaded them to the Forum earlier, I looked them up for you:



30 Sylvia

Great example of sneakers worn in a casual chic and modern way Greetje!


31 Greetje

By the way they are by the same brand as Saskia’s sneakers: Kennel & Schmenger (I can never remember this difficult name).

Tip: these sneakers have a zip so you don’t have to lace them up all the time. Very handy. AND… it gave me the opportunity to have the cobbler sew the flap to the sneaker on one side (just a few stitches). Thus allowing me to enter the shoe without any problems while keeping that darned flap in its place. Because it always used to slide to the side.


32 Paula

Sylvia, I’m on the fence on this too! I love sneakers and LOVE the wedge idea to dress them up. But i have yet to see someone our age look good in this look! If i can see it translate in REAL LIFE, i’m going for it!


33 Buckle Button Zip

I’m all in. I have a pair of black Converse-like sneakers that are my go-to for anytime I need to do a lot walking. I’ve replaced the flat liner with an insole for my high arches and they are just as comfortable as a cushion-y running shoe. I know that makes me sound orthopedic, but if my body is happy, I’m happy.


34 Tangobabe

Smart solution, BBZ! And are these custom-made insoles?


35 Annette

I like all three looks, Sylvia. However, I am with Rita and not into high tops but leave the top buttons open. I always find some cleavage is better for me.

I know they are very trendy and popular but personally I’d skip the sneakers completely – not even worn them when I was younger, so it is not an age but a style decision for me. I’d replace them with flats for a casual look.

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36 Seeker

Now I’m on the fence!
I’m not a sneakers gal. But I might do a trip to Paris next September and I have to have some flats to do all the walking we’re planning. I had put the sneakers out, because I think they are the tourist most used kind of shoe and I want to be a fashionable one, so I was thinking more of some loafers, navy shoes or oxfords.
Now I’m confused….. 🙁
Any advices????


37 Rita

Paris…wow! First off, have a great time. What a dream trip!! If you are doing a lot of walking, wear what’s comfortable and won’t give you blisters, first and foremost. When you get there, check out what others are wearing for walking and duck into a store and get a pair. What a wonderful momento of your trip…shoes you bought in Paris. 🙂


38 Seeker

Thank you Rita!!!
Yes, if we will be able to do it, it will be a dream trip. Something I have ever wanted to do and also my sister, she is crazy for Paris. So we decided that it would be a nice birthday gift for her to spend her birthday in Paris.
So we are planing on this 🙂


39 Lorraine

I vote for loafers!


40 Greetje

As a fanatic Paris visitor (again coming May) I would say: any kind of flats which are comfortable and do not give you blisters: sneakers and ballerinas will do fine.


41 Seeker

I guess you’re the best person to give some advices, dear.
Thank you Greetje 🙂


42 Seeker

Thank you Lorraine. I think I’m on the loafers side too 🙂


43 Jill

I personally can’t find 11N sneakers and when I do put a sneaker on my foot I look as if I am getting ready to water-ski! So I’m opting out on this one!


44 Petra

Hi Sylvia – it’s good to see sneakers being talked about. I don’t own any (only the serious walking-type) because they look so uncomfortable! If I were to buy a pair (which I do often think about), they would be the old-fashioned white or beige type that we used to wear for tennis! And I think one needs the whole “outfit” look whatever that may be. 🙂


45 dan

I still have in my closet a pair of Allstars I bought ages ago. I love them because remember me when I was jounger but I haven’ t got the slightest idea to wear them now.


46 Wilma

I think I’ll pass on this trend and stick to ballet flats for casual wear. I’ve never liked hi-tops and despite their huge popularity, Converse low-top sneakers just scream teenager to me.


47 Sockpuppet

I have. I recently purchased my first pair of low top converse in purple, my favorite color. I wear them like the third option you showed above straight leg cuffed jeans. Nice on vacation when my husband and I tend to walk around a lot.


48 Dick

Just for a differing opinion (male physician, 62), I happened on this blog on a related Google search. I love a gal in a nice dress and shoes or heels as as much as the next guy (though I always wonder how much distress the lady is in with heels), but I’ve always been a huge fan of women wearing sneakers, long before the current trend. I started in my teens and 20’s only admiring pure white sneakers like Keds, and then later Converse Chucks, and as time went on began to appreciate bright colors as they started appearing in nylon/mesh running shoes in the 70’s and 80’s. These days all sorts are so common I’m hardly surprised at whatever combinations I see, though I still prefer gals wearing sneakers with jeans or shorts. I’ll be dating again soon, and I won’t be surprised to run into a date in a dress or skirt with sneakers, which, though I haven’t had that experience yet, should be fun. I just find sneakers to look rather fun, athletic, sexy and laid back and showing someone who can relax and not always take life too seriously. I hope the “trend” goes on for a long time!


49 Sylvia

Thanks for your feedback Dick. Great to hear a man’s perspective!


50 Carol

Can older women wear slip on sneakers.


51 Sylvia

Yes, I feel they are similar to regular sneakers.


52 Andria

How is there no date on anything pertaining to this post (i.e., the post itself and the comments have no date)? How am I to know if what is being discussed here pertains to the current season???

Oh, by the way it is May 21,2015


53 Sylvia

Sorry for not dating the posts. The thing is that many readers find this blog through old articles and many are still worth reading. However, if I date the articles women will think they are too old and discredit them from the start. I may change this policy in the future but will leave it as is for now. For most trends articles, you can always see for which season they are if you look at the ‘breadcrumbs’ just underneath the top navigation, as that will mention the relevant category. For trends the category would be something like spring 2015 trends. As this article was more on how to wear sneakers after 40, I put it in that category though.


54 Intan

Hi from the other side of the planet.

I will be 40 in a few years and I’m a worrier. I would love to look age appropriate, but I love sneakers too much because I have bad ankles. I googled and I find this post and I find it uplifting. Converse,Vans, Airwalk, and Adidas are my faves, but lately since I am into hiphop dance (at this age!), I am start eyeing on Supra. After reading this post of yours Sylvia, I end up buying one.

I love this post and the comments as well.

And it is May 2016!


55 Sylvia

Hi Intan, You may also enjoy this article https://40plusstyle.com/a-bit-of-vintage-and-a-bit-of-street-a-style-interview-with-sarah-jane/ She wears sneakers almost daily. Enjoy your new purchase!


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