Best Casual Sneakers Worth the Splurge

Three years ago, anyone who knows me would have laughed hysterically if I said I was wearing sneakers anywhere other than to work out. Honestly, I was the Manolos-to-the-grocery-store, always dressed up, never casual kind of gal (and there is nothing wrong with that!). But, in the past few years, I’ve become a little more casual – even before quarantine casual was cool.

Call it mom life. Call it almost 40. Call it whatever you want, but there was suddenly a day when I realized that wearing heels running Home Alone style through the airport kind of sucked. There was a moment when I realized a 9-hour flight to Hawaii in espadrilles and a dress wasn’t the most comfortable. There was a time when I realized walking from our hotel on 52nd and 5th to 72nd and 5th and then into Central Park to have brunch at The Boathouse in 4-inch Loubs really just hurts.

Call it what you want, but I discovered sneakers in a casual fashion. It happened by accident, honestly. I was a tried and true Nike/Adidas sneaker girl. I wore them to run and to the gym, and that was it. Unfortunately, I developed shin splints running in them. I did my research, and I found that a sneaker company called APL (athletic propulsion labs) made a really great running shoe – and it was cute.

That was 2019. I developed a major love of APL sneakers, and I haven’t looked back. I began wearing them on long flights. I began wearing them on road trips. I was wearing them regularly, and loving them. My shin splints were better. My regular workouts were better.

From there, my love of a cute athletic show grew. Who knew that you could dress up a pair of cute sneakers and still feel good? I didn’t…but I do now. On that note, I thought I’d share my favorite casual, but stylish, sneakers. The world has caught on to the sneaker trend, and I want to share my favorite sneaker splurges. They’re absolutely worth the price.

APL Techloom Bliss

These are the best for working out, but also for casual wear. They’re so soft, so comfortable, and I am so in love with them that I actually buy them for all four kids, now, too. They’re that cute, that comfortable, and that stylish. The kids love their APLs (and the kids’ versions are like half the price of the adults!). Totally worth the splurge. They are long-lasting and so good.

APL Techloom Phantom

These are also great for a workout, but they’re also really cute with casual leggings and an oversized sweater. I don’t buy these for the kids because laces and tying, but I love them and find myself often wearing these to the golf course.

Gucci Ace

My hands-down favorite sneakers. I probably wear these 6 days a week, and have since I bought them at the beginning of 2020. I love them. They’re so cute, and they pair well with everything from a dress to Spanx leggings to shorts. If I want to dress them up a bit, I’ll wear a dress or throw a blazer over a cute tee with Spanx leggings. They’re so versatile. They’re so easy to clean, and they are so comfortable.

Golden Goose Pure Star Sneakers

Before you say a word – I cannot get into the dirty sneaker trend, but I do love the GG pure stars because they’re the same cute sneaker look without the deliberately dirty design. I love my Gucci Aces, but I wanted something I could wear a little more during spring. My closet is filled with Lilly Pulitzer, and my Aces don’t go with any of those…I love that these are solid white with a hint of color and sparkle (I went with the white and silver). They have a little bit of a platform look to them, but they’re both cute and casual, and they pair so well with a fun, colorful LP dress or romper.

I want to hear all about your favorite casual sneakers if you have a great recommendation, too!


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