What are Athleisure Shoes?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Athleisure shoes are footwear designed to be worn in the office, as well as for working out in the gym. In fact, athleisure shoes, while inspired by athletic looks, are suitable for wearing with skirts and spring dresses. Just as easily, athleisure shoes can be worn with denim shorts or other casual wear. Athleisure shoes are not the same as sports shoes, such as those marketed as basketball shoes and endorsed by famous athletes. Rather, athleisure shoes look sporty and fashionable at the same time.

While athleisure shoes can be worn during a gym workout, they are not truly designed to be athletic performance shoes. Therefore, they are not the best option when running or playing a high-endurance sport or one that requires athletic footwear. For day-to-day walking about and running errands, however, athleisure shoes are a great choice for comfort and style.

The ultimate purpose of athleisure shoes is to look fashionable, yet feel comfortable at the same time. In fact, many athleisure shoes provide poor arch support and little traction, making them no better for a woman’s foot than some types of flats, sandals, and other dress shoes. At the same time, athleisure shoes are better for the feet than high heels or platform wedge shoes.


Since athleisure shoes are not meant to improve athletic performance and they do not provide great support to the feet, it is important to differentiate these shoes from athletic shoes. In addition, they should not be purchased for athletic purposes. Rather, fashion should be considered the primary purpose for athleisure shoes.

Fashion-forward men have long been pairing sneakers with suits and other dressy outfits, but women are only recently picking up on the trend with the help of athleisure shoes. These shoes are quickly gaining in popularity in the United States, but they are already a hot trend in Europe. In fact, it is common for women in Europe to wear slacks, blazers, tank tops, and athleisure shoes. This fashion is akin to wearing a pair of jeans with a stylish top and high heels, as it effectively mixes class with casual.


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