Can I pair running shoes with dressier clothes?

Leave it to Louis Vuitton to take the humble sneaker to new heights. In its spring show, the brand featured futuristic runners paired with tailored brocade pieces and gauzy evening wear. It's the first time LV has offered a technical trainer, and this signals that athleisure dressing, the mix of casual and sporty aesthetics, isn't totally dead.

Of course, anyone who lived through the Working Girl era (or at least saw the flick) would have hesitations about wearing running shoes with anything other than a zippy tank top and moisture-wicking shorts. However, options abound in sneaker-land of late, and not only will they look cool with a myriad of outfits, but your feet will thank you, too.

Aldo's punchy pair incorporate faux reptile textures, and boast the messages "Love" and "Respect" at the laces. They rate high on the savvy streetwear scale, but you'd be surprised how versatile they are. For the best effect, wear with all black or bold metallics. For something subtler, Clarks Originals' sneakers combine sophisticated suede with knit detailing; their dove grey hue goes well with pastels and dusty neutrals such as khaki and rose.

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Speaking of pink, those comfortable with more avant-garde styling could look to Puma's trainers to lend some oomph to an outfit. While the shoes' detailing is super sporty, the soft hue makes them an unexpected and refreshing choice to pair with a summer dress. No running required.

Puma Ignite Limitless running sneakers, $160 at Hudson’s Bay (

Clarks Originals Tri Amelia sneakers, $150 at Gravity Pope (

Have a style query that needs solving? Send your questions to oparker@ on

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