What’s Hot on the Heels? Trainer Trends of 2021

tread on bottom of trainers

Trends come and go, but trainers and sneakers always find their way into everyone’s wardrobe. The global sneakers market has gone from strength to strength over the years, skyrocketing from over $34 billion (£24 billion) in 2012 to over $70 billion (£50 billion) in 2020 – and you can rest assured that your fancy new footwear will stay strong in the fashion world, as it is projected that by 2025, the industry will be sitting pretty at over $102 billion (£73 billion).

From fashion sneakers and gym trainers to retro kicks and dazzling colourways, every season brings a new breath of fresh air to the classic go-to footwear. If you’re looking to get the finishing touches to your summer and autumn outfits, join us as we walk you through the top trainer trends of 2021.

Colour blocks

This season, if you’re going for a head-turning look, it’s all about primary colours. Whether you’re shopping for men’s or women’s trainers in primary colours, red, blue, and yellow work best when presented as clear-cut colour blocks.

The best part about colour block trainers is that they can be as loud or subtle as you want. You could opt for striking, clashing combinations in the “fashionably-ugly” vibe, or you could keep it classic with a neutral white trainer featuring accents of the iconic red, blue, and yellow.

Retro appeal

Speaking of iconic, if you want to invest in a pair of trainers that will undoubtedly stay on-trend for years to come, you can’t go wrong with a retro design. Go for the old reliable canvas high-tops or keep it easy with a pair of skater slip-ons – either way, you’ll be stepping out with effortless appeal.


Of course, you can really throw it back with a pair of chunky, bright trainers from your youth. Remember how cool you felt with lights on your trainers as a kid? Well, with light-up keyboards, LED backlights on monitors, and the now-famous TikTok lights (remote-controlled LED strip lights that dominate the ceiling borders of nearly every influencer’s room), it’s only a matter of time before they show up again on our feet.


Following on from the enduring retro trend, tie-dye has made strides this year, featuring everywhere from Paris runways to TikTok videos. A quick look at Google Trends shows that the search term “tie-dye” has been creeping up since March 2021, so it certainly looks set to make a vibrant burst of colour in our wardrobes this autumn.

tie dye search term data

There are so many video tutorials for tie-dying old clothes to give them a new lease of life, so it’s no wonder that the tie-dye trend speaks volumes to the eco-conscious Gen Zer and millennials among us. If you want to avoid the mess of using potent dyes, however, there are plenty of outlets offering their own colourful footwear – get a retro style with a stunning pastel tie-dye look with Dune’s Eden.

Platform sneakers

Platform sneakers are riding alongside the nostalgia trend, harkening back to fashion staples of the early noughties. If you’re a petite figure, platform trainers are a brilliant option – you can rock those chunky heels like no other!

Not to be confused with the wedge sneaker trend of 2020, platform trainers have the same boost with a more stable footing. So, if you were a fan of wedges, you’re going to adore this latest trend. Pair it with the colour block or tie-dye trend for some truly stunning kicks!

The second-best thing about trainers is how versatile they are – pair them with any outfit and you’re good to go! But the very best thing? You really can’t go wrong, as trainers always keep their footing on fashion trends in one way or another!