How Sneakers Became a Fashion Statement in New Zealand

Athleisure is a trend that has taken the fashion industry by storm. One of the critical elements of this trend is the rise of sneakers as a fashion statement in New Zealand. The revenue in the sneakers segment in New Zealand is projected to reach US$110.90m in 2023, with an expected annual growth rate of 4.35% (CAGR 2023-2028). Here are some reasons why sneakers have become such an essential part of the athleisure trend, with brands like New Balance in NZ also contributing to this trend.

Comfort is King

One of the main reasons why sneakers in New Zealand have become so popular is their comfort. Unlike high heels or dress shoes, sneakers are designed to provide cushioning and support for the feet, making them ideal for everyday wear. With advancements in technology and materials, sneaker brands like New Balance have been able to create sneakers that are not only comfortable but also stylish and versatile.

Versatility is Key

They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion and the outfit. For example, a classic white sneaker can be paired with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual daytime look or a suit and tie for a more formal event. Sneakers also come in various colours and styles, making them suitable for different tastes and preferences.

Celebrities are Leading the Way

Celebrities have played a significant role in making sneakers a fashion statement. High-profile figures in New Zealand like Stevan Adams and Dan Carter have collaborated with sneaker brands to create their lines of sneakers, which have become highly sought-after by fashion enthusiasts. Celebrities often wear sneakers with their everyday outfits, making them a trendsetter for their fans and followers.

The Emergence of Sneaker Culture

Sneaker culture is a subculture that has emerged around the sneaker industry, with its own values, customs, and language. Sneakerheads, or sneaker enthusiasts, collect and trade rare and limited edition sneakers, often queuing up for hours or even days to get their hands on a pair. Sneaker culture has helped elevate sneakers from practical footwear to coveted fashion items.

Sustainability is a Factor

Sustainability has become an increasingly important factor in fashion, and sneakers are no exception. Many New Zealand sneaker brands, such as recycled plastic and organic cotton, have begun incorporating sustainable materials into their designs. Stylish and environmentally friendly sneakers have become a popular choice for fashion-conscious consumers.

Streetwear is In

Streetwear fashion has also contributed to the rise of sneakers as a fashion statement. It is a style that originated from urban culture and is inspired by music, skateboarding, and graffiti art. Sneakers are a vital element of streetwear fashion, and brands have collaborated with streetwear designers to create unique and stylish sneakers that appeal to this trend.

Athleisure is Here to Stay

The athleisure trend shows no signs of slowing down, and sneakers will continue to be a significant part of this trend. As the lines between athletic and casual wear become increasingly blurred, sneakers will remain a comfortable and stylish choice for everyday wear. With the continued growth of sneaker culture in New Zealand and the demand for sustainable and stylish footwear, sneakers are set to remain a fashion statement for years to come.


Sneakers, like those from New Balance in NZ, have become an essential part of the athleisure trend thanks to their comfort, versatility, and style. As the athleisure trend continues to evolve, sneakers, like those from New Balance, will remain a fashion statement that combines comfort and style in a way that no other footwear can match.

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