How to Choose the Right High Tops for You

Not all hi-tops were made equal! Here are my tips for choosing the right pair of high-top sneakers for you, based on your style and your needs.

What Are High Tops and Where Did They Come from?


There are two main aesthetics when it comes to hi-top designs. The first is the retro, Converse-style design, which is thinner. The shoes can be made of canvas or leather, usually in one solid color and without too many panels of material.

These days, they are perceived as less athletic but still casual. They are usually constructed with a flatter sole, so they are also not ergonomic enough for athletic activity, though they will suffice for errands and city breaks.

The second aesthetic is more athletic, with a thicker upper and soles designed to protect the foot during exercise. The upper can be made of leather, mesh, synthetics, or any combination of the three, normally with multiple panels stitched together. These high-top sneakers fit in well with other athleisure garments and can be worn during exercise or as part of one’s street style.


These days, women’s high tops can be worn with nearly every outfit, so you should definitely choose the pair that you can pair with the most garments. You will probably get the most mileage out of neutral-colored high tops in black, cream, or white.

However, if you already have a colorful wardrobe or if you tend to gravitate to a particular color story, then perhaps a pair of colorful high-top sneakers will also work. Multi-color hi-tops are another great choice since you can rely on their color palette to work with a variety of different looks, especially if your wardrobe is very diverse.

How to Choose the Right High Tops for You


All high-top trainers are made with rubber soles, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Since one of the drawbacks of high tops is that they shorten the leg, you might find yourself preferring a pair with larger soles.

In addition to traditional flat soles, high tops can also come with elevated soles and even angled ones that mimic the shaping effect of a pair of high heels. If your main goal is function, however, choose a pair of high-top sneakers with a chunky sole that can absorb the shock of exercise.