You know that feeling — it’s summer and the clock is quickly counting down to the first day of school. That means it’s time to get geared up and get started with your back to school shopping. To help you get started, we created this guide with the best shoes, sportswear, and backpacks, so you’ll be ready to strut your stuff in the latest trends and sneakers for back to school this year.
Shoes are functional, but they are also one of the easiest and greatest ways to incorporate personal style into your outfit to get you through whatever your day brings. From class to clubs to practice, these shoe styles are back-to-school essentials.
Classic is timeless — and it doesn’t get more classic than Nike Air Force 1s. Since the mid-’80s, Air Force 1’s have been the epitome of casual-cool street style, and it maintains its reign as one of the top styles today. The entire family can get in on the action with styles for men, women and kids, in colorways ranging from black to pink to blue. The most classic and most popular is still white, and for a good reason — a clean, crisp all white shoe helps make any outfit feel put together but laid-back.
While the Nike Air Max collection dates back to the ’80s, the Nike Air Max 270 is a more recent style that refers to the shoe’s visible 270 degrees of Air Max technology incorporated into it. This shoe is all about style and comfort — it’s made for everyday wear, whatever your lifestyle is.
Dating back to the early ’70s — the original was actually only the third shoe Nike ever made — the Nike Blazer is a simple way to inject a little retro style into your look. Now available in high- and low-tops and in dozens of colorways and sizes for the whole family, the Nike Blazer shows you take sport and fashion seriously.
The adidas Superstar is characterized by its signature three stripes and shell toe (which is the hard white semi-circle at the toe). It’s been beloved by superstars like Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Run D.M.C. What was once a basketball shoe is now a vehicle for personality, thanks in part to collaborations with brands like Disney and The Simpsons.
Originally marketed as a tennis shoe, adidas’ Stan Smith style is one of the most iconic of all time and is named after the tennis player Stan Smith. The style is a great option for playing tennis, but it has gained cult status as a street-style shoe. Available in many colorways and styles outside of the classic green and white, it’s a staple that will stay with you forever. Celebrities from David Beckham to North West have sported Stan Smiths. There are even small sizes for infants and toddlers!
New Balance began at the turn of the 20th century as an arch support company and has stood the test of time thanks to its interesting, innovative styles, such as the New Balance 327. Reminiscent of the ’70s, the shoe has a cushioned midsole, an exaggerated “N” logo and New Balance’s signature traction pods. In eight fun colorways with cool names such as Sour Grape, Bleached Lime Glow, Natural Indigo and Faded Workwear, there’s a style for every trailblazer.
Style extends to every part of back-to-school shopping, so keep in mind a few of 2021’s top trends such as fleece and animal print when choosing your back-to-school wardrobe. And don’t forget to update your backpack. Show off what you love through trending and classic pieces.
Coordinating separates have shot to the top of the list when it comes to comfortable, easy trends in recent years and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to wear fashionable sweats? Matching sets take the guesswork out of getting ready. There are options for the whole family, too. Try a cozy Nike Club Fleece set like the Nike AOP Pullover and Jogger Pants Fleece Set for kids, or an iconic Nike Club Fleece Hoodie for both men and women.
Now trending: animal prints. It’s not just classic cheetah print, either, although that remains a popular animal print. Zebra, leopard, snake and more are excellent ways to make the trend your own on everything from sandals to sneakers to hoodies. A coordinating set from adidas, such as adidas Originals Animal Print Crewneck Sweatshirt and adidas Originals Animal Print Bike Shorts combine two trends into one for a super punchy look.
Backpacks are one of the most practical school items, but they can also be super stylish and another way to express who you are. A classic style, the Kids Nike Elemental backpack has clean, classic lines and all the essentials, including a small zippered front pocket and water bottle pouch. Go for a backpack style like the Nike Hayward 2.0 backpack if you need a lot of compartments and pockets. The backpack’s bungee cord straps in particular can almost double the amount of stuff you can pack into it, such as an extra pair of shoes, a jacket or even a yoga mat. Or, announce to the world your love of basketball with the Jordan Jumpman backpack. Featuring a roomy main compartment and several smaller zippered ones, it can take you from school to the gym and back again.
Are you a back-to-school style star? Show us on social by tagging @jdsportsus!