Dress to kill with sleek sneakers from these Toronto shops

If you haven’t run with this fashion trend yet, then what in the world are you waiting for? From the runway to the streets, sneakers are the new chic. Ditch those heels and slide into comfort while still looking like a boss. Here are a few local footwear boutiques to help you get the look.

Exclucity

1
552 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B5

The name doesn’t lie: this place carries stylish, hard-to-find kicks. Quality far surpasses quantity here. Although the women’s options are few, it’s definitely worth visiting. Bright orange Air Max with white soles or sparkly, gold-plated Air Jordan’s (24 karat!), work beautifully with trendy button-through frocks, denim skirts or bodycon dresses. If you’re feeling bold, pair the shop’s Air Max Tokyo floral kicks with a white high-collar mini dress – the elevated cut is classy and the clean colour will have your sneakers standing out, giving your look a slice of edge.

Getoutside Shoes

2
437 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A5

With two separate spaces beside each other, Getoutside is a sneaker-lover’s heaven. On one side, there’s a collection of Converse sneakers, with different styles, colours and patterns to choose from. Converse is a brand that works with almost everything – from sundresses to bodycon dresses. Kristen Stewart has even worn them on the red carpet! Leather and hidden-wedge Converses are chicly minimalistic. The other side has many slip-ons from brands like Xtra XII, Yu and Toms Avalon Sneaker Leather, priced in the 100s. They also carry Vans with cute patterns like tiny pink hearts on a blue base.

Heel Boy

3
773 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1

The name may imply that they only carry heels, but that’s not the case. This boutique has many affordable sneakers to choose from, including slip-ons by brands such as Keds, Lacoste and Sperry. Their black or brown leather Keds are great for a minimalistic look. Match your leopard-print sunnies with their Mia leopard slip-ons or show your artsy side and match a white dress with Keds x Kate Spade New York Champions Paint sneakers. They also have Reef espadrilles sneakers that work great with summer looks – think sundress with a sunhat and a delicious, Instagram-approved gelato in hand.

Gravity Pope Company

4
1010 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1H6

The sneaks at Gravitypope are simple, elegant and high-end. Go for a sleek all-black look with Fillippa K, Emma slip-ons ($239) or Kate Sport lace-ups. Black and white Women by Common Projects sneakers ($530) also work for a simplistic look, or to pair with floral trousers, while Common Projects’ gold slip-ons can give your look that extra pop. Here you’ll also find Marni Velcro-strap sneakers ($695), which are popularly styled with business attire – you can browse online for inspiration. If these don’t fit your budget, they also carry Converse and Vans in different colours and patterns.

Leblanc Cuisine

5
3109 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1Z9

The sneakers at Young and Tae can pretty much pass as dress shoes. They are like ballet shoes, but much cooler. They have a beautiful selection of sneakers, regularly ranging from $80-110 – from lace-ups that come in neutral colours and army patterns, to slip-ons in a variety of patterns, such as floral, lace and leopard. They are also known for their customization option. You can change the colour or fabric and feel swatches in-store to help make your decision. Their bestseller is their Alba sneakers, uber-comfortable and made to fit like a glove.

Imelda

6
123 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K9

Looking for casual sneakers under $100? Imelda is the place to go. They have both lace-up and slip-on Keds – canvas shoes that work great with skirts and dresses and offer a simple, effortless look. This boutique also carries European brands like Maians, Aigle and Rivieras. For a tomboyish look, pair Coll Island Clarks slip-ons with black trousers and a white collared top to rock on a casual day at work. And, for those rainy days you don’t want to wear boots, they have a collection of Native sneaker-style waterproof shoes, in Jefferson and Verona styles.

Mephisto Shoes

7
1177 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 2Y4

The shoes at Mephisto are designed to give your feet, back and legs some much-deserved love. And you don’t need to be old to be comfortable; there are some hip styles here. B stands for best at this boutique. My favourites are the navy blue Bernie and the gold Brenia; they have this metallic shimmer that gives them a posh aura. I also love Bretta, which comes in different colours, including black with leopard prints, beige with a snakeskin-esque pattern and shiny red – all of which will dazzle when paired with your fave dressy attire.

Studio D Shoes Boutique

8
2570 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2J3

Get stylish kicks that will have you running through #the6 like it’s a runway. Studio D carries high-end designer shoes, sneakers included. Wear your hair in nice wavy curls, grab a white dress and Studio D’s lace embroidered Sebastian Milano slip-ons, and you’re ready for a girls’ day out. You can even get creative by wearing a stripped dress with the sneaks – the mix of patterns makes the look playful and fun. Get in a bit of glitz with such gold- and silver-plated sneakers as a pair of white Rodolphe Menudier’s with silver plaques on the sides.

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