Black sneakers are the obvious choice if your heart (or palette) is too dark for the white sneaker trend. Chunky shoes of all sorts are a fashionable statement at the moment, but women’s black trainers are the easiest to fit into an edgy wardrobe. They come in many forms, but the stand-outs are the extra sporty ones with textured soles and the ‘90s-inspired low tops.
We’ve selected the 23 best black sneakers available on the market, from luxury fashion houses to trendy streetwear and shoe brands. We then give a thorough guide on how to keep your black trainers as dark as can be with some cleaning tips based on materials. To finish things off, we’ll get you inspired with some great black sneaker styling tips.
Women’s Black Trainers Guide: Contents
- 23 Best Women’s Black Trainers to Get Online
- How to Clean Black Sneakers
- How to Style Your Black Sneakers Like a Fashionista
Find women’s black trainers that will fit your sartorial tastes! We’ve selected all sorts of high-quality shoes to fit into any wardrobe.
1. Distressed Glitter Suede Black Sneakers
We’re starting this list off with something interesting. These Golden Goose black trainers have an old-timey feel and slim design that makes them extra wearable with a ‘90s flare. They are made of glitter suede, which looks shiny and fresh, giving a nice contrast to the distressed sole. Embellishments come in the form of purple laces, a white star on the side, and even some subtle gold hardware. Buy them from Net-a-Porter!
2. Mesh and Rubber Women’s Black Trainers
These are the best black sneakers to choose when you’re ready for battle – they’re named the Combat sneakers, after all. Made by Prada, they have an intimidating black sole that is not just thick, but also ridged and rugged for maximal impact. The mesh upper is breathable, but with a leather trim that adds substance. Order them online from Moda Operandi!
3. Chain Print Black Trainers
These women’s black trainers are inspired by the chain motif that has been such an important part of the Versace brand for so many years. These eccentric sneakers are bulky and sporty, with a lot of fun embellishments. The tan bottom half of the sole is actually shaped like a chain when you look at it from below! The textile and suede upper is decorated with a few reflective bits, red eyelets, and extended pull tabs printed with a blue chain. You can get them from Forward.
4. Retro White and Black Sneakers
You’ll feel stylish and comfortable in these retro black sneakers from Isabel Marant. Their black upper is made of a timeless mix of leather and suede, with contrasting white soles, heel, and laces. The side of these shoes is emblazoned with a slightly distressed but bright version of the brand logo. They are available at Shopbop.
5. Boosted Sole Black Trainers
You can’t go wrong with a pair of Yeezys. The ‘700’ iteration of the Boost shoe is made with a black rubber sole accented with brown, and a suede and leather upper. It’s not as obvious in photos, but they’re actually flecked with metallic threads that add a whole ‘nother level of swag. The thick soles will add two more inches to your stature! Pick them up from Net-a-Porter!
6. Modern Vegan Black Sneakers
These designer-made black trainers are from Stella McCartney, who is known for her sustainable designs and innovative approach. They’re the best black sneakers to add to a fashion-forward, minimalist wardrobe. These unique shoes have a shiny synthetic upper, with thick soles made of rubber colored to look like stone facades, which adds an organic touch to the look. Shop them through My Theresa!
7. Low-Top Black Sneakers
It’s nice to see the occasional sensible design from eccentric streetwear brand Off-White. These women’s black trainers have a low top design that is great for retro-inspired casual wardrobes. The sides are decorated with Off-White’s X with arrows symbol, while the soles are striped black and white, which contrasts against the shiny black of the leather upper. They come with a red zip-tag detail, which is pretty understated for this label. Purchase them from Farfetch!
8. Red, White and Black Trainers
Balenciaga’s extra chunky trainers have been a big hit for the last couple of years, due to their striking appearance and comfortable fit. They have a very sporty look, with large, textured soles in white and red that offer excellent traction and also give a 2-inch height boost. The upper is made of a combination of black rubber and breathable gray mesh. Find them on Net-a-Porter!
9. Peekaboo Heart Black Sneakers
These adorable women’s black trainers are the result of a collaboration between Converse and Comme des Garçons. They have the classic All Stars design with the white sole and black canvas upper. The twist comes in the form of a cute cartoon heart peeking over the soles. These lovelies will look great with any outfit. Grab them from Nordstrom!
10. Dual Sole Black Trainers
If you’d like something heavy-duty, these are the best black sneakers for you. They have an especially chunky 2-inch sole that is actually raised both at the heel and forefront, which leads to a dual sole effect. This makes them hearty and protective, but also flexible. The upper is made of dark black suede, with the Fila logo showing up in red and white both on the side and below the laces. They are sold via Shopbop.
11. Platform Black Sneakers from Canvas
These black sneakers have a very classy and neutral design with one big twist. Their straight soles, which are colored black to match the solid canvas upper, are 1.5 inches wide. Because they aren’t textured, the platform effect is quite quirky. Otherwise, these low-top sneakers are a solid choice only lightly branded with a Superga tag. Buy them from Farfetch!
12. Tire Leather Black Sneakers
These stylish leather low tops are from the Japanese label Both, which originally started out as a rubber company. This is why the dual-colored soles have the black front and white back shaped to look like tires. Beyond the unique way the sole was textured, these women’s black trainers are pretty classy, with a durable leather upper and solid-colored design. Get them through Net-a-Porter!
13. Wavy Low-Top Black Sneakers
Cute without being cutesy, these low-top black trainers are a great offering from fashion label Chloé. These leather sneakers have a solid elegant upper with white rubber soles. The main embellishment comes in the form of a wavy pattern that separates the rubber and leather from one another. They are made in Spain, so the quality is guaranteed. Order them from Forward!
14. Open Weave Mesh Black Trainers
Made by Nike, these black trainers for women are made with function as the primary focus, and yet they are still super stylish. They are running shoes through and through, with a black sole that is extra cushioned and breathable upper made of open weave mesh. The black on black design is understated and streamlined. They are available at Nordstrom.
15. Sporty White and Black Sneakers
It’s always great to see how different designers elevate old designs in brand collaborations. These white and black sneakers are Y3’s take on Adidas’ ZX Torsion sneakers. Their upper is made of a combination of black suede, black mesh, and small panels of white leather lace guards, with a white rubber sole. The heel tab is extra angled, which elongates the leg from the side. Pick them up from Shopbop!
16. Pearl-Embellished Black Trainers
If you really appreciate the contrast between sporty footwear and more formal styling, then these Cecilie Bahnsen designs are the best black sneakers to pick up. They demonstrate the intentional clash all on their own, with an athletic design countered by delicate faux pearl embellishments. The rugged soles offer great support and cushioning, while the black shell and silk blend upper has a unique texture. Shop them on Net-a-Porter!
17. Hiker Black Sneakers
Made by Gucci, these black sneakers have a design influenced by hiking boots. You can see it in the high tops, thick sole, and gold eyelets holding the shoelaces. This is countered by sporty elements like the mash upper and the leather panels. The tongue is decorated with the Sega logo that Gucci has been using in recent seasons. Find them at My Theresa!
18. Chunky Gray and Black Trainers
These Acne Studios black trainers will surely stand out. These sporty trainers are anything but mundane, with an extra big rubber sole decorated with geometric protrusions. The mixture of black and gray is more dynamic than solid black, but still dark. The tongue on these is a little longer than usual in order to better display the brand logo. Purchase them from Net-a-Porter!
19. Athletic Low-Top Sneakers
Low tops usually look a little less athletic than their traditional sneaker counterparts, but this pair from Reebok manages to combine the aesthetics. These black sneakers have a timeless leather upper that is solid black, with laces to match, while the black rubber sole has some ridges that ensure you’ll be able to run over any surface. They are sold at Nordstrom.
20. Sustainable Retro Black Sneakers
If you love the retro look of low tops, these are some of the best black sneakers to pick up. They are made from sustainable leather and rubber, and they look extremely classy. They have a simple white sole and black upper design, with the Veja logo showing up on the heel and a V along the side. The one thing that really stands out about these women’s black trainers is the tongue, which is longer than usual and ends up creating a dynamic and flattering shape by framing the ankle. Order them online from Net-a-Porter!
21. Semi-Transparent Black Sneakers
If you’re looking for a pair of black trainers that will really stand out, these are an obvious choice. They’re an Alexander Wang creation made to look chunky and athletic yet high-fashion. The thick air soles are made of transparent rubber, while the mesh and leather upper is coated with a layer of highly reflecting PVC. Get them at Shopbop!
22. Slip-On Black Sneakers
These athletic black sneakers have a very futuristic vibe, so they would work especially well with a modern minimalist wardrobe or with sleek athletic wear. The slip-on design makes putting them on easy, while the black mesh upper conforms to the foot while aiding with breathability and moisture wicking. They were crafted with runners in mind, so make sure to give them a good workout. Buy them from Net-a-Porter!
23. Blocked Black Trainers
These women’s black trainers from Puma are simple, stylish, and very functional. Their sole has ridges for better grip, but it’s not oversized or super chunky. The combination of white and brown color blocking on it helps to soften their whole look, and makes them a great black sneaker choice for those whose wardrobe includes a lot of earth tones. The breathable upper is a combination of mesh and suede in black. You can find them through ASOS.
While black sneakers are not as much of a nightmare to maintain as white ones, they still require regular cleaning in order to keep them looking fresh and shiny. Black materials easily collect dust, which makes the look cloudy and dull. Materials like canvas can fade easily, while black leather can get scuffed.
If you like to go hard when you exercise in your black trainers or if you happen to wear them on an icy day, they can also end up getting stained by salt. Follow our tips based on the kind of material your black trainers are made of, and you can ensure that they look their darkest at all times!
Remember that since most women’s black trainers are made of a few different materials, you need to identify which panel is made of which material and then clean it accordingly. When in doubt, choose the gentlest cleaning manner.
• Keep your black leather sneakers lookin’ sharp on the regular with a daily wipe down, especially if you wear them outdoors for extended periods. All you need is a clean, soft rag or microfiber cloth. Use it while dry to wipe any dust or dirt off of your shoes.
• For more resistant bits of dirt, dampen your soft cloth, and scrub at the offending build-up until it is gone. If your rag was a little too damp or if you had to scrub for a long time, use a soft towel to absorb as much of the moisture as you can, and then put them somewhere clean so they can fully dry.
• To refresh the color and to minimize the prominence of scuffs, wipe the leather parts of your black trainers down with black shoe polish. Use a soft piece of cotton dipped in polish, and buff the shoes wherever necessary to restore their color. Make sure the polish is applied in a light layer, and then let it dry. If necessary, follow it up with a second coat of polish.
• No matter what, never put leather shoes, including black trainers, in the washing machine. That will be the surest way to destroy them.
• Suede is even more easily damaged by water than leather, so try to avoid getting it wet as much as possible, and never put black sneakers with suede panels in the washing machine.
• The best way to clean suede is with dry method. Soft brushes, including soft or extra soft used toothbrushes, are great for dislodging dried up gunk from suede.
• If you must use water, try to keep the amount minimal. Use a very slightly damp cloth to wipe at very severe stains, and then immediately blot it with a dry cloth.
• For minor build-up of dry debris like dust and dirt, a dry brush or old towel is your best friend. Use it to wipe away as much of the dust or dried mud as you can. You can also knock the shoes together first to dislodge the looser dirt.
• For heavier build-up, use a shoe brush. Dip it into a mixture of warm water and liquid detergent, and then use it to scrub at the offending stains. Try to use as little water as possible while still allowing the mixture to clean effectively.
• You can also do this all over the upper part of the shoes if they are particularly dirty.
• Lastly, use a regular damp cloth to wipe away that sudsy residue from the shoes. This can be a difficult process, especially if your black trainers are very saturated with the detergent mixture. You may have to continuously dampen and wring out the cloth, and to be patient.
• Lastly, try to squeeze out as much moisture out of your shoes as you can with a dry towel, and then leave them somewhere clean and safe to dry.
• If the care instructions don’t warn otherwise, you might be able to put fabric low tops in the washing machine, especially if they’ve suffered a serious mud assault. If you do decide to launder them, first scrape off as much of the debris as possible.
• To keep them extra safe, put them in a mesh laundry bag or a tied-up pillow case before throwing them in the washing machine.
• If you’d like to ensure they come out with as saturated a black color as possible, use a laundry detergent made specifically for black fabrics.
• In general, keep your black sneakers away from direct sunlight whenever possible, since the sun is a known fader of saturated colors.
• If you’ve opted for vegan leather sneakers, you should remember that they should be cared for in a slightly different manner than real leather ones.
• Though synthetic leather is usually less durable than regular leather, it is also easier to clean because water doesn’t damage it. Feel free to use soap water whenever you need to clean the outer part. Avoid getting water inside the shoes, or on other panels of the shoes.
• Watch out for over-scrubbing your faux leather shoes, since it is quite easy to remove the top coating. Instead, focus on removing stains with soft and gentle materials.
• Though they can handle a bit of water on the outside, don’t put synthetic leather shoes in the washing machine because they won’t survive the onslaught of moisture.
• Black sneakers can come with black rubber soles, but they often also come with white rubber soles as well as other colors. To learn how to clean white rubber soles, you can check out our article on white sneakers, though the short version of it is to use a melamine sponge to remove scuffs.
• Cleaning black soles is easy, since you don’t need to worry about water. You can dip an old towel or a small brush (even a toothbrush will work) in the mixture, and then wipe down the soles until they are shiny and clean.
• Finish things off by wiping off that soapy mixture with a dry towel.
Black is the ultimate neutral, so black sneakers are not that hard to style, at least when it comes to color. However, recent fashion trends have made them a great fashion choice in some brand-new contexts, so we’d like to get you inspired!
• Black sneakers and jeans are an obvious pairing, but there are a few ways you can combine them. The most on-trend way of wearing them right now is with cropped jeans that have a distressed hem, and any top. This works both for low tops and chunky black trainers.
• If you want to be a little incognito in your black trainers, wear them with black skinny jeans and the look will be smart casual and not in your face, as long as the sneakers are not too chunky.
• And you know what? When in doubt, wear all black. Black dresses, skirts, and trousers all look phenomenal with black sneakers! Opt for mid-calf lengths on the bottoms in order to break up all of that blackness.
• Black sneakers look great with all sorts of dresses! Our favorite combination is a colorful short dress in a flattering but non-constricting fit with a pair of fun black low tops.
• Black sneakers with black leggings are the quintessential athleisure look. You can easily wear it to the gym or while running errands, but here at Glowsly we’re advocates for keeping it casual any time you can get away with it.
• Another great spin on athleisure is wearing your black sneakers with a pair of biker shorts. We’re seeing a lot of stylists make this a funky streetwear look by also including a blazer.
• Try a cute autumnal look by wearing your black low tops with dark pantyhose, a short skirt or dress, and a cozy cardigan or sweater. Keep the palette darker for this look to feel congruent yet casual.
• Wearing longer summer dresses with black sneakers will not be stylish for long, so take advantage of this combo while you can. With this look, you don’t need to worry too much about the colors because the clash itself is fashionable.
• To turn this into a ‘90s throwback, opt specifically for a long slip dress (a short one will work too, though), and even tie a sweater or sweatshirt around your waist.
Photos via @asliceopi, @black_palms, @flauntandcenter, @brittanyxavier, @jacquelinewoodwell