We wear dresses almost daily when summer rolls around. Whether we’re sight-seeing in a new city or just want to wear something casual for running errands around town, a pair of sneakers is a comfy and cute alternative to sandals or heels. As our expert will tell you ahead, the best sneakers to wear with dresses are ones that will balance out the rest of your look.
10 Sneakers to Wear with Dresses for a Cute and Casual Outfit
Dresses and sneakers are the perfect combo.
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The Best Sneakers to Wear with Dresses
- Most Classic Shoes: Adidas Grand Court Sneakers ($70)
- Cutest Embellished Sneakers: Nike Air Force One '07 LV8 Sneakers ($120)
- Most Sustainable Option: Allbirds Plant Pacers ($135)
- Comfiest Footbed: Vionic Upside Sneakers ($100)
- Most Fun High-Tops: Comme Des Garçons Play x Converse Chuck Taylor Hidden Heart High Tops ($150)
- Best All-White Sneakers: Tory Burch Howell Court Sneaker ($198)
- Best Platform Sneakers: Superga 2790 Platform Sneaker ($79)
- Best Low Ankle Pick: M.Gemi The Palestra Due ($248)
- Best Chunky Option: Boohoo Chunky Sole Sneakers ($32)
- Top Picks for Summer: Tory Burch Seaside Oxford Espadrille ($278)
Meet the Expert
Claire Asher is a the fashion product director at Boohoo, a fashion website known for affordable, trendy styles including clothing, accessories, shoes and more.
How to Style Sneakers with Dresses
If you haven’t worn sneakers with dresses before or you just don’t know how to style the duo, we’ve got you. This popular pairing is a great option for summer and is aimed to give off more of a casual cool girl style. We love a simple T-shirt dress or a mini dress for a super comfy pick. “[T-shirt dresses] go well with low and high-top sneakers and offer a comfortable and breezy option for those hot sunny days,” mentions Boohoo's product director, Claire Asher. Alternatively, she says sneakers are also a great option to style down a midi or maxi dress. “Pairing these dressier designs with sneakers is the easiest way to work your longer dresses or skirts into your everyday wardrobe,” she continues.
Another thing to consider is the fabric of your dresses, especially as the temps warm up. “Breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk are the best materials for summer dresses as they keep you cool on hot days and they’re easy to layer over in the evenings,” says Asher.
Now that you know what to look for in your dresses, here are 10 of our favorite sneakers to wear with them.
Most Classic Shoes
- Why We Love It: Cloudfoam cushion support, classic look
- What We Don't Like: not great for high arched feet
These classic sneakers are well-known for their three-stripe design and courtside silhouette. “I wear these constantly throughout the summer because they’re incredibly comfortable and go with all of my day dresses,” says commerce editor Olivia Dubyak. The shoes have the brand’s Cloudfoam cushioning for added support and comfort, so they’re a solid pick if you’re going to be walking all day long. Plus, if the black and white colorway isn’t your favorite, you can choose from the eight other colors and patterns that are available including a taupe-metallic duo.
Cutest Embellished Sneakers
- Why We Love It: metallic embellishments, rope laces
- What We Don't Like: can feel a bit bulky
AF1s are a go-to for many people, especially Gen Z and younger millennials. The sole has a thick, almost platform-like height, and while that can feel a bit heavy for some, it isn’t bothersome for walking around, according to commerce editor Olivia Dubyak. “These shoes are super versatile, and the little bits of metallic elevate them from basic sneaker to sleek cool-girl shoes,” she says. Plus, the foam midsole provides optimal cushioning.
Most Sustainable Option
- Why We Love It: sustainable leather-alternative, neutral colors
- What We Don't Like: only come in whole sizes
A sustainably made shoe that’s also cute and comfy is a win-win in our books. Our assistant commerce editor Natalie LaBarbera has been loving these since the weather’s warmed up. “They're super comfortable and I like that the color is off-white but goes with absolutely everything—plus they're made with a plastic-free vegan material.” The sole is cushioned without feeling too heavy or bulky, so they’re light on your feet, too. “I just wish they came in half sizes because a tiny bit of extra space would be nice,” she says.
- Why We Love It: EVA footbed, three-zone arch support
- What We Don't Like: may require some breaking in before the first wear
Vionic is known for its highly supportive footwear, and since these sneakers have a podiatrist-designed orthotic footbed, we’re ready to add multiple pairs to our carts. The arch support is great if your feet need a little extra TLC and the rubber toe cap is going to extend the longevity of your shoes so you can wear them for years to come.
Most Fun High-Tops
- Why We Love It: vintage style, high-top silhouette
- What We Don't Like: very flat footed
Looking for a vintage set of sneakers that will never go out of style? Converse is the way to go. Instead of getting one of their standard designs, opt for this Comme Des Garçons Play collaboration instead for something more unique. “I was hesitant at first about pairing high-tops with dresses, from a leg-flattering standpoint, but I just love the casual-cool vibe these add to minis, midis and everything in between,” says wellness director Sarah Stiefvater. Note: If you’re someone who has a high instep or you have bunions, you might not want to wear Converse sneakers for too long because they tend to run very flat footed and narrow.
Best All-White Sneakers
- Why We Love It: ‘70s vibes,cushioned midsole
- What We Don't Like: can get dirty easily
Crisp white sneakers are a fan-favorite, and we must say, we have our fair share of them in our closets (though they don’t look so white anymore). If there’s ever a pair of white shoes to refresh your collection, it’s these bad boys. Not only are they made for comfort and support, the white leather cleans easily, especially if they’re protected. Our favorite part of these shoes? They have the iconic Tory Burch logo in a gold metal medallion on the heel for a sleek touch.
Best Platform Sneakers
- Why We Love It: simple silhouette, high platform
- What We Don't Like: canvas is hard to clean
Canvas sneakers are a great option for summertime since they’re pretty lightweight. This brand has been seen on Emily Ratajkowski and Kate Middleton many times, and we can attest that they are a must-have. The canvas upper sits pretty low on the ankle and the platform bottom adds about 1.5-inches of height.
Best Low Ankle Pick
- Why We Love It: low rise, no-squeak rubber soles
- What We Don't Like: runs slightly big
The leather on these shoes is made for flexibility and comfort and doesn’t crease as badly as a lot of other leather sneakers. Fashion editor Abby Hepworth wears these constantly through the streets of Manhattan. “I love how they look with dresses because they sit fairly low on my ankles, so they don’t obscure the shape or length of my legs, but the sole is also substantial enough that I don’t feel like I’m wearing slippers,” she says. Hepworth also mentions that the clean look is also a great option to keep on hand if you like to wear prints and colors.
Best Chunky Option
- Why We Love It: not too heavy on feet, monochromatic
- What We Don't Like: not as durable
Chunky sneakers are a fabulous choice to wear with mini dresses to elongate your legs and give you a little extra height, too. This crisp, monochromatic white pair will definitely pop against your summer glow and pair nicely with pretty much any color palette in your closet. Because these sneakers are made with synthetic materials, they likely won’t hold up as well as a lot of the others on this list (but we’re OK with that since they’re only $32).
Top Picks for Summer
- Why We Love It: canvas and jute materials, high platform
- What We Don't Like: hard to clean
Summery materials like canvas and jute are very specific to the season, so you’ll likely have to pack these sneakers away as the leaves start to change in the fall. But not before you get plenty of wear out of them first. “I love wearing these Tory Burch Espadrille Sneakers with dresses since the jute-wrapped sole makes them a bit more elevated than the typically rubber or foam exterior. I recently wore them to a bridal shower and didn't feel underdressed among those wearing heel,” raves director, affiliate strategy Pamela Masin.
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Liv Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor. She writes across the board in fashion, beauty, wellness and home, focusing on products that can elevate your everyday life. She loves trying new products, sharing her honest experiences to help you decide whether what you’re buying is worth it or not (Augustinus Bader is a must-have).
PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.