The sneaker world has evolved tremendously over the past decade. What used to be dominated by sports and athletics brands has transformed into a booming luxury market filled with high-end collaborations, limited edition drops, and exotic materials that fetch lofty resale prices.
Sneaker culture has exploded into the mainstream, and luxury brands have taken notice. They are dramatically stepping up their sneaker game in 2024 to capture this growing market. We break down the top luxury sneaker brands leading the way.
Louis Vuitton established itself in the sneaker scene years ago, but 2024 may be their biggest year yet in footwear. Their signature monogram and Damier prints are being used across various sneaker silhouettes, and they continue to roll out must-have collaborations with major brands like Nike and Yeezy.
Some of Louis Vuitton’s most iconic sneaker styles that are huge for 2024 include:
- Louis Vuitton’s first-ever signature sneaker debuted in 2019 but has gotten progressively more popular each year since. It features their recognizable monogram or Damier canvas upper with a chunky outsole. It is often done in bright colorways.
LV Front Row:
- Low-top leather sneaker with monogram embossed accents and side stripe details. It’s more understated but still identifiable as Louis Vuitton.
- Luxury take on a basketball-style sneaker first popularized by Michael Jordan. Louis Vuitton offers it in monogram embossed and stamped leather with personalized “Louis Vuitton” text on the midsole.
Louis Vuitton always has major sneaker collaborations in the works with brands like Nike, Yeezy, and New Balance that sell out instantly and resell for astronomical prices:
Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton:
- This is an ultra-limited release of Louis Vuitton’s monogram-styled Air Force 1 that retailed for $2,000 and now fetches over $20k for resale. Any particular project with Abloh releases sparks a craze, given his iconic status in sneakers before his tragic passing.
Louis Vuitton Yeezy Boost 350:
- It’s rumored to be in the works for late 2024. Yeezy Boost is arguably the most influential sneaker of the last decade, and a Kanye + Louis Vuitton partnership promises to break sneakerhead minds and takedown resale sites with demand. Early insider rumors suggest a tan suede upper with subtle monogram details on the heel and midsole.
New Balance x Louis Vuitton
- Following the wild success of New Balance’s collaborations with Aime Leon Dore, Salehe Bembury, and Casablanca, a New Balance x LV project is imminent. There are no leaked images yet, but expect a new, lifestyle-focused silhouette done in a mix of technical mesh with their monogram canvas accents. Given the brands’ respective hot streaks, this might be the collab that defines 2024.
Gucci has also established itself as a significant player in luxury sneakers, using bold motifs, intricate embroidery, and exotic materials on fresh silhouettes. 2024 will see Gucci expand further into boundary-pushing designs alongside striking reinterpretations of old-school classics.
Retro Classics Reimagined
Gucci is reinventing archive sneaker models from the ’70s and giving them a modern luxury twist for today’s market. Key models seeing a comeback include:
Tennis 1977 Sneaker:
- Originally designed for tennis in 1977, Gucci is reintroducing this model in low-top and high-top versions made in Italy from premium materials like kangaroo leather and alligator skin. Features intricate stitching details and commands $1,600 per pair.
The Gucci Runner:
- The heritage running sneaker was first launched in the ’70s. It is now updated with sock-like construction and offers over 30 colorway options with metallic leather or GG canvas uppers. Retails around $980.
Bold New Styles
Gucci isn’t afraid to push boundaries and experiment with brave designs. Two examples of brand-new styles making waves:
- A high-top hybrid model that combines a sneaker sole with boot uppers, made from fabric mesh and suede materials. Has hiking shoe-inspired details, including lacing loops and serrated edging at the collar. It is priced at $1,250.
The Exquisite Sneaker:
- Avant-garde silhouette featuring floral embroidery and beading throughout the upper for an authentic one-of-one look. Made in Italy from suede calfskin leather. Currently exclusive to Gucci’s new “Vault” concept, selling minimal edition pieces. The resale is already over $3k.
Demna continues to make waves as Creative Director of Balenciaga, with 2024 shaping to be their most daring year in footwear yet. He is disrupting traditional sneaker norms with avant-garde sock constructions, overt branding, and integrating conceptual elements like built-in gloves and face coverings. All of which ignite both desire and controversy.
Reinventing Sneaker Construction
Balenciaga sneakers are deconstructing what we conceive a shoe to look like. Key examples include:
XT Sneaker Sock:
- Their #1 best-selling shoe doesn’t even look like a sneaker. Features a slip-on knit upper with elastic cuffs that create a sock-like fit. It carries insane hype that commands $1,050 retail.
Defender Sneaker Boot Hybrid:
- Frankenstein-esque model that grafts sneaker bottoms onto mid-calf leather boot uppers. Looks like you’re wearing leg warmers. It’s a polarizing model that people can’t look away from.
Face Cover Sneakers:
- High-top sneakers with attached face covering built directly into the tongue. Serves Demna’s conceptual narrative around garments offering security and privacy. It indeed starts a dialogue.
Daring Branding & Prints
Balenciaga is also leveraging its branding, monograms, and prints in new ways for 2024:
Sneakers are plastered with “BALENCIAGA” logo branding across the side paneling; it’s very subtle. It’s a new monogram all-over print that puts Gucci’s own to shame.
Even experimenting with controversial branding like “BIBLICAL” and “SATANIC” text emblazoned on sock sneakers. Sparks reactions while feeding hype.
Overall, expect Balenciaga to continue driving debate and desirability like no other luxury house in 2024 and beyond.
Dior dominated the luxury sneaker discussion last year because of their Air Dior Jordan 1 collaboration with Nike, which fetches nearly $100k in resale. 2024 will prove this wasn’t just a one-hit wonder for Dior.
Dior has focused on organically growing their flagship sneaker franchise rather than just partnering with outside brands. That focus centers around their B22 silhouette:
- The high-end, low-top model is handmade in Italy, integrating Dior’s technical innovations and style codes in one package.
- Features impeccable Italian leather uppers paired with Dior’s new futuristic, 3D-knit “Dior Oblique” pattern on the sides.
- It also reimagines their legendary bees and CD icons into abstract art designs adorning different colorways.
- It retails for around $1,100 per pair, making it an “entry-level” model for luxury sneaker buyers.
Continued Must-Have Collabs
On top of their solo efforts with the B22, Dior will keep delivering the collaborations people are yearning for:
Dior x Travis Scott Air Jordan 1:
- Global superstar rapper Travis Scott frequents the front row at Dior fashion shows in Paris. Rumors of him linking with Dior on an Air Jordan have persisted for three years. 2024 is finally the year it has become a reality.
Dior x Sacai Vaporwaffle:
- Nike’s new-ish Vaporwaffle silhouette has already seen mega hype collabs with brands like Kaws and Comme des Garcons. But all eyes are on Kim Jones tapping his pal Chitose Abe at Sacai for a Dior tie-up on this model—the perfect fusion of tech and luxury.
Overall, Dior strategically balances heritage with modern appeal to keep them at the forefront of luxury sneakers now and in the long term.
After conquering lifestyle categories like handbags and ready-to-wear apparel, Prada is ready to make an even bigger splash now in luxury kicks. They’ve partnered with Adidas to fuse high fashion with performance sportswear appeal across new designs and updated retro classics.
Adidas x Prada Re-Nylon Collection
Sustainability is a significant initiative for Prada, and it shows prominently in their sneakers:
- Leveraging their patented Re-Nylon fabric made from recycled waste plastic transformed into textile thread and yarns
- Used across every sneaker style in the collaboration, from loafers to runners
- Models feature iconic Prada lining, logos, and design flares mixed with Adidas’ performance pedigree
- Premium prices ranging from $450 to $970 per pair
Bringing Back Adidas Classics
A focal point of this Prada partnership is also reintroducing and refashioning Adidas archival sneakers like the Adilette, Forum Lo, Superstar, and Gazelle models:
- Giving heritage models like the Superstar and Gazelle an elevated makeover with premium leather instead of traditional full-grain leather
- Retooling the classics with distinct Prada flair like jelly outsoles on the Forum, bowling shoe-inspired tooling on the Approach sneakers, and integrated chrome side plates and bowling bag accessories with the Adilette slide sandals.
- These reinvented icons fetch well over $1,000 per pair.
Overall, Prada is out to prove sneaker luxury can be environmentally conscious while still looking visually ravenous.
The Italian luxury powerhouse had a stronghold on leather goods and accessories but has recently accelerated its sneaker efforts. 2024 sees Fendi become a legitimate force in luxury footwear.
F Fusion Sneaker
Similar to Dior’s strategy anchored around their B22 flagship sneaker style, Fendi is rallying around their signature Fusion design:
- Contemporary high-top model mixing technical sportswear elements like mesh underlays and ridged rubber soles with Fendi’s craftmanship through supple leather overlays showcasing their trademark Pequin pattern
- Sleek side striping adds dimensional contrast
- Premium construction entirely made in Italy
- Retails for around $890 per pair, making it an attractive entry point into luxury sneakers
Beyond just relying on their monogram, Fendi is exploring wild colors you rarely see executed in the luxury space:
- Vivid orange, neon yellow, and bright crimson red F Fusion models
- Contrasting two-tone color-blocked styles highlighting the technical mesh against the leather
- Experiments with exotic textures like metallic, pearlescent, and graduating color fade
- Overall, it is refreshing to see a house like Fendi’s color so far outside the expected luxury lines
With this growing momentum, Fendi is already ripe to tap the super-collab wave. Rumblings suggest a linkup with Salehe Bembury, who designed Yeezy, could develop soon on a particular version of their Fusion, kicking things up even further.
The new Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Anderson, has returned youthful excitement to the brand. Nowhere is that more evident than in their expanded sneaker collection gaining serious traction.
McQueen is strategically aligning with contemporary streetwear label A-COLD-WALL* and its founder, Samuel Ross, to help shape the new generation McQueen sneaker roster:
- OMExMcQ capsule sneaker releases fusing both brand’s styling sensibilities
- The first drop includes two silhouettes: a low-top Court model and a chunkier mid-cut Climb style
- Ultra-limited distribution with most colorways only ranging from 25 – 75 units per release
- Highly sought after and flipping for 3x+ resale already
Handcrafted Made in Italy Luxury
Beyond just collaborations, Alexander McQueen’s solo sneaker efforts highlight artisanal quality through premium Italian construction:
- Hand-stitched and hand-lasted uppers on Court low profiles incorporating single-piece leather eyelet panels, butted seam stitching, and debossed foil logos
- Explorer hiking hybrid silhouette mixes technical nubuck and mesh underlays with metallic leather overlays bearing spine detail accenting for added depth.
- Signature extra thick rubber outsoles with exaggerated lugs draw directly from the iconic oversized soles in their women’s heels.
- It combines wearable modern looks anchored by Alexander McQueen’s craftsmanship heritage.
Given their ultra-exclusive scaling, McQueen is cementing their spot as a coveted name for in-the-know sneaker connoisseurs. Expect those sneakers to expand more into their apparel and accessories as well.
The Italian label builds a billion-dollar business through puffer jackets and skiwear. But like Canada Goose’s playbook, Moncler rapidly diversifies into the luxury lifestyle through footwear.
Moncler Remade Sneaker Collection
Sustainability makes an appearance in Moncler’s sneakers as well:
- Leveraging reclaimed down, nylons and cotton from their supply chain transformed into unique prints or woven textures featured across sneaker silhouettes
- Models branded “Moncler Remade”
- Premium construction is still crucial, with prices ranging from $695 to $995 per pair.
- Keeping things exclusive with 100 to 150 units per colorway caps on runs
Retro Mountaineering Models
Core to Moncler’s heritage beyond just puffer jackets is alpine mountaineering gear. They are reintroducing archival mountaineering boot designs into the current sneaker conversation:
- Icon-A model inspired by 1960s Moncler mountaineering boots worn while summiting daring climbs
- It was modernized with technical lightweight EVA midsoles and exclusive Vibram outsoles, paying homage to the original crampon spikes.
- Striking details like featherlight cashmere lining the high-cut interior while requiring a $1,195 price tag
Given the explosion of hybrid hiker silhouettes we’ve seen take over sneakers, Moncler is cleverly tapping its vault of designs to offer a compelling new luxury option.
The designer shoe phenom already dominates in high heels and leather goods. But his recent sneaker introductions highlight how seriously he is also taking luxury lifestyle and streetwear.
Embracing Sportswear Looks
Zanotti surprised many with his expansion into technical fabrications and silhouettes more expected from athletic brands:
- Seamless knitted mesh uppers paired with injected Phylon cushioning on low-top runners directly aimed at competing with Adidas Primeknit and Nike Flyknit sneakers
- Exploration of heritage models like the court loafer crafted in Italian velour with jagged sawtooth rubber soles
- Indicates Zanotti sees an opportunity to bring his sensibilities to a sportswear audience
Pushing Creative Boundaries
Never one to play things safe with his aesthetic, Zanotti’s sneaker designs stay true to form with authentic combustible style:
- Flashing LED lights embedded into clear TPU midsoles on low-top models, controlled by Bluetooth to create customizable light shows while walking
- Jewel-encrusted gold leather upper Court low profiles with ruby red or sapphire blue crystal logos that command $6,650 per pair.
- Wild experimentation mixing pony hair textures with patent leathers and quilted inserts
In closing, 2024 is shaping to be a groundbreaking year for luxury sneakers. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Balenciaga continue breaking new ground with daring styles, coveted collaborations, and tapping exotic leathers. Meanwhile, houses like Dior, Fendi, and Alexander McQueen cement themselves as forces through dedicated sneaker franchises anchoring their footwear expansion. What was once seen as impossible is now inevitable: luxury sneakers are here to stay.