Can we really wear sneakers anywhere? 5 Tips to Remember

Pamela Lutrell discusses when to wear a sneaker

One of my readers, another Pamela, asked recently for me to discuss shoes…particularly, when to wear a sneaker.  Is it really stylish to wear a sneaker or athletic shoe anywhere…to any event…with anything?  This is one of those areas that is acceptable, in style, and, yes, done with anything (even under wedding dresses and formals), but each of us has to decide what works best for our style and what we want to say about us, when we leave the house each day.  Does wearing a sneaker communicate the message you want to send?  I submit to you that it depends on the sneaker….and many fun ones are available now.

Over 50 Feeling 40 in Sneakers from Soft Surroundings

Confession time...I am wearing sneakers more and more to work.  They look youthful and stylish and are better for me right now at a time when I am taking my walking during the day up to a new level.  Since the first of the year, my goal is over 10,000 steps a day…so the shoes matter.  I wear sneakers more on the days that I do not have meetings.  For meetings with leadership, I am more likely to wear a boot, or ballet flat,  pointed -toe- flat or a loafer design…depending on what I am wearing.  My fun Via Spiga leather flats that I love so much, pictured below, have been worn with just about everything.  Favorite Outfit is a plaid boyfriend blazer, dark wash jeans and these shoes!

Pamela Lutrell in Via Spiga flats

Since, I have funky feet and I am now in the world of flats, I am so excited to have many fun options.  For those who are retired, remember these tips:

  1. Keep your sneakers clean and current. (A dirty athletic shoe is just not attractive).  I understand when you do not check into an office every day that it may be easy to let the shoes go, but don’t make your whole outfit and confidence suffer!
  2. For a youthful, current touch add flats and boots in animal prints, metallics, and with the white sole athletic design.
  3. Keep your eye on mules for the warmer weather.  They will be back.  A simple, leather mule is so classic and stylish and looks great with jeans.
  4. For nicer occasions, I would recommend going to a more formal shoe than a sneaker like the pointed- toe- flat or embellished shoe or a metallic. I think only the 20-somethings can pull off a sneaker with formal clothes.  Here’s a tip:  If you have a plain, pointed-toe-flat, embellish it with a clip-on earring!  They look amazing!
  5. Have fun with it…sneakers don’t have to be boring and can be a really great accessory to a simple jean and top.  Enjoy the fun styles currently on the market.  But, there is nothing wrong or frumpy with a sneaker …it is more about the outfit you are wearing them with than anything.

Yesterday was hair salon day for me and the woman next to me was wearing this sneaker…I thought it was so cute, I asked her if I could take a pic and where to find it.  Both are below!

Pamela Lutrell shares Tory Burch sneaker



Here are a few of my favorite shoes that I currently own that are not sneakers, but in the fun world of flats…..

Pamela Lutrell in mules

Pamela Lutrell discusses style goals for 2020Pamela Lutrell wears shiny loafers

I have a slideshow below of fun sneakers and flats on the market.  Over the next couple of weeks, look for two posts which will help your feet immensely!  You can tell this is a big issue with me.  Just because we don’t wear heels like we used to doesn’t mean we over 50 girls don’t want to have fun!   Hope you find something here that inspires you....(and thanks Pamela for asking for the post, Hope it helped!)


By Pamela Lutrell


  1. Love the sneaker article. I have to wear low heel shoes due to back pain. Have you seen the Keds sneakers lately? I have several colors in the Kate Spade metallics. And I just received an email showing the Rifle Paper Co. florals. They have some gorgeous sneakers!

  2. I love the look on the mannequin also. My closet is filled with fun shoes and purses. Since I favor a more classic look with my clothes I like to have fun with accessories. I especially like slip on sneakers, and there are so many cute ones out there. I also like loafers, and ballet flats. Adding clip on earrings to a pair of flats is a great idea, Pam. Enjoyed the slide show and your flower loafers!

  3. I do like the white shoes with the rope sole. I think I need those right now! However, I am not going to be one who wears sneakers with dresses, skirts, suits, formal wear….it’s just not me and doesn’t line up with my personal style. I wear them infrequently with jeans or shorts, but most often pair jeans and shorts with flats. When I was working, walking was part of my day every single day. In the winter we had a route/loop inside that covered several miles. When it wasn’t snowing or in nice weather, we were outside daily for our lunch break. I kept walking/running shoes in my office with some socks and changed. In the summer it was too hot to wear our work clothes outside so we changed everything to go for our walks. But I have never been able to get into the trend of wearing them when I’m dressed up. You feature so many cute flats here, and that’s what I’d be going for. I know our culture is changing and that people are getting more and more casual all the time, but this isn’t working for me personally. Yes, I understand it is modern and of-the-moment. It’s just not me. If I had the white ones with the rope soles, I’d be wearing those with jeans and shorts, and also with denim skirts. I honestly think I need those shoes!

  4. Hi Karen, Sorry I did not add the sneakers originally to the slide show! I have added them now…they are on sale at Soft Surroundings by Superga.

  5. I just added them to the post, Jennifer and they are on sale from Soft Surroundings.

  6. Great outfit! I have very problematic feet & I wear a size 12!
    While working Stuart Weizmann were my go to shoes but now I’ve found Tom’s for My more casual lifestyle.
    They are the best for my arthritic toes & such great colors & patterns. Van’s has sneakers that work & Munro, Clarks & Edelman make boots I can wear.

  7. For the years that I commuted to Manhattan, I chose to wear loafers. Always professional looking and very comfortable. Once in the office, I would switch to heels. If we needed to walk to a meeting, out came the loafers.

  8. I would love to wear ‘stylish’ sneakers more often. But I have very wide feet. Any suggestions on where to shop would be greatly appreciated!!!

    I have a couple of great shoes I wear for walking or working out, but they wouldn’t be appropriate or look good as a fashion statement.

  9. I too like the sneakers with the rope out-sole but in all honesty its probably because, it has texture and isn’t white (I definitely suffer from white sole syndrome …. lol! … as find them just too stark and defined for my personal liking.) With that said: also like Karen above and as much as I may admire sneakers on other people and though do own three pairs of them (one pair being for the gym); wearing them on the most part is just not my style so prefer to invest in some other type of casual footwear similar to what you’ve listed.

    Tip: For white or black out-soles that require freshening up; restore sneaker paint-markers are available which come in a variety of brands however ‘outdoor’ acrylic craft paint (applied with a brush) will do the same and does come in variety of colors.

  10. Thank you for answering my question so quickly. It was very helpful and I loved the slide show. Particularly liked your shoes. I also would not have thought to wear that outfit with sneakers but I really liked the look. I’m learning new things!

  11. I will see if I can find out the best brands for you, Beth. I do know Rockport accomodates Wide and I love the comfort and style of their shoes. I will see if I can find more.

  12. Hi Pam,

    I love the metallic flats. What brand are they/ I wear a size 12 and many brands don’t go up to size 12.

  13. They are Aerosoles…and I have owned them for over a yeAr. I will watch out for brands that have a 12 and let you know what I see.

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