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Corporate sneakers

Unisex mint sneakers, $199, from Puma X ICNY.
Unisex mint sneakers, $199, from Puma X ICNY. PHOTOS: AXEL ARIGATO, NEW BALANCE, ONITSUKA, PUMA SUPERGA, ZARA
Women's silver embossed leather sneaker, $169.90, Superga, from www.superga.com.sg.
Women's silver embossed leather sneaker, $169.90, Superga, from www.superga.com.sg.
Unisex grey suede and leather sneaker with orange details, $349, New Balance, from Leftfoot.
Unisex grey suede and leather sneaker with orange details, $349, New Balance, from Leftfoot.
Black leather sneaker, $189, Onitsuka, from Leftfoot.
Black leather sneaker, $189, Onitsuka, from Leftfoot.
Women's ostrich leather embossed sneaker, US$195 (S$272) , Axel Arigato, from axelarigato.com.
Women's ostrich leather embossed sneaker, US$195 (S$272) , Axel Arigato, from axelarigato.com.
Women's white sneaker with cheetah-print trim, $99, from Zara.
Women's white sneaker with cheetah-print trim, $99, from Zara.

How do I make sneakers work for the office?

Not too long ago, running shoes did not constitute proper corporate attire.

However, these days, wearing sneakers is increasingly acceptable in offices, helped along by sports footwear brands such as New Balance and Nike churning out fashionable styles each season. Comfortable and practical, sneakers give an unexpected edge to outfits. If you're afraid of looking too "done", a pair of sneakers instantly dresses down an outfit.

A spokesman for speciality sneaker store Leftfoot, that has boutiques at The Cathay and Orchard Cineleisure, encourages experimenting with sneakers, but advises to "always keep them clean when going for meetings".

Here are ways to avoid flouting the dress code, while retaining fashionable soles.

• Bulky shoes tend to look clumsy, so stick to slim-fit shoes. These are easier to match with tailored outfits.

• Worried about looking too casual? Put on a blazer for instant polish. Even in a pair of jeans and T-shirt, you will look like an off-duty model.

• Match the colour of your sneakers to your outfit for a visually pleasing look. If your outfit is in one solid colour, wear sneakers in a contrasting colour for impact.

• Textures are a great way to add detail to your outfit without shouting for attention.

Pick sneakers with embossed leather detailing or in materials like pony-hair.

• When in doubt, stick to all-black or white sneakers, as they are fail-proof options.


Unisex mint sneakers, $199, from Puma X ICNY

Inspired by cookies, these add a pop of colour to any monochrome outfit.


Women's silver embossed leather sneaker, $169.90, Superga, from www.superga.com.sg

Make metallic sneakers work for the office by matching them with your accessories.


Unisex grey suede and leather sneaker with orange details, $349, New Balance, from Leftfoot

If you love the look of slightly bulkier sneakers, such as this pair, cuff your pant leg so that it rests just above your ankle, instead of letting extra fabric bunch up on the shoe.


Black leather sneaker, $189, Onitsuka, from Leftfoot

Slim with well-cushioned soles, these are perfect for everyday wear and go with everything.


Women's ostrich leather embossed sneaker, US$195 (S$272) , Axel Arigato, from axelarigato.com

A men's pair in red alligator embossed leather, US$185, is also available.


Women's white sneaker with cheetah-print trim, $99, from Zara

White shoes are versatile and chic. The cheetah-print trim on this pair adds personality.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2015, with the headline 'Corporate sneakers'. Print Edition | Subscribe