If you need permission to wear sneakers to Las Vegas Jewelry Week, let it be known that, yes, they are 100 percent allowed this year. Not that they were ever banned in the past, but earlier this spring when I interviewed a retailer known for wearing trim skirts and high heels, and learned that she was currently shopping for cute sneakers to wear at the show, I knew a shift was afoot (no pun). I imagined that other jewelry pros were looking for reasons to eliminate “fancy” shoes from their packing list in order to prioritize the comfort of their feet. So I started a sneaker search of my own.
Like me, many female-identifying attendees bring an abundance of footwear options to Las Vegas Jewelry Week—heels that get worn once, maybe twice, and innumerable cute flats. But alas, Birkenstocks and Repetto Cendrillons fall short when it comes to the support you need for a day spent on your feet. And this year, I think it’s fine to throw your heels in the “no” pile and let your sneakers slide into the spotlight—no one will give you side-eye, I promise.
Why? Why now? Sneakers have become a post-pandemic wardrobe essential with stealth chic appeal. As a recent article in The Atlantic put it, “cool people saved America’s feet.” As such, earlier this year, Tiffany broke the internet with its Nike collab. For those who couldn’t score a pair, New Balance’s normcore reign shows no signs of stopping. And Footwear News even ran a whole article on Succession character Kendall Roy and his kicks of choice (he leans heavily toward Gucci but has also sported Valentino, Lanvin, and Common Projects ). From the article: “Overall, Kendall’s shoe style in Succession is understated and elegant, reflecting his position as a member of the wealthy elite.”
This may not be a terrible MO for those of us attempting to plan outfits for Vegas that work in a professional, upscale context. I am trying to avoid the term “quiet luxury,” but here we are.
I’ve curated this post in a way that attempts to tamp down my naturally maximalist, color-positive aesthetic to highlight sneaker styles that read as sleek, polished, and maybe a little bit glam (we are jewelry professionals at a jewelry show, after all). I went for neutrals so one pair can easily coordinate with a variety of looks, whether it’s a pinstripe suit or a floral maxi dress.
Let’s start with what the Princess of Wales was spotted wearing recently:
To perfect the vibe of “I didn’t know what to wear so I went with pearls,” I think we have to strongly consider this perennial classic—specifically, the iconic green-trim version:
For something fun that doesn’t verge on clownish: the “tennies” of my youth, heaped in silver glitter.
This here is a Kendall Roy special:
Not all of my picks are sneakers with laces but rubber-soled shoes with sneaker-esque styling. I loved these slip-ons—they deserve a replay at next year’s Tucson gem show (thus, they practically pay for themselves):
What follows is more from my sneaker-shopping caper. Order now so they get here in time for your flight to Vegas!
White slip-on sneaker shoe, price on request; Casablanca
Top: Little bit of flair, lots of comfort—if you pack one thing for JCK Las Vegas, let it be a pair of sneakers like these. NV Numeric 440, $79.99; New Balance
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