By Ava Gilchrist

Emily Ratajkowski Is Quietly Leading the Way for the Next “IT” Sneaker

Just when you thought we’d chewed through every style imaginable, trust EmRata to put her best foot forward.
Emily Ratajkowski is seen at GMA on March 12, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

If you asked us two years ago if we’d optionally wear sneakers worn by Formula 1 drivers during the 1998 Grand Prix season, our answer would’ve been a resounding no. But in a post-blokette world where European sporting garments have been rendered stylish thanks to a feminine touch and a supermodel endorsement (see: Bella Hadid), this specific silhouette is ripe for the taking. (And by taking, we mean adding to your already expansive arsenal of street-style shoes designed to pique interest.)

As sneakerheads might’ve guessed, we’re referring to the Puma Speedcat; a suede, round-toe silhouette consciously designed close to the foot. Though it originates from motorsport, the SpeedCat has found a new consumer base in Manhattan-style savants looking to be the first to usher in the next shoe du jour. Naturally, the Speedcat has found its way onto the feet of perennially trendsetter Emily Ratajkowski.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 14: Emily Ratajkowski is seen on March 14, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

The model, designer, podcaster and author has worn Puma’s supposed next big thing for back-to-back outings in New York. The shoe has formed a large part of her cold-weather off-duty template, with the 32-year-old styling the look casually with workwear-inspired outerwear like mechanic jackets or leather bombers.

Of course, this level of repetition begs asking if Ratajkowski might be on Puma’s influencer retainer. But as we saw with Hadid’s unspoken spon-con for Ugg’s ultra platform mini, influencer ambassadorships reap dividends in the consumer marketplace. It’s still too early to tell if the Puma Speedcat can usurp the Adidas Samba as the reigning shoe supreme. (Especially given the German sportswear conglomerate’s creative partnership with Wales Bonner shows no signs of slowing down.)

But give this shoe a few weeks to be picked up by TikTok ‘trend forecasters’, a strategic placement on Lando Norris at the Tokyo Grand Prix and perhaps a luxury designer collaboration (we’d pitch for Alessandro Michele to redesign the shoe for his debut Valentino collection) and you might have a sold-out style worthy of pole position—irrespective of how the algorithm aided it to get there.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 01: Emily Ratajkowski is seen on April 01, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

This story originally appeared on GRAZIA International.