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I couldn't resist! Marks & Spencer’s 'comfy' £49.50 trainers are giving me New Balance 530 vibes – and after one wear, I’m hooked

M&S’ chunky trainers are a dead ringer for the viral sneakers, and I loved them so much I bought them

M&S trainers like NB
Carla Challis
Commerce Partnerships Editor
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The humble trainer has become much more than a shoe you wear to workout in, from the colour-pop Adidas Samba causing a virtual stampede to the royal loved Veja becoming a staple of the school-run. 

Yep, trainers have well and truly infiltrated our wardrobes, and before you think I’m going to plead ‘comfort is key’, sneakers have become as stylish and aesthetically-pleasing as a designer kitten heel. In other words, they’re here to stay, and I for one am a full-trainer convert. The pair I’ve been wanting to buy, the New Balance 530 retailing for over £100 / $99.99 are the style of chunky trainers everyone’s after right now – and I’m here to tell you I’ve found a lookalike that’s half the price. 

M&S just dropped this retro pair of trainers, which are a dead ringer for the New Balance and come in at £49.50. Available in a white/grey mix (which I think are the closest to the New Balance 530) and a muted beige and neutral mix, I quickly ordered them when I saw them appear in the new in Marks & Spencer section online.

One try and I’m hooked. I took my usual size, a 6, and these are spot on for sizing. The width is heavenly for us wide-feet girls, with plenty of room in the toe box and across the foot without having to worry about pinching or squeezing of the toes. They’re not available in half sizes like some M&S shoes, but sizes 3-8. 

 Influencer Victoria Thomas teams her New Balance 530s with wide leg trousers and a bomber jacket
Influencer Victoria Thomas teams her New Balance 530s with wide leg trousers and a bomber jacket

Trying them on, I was a little hesitant that they wouldn't look as cool as the branded pair, but after slipping them on, those worries melted away as, in my opinion, they do look as cool with the same mesh-material sections and silver, black and white colourway.

This might sound obvious, but they’re very white, and I’m hoping they’ll look a little more lived in after a few wears.

M&S Chunky Trainers© Carla Challis
I've fully converted to M&S' chunky trainers

Having owned a few pairs of M&S trainers in the past, I’m fully invested in how comfy these will be. Honestly, they feel like they’re hugging my feet. They’re made with the Marks & Spencer’s Insolia Flex®, designed to make walking in flats comfier, and another bonus is the antibacterial padding to help keep feet feeling fresh.

I’ve scanned the reviews, and most shoppers agree with me that they’re comfy and great for those with wide feet. “The toebox is wider than average, and they look great. Love wearing them with wide-leg trousers, jeans and skirts. Versatile, they can be dressed up or down.”

Influencer Toni Dreher during Berlin Fashion Week
Influencer Toni Dreher gives us a lesson in how to wear sneakers with skirts

“Very trendy” remarked another shopper, and “I’ve received a few compliments when wearing them” said another.

As for how to style them, my immediate reason to buy them was for the school run (that legging and varsity sweatshirt combo I’ve talked about before), to save my more expensive trainers for weekend-wear. But I could easily be swayed to wear these with a wide-leg trouser, like I’ve seen in street style pics, or with a skirt.

One of the coolest ways I’ve seen their designer version worn is with a blazer and jeans, one which I’ll definitely be adopting. Will you?

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