The disappointing thing about graduating / upgrading to a more mature closet is that there is rarely room for more than two or three pairs of sneakers. One for the gym, maybe another pair designated for running, some Chucks or Vans that survived your college years. The sophisticated male’s footwear lineup is a sordid affair, dominated by murky leathers and hard soles, with inoffensive versatility usually taking priority over rainbow-vomit colors and styles.
Let’s face it, unless you’re some kind of professional athlete or are lucky enough to work in a setting where Casual Day is EVERY day, you wouldn’t even get much chance to wear your sneakers even if you did have the extra money and space to indulge in a few extra pairs.
But alas, you are not cut from the same cloth as the rest of the sartorial sheep you know. You hide a skateboard in your cubicle or roll up your pant leg to avoid shreddage from your bike’s new Shimano gearset. You love Polo blazers and Nike Blazers. You’re young and you’re still having fun – but you know the difference between youthful and childish.
These sneakers are for you, my friend. Just a small sampling of some amazing footwear that have caught my eye over the past few weeks.
First up is the Hayworth Mid II from Adidas Y-3. It’s actually a part of the same Y-3 collection that features the Hijiri Homme, which I talked about in a previous article. It’s just an out-of-this-world blend of retro-inspired touches (high cut, ankle strap) with futuristic details (external plastic ankle support) and high quality materials. The simple colorway and uncluttered toebox balance the overall design and prevent it from becoming a Marty McFly mess. The Hayworth Mid II is available now at select Y-3 dealers.
Kanye should be jealous – this looks a lot better than his namesake Air Yeezy.
Stack your jeans on top, tuck the hem behind the tongue, or cover the whole thing up – the Hayworth only shows off if you want it to.
And we can’t talk sneakers without talking Nike, now can we?
These colorways look bright, but they’re all staple colors – any flavor will spice up your casual Saturday digs.
The fragment design x Nike Tennis Classic is a complete 180 from the Hayworth Mid II, eschewing all the bells and whistles for what just works and what looks good. Anyone can justify a pair of these: a comfortable low cut, buttery suede, and a Skittles pack of colorways means that everyone can find a favorite pair. My favorite detail: the perforated Swoosh. Cleaning up the check lets the design and materials stand out without overpowering the rest of your outfit. Available October 11 at Nort Berlin, you can also likely pick these up at boutiques with a Tier 0 Nike account.
One of the things that I can’t stand about most current skate shoe companies is the fact that so many aren’t even bothering to come up with original designs. Most are taking Vans Eras or Nike Dunks and fattening the tongues, slapping their own logos on, and calling them signature models. Supra…well, I can’t say they’re completely innocent. Their Vaiders and Skytops are a little bit derivative, but Supra makes up for it by offering them in a plethora of colors and materials. From patent to animal prints, they’ve got it.
Don’t shred your Cole Haans. Lace up the Diablo Mid, mount your plank or fixie, and change when you get to the office.
But I digress. What you see up above is the Diablo mid, the new Erik Ellington signature model. And my GOD does it look good. The grey suede ensures that form doesn’t take precedence over function – suede uppers tend to be extra grippy, letting you pop those ollies ever-higher. The black leather perf heel wrap and splashes of lime keep things from getting too cloudy. And the mid-top cut? Genius. It provides a good amount of ankle support and still looks great with shorts – which is good for guys like me who happen to have calves with generous girth. Track down a board shop with a Supra account and go get ‘em. BROWNIE POINTS: Weezy loves Supra too.
And ladies, don’t let your man (or the men, if you’re a badass and don’t need a dude) have all the fun. I’m not a huge fan of ladies in sneakers, but the acceptable (and highly popular) female equivalent is the ballet flat. Do yourself a favor and check out these KAWS x Marc Jacobs jawns.
Street cred and swank chic in one convenient package.
Marc Jacobs patent leather collides with KAWS’ signature cartoon-death XXs and fluffy teeth detail (or whatever that crazy stuff is). The hint of pink guarantees that you’ll be repeating “Hey buddy, I’m up HERE” all night long. Limited to 150 pairs, starting TODAY. Available at Marc Jacobs flagship stores in the US and London.