For most people, the usual approach where sneakers are concerned is to spend somewhere around the $100 mark on a pair of mid-range kicks that will eventually get demoted to gym or gardening duties. That’s not to say there’s value in having a pair of beaters or two, but if you’re willing to increase your budget, there are great rewards to be reaped.
Thanks in no small part to the popularization of streetwear, the luxury sneaker market has exploded in the past decade. As sporty footwear has cemented its place in our wardrobes, picking up a new pair of designer kicks has become a perfectly reasonable splurge.
What’s more is that with a bit of care and the right choice when it comes to who you buy the sneakers from, your newly acquired footwear will remain a valuable investment for years to come. The same cannot be said for the average pair of mass-market sneakers. So, who exactly should you be buying your luxury sneakers from?
Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
The Japanese use the term Wabi-sabi to represent the belief that true beauty lies in imperfection, be it cracked pottery that’s lovingly glued back together or the rusty old car you can’t bear to trade-in for a new one. For the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, it’s the uniquely distressed sneakers you’re wearing on your feet.
An acquired taste, but perhaps that’s part of the allure and despite their distressed appearance, these sneakers are made from beautifully crafted Italian leather. Unlike the surface materials that are carefully battered right out of the box, the sneakers themselves feature a clean and minimalist silhouette that’ll complement just about anything in your wardrobe.
Unlike Golden Goose Deluxe Brand’s offerings, the likes of the Achilles Low and its high-top counterpart are as clean and minimal as can be. But just like the aforementioned brand, Common Projects’ sneakers sport a top-quality leather construction and a highly versatile silhouette.
Perhaps that’s why the Achilles low has remained one of the most iconic and popular designer sneakers since it was first released just over a decade ago. Pieced together in Italy using traditional techniques, Common Projects’ sneakers strike a unique balance between high-end dress shoes and tennis trainers. Their Chelsea boots are also a great buy.
Fendi is known for a wide range of products, from their ultra-luxurious fur coats and their popular fragrances to their unique timepieces and accessories. Today, Fendi are a popular sneaker brand, too, offering a variety of on-trend designs with the iconic fashion house’s unique twist present on each silhouette. Choosing from their expanding range is hardly a challenge, as they’ve consistently put out some great pieces over the last few years. Given their popularity, a bigger challenge would be finding them. Fortunately, there are a wide range of Fendi sneakers available on SSENSE, as well as a massive range of other designer brands and their latest garments.
Berluti has been producing footwear for a good 120 years. In the time that has elapsed since the Parisian designer has become synonymous with unrivalled craftsmanship and exceptional leather that features the most beautiful and rich patinas to be found on any pair of sneakers.
The silhouettes are hardly daring, but that’s by design as your attention will be drawn only to the trademark Venezia leather. If the lacquer-like richness of the brown colourways is not to your liking, you’ll be glad to know that the brand also offers a number of minimalist white options.
While the uninitiated may relate the Belgian fashion house to their out-there silhouettes like the Future, those who spend their time in the fashion world will know them for what is arguably their most notable sneaker, the Replica. This iconic piece of footwear is Maison Margiela’s take on the mid-century German Army Trainer.
You might find a similar model on Adidas store shelves, but being a designer brand, Maison Margiela’s version is considerably higher-quality. The simple styling of the more reserved silhouettes is finished in top-notch leather and buttery smooth suede. There are also a few more daring options, such as their paint-splattered versions of the sneaker.
There was a time when Tom Ford and sneakers would never have been seen in the same sentence, especially when you consider that the man himself is the epitome of style. But now that he can, the former Gucci director has made something out of his genuine knack for designing trainers.
Tom Ford sneakers are exactly what you’d expect. Clean lines, high-quality materials and above all else, elegance. Skilled labour and top-notch leather or suede are combined to create Tom Ford’s subtle and versatile range of sneakers. Expect a price point to match.
There are many great designer sneakers out there. It’s simply up to you to choose which pair you’ll be lacing up in 2020.