The Luxury Sneaker

hey gents if you love the silhouette and the look of the stan smith’s but you want the build quality of common projects there is a huge Delta between those prices but you can get common projects quality at half the price and stick around to find out what shoe really pisses me off this video encapsulate s’ the goal of my channel deliver unbiased straightforward information to help you make the best purchase decision in menswear this video has no sponsorship or ads I’m just a guy that bought a ton of shoes and trying to help you make the best decision second this category evolves a lot and so this will be a moment in time for the video but I will have a constantly updated guide on my website it’ll be the first link in the description where I have noted weight and size availability of all the shoes and I’ll cover them each individually third I’ll have links to each of the brands and a description individually some will have discounts that lets them know you came from me supports a channel and let’s get into it so the gap between $60 Stan Smith’s and 400 plus for common projects there’s tons of options in there and when brands talk about cutting out the middleman common projects is a great example of that they’re a luxury priced shoe they don’t sell direct to consumer they do have markup not just because of luxury but because they sell through certain channels and yes you can buy them on sale if you hunt around but I’m a fan of straightforward pricing which is what most of the brands that I’ll cover today offer the reason to people go to calm projects is not just because it’s a beautiful silhouette it’s a beautiful design but if you buy that $400 sneaker it should last you 7 or more years versus buying new Stan Smith’s every 18 months because they’re made to be cheap and they do wear out and one of the reasons that they wear out is that the leather is designed to be a lower price but the interior is lined with cloth as we get into some of the other shoes where they have full leather linings those are really good at absorbing moisture getting that away from your shoe and leather is much more durable than some of this cloth stuff which is why canvas shoes will wear off faster than a leather shoe so this is all about buying smart here are the brands that are in the review today originally I included the Jack Paar sell superga Tretorn and some of the other canvas shoes in this video but I always find that canvas shoes will last maybe one or two years before they get too dirty worn down so while those are great shoes classic silhouettes I’m looking for long lasting in value I was unable to get Gustin sneakers and time for the video that’s kind of its own story those will be on the website though marx comes out very soon but i was not able to get samples of those and then selected home i was unable to get shipped to the US I’ve also found that these luxury sneakers run a little bit large they run more like dress shoes and so you’ll see mostly size 12 today unless otherwise noted and if that’s enough preamble let’s really get into it here’s the high level and then we’ll dive into each price bucket if you want the best value in leather white sneakers with great construction and a few trade-offs that we’ll talk about you’re going to end up with the Great’s Royale the that gets Simenon read or and the surprise of all this is the crown Northampton over stone Derby but let’s touch on each of them and why so this is where your classic Stan Smith sits and price point down with the canvas shoes but there’s a much better option and that is the New Republic curt sneaker these sneakers list for $89 and at that price they’re an incredible value not only are you getting an extremely clean silhouette no marking and branding like on the Stan Smith it looks very close to a common project they’re comfortable to wear they came with a great pair of no-show socks so if you’re looking for a sub 100 all the leather sneaker this is really tough to beat let’s talk about some of the trade-offs that they made to hit that price point so you have a suede lining instead of a calfskin leather so you’re not going to get the same benefits of a full leather shoe the laces on here are pretty nice they actually beat some of the higher price shoes but the leather isn’t quite up to snuff with what you’d expect if you are looking for a common products replacement it’s leather but it’s not calf skin or full grain and so your mileage may vary on these shoes it’s very close to what you get out of a Stan Smith shoe the sole is not a Markham sole which you’ll see in some of the higher-end shoes and so it is a little bit lighter than the rest but the durability is going to remain a question mark over the lifespan some of my Markham soles have lasted three plus years with very little wear these are also made in China versus Italy or Spain for some of the higher end brands so if you’re in the sub $100 price category I actually got these for $60 with my Menlo Club subscription and so these are really tough to beat under 100 highly recommend now the one to two hundred dollar price point is where it really gets interesting you start to get into shoes that have full cast game leather faux leather linings so you get the sockless look Markham soles and the same clean design as the common projects this is where you can get common project quality for half the common next price the first one and this came up a lot at my other sneaker videos is a Stan Smith recon this is supposed to be the premium version of the Stan Smith with nicer leather and this retails for 160 and I don’t think this is a great value if you want the adidas logo and the Stan Smith tongue I think you can go for it but the leather on here is not nearly as nice as some of the others in this price point it’s made in China versus the rest of them and this price point are all made in Italy or Spain and the tongue on here is just as big and garish as a $60 version and to me it’s just it’s not worth the 160 you unless you really like the branding of Oddi das Adidas and so that’s the recon going right at the price ladder we have Frank and oak this one is a very interesting pick because it is also one of the cleanest silhouettes that you’ll see in this price point these are at 120 but this is another one where you can feel some of the corners were cut to hit the price point and also because Frank and oak is a clothing retailer not a shoe manufacturer they don’t have a wide range of styles available and then sizing availability can also be hit or miss so these are 120 these are a great option if you can get them in your size the construction is top-notch but the laces leave a little bit to be desired and the leather does not feel like it is the same grade a full calf leather as other shoes even in this price point o nism at 150 is made in Portugal and this is one of the first dedicated sneaker brands that come in as we walk up the price ladder full grain leather a great feel 949 grams so one of the lighter shoes in this price point non markham sole and then if this will be a turn-off for some people but it has own ism around the side here where the common projects stamps its but they do offer a lot of colors and styles and so onanism is a cool one to check out now we have the beckett Simenon read and the Gustin because these both come in at 149 both Gustin and beckett Simenon have super clean silhouettes full grain leather Gustin is made in italy feckin Simenon just specifies at its europe but both of them have one huge downside which is the delivery times if you order today in september to get beckett Simenon shoes you will get them in december if you order today for Gustin you’ll get them in January so they do offer them but Gustin only offers that white sneaker they don’t have other options within there and then the sizing availability is going to be very strict based on what your pre-order is Bank of Simenon has a few other colors but not other styles but this is the first shoe as you walk up the price ladder that has the same full grain leather quality that you’d expect in these luxury shoes the crazy thing about a lot of these made in Italy shoes a lot of them can come right out of the same factories within Italy but Gustin I have heard incredible things about I will beginning of soon that will be on the website beca’s Simenon read absolutely can recommend you just have to plan ahead in order to get there and then at 179 you have some stiff competition with the Oliver cabal the greats and the soup supply of sneakers I did a video where I compared the Great’s the suits apply so you can check that out but in that one grades came out on top and now the having the Oliver Cabal and both of these in the same hand it is extremely close and it comes down to aesthetics I can tell you that the leather on the grates feels better than the Oliver Cobell the Oliver Cobell is slightly lighter and then it’s also a slightly slimmer silhouette where greates comes out your head is at the leather lining on the grates feels like a better leather than the Oliver Cobell the branding is more subtle on the grates on the back versus Oliver Cobell and then having the dots on here is an aesthetic difference but it also helps with airing the shoe out which is a big thing because I wear these with no socks constantly they’ve held up really well and I’ve had these for a little over a year but I’ve been wearing grace for two years because I have a black pair that’s a little bit older this is where you are getting a Markham sole this does have 70 short a rubber made in Spain made in Italy and so this is the first point where I believe you’re getting common projects quality but at a lower price great also offers one of the widest ranges of sizes available from all the companies that are in this round up they go up to a size 15 and that’s awesome don’t get me wrong suit supply is a great option you can go check out that video for more but I’m sticking with the greats so now for the like darkhorse winner that came out of nowhere crown northampton shoes now these are the hello internet special edition that I ordered Nayland gear I’m a huge fan of the podcast but they have a pure white silhouette which is actually the cleanest one out of all the ones that I’ve taken a look at and the reason that these came out ahead is not only are they handmade in England high-quality beautiful leather but these are the most comfortable sneakers out of all the ones that I wore they have an extremely comfortable footbed they have full leather lining I wear these without socks all the time and they have a great so they have great high quality wax canvas laces and the construction is impeccable I have these ones at $200 because they list for 195 but if you buy them outside of you get reimbursed the 20% VAT so these should be 200 with shipping and I’m going to pick up a pair of the pure whites on these because I like the gray so much and just the fact that this remains one of those like institutions within England for Footwear manufacturing I think that’s a great thing and now we get into the two to three hundred dollar price point where you really can’t go wrong you have MGM eye you have actual arigato you have a smart gonna come out of this price point grand voyage and koi yo there’s also the price point where you get more dedicated sneaker brands that have tons of styles so like MJ my great siz this way axel arigato they really focus on making the best sneakers and I’ll talk about that later MJ my really nails it with that clean silhouette great high-quality feel great laces marg on sole made in Italy comfortable footbed and there’s no branding on the outside and I know that’s gonna be a big one I saw one of the biggest things that I saw in Hugo’s video on Oliver Cavell sneakers nobody wants to have Oliver Cabal on the back this has no branding on the outside clean silhouette great high-quality sneaker this is the coil Capri comes in at 248 this has become my main go-to sneaker if it’s not the Crown Hamptons if it’s not the great koi yo has been this one slightly higher price but this full casting leather this is some of the richest leather even above the common projects in my opinion it also has the same high quality full grain leather as the interior as the great’s which I really like some of the best laces on any of these shoes and it has a unique differentiator where they have this suede accent and you can get this in different colors they also a full suede model which I have which I absolutely love so this is a great example where if you’re looking in a slightly higher price point you’re getting what you pay for and this one so Koyo has been like a big surprise in this axle arigatou is interesting this is more of like this feels more like a sneakerhead brand a big turn-off for some of you will be that it has the label on the side here but it is a clean silhouette I do like that it’s this more pebbled and textured leather they have tons of different options is their cap toe model as you see here they also came with chopsticks which is a first for this channel first shoes ever opened that came with chopsticks they’re made in Portugal and they’re one of the lighter ones in the bunch now grand voyage is this is more like a fashion sneaker but it has all the hallmarks of the comp project so it’s made in Italy this is actually designed to be unlaced but it’s full grain leather these ones come in at 225 and they have plenty of other colors and silhouettes because it’s one of those dedicated sneaker brands now we entered the $300 price point which is where con projects it depending on when you’re shopping I see them listed for $360 I’ve seen them up in the 450 I think the prices are coming down because you have all this competition but the shoe that makes me absolutely crazy because it is the epitome of corporate and luxury greed is the RAF salmon’s Stan Smith’s I understand designer tax I understand margins I understand the luxury market and these shoes are a luxury market ripoff $360 for a shoe made in China of subpar leather because it has an are right here has Stan Smith on this tongue has wrap Simmons on this tongue this is the worst by adidas you should be ashamed this shoe does not look or feel any different than the Recon and actually in a blind test I couldn’t feel the difference between this and a regular Stan Smith and now I’m starting to get worked up if you love rap Simmons buy these shoes otherwise terrible so here are my thoughts and observations after spending hours looking and wearing and trying on and touching all these shoes in the last year dedicated Footwear direct consumer companies are emerging because of the long tail of retail I’ll put a link to that video up above and that is amazing these companies that solely focus on making the best Footwear will have the best user experience the best selection the best inventory availability and the best customer experience and support it’s the reason the Franken of shoes didn’t fare so well Franken oak is a great clothing company they’re not a great Footwear company it’s like a Swiss Army knife where it’s got the multi tools and all that stuff it’ll be a good knife but it’s not going to be as good as like a dedicated Kershaw knife without just a really great blade it’s the same reason you buy these shoes very similar from Banana Republic but Imran Republic is going to have a different margin target than the footwear company and different goals than the footwear company that being said buy whatever you like buy the best that you can afford and whatever makes you happy also all the people that are working on these shoes are trying to do their best work and so I really appreciate that except for RAF Simmons that’s a ripoff thanks adidas and so these are all my thoughts after touching wearing and using these shoes so there you have a gents all these unboxings and videos that I do I want them to all roll up into videos like this the reason I started this channel is to document the world of menswear collective learning and to give you the best information that is possible I have big plans for this channel and whether you supported me from a thousand subscribers to 40,000 subscribers that I hit this week it is an absolute honor to bring these videos and I sincerely thank you videos like this do take time so thank you for your patience on this I’m working on more of them in the same style that I’ve talked about and this was the second most work that any my videos have required right by my swatch video so go watch and share the swatch video because I took a lot of time on that front of that one too I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments as always

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