Sneakers have come a long way since Chuck Taylor's and Keds. On the streetwear end of things, every luxury brand from Prada to Balenciaga has jumped on the Hypebeast bandwagon and rolled out a pair of enormous "dad" sneakers retailing for at least $800. On the minimal side of the road, sneakers like Common Projects command $400 retail.
And that's if you have just one. That's a lot of bills.
In our world here at Idrese, we believe you need just three sneakers. In this article, we tell you what they are and why should be wearing them now.
Before we get into our list, we've got to talk materials.
In our view, all of your non-athletic sneakers should have a 100% leather upper. This leather is preferably full-grain, but in many cases top-grain will do just fine. However, avoid any type of product labelled "genuine" leather, and certainly any shoes with synthetic uppers.
The former may be leather, yes, but it's really just bits that have been glued together to make a malleable product. They'll crease badly, wear out quickly, and have to be discarded. The same is true with the latter.
Full and top-grain leathers will crease less, develop a lovely patina, and will breathe much more easily. That makes you sweat less, stay cooler, and be much more comfortable in your shoes.
Insoles and Linings
Speaking of comfort, we believe the interior of your shoes should also be leather. Leather is much less absorbent than cotton. This leads to less moisture retention inside your shoes, and results in much less odor-both in your shoes and on your feet!
The White Minimal Sneaker
Quick, think of a sneaker. Yahtzee- the white, minimal sneaker is the one you want.
No chunky soles. No suede accents. No labels on the upper. And certainly no little gold-foil numbers.
In our world, we want a clean, blemish-free silhouette.
Wear them with jeans and chinos on the the weekends, and you can even pair them with a casual cotton suit and a printed shirt. Versatility at its best.
And our Nuno in Polar White is exactly the sneaker for this.
Shop this look -> Nuno in Polar White
The Brown or Oxblood Minimal Sneaker
The second sneaker to go with is a brown or oxblood leather sneaker. We believe brown is infinitely more versatile than black. And, as they're less formal, it's a nod to the casual nature of this kind of shoe
Most importantly, though, brown allows for a patina to more clearly and deeply develop on your leather- especially if you've got a good one.
Here at Idrese, we only use the best leather we can find. All of our sneakers are handmade in Spain with 100% Italian Nappa leather for the softest, most comfortable ride.
Pair your brown leather sneakers with dark wash or light wash denim, some navy, olive, or stone colored chinos, and a broken-in denim jacket, and you've got a recipe for a great weekend look.
And, if you're interested in something unusual- but still very versatile, try them in oxblood. Oxblood works beautifully with deep, rich, indigo denim; or pairs cheekily with some casual grey flannel trousers.
Shop this look -> Nuno in Oxblood
The Black Minimal Sneaker
Our third sneaker is a black one. This is a wild card. It's sleek and refined- sexy, even.
There's really two ways to build a black sneaker. One in all black, as we've got below. Or pair it with a white Margom sole.
Black is a little more formal than brown, oxblood, or white. We think that make it even easier to pair with the essential dark denim. And, black is perhaps the easiest sneaker to pair with a suit- particularly in light or slate grey.
Shop this look -> Nuno in Black
As style has generally gotten more casual over the decades, we believe a modern gentleman should stock a few in his weekend wardrobe. We believe the white should come first, followed by oxblood, and then black.
But, this is fairly subjective. If you tend to wear a lot of blacks and greys, the black sneaker may be the better option for you.
All in all, though, keeping your sneakers fresh and clean is an essential. Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to keep them clean!