Fabric Sneakers – Five Plus One
Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
The sad truth is that most people find a pair of sneakers they like, wear the until they are broken beyond repair, and then throw them in the trash without a second thought. While some sneakers are easily resoleable, the majority are not designed to be repaired to that degree.
However, that doesn’t mean all sneakers are built to the same standards. With quality construction methods and materials, even a pair of fabric sneakers can last a good long while. Learn all about the history of the sneaker and check out our picks below.
1) Converse: 70s Low Top All Star in Parchment
Converse produces some of the most iconic fabric sneakers on the market, and the Low Top All Stars are one of their many wonderful options. It’s constructed from an off-white canvas, and the sole features the classic blue and red stripes. The details of these sneakers are made to replicate those produced in the 1970’s, but the same is not true of all Converses. This is a limited edition model, which features additional cushioning, an extra-thick canvas, and higher than usual cup sole.
Available for $55 from Unionmade.
2) Doek: Oxford in Navy
Doek might not be a household name just yet, but they’ve been producing quality sneakers for quite a while now. This pair is constructed using a pattern similar to traditional oxfords, with closed lacing that begins underneath the vamp. This pair features a navy canvas with contrasting white laces and white cupsole, which wraps around the edge of the shoe. Like all of Doek’s sneakers, the oxfords come with a visible corn insole.
Available for ¥12000 from Doek.
3) The Hill-Side: Chukka Sneakers in Cotton/Hemp Indigo Denim
The Hill-Side’s Chukka Sneakers in Cotton/Hemp Indigo Denim are a new take on mid-height sneakers, taking most of its influence from chukka boots. Like all of The Hill-Side’s products, these sneakers are constructed with a fantastic eye for detail. They’re made from Japanese denim that is 55% hemp, with a sole featuring a herringbone-esque pattern. Each pair is finished with painted brass eyelets, twill-tape topped tongue, and a custom fabric insert.
Available for $184 from The Hill-Side.
4) PF Flyers: Made in the USA Center Hi in Black
PF Flyers‘ Center Hi is a simple high-top sneaker, similar to those produced in the 1960s. It’s made from a heavyweight, 14oz. canvas, but with an understated leather toe cap. Sadly, it’s hard to find made-in-the-USA sneakers these days, which is why it’s so great to see PF Flyers producing some of their shoes domestically. In addition, this pair has a bunch of great construction details, including a pigskin lining, hand painted stripe on the sole, and vintage-inspired patch.
Available for $150 from PF Flyers.
5) Shoes Like Pottery: 01JP Low Sneaker in Yellow
Shoes Like Pottery produces some of the most understated and unique sneakers on the market. Their soles go through a process in which they are heated-treated in a kiln, y’know, like pottery. Each shoe is handsewn, a time-consuming process that is only done by a handful of companies, and are fully produced in Japan. This process results in sneakers that appear a bit rougher around the edges, but that’s a small price to pay for artisanal crafting.
Available for $125 at End Clothing.
Plus One – Red Cloud: R490R-BK
Red Cloud entered the denim scene a few years ago, and their unique fabrics helped them to gain a large following right off the bat. Their new line of sneakers, which the R490R-BK is a part of, features designs based on 1960’s fly fishing shoes. The ribbed toe cap is the most recognizable feature that was recycled into these sneakers, although it’s most commonly found on high-tops rather than low-tops. Be that as it may, the resulting sneakers are a unique reinterpretation of a classic that many have come to know and love.
Available for $109 at Tuckshop & Sundry Supplies.