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.
There isn’t anything much more comfortable than a pair of worn-in, high-top, fabric sneakers. And despite the fact that this style has been around for decades, brands are still finding ways to differentiate their version from the rest of the pack. Whether this is your first pair of sneakers in a long time or just another addition to your existing collection, we hope you’re tying the knot on a something from this week’s list.
1) P.F. Flyers: Grounder Hi
If you’re only going to own one pair of sneakers it’s hard to beat a pair of P.F. Flyers and, at least in the mind of this reviewer, their Grounder Hi should be near the top of any list. With the textured rubber at the toe cap and the semi-lugged nature of the sole, this sneaker is sure to function better than most in inclement weather. While some might prefer a classic black high-top sneaker, the natural colorway of this style just looks right.
Available for $90 from PF Flyers in Black and Natural.
2) John Lofgren x Self Edge: Dessau High-Top Sneakers
John Lofgren’s Dessau sneakers are about as classically styled as they come, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing special about them. They’re completely handmade and feature a Japanese woven cotton canvas upper, brass eyelets and vents, reinforced construction throughout, and a vulcanized natural rubber sole. While cotton canvas is still cotton canvas, and certainly won’t last as long as leather or more durable synthetics, the quality construction and materials used in this pair will help it to only look better with age.
3) Visvim: Skagway Hi Kiltie
Visvim’s products are certainly an acquired taste, so I certainly understand why some of you won’t like their Skagway Hi Kiltie. With that said, it has a lot of great features, even if you choose to remove the kiltie the moment they come out of the box. This pair features a cowhide-lined interior, aluminum eyelets, hand-stitched heel plate, a unique lacing design, and a non-standard black lightening-bolt accent line across the edge of the sole.
4) The Real McCoy’s: Military Canvas Training Shoes
The Real McCoy’s does historical reproductions better than just about any other company, and their Military Canvas Training Shoe exemplifies this. They’re designed to mimic post-WWII military style sneakers that were aimed at being both lightweight and highly water resistant. But, The Real McCoy’s takes things to a new level with every component of their version being made custom to their standards.
5) Shoes Like Pottery: Hi-Top Sneaker
Shoes Like Pottery is fairly well known around these parts for their kiln-fired sneakers, which creates a more durable and harder-wearing rubber outsole. Each pair of these minimalist canvas sneakers is made in Japan and features a hand applied stamp at the rear quarter of the rubber foxing. They’re available in both black and white, but it’s hard to deny that the blue stamp looks perfect on the edge of the white canvas pair.
Plus One – Brandblack: Kaze Trail
Hi-top, sock-style sneakers are all the rage right now, and Brandblack makes them as well as anyone. Their Kaze Trail sneaker is one part high top sneaker and one part hiking boot which come together to create one of the most unique pairs of sneakers on the market. While the upturned toe, compression ankle, and terrazzo-esque outsole might not be up everyone’s alley, it’s hard to deny that this pair is pretty cool in its own right.
Available for $130 from Bows and Arrows.