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.
One of the issues with cup-soled and vulcanized sneakers is their lack of traction, and while their style is desirable, I simply can’t abide slipping all over the place. And that’s why I like no style of sneaker better than Lugged Leather Lowtops. There are more options than ever in this category, so if this is something you’ve been specifically looking for or you’re just in general need of some new sneakers, we hope this list is helpful for you.
1) Novesta: Marathon Trail Leather
If you’re looking for a well-priced and well-made pair of lugged leather sneakers, Novesta‘s Marathon Trail Leather sneakers are the obvious choice. They’re beautifully designed with a heavily lugged sole, and come in a ton of colorways and materials. Whether you want a contrasting or matching sole, and your shoes to stand out or blend in, the Marathons have you covered.
Available for €119-149 from Novesta.
2) Onitsuka: Lace-Up Lo
Onitsuka‘s Lace-Up Lo is both simple and beautiful. These ain’t your college Tigers. These feature a clean, leather upper with a lace-to-toe pattern, and a black ripple sole that gives these shoes both excellent traction and a unique look. These shoes certainly aren’t cheap, but if they’re your style there’s possibly no better option.
Available for $495 from Onitsuka.
3) Our Legacy: Gabe Side Lace Sneaker
Our Legacy has been a well-known and respected brand for a very long time, but its foray into sneakers is slightly more recent. The brand’s Gabe Side Lace Sneakers make it look like they’ve been making sneaks for decades and while the side lacing is cool and gives these shoes an interesting silhouette, it’s the use of Vibram‘s heavily lugged outsole that really gives these shoes their unique style. While their not a style you would find everyone reaching for, they’re different yet clean and provide you with a great choice for when traction is a top priority.
Available for $415 from Our Legacy.
4) Feit: Lugged Runner
When it comes to unique, leather sneaker designs Feit is certainly one of the most innovative and interesting brands. Their Lugged Runner is a favorite for many, with its lugged sole and cork lift, glued and handstitched suede upper, and Goodyear welt construction (albeit with a sole glued to the stitched-on midsole). This shoe is definitely a bit heftier than your regular sneakers, but if you’re used to wearing service boots or other leather footwear, these will slot into your rotation with aplomb.
Available for $300 from Feit.
5) New Balance: 327 Leather Low-Top Sneakers
New Balance is ridiculously popular right now, but 50 million newbie heads can’t be wrong. The 327 has been a hit model and this leather rendition is worthy of a place on this list. They feature a toe-to-heel wrapped lug sole, which pairs well with the gum rubber midsole and black uppers. That said, they’re available in a ton of colorways, so whatever your wardrobe needs I’m sure you’ll be able to find a matching pair.
Available for $191 from Farfetch.
Plus One – Hiro Yanagimachi: LS1 Sneaker – Color 8
There are a ton of high-end sneaker brands, but if you want something truly special there is no better option, in my opinion, than Hiro Yanagimachi‘s LS1 Sneaker. It truly has every imaginable detail: Horween Shell Cordovan upper, hand-welted construction, and stacked midsole/heel. In my eyes, the red Vibram outsole’s pattern, while shallow, is certainly lugged. That said, if traction is your primary concern you could consider a pair with deeper lugs. This specific model is only available as a pre-order in limited quantities, but that only solidifies them as the only, true Plus One option.
Available for $2150 from Leffot.