EVERY MORNING WE make a choice: “what shoes do I put on my feet?” For some, the decision-making is brief – a quick scramble to find any old pair before rushing off to a class that started five minutes ago.
Sneakerheads, on the other hand, often dress from the bottom-up. Shoes first and everything else second. Hence it is important to have a solid rotation of kicks that you can rely on to face both your ever changing moods and the temperamental Palo Alto weather.
Here’s a list of some top picks we’ve compiled to inspire your next sneaker purchase.
Nike Flyknit Racer in Black and White
These are the pair of shoes that got me into the sneaker game and are still one of my go-to's when I’ve got a busy day ahead. The two-tone black and white on each shoe allows for versatility in the outfits you pair them with, though they also come in an array of different colors. This pair also doubles as a gym shoe, so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
PLAY Comme des Garcons x Converse Chuck Taylor ‘Hidden Heart’ High Top Sneaker in White
Collaborations are a big deal in streetwear and it’s always nice to see two brands combining their individual aesthetics to create a dope product. Here, the iconic PLAY Comme des Garcons heart logo is subtly added to the classic Chucks, introducing a quiet luxury – and a pop of color - to a well-known shoe. This is also the Converse II model, which features Nike Lunarlon technology, thus making the shoe a lot more comfortable than regular OG chucks.
Adidas Ultra Boost in Triple White, Wolf Grey and Cream
Adidas has had somewhat of a comeback in the past year and half, with each release riding in on a wave of hype and astronomical resale prices. While some have attributed this recent success to sneaker-god Kanye West switching camps from Nike to Adidas, I think a big part of the desirability for Adidas shoes is simply due to the fact that boost technology is incredibly comfortable. Seriously, it feels like you’re walking on air. So though it is true Kanye did a lot to help raise the profile of Ultra Boosts early on (especially the Triple White colorway), I think the staying power of this model comes down to the fact that they look good and feel good on foot.
Nike Lab Air Force 1 in Vanchetta Tan & Nike Air Force 1 in Classic White
Air Force 1’s are a classic: they’re timeless and pretty much go with anything. If you’re looking for a shoe to last you all year-round, the all white model is a pretty safe bet. However, the tan colorway is also a nice alternative to plain white.
Adidas Superstars in Black and White
A popular shoe here on campus, the adidas superstar has had a comeback in recent years and it’s easy to see why. The shoes are stylish with clean lines and a flattering shape, but they can also be worn daily and are perfectly fine to beat up. Case in point, you’ll see a lot of these at frat parties.
Adidas NMD Runner in R1 Triple White, PK “Glitch Camo” and R1 Black
The NMDs were designed as a more fashion-y alternative to the ultra boosts and though not as comfortable, they still feature über comfortable boost technology - perfect for venturing to and from Late Night. Adidas has flooded the market with this model so it should be fairly easy to cop a pair and find a colorway that suits your style. While not as coveted as they once were due to over-supply, NMDs will still garner a compliment from any sneaker guy who knows his stuff. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, go for a Prime Knit upper for added comfort.
Vans Old Skool in BLACK & WHITE and Vans Checkerboard Classic Slip-On
Vans are a California staple with universal appeal. They look good, wear really well and are current without being overly trendy. I have two pairs in very classic colors that you can't go wrong with. The checkerboard print is especially coveted now thanks to the likes of Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner.
Nike Air Presto & Nike Mid-Cut Inneva Woven in white
While they’re not the easiest to clean, white shoes always look good and match any outfit. The Nike Air Presto (on the left) is easy to get a hold of, and yet still quite trendy. If you're willing to spend a bit more, check out the flyknit alternative. The Nike lab Inneva woven on the right, however, is much harder to find. With minimal branding, the shoe stands out as a work of technical art rather than a product of aggressive marketing. It's understated in a very clean way.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 in Pirate Black
Of course, I had to mention my baby: the Pirate Black Yeezys. While I can't justify the insane resale price (north of $1000), if you manage to cop them for retail price ($200), they're a great pick up*. Believe me, you'll be the envy of all your fellow Sneakerheads.
*fair warning, getting them for retail is not an easy feat…
By: Paolo Vera
PULSE is excited to welcome Paolo to the editorial team! Paolo is an avid Sneakerhead with a penchant for streetwear. He's a freshman majoring in economics and is a huge politics junkie.