Shoes | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

The Many Make-Ups of Alden.

Jun 4th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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At 130 years old, Alden might just be America’s coolest centenarian. As they cross into their 13th decade this year, Alden’s shoes has never been more in demand, with the reported wait list for a pair of custom shoes from their Middleborough, Massachusetts’ factory stretching back well over a year.

Alden was a marque name of the early aughts heritage revival, and even as the spotlight on Americana has begun to fade once again, Alden’s renaissance is as strong as ever. While the shoemaker continues to crank out a wide assortment of stock designs for their diehard customers, it’s the considerable crop of “special makeups” that Alden has produced in partnership with stores across the world that present some of the venerable shoemakers most interesting creations.





Two Step | Nike x Undercover Gyakusou

May 21st, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Shoes, Sports | by Jake Gallagher

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For many designers, somewhere along the way between concept and execution their vision gets lost in the shuffle, but not so for Jun Takahashi of Japanese label, Undercover. Takahashi is now approaching the fourth year of his Gyakusou collection, a collaborative effort with Nike that exists at the intersection between high fashion and performance running gear.

As anyone that has ever laced up a pair of sneaker can attest, running is as much an emotional pursuit as it is an athletic one. Takahashi has never been one to shy away from emotion in his work. His Undercover collections are often rife with quotes from shoegaze songs, dark tones, and lush textures. As for Gyakusou, which roughly translates into “running in reverse,” as a reference to the fact that Takahashi and his friends run the “wrong way” through Tokyo, the collection has always been a meditation on how runners interact with their environment.





Impeccable Footwear From Diemme.

Mar 27th, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Made in Italy, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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Like a Wes Anderson movie, the Diemme story does not have one true main character, rather it’s an ensemble cast, that comes together from across the world to create Diemme’s unique line of casual footwear. The shoes are manufactured in Montebulluna, Italy by Calzaturificio Diemme, with the help of two design and sales companies, Blender Agency from Norway, and GMT Tokyo in Japan, as well as MnO International, a Swedish distributor. At the heart of the Diemme project lies two brothers, Dennis and Maico Signor, who have been manufacturing boots under the Calzaturificio Diemme name since 1992.





Putting the “New” in New Balance.

Mar 21st, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Made in the USA, Menswear, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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The Literal Fire – J. Crew Inferno Orange 998

The current New Balance mania that’s cutting through the sneaker world like a Vibram soled tornado has all the makings of a lost Malcolm Gladwell case study. What exactly was the tipping point that launched NB’s from average schmo staple to fodder for the insatiable menswear masses? I’ll leave that one for Gladwell’s next book, but I will say that New Balance has done an exemplary job at embracing their new-found market. Sure, those old school, all grey sneaks that the Costanza’s of the world used to wear still remain their most popular models, but over the past couple years NB has revamped their classic running shoes to create some damn fine, and for that matter, flashy, designs. It seems that every week New Balance seems to drop another “banger” (that’s what sneakerheads are saying these days right?) so we decided to round up the eight best releases of the past year.

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The Throwback – 997 Reissues





Adidas Stan Smiths | The Return of a Legend

Jan 22nd, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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Twenty-eight years after he bid the professional tennis world adieu, Stan Smith has returned, not on clay, but on asphalt. While Smith’s days on the pro circuit might be long gone, he still remains one of the most well-known players of all time, thanks largely to the simple white sneaks that carry his name.

Truth be told though, those iconic adidas originally bore the name of another clay court legend – Robert Haillet. Haillet and adidas founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler first partnered up back in the mid-sixties to create the stark shoes, but it wasn’t until Stan Smith wore them on the court in 1971 that they really took off. They were the first pair of all leather tennis shoes ever created, laying the groundwork for today’s ultra high-end sneaker market, but at the time, they were designed purely for performance.





My Friend Jack and Other Adventures in San Francisco.

Oct 16th, 2013 | Categories: Shoes, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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This fall Converse tapped San Francisco’s Unionmade, a store that has emerged as one of America’s best sources of well-made and good-looking menswear, to showcase the life and style of the Jack Purcell sneakers. In addition to being one of the best merchandised and art directed independent shops out there, Unionmade has mastered the art of mixing brands and showcasing an evolved sense of style and taste that serves as a source of inspiration for many. Much of this comes from the store’s founders Todd Barkett and Carl Chiara, both vets of big brands (Gap and Levi’s respectively), but Unionmade’s Brand Director Spencer Lemon also brings an interesting dimension to the team. I took the chance to catch up with him and talk about classic kicks, finding a hassle free beer and his favorite book shop in San Francisco.

What’s your favorite way to wear Jack Purcells?

Any way is typically a good way.  Part of the beauty of a classic style and silhouette like the Jack Purcell is that it’s incredibly versatile.  They look great brand new or worn in and pair well with most outfits.

Talk to me about where Jack Purcell takes you on the weekend. What’s your favorite brunch stop?

Bar Tartine.  Friend and owner, Chad Robertson (who also owns Tartine Bakery) has been re-imagining his restaurant over the last couple years and it’s been really exciting to try and visit regularly as the menu evolves.  Drawing heavy inspiration from Eastern Europe and working primarily with local produce, there’s often a new seasonal offering to try and a number of staples to indulge in.

What neighborhood in San Francisco is your favorite?

Alamo Square.  I’m biased because I also live in this neighborhood, but it’s relatively low key and central to most of the other areas I get to regularly.  There’s a lot of change happening right now, some interesting and some not so interesting, but it’s always a game of pros and cons.





Where We’re Going and Where We’ve Been.

Sep 30th, 2013 | Categories: Shoes, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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Since its launch in 2009, Unionmade has, for so many brands, become the go-to menswear shop in the U.S. Founded by Carl Chiara and Todd Barket in 2009, the shop has emerged as one of menswear’s best in terms of both style and selection. Any chance I am in San Francisco and I get to shop there, I always relish the opportunity to discover something new, or to marvel at the vast amounts of things that I want to buy.

Unionmade’s classic point of view was what must have been what led Converse to focus its attention on the California shop as one of the best destinations to find the classic canvas Jack Purcell sneakers. There are so many elements of Unionmade that fit perfectly with Jack Purcell. They both represent the natural style-evolution of the American man. Both are interested in classic and enduring things as a basis for a versatile modern wardrobe. And both Jack Purcell and Unionmade are focused on style that lasts long into the future.