Mar
17
2014
By
of Valet.
 

Sawa for J.Crew

Designed and constructed in Ethiopia from all African-made materials, these lightweight suede sneakers have a retro tennis vibe.

$105 at J.Crew

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Simple Sneakers

Classic and unassuming, the simple low-top sneaker is the footwear equivalent to a T-shirt. Easygoing and as comfortable as it is versatile, they'll pair with nearly everything in your wardrobe—from denim and chinos to crisp cotton suits and eventually your shorts. Which is why they're the ideal all-purpose footwear choice when the weather starts warming up. Of course, when it comes to choosing a pair, you can't go wrong with those perennial favorites which haven't changed in decades. But there are also a handful of new models worth trying out like Sawa's African-made leather and suede styles or direct-to-consumer upstarts like The Greats.

 

Common Projects

These Italian-made low-tops are the gold standard when it comes to simple sneakers, and this new style is cut from soft suede with athletic mesh panelling on the side.

$430 at Mr Porter

 

The Greats

A '60s-style tennis shoe crafted from deerskin and lined in luxe calfskin leather with waxed cotton laces and grounded with comfortable rubber soles.

$99 at The Greats

 
 

Adidas

The very definition of less-is-more, these understated full-grain leather kicks have been a go-to classic for stylish dudes for years.

$75 at Adidas

 

Vans

This is the brand's original pro skate model, but these have been modernized with a murdered out look along with an entirely vegan construction.

$55 at Vans

 
 
Keep 'Em Fresh

Dust the shoes' insoles with some powder—anything from baking soda to baby powder, or specialty products from the likes of Gold Bond or Jack Black. Leave it in overnight and then dump out any excess before wearing them. The powder deodorizes the shoe and will keep future sweating to a minimum.

 
Keep 'Em Clean

If your kicks aren't getting dirty, then you're not having enough fun. But when your white shoes are looking less than fresh, here's how to brighten them up.

 

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