Put your best foot forward!

Latest posts by Craig Lomas (see all)

As I struggle to manage my ever-growing pile of shoes, I nearly always ask myself two questions: ‘do I really need these?’ and ‘where can I cram this box’.

Over the course of the last three weeks, however, I have slipped further into what is rapidly becoming an obsession with footwear. Tallying it all up, I’ve rather ridiculously invested in a total of 15 pairs.

I’m not quite Imelda Marcos yet, but I have more pairs of footwear than a young man on a much less frivolous budget than hers can afford – I’m sure you’ll agree! I’d like to put an end to my shoe shame, but it’s something I can’t stop for want of trying.

Instead I’ve come up with another solution to alleviate my buyer’s remorse: I’ve turned the whole experience into research. Yes, this is the life of a modern fashion journo! Buying more than we can ever afford just to give you – our loyal readers – the life-changing knowledge we’ve discovered, so that you can show the restraint we can’t and buy only what you really, really want.

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In effect, my shoe-shopping makes me a little bit like Indiana Jones – risking life and limb (or will and wallet) to bring you fabulous treasures and arcane secrets. You can thank me for my bravery later!

So before I plunge further into this mountain of shoes, I have comprised a list of this season’s ‘must-have’ trainers. And may God bless your soles.

NikeiD

NIKEiD

Custom shoes are hot property right now and credibly set yourself apart from the generic designs readily available to all consumers. Personal identity is key to making a fashion statement and is something we can all hopefully connect with. We are who we are by dint of being different, after all.

NikeiD offers a completely personal experience, allowing its users to custom design their own trainers – from laces to soles and even to typography. With an easy-to-use interface, the whole process can be completed in a matter of minutes.

Each user begins with a pair of classic Nike trainers – such as the ‘of the moment’ huarache – and each shoe part is tailored to the required colour palette and finish.

Alexander McQueen for Puma

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN TRAINERS

If you can get your hands on the very first designs created by McQueen, then I literally bow down to your superiority. Taking a fresh aesthetic to footwear design, McQueen ensures that each piece encompasses the three key points of comfort, style and – most important of all – individuality.

The designer himself is one of the industry’s most widely credited designers. He’s been shocking and provoking with his collections since the early 90s. The fusion of an already well established brand such as Puma and McQueen, to me sparks the beginning of a shift in men’s statement footwear.

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I recently bought a pair of the Puma X Run Mid Trainers and feel ashamed to say I haven’t even worn them yet! I want to ensure that when I do, though, I can completely do the whole look justice. These aren’t shoes for those without the time and effort to commit some serious style damage – serve it sharp and serve it hard.

Having tried them on and paraded about somewhat (to bed them in, you understand…) I can safely say these are extremely comfortable trainers. The sole is comprised of rubber materials which cushion the whole foot. The sole also offers a pop of contrasting colour to the white trainer counterparts – giving a hint of colour in restrained measure.

Adidas Gazelles

ADIDAS GAZELLES

Along with Stan Smiths, the Adidas Gazelle style has seen a great resurgence recently, having been sported on many celebrities and models. Karl Lagerfeld started the trend of swapping heels for trainers with his ‘Chanel Supermarket’ collection.

A statement that sees no sign of ending, trainers like the Gazelles are worth investing in. On a recent shopping trip I bought a pair and stuck to the classic core design of a black/white colour palette. These can almost literally be paired with anything – from suits, to give a preppy twist, and skinny jeans and band shirts, to get a grunge aesthetic.

I recently wore mine to a meeting, where I paired them with drainpipe skinnies, a black Moschino shirt and my Burberry duffle coat. Dressing smart doesn’t have to boring!