Sneaking Up

It seems as though it was only yesterday that Wall Street was running round in Church’s, Alden’s and Crockett & Jones’. The ubiquitous black shiny shoe was the only way to dress the foot of the elegant male professional or successful executive for the working week. Weekends were spent in leisured suede versions of the same design. Yet how it all changes.

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Enter the sneaker. From their sporting and street wear origins, sneakers are now seen everywhere-worn by Hollywood actors and celebrities on the red carpet and paired with formal evening wear. Even billionaires are wearing them to work. If you watch Showtime’s Billions TV series you’ll know that Bobby Axelrod, the fictional billionaire hedge fund owner portrayed by British actor Damian Lewis wears a pair every day from his wardrobe full of sneakers along with his regulation hoodie.

Everywhere you look there are more and more new sneaker brands emerging such as New York’s FEIT and Amsterdam’s ETQ to join the more established Common Projects, Lanvin, Y3 and Converse. Available in a wide variety of materials from suede, leather and nylon the latest trend to emerge is the pure white sneaker epitomised by Common Projects Original Achilles model. Another trend is towards the use of exotic materials like python and lizard and even alligator sneakers for men.

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The Best Luxury Sneaker Brands of 2016

High-end sneaker brands are having a moment. Having become almost ubiquitous you now see them in the most unlikely places: on the red carpet and even on Wall Street. So before pulling the trigger on your next pair you need to read our primer on how to maintain your street cred by choosing from the hottest purveyors of luxury kicks around.

EPAULET

Founded in Brooklyn in 2008 and with a price range of $195-$400. A great value, unbranded in-house line using shell cordovan and with a variety of styles

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ETQ Amsterdam

The Dutch contender has designed a nice minimalist range of sneakers made in Portugal from calf leather and suede that compete favorably with top end brands.

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BUTTERO

Made in Tuscany and priced from $325-$480 Buttero is a well know shoe maker that has turned its hand to creating some of the best ageing footwear out there.

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MAISON MARGIELLA

With naughty boy John Galliano at the wheel, MM’s sneakers which cost from $470-$1200 are based on a reincarnation of a German army trainer but don’t let that put you off as the variety of materials and finishes is beyond reproach.

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LANVIN

Designer Lucas Ossendrijver is at the helm of Lanvin’s menswear and shoe collections which range in price from $490-$700. The result is a signature toe-cap style sneaker with the elegance of a traditional shoe and a thicker sole than most of its competitors.

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BALENCIAGA

Balenciaga’s two signature sneakers are a hiking boot-like Arena, with D-ring eyelets and the Pleated High-Top, with its horizontal panels on the upper. Both shoes are statement pieces and have achieved cult status via a combination of key celebrity showings and the fact that they look really cool, which makes them something that sneaker heads appreciate

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BIANCA MOSCA

Perhaps the ultimate “kicks” handmade in Italy from prime grade Louisiana alligator leather. Street style is given a luxurious twist with these superbly comfortable and effortlessly elegant luxury sneakers with solid brass eyelets and custom rubber soles.

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