Don't let their relative plain exteriors fool you — the new line of Vans LXVI Footwear ($70-$125) is the company's most advanced ever. Created without the limitations of traditional construction methods, the new line was designed for the future, and includes the Graph — the lightest Vans shoe ever — the Stat high-top, the mid-top Secant, the low Inscribe, and the boot-like Module. Nearly all of them feature new, more naturally-moving WaffleFlex outsoles, UltraCush Lite cushioning, and plenty of style.
Make your feet happy without wrapping them in garish colors with Nike Air Solstice Premium NSW Sneakers ($140). Inspired by classic Nike runners like the Tailwind, Vortex, and Safari, these subdued sneaks feature a suede and leather upper with a perforated toe and swoosh, a henna ankle collar, a hidden Air sole, NSW detailing on the tongue and back, a vintage-looking aged midsole, and a rubber grip outsole. Available in non-flashy black or grey colorways.
Purveyors of notable bags, cases, and wallets Hard Graft are expanding their business downward. To your feet. The new line of Hard Graft Footwear (£300; roughly $475) features three cunning styles in natural or dark finishes, they're handmade in Italy and boast vegetable tanned leather uppers, soft calf leather lining, leather, wood, and rubber soles, and the company's signature wool accent with red and white ribbon on the back. Great for upscale casual events, or just everyday wear.
Transition from work to play with ease in the Clae Hamilton Shoe ($135). This easy-going, everyday wearer features a tall, mocassin-like leather top, tonal stitching, metal eyelets, soft collar lining details, and a sport rubber outsole that helps the Hamilton achieve a rare balance of casual style and elegance.
Put off by some of Nike's more, ahem, interesting designs? Then the Nike Roshe Run ($70) should be more your speed. Sporting only two tastefully-chosen colors, this simple running shoe offers a full mesh upper and breathable mesh lining, a full-length Phylon midsole for comfort, and a waffle pattern outsole crafted from EVA foam for impact absorption, traction, and durability.
Mixing barefoot-style outsole technology with a classically stylish upper, these Hush Puppies Vibram Five Brogue5 Wingtips ($TBA) are just the thing for those times when you need to look your best while making sure you feel like it, too. Based on Vibram FiveFingers, the Five outsole is designed to fit the natural contours of your foot for maximum flexibility, comfort, and fit, while the classic, distressed laceless wingtip upper makes sure you don't look out of place, whether you're at the office, dinner, or an after-hours party.
Who said you have to be an athlete to have your own shoe? The second edition of an ongoing collaboration between the Swoosh and Kanye West, the Nike Air Yeezy II ($TBA) is coming soon to protect your feet during your ballin', bathroom stallin' escapades. Built atop an Air Tech Challenge II tennis show outsole, this limited edition sneak features hand-skived anaconda textured leather quarter panels with a debossed Swoosh, a molded rear with reptilian-style spikes, obelisk-shaped lage aglets, and a forefoot strap for good measure. Dropping June 9 at the usual "select retailers".
Flip-flops just a little too casual for your beach or boating attire requirements? Check out the Swims Loafer ($TBA). This ingenious waterproof shoe is made from durable Swims rubber, and features anti-bacterial mesh lining, an outsole made from natural rubber for terrific grip, "gills" around the shoe base to let water out and air in, an EVA footbed for comfort, and color-matching laces to finish off the upscale effect. [Scouted by Christian]
No, they're not the best-looking sneakers we've seen — but they're not supposed to be. Inspired by NASA's exploration of Mars, the NikeCraft Tom Sachs Mars Yard Shoe ($385) is designed to handle the rugged terrain of the space agency's simulated Mars Yard in Pasadena, and does so with outsoles taken from Nike's special forces boot, vulcan fabric from the Mars Excursion Rover's airbags, and detailing from the Apollo Lunar Overshoes. So whether you're simulating a trip to space or simply spaced out, they have you covered. [Scouted by Ryan]
Tired of stepping on
used syringes broken shells every time you hit the beach at night? Let these Teva Illum Light-Up Flip Flops ($65) light your way. Sporting integrated lights, these sandals will allow you to see where you're staggering going even in the darkest hours, and also feature a soft top sole with a healthy dose of arch support, Trek Dry microfiber lining, and a Spider365 rubber outsole for added traction when the terrain gets rough.
Just because you're not doing much of anything doesn't mean your feet won't get hot — so to ward off summertime swamp foot, slip on a pair of Adidas ClimaCool Boat Lace Shoes ($70). Featuring uppers made of the same ClimaCool material found in the company's sports attire, they work overtime to keep your feet comfortable, and also offer a water grip outsole for traction in wet conditions — like, say, a boat deck — as well as textile lining, quick-dry materials, and a simple, casual design. [Scouted by Jason]
Hot on the heels of the LunarGrand Wingtip comes the Cole Haan LunarGrand Chukka ($300). Like its dressier predecessor, the Chukka features ultra-lightweight Lunarlon cushioning and a distinctive ribbed sole, as well as nubuck uppers, rawhide laces, and a simple, elegant outline. Available in four colorways, exclusively at Cole Haan SoHo.