I’m not much of a sneaker guy, but my current lifestyle (which could generously be called “work from home,” at best) has made them an easy choice for everyday footwear. In doing some research on which pair to scoop up for the summer, I stumbled upon a pretty solid deal.
Sneakers may not be my area of expertise but even I know that the Stan Smith is an incredibly iconic Adidas shoe, to the point where it’s become rather ubiquitous. The shoe above, on the other hand, isn’t exactly a standard-bearer for the brand. It’s the Court Vantage, and is currently on sale for about 50% off ($38) with free shipping and free returns. If you sign up for the Adidas newsletter you can save an additional 15%, bringing the price down to $32.30. Not bad at all – let’s take a closer look.
If this looks like a shoe that you’ve seen everywhere, you’re right – the also ubiquitous Common Projects Achilles Low is a riff on the Adidas Rod Laver, and the Court Vantage is a reinterpretation of that style. Add in the fact that every company under the sun has released a minimalistic sneaker in the past three years, and these are far from groundbreaking. But for the price, it seems like a great way to dip your toes (pun intended) into this mega-trend of minimalism if you haven’t already. And these are from the company that started it all, which is a nice bonus.
The uppers are made of nubuck (which, on a technical level, is very similar to suede), and I will say that the quality is not particularly impressive. The nubuck is fairly spongy and feels a bit like chamois. Like any other inexpensive sneaker that is made with low-end “leather” (like the Stan Smiths), the materials are probably not going to live up to the expectations of someone used to $400+ welted footwear. With that said, I’d rather wear cheap suede than cheap leather, as the texture hides the quality (or lack thereof) a bit. And at this discounted price I have absolutely no problem with the materials used here. There are many, many options at prices above this that will offer a much higher quality shoe, but at this price I don’t need too much to be satisfied.
These shoes have minimal branding and a lower profile when compared to the Stan Smiths, which are rather chunky and flashy by comparison. I went true-to-size on these, and got my Brannock size of 8.5. The result is a sneaker that is snug and secure, but not overly tight. They seem to fit fairly similar to the Stan Smiths. These are unlined on the sides and have a soft insole, so they’re quite comfortable without socks.
The uppers are a cream-colored, slightly “peachy” shade of off-white (which is strangely called “clear brown” on their site). I would prefer something a bit more sand-colored, but again, for the price I’m not too concerned. I’m also thinking that dyeing these would be quite easy and cheap, so I may experiment with that as well.
So there you have it. I haven’t worn these much yet, but I’m looking forward to giving them some feet time now that the weather is nice. While these shoes may not offer anything new in a world full of low-profile, monochrome sneakers, they can get it to you for about the price of a nice bottle of wine – and hopefully they’ll last a bit longer, too.