Walk along your local high-street today and look at how many people are wearing the famous Converse Chuck Taylor canvas hi-tops. Chances are, a lot. They are everywhere at the moment. Worn by men and women alike, the classic trainer – originally designed for the basketball courts – has become an integral part of the footwear world, taking its place at the top table along with other familiar streetwear / fashion crossovers including the Nike Blazer Hi-top and Vans Mids.
What I don’t get however is that with so much choice in today’s fashion retail sector, why are so many people still playing it so safe? It’s not even as if they’re wearing one of the plethora of versions Converse have on offer; you could have a stars and stripes pair or a gleaming turquoise pair or even a plain black leather pair but alas no, everywhere I look people are strolling about in the classic white hi-tops with the famous blue and red stripes around the upper of the sole and the converse insignia stitched onto the side of the ankle. Come on gents, surely we can think a little outside the box.
Here’s some suggestions that mean you won’t look like everyone else this year.
Commes Des Garcons PLAY
Okay, okay, I know this is a collaboration with Converse – as my housemate continually reminds me whenever I pull my pair on – but as with all great fashion and styling, the difference is in the subtle details. With the Converse emblem discreetly sewn in the same colour as the shoe it is almost impossible to see, while the black strip down the heel and Comme Des Garcon heart and eyes symbol on the ankle help set this hi-top apart from the Converse masses… I know this because I always catch people looking at my feet when I’m wearing them.
Common Projects Achilles Hi
Soft Italian leather, a variation of classic colours (black, white and blue) and with the famous gold numbers on the heel, I love the simplicity of these hi-tops. Common Projects aren’t trying to reinvent the hi-top with the Achilles Hi, they are simply saying, don’t blend in. The downside to these is the price but if you want exclusivity, that’s the price you have to pay.
Adidas X Opening Ceremony – The Rod Laver Vintage Hi
It would seem anything that fashion retail gurus Opening Ceremony touches turns to gold. These re-issued Rod Laver classics recall the early 80’s NYC rap scene and couldn’t be more apt with the continued renaissance of the 80’s sweeping the streets of hipsters worldwide. Much like the Achilles Hi, the beauty of these hi-tops is their simple yet elegant design with no fanfare attached.
YMC Hiking Boot
Last winter, for possibly the first time in history, hiking seemed to be the doyen of street savvy youths who took the hiking boot from the mountains and forests and planted it firmly on the concrete urban sprawl. This season has seen a summer hybrid of hiking boot-meets-hi-top trainer thanks to London brand YMC and while I wasn’t one for the winter version – it all just seemed a bit too ‘fashion’ for me – the lightweight suede and soft colours of the summer version are somewhat more appealing to my fashion whims.