This feature originally appears in Complex's December/January 2015 issue.
Sneakerheads occupy a precarious place in the fashion world. The term itself conjures images of kids lining up like clockwork every Saturday to cop the latest Air Jordan releases. But kids grow up, and their tastes in footwear evolve over time. Brands like Saint Laurent, Common Projects, and ETQ Amsterdam have all dropped their own versions of iconic sneaker silhouettes with a focus on superior construction and quality materials.
Their designs are pared down, too. Looking for something as timeless as a Stan Smith but sleeker and a bit more refined? Opt for a pair of Common Projects Achilles. Prefer an old-school high-top like a Converse Chuck Taylor? This updated take features premium burnished suede and zipper details to up the ante. Guys today are no longer confined to the typical runner or limited retro re-release; the breadth of stylish, high-end sneakers that also speak to streetwear sensibilities has changed the way we lace up in the morning.
adidas Originals x Opening Ceremony, $255, available at ssense.com
Visvim, $645, available at thewebstermiami.com
New Balance, $160, available at newbalance.com
Saint Laurent Paris, $695, available at barneys.com
Maison Martin Margiela, $485, available at maisonmartinmargiela.com
Converse, $80, available at converse.com
Valentino, $795, available at valentino.com
Our Legacy, $340, available at mrporter.com
Nike, $85, available at nike.com
Common Projects, $430, available at tres-bien.com