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After an enlightening conversation with Karim Rashid about sneaker history, technology, and design trends, and inspired by his work for the Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, we were interested to find out what the heavyweight designer would put on his own list of favorite sneakers. Rashid named many of his own designs. And as the five selections below suggest, his focus on technology and digital culture rarely wavers.

Rashid tells us why he love each shoe in the captions below.


Fessura Mirror
"The beauty of the Fessura shoes was the tops can be changed and come off the molded, soft, flexible bottom. The bottom can be worn separately for going in water, etc. I designed 40 different tops to interchange with the bottom molds."


Fessura Hi-Fi
"I love these updated Chelsea boots and the minimal design with bright accents of color. High tops were always my fave."

 Kromo for Sully Wong
"I always loved the simplicity of desert boots. I realized that there were none on the market made from leather that were interesting. So I made a minimal version, with very soft special printed leather patterns of my belief in the new global ornamentation I call digipop, and made them super comfortable and highly crafted."




Melissa Dynamik
"These shoes were co-injection molded. It is a robotically made running shoe that you can wear in the pool, the shower, anywhere."

Pro Keds Royal Skyhawk
"I found these on eBay, my favorite store on the globe. You can find a lot of amazing design objects online! I’ve even purchased and sold a vintage Avanti car and a house on eBay."

We love the level of detail on the Greats site. Here's the Wilson broken down.

We've been following the Greats Brand hype on Instagram for a minute, so we're thrilled to finally see the online shop go live. Greats is a direct-to-consumer men's footwear company promising us a high quality shoe at a fair, even "disruptive" price—no middleman, you see. Greats's site says its shoes are designed in Los Angeles, handmade in Leon, Mexico from materials from Tokyo with some soles originating in Italy—and, might we add, to be worn by influential #menswear bloggers in NYC. Greats sells The Wilson (a canvas lowtop, available in red, white, and blue) for $59 and The Royale (a deerskin upper sneaker with Italian Margam sole available in grey, brown, and black) for $99.

The Greats is live and taking pre-orders. Our advice is to order soon as Greats predicts a sell-out.


Just when you thought the Clarks iconic desert boot couldn’t get any more desirable, it went ahead and tapped Chicago’s Horween Leather for a refreshing upgrade. The fall release features the casual boot silhouette and wedge sole outfitted with leather uppers from the famed leather tannery, in your choice of pebble-grain, dark green, or burgundy.

If you’re more of a Wallabee kind of guy, don’t fret. Clarks Originals is offering the much loved moccasin-style boot in full Horween leather uppers, as well.

Visit End Clothing to order your pair. Desert Boots and Wallabees start at $119. 

When it is not producing exceptional high-performance, fabric-driven clothing, Brooklyn-based Outlier likes to collaborate with other brands and flex its reach. After a successful shoe collaboration with Feit last year, Outlier is back at it again, this time with streetwear specialists Vans OTW. The brands have come together to release a special edition of the Bedford, one of Van OTW’s most popular silhouettes. Featuring premium suede paneling and co-branded tongue labeling, the real dig here is the Outlier-approved Supermarine Cotton upper. That’s the same fabric that blessed the Feit collaboration. It is notorious for its functionality: extremely breathable, highly water resistant and completely windproof.

The result has all the trappings of the perfect daily beater sneaker.

Check out the video below and keep your eyes peeled out for this in August—the collaboration shoe is available now for $90.

The Summer 2013 CLAE collection is for those that like classic styles and forms, but also like to take some chances with contemporary colors and prints. The Ellington shoe is available in Blue Hawaii and Sage Flower prints. The Bruce has a breathable contrasting mesh structures for steamier locales, while the Strayhorn Canvas comes in textured linen. New to the group is the Winston loafer in Caribbean suede or camel suede with orange sole with removable kiltie.
All are available now at clae.com and Our Favorite Shop, 5455 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.

Menswear watchers are surely aware that there are dozens of brands offering men's shoes in the fine leathers of Horween, a 100-year-old, family-run Chicago tannery. This season, however, Sebago's iconic boat shoes, Docksides and Spinnaker, enter the picture. The Horween Docksides and Spinnakers come in eye-popping shades of Horween Cavalier leather upper (orange, emerald green, red, yellow/red, orange/ink, and mustard) and are priced at just $150, putting a handsewn Horween shoe within reach of more of us than ever before.

The Horween Docksides at Sebago.com

Perhaps you're already bouncing around on it, but if you're like us you're just wondering what they feel like. Cork-soled shoes, that is. The resurgent material has already crept into out iPhone cases, and this season it is turning up on our feet. In Spring 2013, for example, Clae introduces the Mills, a runner with a cork-wrapped midsole. The mesh toe, neoprene details, and Vibram running outsole suggest that it's a shoe that can perform as well as it looks. Available in three colors (royal blue suede, gravel suede, and black leather mesh), in all cases the cork is the main attraction. 

Get on the cork bandwagon with the Mills for $125 at clae.com.

There's a lot to love about Zuriick. The distinctive purple soles on the otherwise unbranded goods, the uniquely updated styling in the boat shoes, boots, and casual and dress shoes, the thoughtful look of everything from its website to its shoeboxes all seem to say there's passion behind the funky named gang from Salt Lake City.

With its new American-made line of boots hitting—a collaboration with Spokane, WA bootmaker Nick's Boots—it seemed a good time to check in on Zuriick and co-founder/principal designer Mike McCaleb.

What did you do before you started Zuriick? Where does the name come from? Where are you based?

Before Zuriick, I tried a lot of things from being a baker to building fences to selling clothes at a department store. The name Zuriick actually came from my original business partner, Clark Butterfield.  It was his twist on his family’s origin.  We're based in Salt Lake City, UT – after six years of solely online business, we opened our first store in Salt Lake a little over a year ago.  

Were you always into style and aesthetics? What led you to shoe design?

I remember being concerned with what I wore to school at a very young age. My socks had to match what I was wearing, bleaching my 501s, and picking out the perfect pair of sneakers.

In 2004 I started a clothing company with some friends and we were selling our stuff, t-shirts mainly, to other friends locally. I was at my day job hustling over-priced denim when I was approached by Clark, the brother of a customer I sold my own shit to. Clark had been fiddling with shoe design and asked if I was interested in helping him design some new shoes. That's when Zuriick began to take shape, really.

Your first shoe, back in 2005, was a boater. What were you looking for that you couldn't find?

Yes, the Ake was our first shoe - a nice, low-profile slip on in eight bright color-ways. At the time, it was impossible to find a men’s shoe beyond black, brown and bulky.

What's your definition of a great shoe?  

For me personally, a great shoe is comfortable, functional, and simple – and looks good with my jeans. For Zuriick and as a designer, a great shoe is something that speaks to someone style-wise. Our shoes have the added benefits of being comfortable and functional, but I design with aesthetic and different styles in mind and not just around my own preferences.  That was the whole point of Zuriick, something for everyone - our newest line is a great example of that. 

Your original signature was a purple sole. Where did that come from?

We didn't want to brand our shoes with a logo or our name badged on a seam. We came up with the idea of making the sole purple to set it apart from other shoes without having to shove it in a customer’s face.

Where do the shoe names come from?

For the first few years the names came from a Swedish list I kept on hand. The last while, I've been naming them after family and friends.      

Which is your most popular shoe?

Shüg is definitely the most popular right now.

How did the collaboration with Nick's Boots come about?

We've been interested in finding a factory in the U.S. to make shoes for a couple of years, but it turned out to be harder than we thought to find a domestic company willing to make small runs. I knew about Nick’s because my brother was a firefighter and wore their boots. I gave them a call and they asked if we'd fly out to talk about the possibility of collaboration. After explaining who we were and what we were trying to do, they were on board to make boots with us.

What makes the American Made artisan boots special?

I think people are starting to realize that the way we create and consume low quality goods because they’re cheap, is counterproductive and in the end costs more with more waste. At Zuriick, we’ve always insisted on high quality leather and materials—with this line, we’ve gone a step further. These boots are handmade in America using traditional craftsmanship. They can be rebuilt, so they're not a boot that you'll throw away once the sole is worn or the leather tears. They are a lifetime boot. The US boots are an investment.