If sneakers are here to stay, which should I buy? EDIT: strikeouts

Update: Five boxes of sneakers later, I have an idea what I want, but no winners. You're all correct that the monochrome black Stan Smiths look like orthopedic sneakers. The Fryes don't fit right and are a little too plain on me. I'm in love with the simple lines of the Puma Suede Classic, to my surprise, but the men's size 5 was far too tight in the toes. Luckily the 5.5 popped back in stock and is on its way to me, but it might be too long. I also tried these wonderful Barney's Stan Smith exclusives: unlined soft lasercut leather (added to finds). They are beautiful, and oh so comfortable, but I just can't do the white sole with my style. I want to love them but I mailed them back right away to resist buying something I'd never wear.

I'm pinning my hopes on the larger Puma classics or this Puma x En Noir collab that is apparently a slightly wider style, with subtle gothy details that are just my thing (added to finds). I ordered two sizes. I might also try some of the Puma Basket styles if I can find them locally - I reached my limit for coping with shoe box deliveries.


Angie says sneakers are still everywhere this year, and I keep wanting to jump on the bandwagon. I keep looking for the perfect pair (monochrome black, for sure!) but can't decide what vibe is right for me. I might be casual but I'm not usually sporty, so I want something simple, comfortable, and minimalist rather than athletic.

Mostly I'm just thinking out loud but other ideas are welcome!

1. Dr Martens shoes - simple, heavier, more of a sneaker-inspired oxford, but that might fit my look better. (My boyfriend has these, so we'd match, for better or for worse!)

2. Stan Smith monochrome black. Nice that the men's style comes in small sizes, as they usually fit me better.

3. Puma classic suede - the synthetic lining makes me sweat, and some Pumas are too narrow in the toe, but these might be ok. (I loved the Rihanna velvet creepers but they just didn't fit right.)

4. Frye Gemma - possibly too narrow in the toe but I like the sleek look and the leather lining.

5. Fuzzy suede Pumas - I tried these on and I seem to remember that the fit wasn't great. They're sort of the opposite of sleek and minimal, but maybe I could use more subtle weirdness in my shoe collection.

6. Patent Pumas. Too shiny for me, I think.

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  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    It sounds like the Stan Smith's may fit you well. If the shoe is not comfortable, you won't wear it, so go for comfort. I like the lower slung look of the Pumas but they are not for you if they don't make your feet sigh with pleasure.

  • Rambling Ann replied 7 years ago

    Adidas for the win. They look like real classic, like a Levi trucker jacket or a proper chanel satchel. The Doc Martins look like they don't want to be sneakers but they aren't boots either. The Gemma, meh, looks kind of like saddle shoe got lost or a grammy needs an orthotic shoe. It's funny, not so much in the other colors.I agree with Joy that the Pumas are good runners-up. Can you do Superfeet inserts in either? That makes the B+ shoes turn into As for me sometimes.

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    I'm partial to the Frye's, and then the Stan's... they seem more formal, structured.

  • kkards replied 7 years ago

    on pure aesthetic, i'd say the Puma Suede classic's....but i'm with your re synthetic lining, why do they do that?

    if you are ok with fabric --these are a nice alterative at a can't beat it price

  • replied 7 years ago

    Of the selection you show in your post, I like the Pumas best.  I own one pair of Pumas and I am very happy with them.  Mine are probably more sporty than what you are looking for, but I would still recommend giving them a try.  You might be very pleasantly surprised.  

  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago

    I like the Pumas, but then, I like lower profile on the foot.
    I'll follow with interest because I do have a sneaker capsule and could use an all- black to wear for fun and for working weekends.

  • replied 7 years ago

    I like both pumas because of the vertical stripes on the sole.

  • RobinF replied 7 years ago

    I agree with you about casual vs. sporty, I'm the same way and it is taking me a while to get on board the sneaker train. I did get some high top Timberlands in black that I love but still don't feel quite me while wearing. I got some better laces for them this weekend and I think that will make a difference. 

    Anyway, I like the Stan Smith's and the Fryes the best. They look a little sleeker to me.

  • Bonnie replied 7 years ago

    I like the Fryes for your style.

  • JAileen replied 7 years ago

    I like the suede/fuzzy ones best. Otherwise they look like uniform shoes to me.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Another vote for the Fryes. NICE. 

  • replied 7 years ago

    I like the Fryes and the classic suede Pumas the best for you. I am getting an orthopedic vibe from the black Stan Smiths, which I now can't un-see .

  • LaPed replied 7 years ago

    I've been thinking about this all day. :)

    My feelings: I prefer flatforms when they have a contrasting sole -- the all-black ones make the chunkiness of the sole look odd to me, and not intentional. So, I prefer the thinner-soled options, and of the thinner soles, I think the Fryes and the Puma Classics have the nicest lines. The Stan Smith without any heel contrast loses some of its charm. The Docs seem almost more of a sporty oxford than a sneaker; not bad, but they might end up splitting wears with other shoes, without even scratching the sneaker itch. 

  • replied 7 years ago

    btw - I tried the Rihanna velvet ones too, and also found the fit was off. As in WAY off.  Made my feet look like little round Charlie Brown feet .  Not the look I was going for .

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    Thanks for all the diverse opinions!

    A few of you pointed out how the black soles change the effect and make some of these look less fresh. I see what you mean about the Stan Smiths, Lisa (now I can't un-see it either!). I don't know why I'm so averse to the contrasting white sole - I've worn classic Chuck Taylors for years, with the white and black contrast, but the black and white sneaker trend left me uninspired and now I'm sort of entrenched in my goal of monochrome black.

    La Ped, good point about the thin vs thick sole. I was thinking it might be nice to gain an inch of height from the platforms, but it's not a look I've worn much.

    I think I'll try on as many of these as I can (some are selling out quickly) and make a decision from photos. It's so hard to tell what effect they'll give on my foot.

    I wonder if texture (physical or visual) is what would push them from uniform/orthopedic shoes to something exciting. The fuzzy suede and the patent Pumas are definitely jazzier. 

  • replied 7 years ago

    I'd be interested in hearing what you finally decide to try/buy. 

    As a side note, my Nike are black leather with brilliant white soles.  I have had them maybe half a year; I am still getting used to them. 

  • viva replied 7 years ago

    I really love the look of the suede Pumas but hesitate to vote for them since you have comfort issues with the lining. In that case, I'd vote for the Fryes too.

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    It actually looks like those pumas might have a more breathable lining than some so I will order them and find out.

  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago

    I have the suede Puma classics and have been wearing them pretty regularly lately.  I've got a wide foot and they fit well, probably because they are men's shoes.  So you might be okay with the toe width.  I don't find the lining sweaty, but it is still early spring, ymmv for summer.  I switch to classic Cons in the summer anyhow.   

  • Lisa Rayes replied 7 years ago

    Puma women's basket platform patent fashion sneaker's are the best choice. These are the best as compare to others.

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    I started thinking about all your wise comments about white soles adding lightness and contrast, and then these new Barneys exclusive "deconstructed" Stan Smiths popped into my email inbox. So I ordered them. We'll see how they are. I like how they're unlined leather -- I think it completely avoids the uniform sneakers concern some of you noted. But I'm not totally sold on the white sole, so we'll see how they are when they arrive! 

    (I haven't ruled out the others yet.)

    Oh but sadly I had to order a women's size (men's only goes down to 6, and I'm a 5 or 5.5) so they might lose the wonderful wide fit that makes me so excited about Adidas.

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    Updated with disappointing outcomes and future hopes!

  • JAileen replied 7 years ago

    I hope the Pumas work. I liked them best anyway!

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    I had no idea there were so many Puma varieties. I've fallen down the rabbit hole. I guess this is how you end up as a sneakerhead? I keep finding more interesting collaborations.

    (Sadly the pink ones below are sold out in black in my size.)

  • replied 7 years ago

    Love the puma x en noirs. Hope they work out.

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