Daniel and Omar Bailey are our authority in footwear design. Since forming Concept Kicks, the online portal for all things related to shoe design and construction, these two men have been spotlighting an often underappreciated aspect of sneaker culture — the actual people and the process involved in making a shoe. These two designers (who share a last name but aren’t brothers) are on the cutting edge of the footwear industry, previously working for Supreme, New Balance, DC and other big names.
With fall rapidly approaching, or already here (if you’re a glass half-empty kind of guy), we only felt it was right to reach out to the Concept Kicks camp, to find out what their favorite styles going into this new season are. Check out this list of their 12 favorite styles going into Fall/Winter 2014, and shop the links within our article to make them your own.
1. The Y-3 ‘Qasa High’ – Black
“The Neoprene bootie makes for a super-snug fit, and we love the molded pieces and unique silhouette/outsole on these Qasa High’s. They’re basically perfect for ninja shenanigans.”
Head to the Y-3 online store for more like these.
2. The Thorocraft ‘Colby’ – Tank
“These were actually from last year’s Fall/Winter collection from Thorocraft, but are still available for purchase and have to be some of the most brilliantly designed duck boots on the market. With beautiful accessories, plus awesome color blocking and material selection, these are high on our ‘must cop’ list.”
You can find them here.
3. The Y-3 ‘Held II’ – Black/Grey/Brown
“Another example of brilliant design, material selection and color blocking — these Y-3’s mix high-quality materials with a sophisticated, raw design language, to create a stylish, yet rugged sneaker/boot.”
Click here to buy.
4. The Yuketen ‘Stream Moc’
“Stretching the design and construction generally associated with moccasins to the limit, these Yuketen Stream Moc’s offer a uniquely stitched toe that stretches along the quarter all the way to the collar, yet keeps the overall design language extremely simple. These will subtly stand out from the crowd.”
Head to the Yuketen site for more.
5. The Hender Scheme ‘Manual Industrial Products – 10’
“This beautifully crafted, Jordan 4-inspired sneaker from Hender Scheme is of scarily good quality. It’s been innovatively constructed to give the appearance of being a performance sneaker — though it’s very much a casual shoe.”
Find a list of stockists at Hender Scheme.
6. The Y-3 ‘Laver High’ Black
“Another unique silhouette from Y-3, these Laver Highs have a beautifully clean and crisp design language. With a sting ray patterned upper, olive accents, and a sleek white cup sole, these shoes are just on point.”
Click here to buy.
7. The adidas Originals Shield Pack ‘Samba’
“Retaining its original ‘Samba’ silhouette, adidas brought this signature style forward into 2014 with a level of class that it deserves. A beautifully laser-cut, snakeskin-inspired pattern across the vamp and quarter leaves a tonal canvas revealed beneath, and makes for an overall stunningly executed shoe.”
Look for these now at select adidas Originals retailers.
8. The visvim Fall 2014 ‘Laramie-Folk’
“Hiroki Nakamura always delivers well thought out, high quality footwear, and these Laramie-Folk’s are of no exception. Constructed from British antelope suede, each shoe has been specially treated to create its own unique appearance. It’s just a beautifully simple, well constructed and comfortable shoe that will age gracefully and perhaps even look even better over time.”
Head here to buy.
9. The PUMA Swift Tech ‘Blaze’
“Inspired by a personal favorite shoe made in collaboration between PUMA and Hussein Chalayan, this Swift Tech incorporates complex, molded heel counters, and offers a super-clean and unique design language with its asymmetrical lacing and chunky outsole.”
Find the Swift Tech ‘Blaze’ here.
10. The Jordan ‘Super Fly 3’
“Honestly one of the nicest looking Jordan basketball sneakers we’ve seen in a long time, this colorway is the icing on the cake. The sleek, wavy midsole and outsole design, coupled with the no-sew upper make for an insanely clean sneaker — and one of our favorite Jordans in the past few years.”
These will be available October 1st, from Jordan Brand.
11. The Converse ‘All Star High’ Burnished
“Quality, burnished oxblood suede, black waxed laces, black YKK zippers with colored stone tassels — it’s all about the details.”
Cop a pair here.
12. The ohw? X Stylecreep ‘Parling Boot’
“With a full grain leather upper and phylon sole (usually used in performance footwear), these boots probably offer the most stylish and comfortable boots available for Fall/Winter 2014. We love the details around the collar, and the highly visible pull tab at the heel gives the boot an added aesthetic punch.”
Head to Stylecreep to buy a pair.
If you haven’t already, head over to Concept Kicks for more musings from the footwear design industry.