The footwear on display at last weekend’s Bright tradeshow in Frankfurt was as varied as the apparel. From workwear boots to technical running sneakers, via smart loafers and artist collabs, pretty much all bases were covered. Here’s our round-up of the best on show.
Coming from the more traditional side of things, Red Wing presented a very solid line-up. Some familiar styles were on show alongside some more unusual shoes, all finished in high quality buttery smooth leather with a variety of finishes. Many people know Red Wing for their chunky work boots, but the real gems here were the more casual, low-profile models such as the Chukkas and Iron Rangers.
With one foot firmly planted in the world of smart footwear and the other nestled comfortably in sneakerdom, Pointer continue to blow us away with their new styles. One of the few shoe brands out there that are consistently making original products, Pointer seems to be the go-to brand if you want to step up your smart shoe game without ending up looking like a geography teacher. This time round a new, higher-end collection was unveiled alongside other many new models and colourways.
Clae are treading a similar path in terms of providing a stylish middle ground between sneakers and smarter kicks. The forthcoming collections include many new fabric applications as well as some brand new models. Among the standout products were new versions of their popular Russell model in wool or patent leather, some new high-top models that mix smart silhouettes with bright colours, and the brilliantly flamboyant suede and leather updates of the Cousteau boat shoe.
Another brand putting a smarter, more luxurious twist on sneakers was Gravis. The brand have followed up the success of their Expedition series with the new Royal pack, featuring smart dark leather uppers offset with sophisticated beading, canvas and tweed details. And for those who prefer things more colourful there’s an entire range of bright green luggage, shoes and accessories at the brighter end of the range.
Speaking of bright colour, the long-awaited Vans X Parra collaborations were also on show. The Dutch Master of hand-drawn typography has applied his signature illustrative style and flair for colour to the Era, the Chukka and the Sk8-Hi. The result is a range of bright yet wearable bangers that will be perfect for the summer.
On a more traditional trainer tip, New Balance had a solid line-up of styles on display. From the ‘Made In England’ models produced at the famed Flimby factory in beautiful dark leather to some fruitier colourways from Japan, the range sticks to the basics enough to satisfy purists while still offering some more unusual styles.
Another long-established company offering new styles was Saucony. Recent times have seen the brand become known for a series of high profile collaborations, but their own lines have a lot to offer as well. Alongside runners with classic understated colourways there were several more unusual models, including a couple of hiking-inspired Shadows combining autumnal uppers with speckled midsoles and a bright colour pop on the laces.
Last but not least we present a look at the forthcoming collaboration between Fixed Gear London and Lifeact. The classic low-profile silhouette comes in three different colourways and is designed to withstand the rigours of fixed gear riding. Fixed Gear London logos feature on the inside and the sole of the shoe to top it all off. Expect to see these released soon…