If you follow this site with some regularity, you’re well aware that I’m a fan of the quality and classic styling potential of sneakers from GREATS Brand. In fact, these leather slip-ons have popped up here before as a Style Pick of the Week. And, I’ve previously written on them for GearHungry. But in the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to go even more in-depth with what’s quickly becoming a summer footwear staple — thanks to some assistance from the brand’s PR team, of course. I’ve absolutely been pleased with what I’ve experienced — although they’re different than a classic pair of white sneakers, a slip-on (especially one made with lux Italian leather) is worth a go this summer if you want to give your footwear a shot in the arm.
GREATS produces these sneakers in Italy using premium and supple leather uppers; the quality of the upper on the shoe actually feels somewhat thicker than that of a dress shoe thanks to the calfskin lining, but it doesn’t show at all — in fact, that lining creates an added benefit. The leather isn’t too stiff or starchy, and because of that, the shoe has been comfortable to wear with both no-show socks and sans socks for a brief period of time (a note on sizing: the brand says that they do run about a half-size larger than normal; I found the size I was sent, a 9.5, works just fine). The Margom sole is thick yet flexible and pliable — it makes for a fairly comfortable walking experience. The construction of the upper, with small elastic side inserts, makes it easy to slip the shoes on and off your feet.
The interior of the shoe, lined in calfskin, features a cool touch that GREATS has been known to incorporate into its other models — a listing of locales around the world where GREATS shoes are sold; this small design touch is one of those neat things that elevates this slip-on above offerings that are oftentimes more expensive. And it’s a good thing they provide such good value for the price — just $149 — when other brands like Common Projects charge more than twice that.
You definitely get a bang for your buck from GREATS, generally speaking, as $150 is still more than some would spend on sneakers, to be sure. However, the fact that these slip-ons come in shades from white (Blano) and navy (Cadet) to the olive (or Cargo) option pictured here means that there’s a color out there to satisfy every preference. Especially when incorporating something a little different into your wardrobe — that is, switching out captoe sneakers for something sleek and lace-less — a neutral color that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself is definitely the preference.
While the white, black or navy pairs would be more fit for wearing with a crisp summer suit, any option could be worn with some more adventurous tailored get-ups, as Mr. Wooster himself does when it comes to the slip-on style in general. These shoes are perhaps best suited though to casual weekend wear — with a slim T-shirt and rolled dark or lightwash jeans, and absolutely with a well-fitted pair of shorts, too. And when in doubt, it also makes sense to sub them in whenever you might wear white sneakers — so definitely with a blazer and T-shirt combo, or a dialed-in polo and chinos ensemble on a Casual Friday. Another bonus to these sneakers, however slight, is the packaging as seen above — you get a sturdy blue cardboard GREATS box and a small notecard, plus that out-of-the-box smell that only great leather sneakers have.
Whether you’re willing to pony up the money right now is up to you, but this is a top-notch pair of kicks well worth the investment as long as they’re treated with care — and a shoe made with this much attention to detail should last long past this summer season and into future warmer months.