See Now, Buy Now: These GREATS Royale Sneakers Are the Best Spring and Summer Shoes

Folks, let’s get one thing straight right now. For spring and summer, starting right now, you need a pair of the best men’s sneakers, and you need to shop with style and sustainability in mind — that’s where the GREATS Royale in Eco Leather comes into play, and they’re going to change your sneaker rotation as you know it. My appreciation for the GREATS Royale Sneakers dates back years (just check out this 2016 blog post, for starters), and if you know the Brooklyn-based brand, you’re aware that they get the job done when it comes to affordable, premium sneakers for men. It helps that this pair is very eco-friendly, but more on that in a second. The affordability factor is crucial, and that’s because GREATS works with factories that can offer quality product at prices that are far less than some luxury sneakers. That also means the GREATS Royale in Eco Leather retail for just $169, and when you see what you’re getting, that’s a downright steal of a price.

Mack Weldon

And when it comes to the GREATS Royale in Eco Leather, your sneaker rotation is all the better for it. But before we go any further, know that you can get 15 percent off your first order with the code BROOKLYN15 — what better way to dive into a new sneaker brand and your new favorite pair of sneakers, ehh?? Oh, and helpfully, GREATS offers free shipping and free returns on every order. Not bad at all, my friends. But back to the GREATS Royale in Eco Leather, yes?

SHOP: The GREATS Royale in Eco Leather

The leather is what really makes the difference here, and it’s got plenty of technical innovation built right in. GREATS says that these sneakers are made with “sustainably engineered recycled leather,” and in this instance, that means they’re made from 70 percent recycled fibers and leather — how’s that for your new favorite pair of sneakers, right? As to what that means for you, the GREATS Royale in Eco Leather are remarkably lightweight and yet durable (try 40 percent lighter than other pairs of sneakers). Plus, the footbed is made from proprietary Bloom algae foam for a springy feel and sustainable construction, while the custom outsole is also made with recycled rubber. Yes indeed, the GREATS Royale in Eco Leather have plenty going for them when it comes to innovation and eco-friendly design. Last but not least, they’re also lined in soft leather for a comfortable fit and feel.

Timex US/CAN

Of course, they’re also highly stylish and crisp, the perfect sneakers to pair with everything from olive chinos and a navy polo to light wash jeans and a fresh white T-shirt. That’s just a start, though. The GREATS Royale in Eco Leather, with their low-profile design and classic court shoe look, are as versatile as it gets. Take ’em for a spin as often as you please, and know that you can feel great about wearing them.

SHOP: The GREATS Royale in Eco Leather

See Now, Buy Now: GREATS Is Now Making Some of the Best Men’s Boots for Winter

GREATS Dante Hiker Boots

A new take on hiking boots from one of your favorite sneaker brands.

If at first you’re confused by the headline — how can Brooklyn-based sneaker brand GREATS be making rugged hiking boots, after all? — well, I’d urge you to bear with me as we dive into the latest and *greatest* See Now, Buy Now entry covering some of the best boots for winter, and just in the nick of time. That’s because the GREATS Dante Hiking Boots take every bit of the same DNA that makes GREATS men’s sneakers so, well, great, and amps it up to another level via a highly versatile, exceptionally rugged silhouette. Just when you might have thought you had your rotation of the best men’s winter boots all figured out, this pair enters the fray with the sort of quality you can only get from a brand that blends Portugese leather with sustainable practices. It’s the best of both worlds, seeing as the leather for the GREATS Dante Hiking Boots is tanned with 20 percent less water than traditional leather. You’re still getting a classic pair of brown leather boots, yet with far less waste.

SHOP: The GREATS Dante Hiking Boots

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GREATS boots review

The best details set these newly iconic hiking boots apart from the pack this season.

Call ’em the best leather hiking boots for men or call ’em your new favorite pair, but just know that they can pack a punch when it comes to dealing with inclement winter weather. A sidewall welt sits atop a durable and rugged sole, one that so happens to be made in part with recycled rubber for comfort and sustainability. The contrasting blue laces on this particular pair are a nice pop against drab winter weather, while the silhouette is fairly sleek and not overly clunky. In my view, that means you can team them with looks that include tailored wool trousers, a classic Oxford shirt and a cashmere cardigan.

paige

Of course, you can rock the GREATS Dante Hiking Boots with dark selvedge denim and your favorite henley with ease, too. Again, think of these like a versatile pair of dress boots as much as a pair of snow-ready hiking boots, especially on snowy city streets and outdoor brewery beer gardens. It’s also rare to find a great pair of boots under $300, yet the GREATS Dante Hiking Boots clock in at $250. Score ’em right now, wear the heck out of ’em this season, and reap the rewards all the while.

SHOP: The GREATS Dante Hiking Boots

Online Shopping Picks: Upgrade Your Footwear with the Best Leather Sneakers to Buy Now

There are sneakers and then there are sneakers. The kind of stylish men’s sneakers that make you pause, perhaps do a double-take and then pull out your credit card. That’s what we’re talking about today on The Style Guide. We’re taking it up a notch from past Online Shopping Picks entries and getting a little bit more specific, too. Now, we talked earlier this year about the best men’s sneakers to buy for spring and summer, and today builds off that focus in a whole new way.

Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers

This pair right here … well, the Rambler Hi from Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers could become a favorite. Read on to learn more.

Yes indeed, the right pair of leather sneakers offers something a little extra when compared to a pair of standard canvas sneakers, which are decidedly more casual. Equal parts durable and rugged, stylish leather sneakers can team with everything from light wash denim and a pocket tee during the last few weeks of summer to your favorite henley and a classic cardigan come fall. What’s more, I think you’ll find that the below picks hit the sweet spot in terms of style that can transition from August into September, October and heck … November. That’s particularly the case if we’re talking stylish leather high-top sneakers. So, shop on for your new favorite pair of leather sneakers, and feel free to follow me on Twitter for #menswear musings aplenty.

#1. Rancourt Carson Low in Natural Chromexcel — $300

Rancourt 7 Co.

A beautiful pair of leather sneakers that’ll only get better with age.

Let’s get this straight right off the bat — the kind of leather sneakers you’re looking for definitely bring a little something extra to the table. That something extra, that “Wow” factor … the handsome, stylish and investment-level Carson Low from Rancourt & Co. certainly has that extra something. Featuring made-in-Maine craftsmanship and beautiful Horween leather, the Carson Low is an absurdly beautiful pair of sneakers, practically begging to be worn right now with a slim white polo shirt and then worn later on this fall with a Todd Snyder crewneck sweater.

#2. GREATS The Royale in Blanco — $169

Before we get too carried away with brown Horween leather sneakers, let’s get back to the basics — and by the basics, I mean perhaps the most affordable pair of premium white leather sneakers on the market.  GREATS continues to make waves in the men’s sneaker market for mixing excellent quality with simple silhouettes — and the Royale in Blanco is certainly a silhouette that’s lifted the brand to new heights. Buy these classic leather sneakers now to wear with slim tan chinos and a navy polo, keep ’em handy to wear with a denim jacket and a rugged henley when you feel an early fall breeze.


#3.  GREATS Royale Vintage in Nero — $179

Let’s go with another pair of stylish GREATS sneakers, this time with some subtle updates to the brand’s tried-and-true Royale silhouette. The Royale Vintage updates that same silhouette with detailing like a back heel tab crafted from nubuck — and the cream Margom sole is a nice deparature from the Royale in Blanco, too. In short, the Royale Vintage is just different enough to justify the slightly higher price tag — and that means you should give it a shot alongside dark denim and a grey Oxford the next time you need to dress to work remotely.


#4. Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi Sneaker in Saddle Leather OR White Leather — $160 ($110 When Signing Up for Bespoke Post)

Ahh, yes. The lauded Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi — a past entry in our Style Pick of the Week series, and just as worthy of inclusion in today’s list of prime #menswear picks. The essential Rambler Hi might be the perfect leather high-top sneaker. It blends a durable, classic construction with two quality options — either the Saddle Leather Rambler or the White Leather Rambler are solid picks. Plus, you get the sort of style that really can carry over seamlessly into the fall; wear these on a weekend coffee date or a stroll through your favorite park.

#5.  GREATS Royale in Perforated Sand — $179

One more pair of essential GREATS sneakers for your shopping list, ehh? It’s a treat to see how GREATS takes a silhouette like the Royale and continues to update it. In this case, the Royale in Perforated Sand blends a transitional color with perforated leather detailing — a touch that means these are fit to wear into October and November as the leaves start to fall. Pair them up with your favorite pair of dark blue denim and a classic chambray shirt — oh, and sidle up to the bar and get us another round, will ya?

#6.  Nisolo Diego Low — $129

A handsomely crafted pair of sneakers made with top-notch attention to detail.

For those of us who like a sneaker that’s got the quality and craftsmanship of a pair of essential leather boots, there’s the Nisolo Diego Low. Made with the same attention to detail as the brand’s handsome leather loafers and Oxfords, the Diego Low has a rugged-yet-sporty vibe that’s tough to come by these days — the Vibram sole and vegetable-tanned leather on the Diego Low are but two quality components of these kicks. They’re perfect for teaming with a rugged field jacket and slim black denim this fall — trust me on that.

Honorable Mention: JAK Royal in Taupe — $102.98

JAK sneakers

A clean and simple set of kicks for wearing with versatile high-low style combos.

You didn’t think we’d leave out a pair of sneakers that run just over $100, did you? The JAK Royal in Taupe is a recent addition to the Huckberry offering of stylish men’s sneakers. What’s more, it’s an absolutely great set of kicks for a great price. Handcrafted in Portugal, the  JAK Royal in Taupe blends comfortable Vibram construction with flat wax cotton laces — these are certainly sneakers to wear with a blazer or an upgraded T-shirt this summer and into fall.

Well, we’re really just scratching the surface when it comes to stylish leather sneakers that you can wear now and into the fall. Consider this list a good starting point — the right pair of leathr sneakers should blend quality, craftmanship and serious style. I personally think the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi is a heck of a pair of sneakers to wear now with rolled denim, and wear later with a thick cardigan.

If you’re more of a low-top sneakers guy, then the JAK Royal in Taupe could be the right pick for you — or maybe even the Carson Low from Rancourt & Co., a pair that’s as handsome and rugged as anything you’ll find on the market. We’d be remiss not to mention the work being done by GREATS , too. Notably, the Royale in Perforated Sand and the uniquely detailed Royale Vintage are winners in my book for their blend of crisp details and versatile style. What’s your favorite pair from this list? Drop a note in the comments — oh, and get back to shopping!

Thanks so much for reading,

-Beau

The Friday Read: Bastille, Greg Lauren and A Huckberry Giveaway

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

We’re through the end of another week, and we’re just a bit closer to Christmas — if you’re one who celebrates the holiday season, that is. It’s also a great time of year in the menswear world — it’s time to drop a few hints about your men’s style holiday wish list, it’s time to gear up with stylish snow gear, and it’s time to get a big jump on your holiday shopping for her. With all those wheels in motion, it made for an extra-busy week at The Style Guide. It kicked off with a really neat, special Monday night — it’s not too often you get the chance to check out a band as big as Bastille  in a venue as intimate as the renowned Bowery Ballroom, but the lauded British indie pop band returned to NYC to make up a special show originally scheduled for October. It was a fantastic night of live music — lead singer Dan Smith is smooth, poised and energetic, with a great band behind him. They played their way through one of the best pop albums of the year — that would be “Wild World” — with a few slightly older hits (“Pompeii” among them!) thrown in for good measure. Songs like “Warmth” and “The Currents” really shone through in a live setting, too. It was a treat to see them in such an intimate venue — and it was even better to catch them the very next night at Manhattan’s cavernous Pier 36 for the very cool Pandora Holiday Live event, which also featured scores of fans on-hand for Bishop Briggs and the energetic (if divisive) British mega-band The 1975 , a group who seem to be everywhere nowadays. If you can, I’d definitely recommend catching Bastille at one of a number of festivals this summer — they’ll surely be there! While summer festival season sounds mighty nice right about now, maybe you’ve got to dress in style for your holiday party, or get a jump on the weekend, so let’s get on with it — we’ve got you covered with this week’s #menswear news.

Nautica

A standout giveaway from everyone's favorite lifestyle purveyor.

A standout giveaway from everyone’s favorite lifestyle site.

  • Alright, so this is a pretty big deal. Purveyors of a stunning mix of men’s lifestyle and style goods, Huckberry is doing it big this holiday season with its Golden Holiday 2016 contest. It’s four straight weeks of neat holiday prizes you can only find at Huckberry, running from now until December 18th. What was last week’s prize? A sweet Secret Agent kit featuring some seriously stylish tailored gear from Trumaker. And this week’s prize? Potentially even cooler. It’s a bespoke sailing adventure — yes, you read that right — on a private yacht around one of a handful of beautiful locations: Maine, the British Virgin Islands, Croatia or Greece, all thanks to Huckberry partners Sailing Collective. Now, how to enter? Those who place an order via Huckberry this week are in the running — every purchase gets you Coal Hard Cash, which you can redeem 24 hours after said purchase to find out if you’ve won Huckberry credit (up to $500!) or, better yet, the incredible top prize (no exaggeration here). But wait! There are two more weeks of prizes upcoming! Yes sir, that’s right. Does it get any better? Learn more, buy away & enter at Huckberry.
  • Want to mix a few more pieces with some high-fashion edge into your wardrobe? That task just got a little easier thanks to a new collaboration between Greg Lauren and Banana Republic.  Although at first it might seem unlikely given Lauren’s penchant for distressed, luxurious takes on style essentials, it’s a partnership through the Council of Fashion Designers that resulted in a 16-piece capsule collection. Of those 16 pieces, there are quite a few that are, well, pricey (a $3,000 cashmere overcoat, anyone?), but it’s a neat blend of the traditional and the unexpected that you should check out via the above feature at GQ.com.
  • In sneaker-related news, your favorite Brooklyn sneaker brand — Style Guide favorite GREATS  — is releasing an outstanding, sleek and stylish take on its lauded Royale silhouette. The good news for those of us who like to break out sneakers until the first snowfall hits? The new version of the Royale comes in a seasonally appropriate, deep navy blue “Jeans Suede” color that would team quite effectively with your favorite crewneck sweater and a trusty chambray shirt on casual winter weekends (sans snow, of course).

Want to read one more feature before the weekend?

Now, we’ve reached the end of the Friday Read this week — enter that Huckberry giveaway ASAP and add a few pieces to your Men’s Holiday Style Wish List now!

Stay stylish!

-Beau

The Product Review: GREATS Brand Leather Wooster Slip-on

The infinitely wearable Leather Wooster slip-on from GREATS Brand. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

The infinitely wearable Leather Wooster slip-on from GREATS Brand. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

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.

The perfect type of shoe to wear with some rolled denim. Dark jeans by Mott & Bow. Leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand.

The perfect type of shoe to wear with some rolled denim; shown after a few days’ wear. Dark jeans by Mott & Bow. Leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand.

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.

One of the more unique touches of any pair of GREATS sneakers, this time stamped in gold lettering. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

One of the more unique touches of any pair of GREATS sneakers, this time stamped in gold lettering. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

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.

Two of the other colors in which the Wooster is available.

Blanco and Cadet — two of the other colors in which the Wooster is available.

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.

A look at the initial packaging of the GREATS Leather Wooster.

Instagram-ready: A look at the initial packaging of the GREATS Leather Wooster.

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.

Ernest Alexander

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.

Do you have a pair of the GREATS Leather Wooster? Considered picking one up?
Ben Sherman US