This week, Thomas Woods details the best big brand ‘under the radar’ sneakers that will compliment your autumn and winter wardrobes- whilst also saving you some pennies.
With streetwear at its highest point of popularity, everybody wants the latest and greatest sneakers, which often leads to the newest releases being hard to come by. From the front runners such as Nike and Adidas, to the low profilers like New Balance and Converse, this list is what you need to track down those must-haves. Being a shoe lover myself, I have compiled the 10 best value for money unisex sneakers that these leading shoe brands have to offer for the upcoming autumn and winter period.
QUICK TIP: For the best prices on all these shoes, make sure to check out if there are any discount codes available (especially if you’re a student).
10: Adidas Originals Samba Vegan Shoes
(Colourway): cloud white/core black/gum
Nothing like bringing something back, is there? This classic Adidas silhouette goes back to 1949 and has been ever-present since, with the shoe slowly beginning to re-emerge as a fashionable favourite for both men and women. With this planet-friendly iteration, you get the classic shape and those timeless three stripes all along with a neutral colour palette that goes with absolutely everything. For £70, I think this is a reliable choice for the upcoming autumn period.
9: New Balance MADE UK 991
With the emergence of the ‘dad’ shoe, New Balance made its triumphant return. This chunky 991 was “constructed for comfort and style”, with its warm earth tones perfectly matching the autumnal changing of the leaves. The shoe’s suede upper adds to this warm appearance overall and I believe this would be a great addition to your collection if you’re willing to spend a bit extra.
8: Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage
A product of the 1970s, the Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage was originally tested as a basketball sneaker but eventually became a staple lifestyle shoe. As a potential high-top replacement for the overpriced Jordan 1 silhouette, this shoe matches with almost anything and will be certain to keep your ankles warm in winter. At £90, I think this is a shoe well worth having… just make sure to use shoe protector to keep them looking brand new!
7: Converse x Ambush CTAS Duck Boot
If we are talking durability, this shoe goes top of the list. This 2020 release combines the Converse name with established luxury brand Ambush to produce a high-top boot, made up of a combination of mesh material for comfort as well as a leather bottom for durability. At half its original price, this boot would add a bit of luxury to your winter wardrobe whilst also not setting you back too far. It also comes in a bright blue colourway if you’re feeling more adventurous!
6: Converse Color Vintage Canvas Chuck 70
(Colourway): deep bordeaux/egret/black
Not much needs to be said about this all-time classic shoe… it really is the definition of timeless. The adaptable high-top sneaker comes in at sixth place in a plum-like colourway with an aged cream bottom. The richness of the darkish red is bound to integrate perfectly into your autumnal colour palettes, and with the lower price-point, it’s a no-brainer!
5: Nike Free Run Trail
(Colourway): driftwood, white & black
A slightly left of centre choice, the Nike Free Run Trail is a comfort-based shoe that is perfect for those on the go. Nike combines an airy mesh upper with a light brown suede and a foam midsole to create a sneaker that will last you through the autumn and winter months. The colourway is one of my favourites on this list as it combines shades of brown and orange with a crisp white, which certainly offers solid autumnal vibes. A higher price point is a downside, but the comfort it provides is unmatched.
4: Nike Dunk High
This may be a shoe that many expected not to be on this list considering its high popularity. Over the last year, Nike have released an array of Dunk High colourways, with the ‘Championship Navy’ edition being one of its most slept-on pairs. It offers a high-top alternative to more common silhouettes and has a clean, neutral colour balance that would pair brilliantly with varsity jackets and much more. Despite it being sold out at Nike, resell websites such as StockX have them listed at relatively affordable prices depending on size, and with the sheer popularity of the shoe, it is certainly a piece that would help you stand out from the crowd.
3: Adidas Forum 84 Low
(Colourway): off white/collegiate green /glow pink
This 1984 silhouette comes in at third place with its unique but complimentary colour combination of peach, green, and off white. Adidas have produced a perfect chunky sneaker here, with its wide middle making it an ideal shoe to let sit under wide-leg jeans and various other bottoms, like cargos. Additionally, little details such as its Velcro lace strap and personalisation feature make it a purchase well worth its £85 price point.
2: Nike Lahar Low
The top two picks were hard to separate, but coming up just short of top spot is the Nike Lahar Low in a brown colourway. A combination of a sneaker and boot, this new release from Nike looks like it can do it all. Apparently “built for the rugged urban landscape”, this model could fit just as well on the streets as it would do on a hike; the possibilities are endless! It’s a shoe that has most definitely flown under the radar, with it being readily available to buy right now. Go check it out, it has multiple colourways if this one fails to impress.
1: Nike Blazer Low x Sacai
Coming in at first place on the list has to be the recently released Nike x Sacai Blazer Low in the ‘British Tan’ colourway. Possibly the best cold weather colourway I’ve seen in a while, this collaboration adds a popular brand to your collection while keeping your bank account looking healthy. The contrast of the red and tan alongside the beautiful suede materials creates a striking shoe that will still match with everything you have. The additional doubled tongue, laces, and bottom projects an unmistakeably Sacai look whilst keeping the overall shoe low-key. At £119, I see this shoe as the best balance in terms of appearance, luxury, and price.