Why the Hell Do People Pay $400 for These Sneakers?

And why — all things considered — that might be a bargain

August 8, 2016 9:00 am

There are a lot of things to look for when searching for the perfect sneaker: comfortability, quality of materials, its prevailing shape and style when paired with your current wardrobe.

A $400 price tag, however, is not one of them.

That is unless we’re talking about footwear label Common Projects, which has become the standard-bearer of the luxury sneaker game since launching its first collection in 2004.

But are they worth it? In short: absolutely.

What makes Common Projects so covetable is its signature minimalist style, a look that Business of Fashion described in a 2014 interview with founders Peter Poopat and Flavio Girolami as an “aesthetic appeal of a high-priced sports car, something so beautifully crafted you didn’t realize you wanted it until you set eyes on it.”

This is more apparent when you take a look at the premium sneaker market at large (brands like Tom Ford, Valentino, Jimmy Choo et al.) which tend to justify heavy price tags with A) the names on their boxes and B) overcomplicated design flourishes that are more eyesore than added value.

Common Projects has always opted for understated tact, and have managed to define a whole new category of sneaker while doing so. Its signature shoe: the Achilles, a low-top leather sneaker. It’s perfectly clean with minimal branding, which allows it to go with everything. They’re basically the minimalist leather sneaker — a timeless style that has spawned dozens of “minimal sneaker” copycats.

And look, luxury sneakers are just that — a luxury. If you’re comapring them to Stan Smiths or Cortezes, you’re missing the point. What sets CP apart is quality construction: each shoe is stitched together by hand in Italy from premium Italian leather.

So if you’re in the market for the perfect sneaker and price isn’t a factor, you really needn’t look much further.

Below, five styles from their new collection you should consider.

Clockwise from top left: CP Retro Low Boxed Leather in Warm Grey ($379); CP Original Achilles Low Suede in Off White ($339) CP Achilles Low Gummy in Dark Grey ($359); CP Achilles Low Special Edition in Black and Black ($379); CP Court Mid Boxed Leather in White ($359

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