The 10 Best Sneakers From Paris Fashion Week's FW19 Runways
Every season, the world’s top designers hit Paris with their latest offerings for men and women, vying to impress fans and buyers alike. Regardless of the presentation, be it for luxury house or independent label, there is one great equalizer: the footwear. With streetwear and so-called high-fashion inextricably intertwined, the shoes worn by models have never been more relevant; they may very well make and break runways for the layman. There is a certain utilitarian appeal — whether you’re a capital-F Fashion Fan or just like looking at clothes, we all wear shoes, and it’s easier to translate a pair of sneakers into your daily rotation than a high-gloss leather coat or pair of PVC pants.
In honor of the fascination we all hold for the humble shoe, these are ten of the best footwear models seen on (and off) the runway at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019 in no particular order. Notably, major sportswear companies helped provide most of the key sneakers below. It should come as little surprise, as sneakers are perhaps the sole item of clothing (no pun intended) that transcend the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week to become universally enticing goods, more so than any bag or jacket.
OAMC x adidas TYPE-01
OAMC has introduced a series of in-house sneaker designs over the years, but only just recently teamed up with adidas for its first collaborative silhouette, dubbed the “TYPE-O1.” A hefty white juggernaut of leather and rubber, the shoe is a logical fusion of adidas’ technical know-how and OAMC’s eye for functional elegance. An oversized, comfort-minded outsole balances the smooth white leather upper, with the size and neutral colorway balancing OAMC FW19’s pattern-heavy layers and flowing trousers.
UNDERCOVER x Nike 720
UNDERCOVER continued its trend of delivering cutting-edge remakes of in-demand Nike shoes, having revised the Waffle Racer and Epic React 87 last year. Alongside an unknown Epic React-style boot, the Japanese brand delivered a selection of eye-catching 720 colorways, mixing speckled patterns with tones of yellow, grey and black. Fat laces add a retro touch to the futuristic sneaker, while understated UNDERCOVER branding on the toe and “WE MAKE NOISE NOT CLOTHES” verbiage on the translucent Air Bag subtly reinforce the collaborative nature.
sacai x Nike “Blazer With the Dunk” & “LDV With the Waffle Daybreak”
Perhaps the most inventive Nike collaboration in recent memory was sacai’s Spring/Summer 2019 Nike collaborations, wherein designer Chitose Abe melded four classic Nike silhouettes into two inventive shoes: the “Blazer With the Dunk” and “LDV With the Waffle Daybreak.” Returning with slight tweaks for Fall/Winter 2019, the Frankenstein sneakers juxtapose elements of each original design in a single model, yielding doubled tongues, laces, midsoles and Swooshes. The latest iterations arguably improve upon the already-appealing creations, tweaking the sneakers with monochrome colorways, zippered closure and removable fur accents.
Nike Zoom 2K customs by Pigalle
Paris’ own Stéphane Ashpool delivered another elegantly louche collection for Pigalle, informing the next generation of effortless French cool by way of metallic purple robes, cozy turtlenecks, trim tracksuits and collarless jackets. While the concepts behind the clothing were lofty, the sneakers were grounded in the brand’s sporty heritage; Ashpool outfitted models in bespoke Nike Zoom 2K sneakers dyed exclusively for the show. Though the custom kicks weren’t an official collaboration, they underline the strong bond between the Parisian label and the American sportswear giant. Reimagined in dusty pink and pastel blue shades, the classic basketball model toed the line between classic sportswear and more mature stylings, the ideal counterpart for the show’s vision of premium leisurewear.
1017 ALYX 9SM x ROA FW19 Footwear
Matthew M. Williams’ 1017 ALYX 9SM debuted, among other things, a transformable derby and new Nike sneakers for Fall/Winter 2019, but ALYX’s continuing collaboration with ROA stole the show with small upgrades to the covetable hiking shoes. Lush smooth leather uppers, sturdier rubber toecaps and clever eyelet design are some of the more noticeable improvements, with the familiar grippy Vibram outsole guaranteeing safe travels on icy winter terrain. The crown jewel of the seasonal partnership is a mid-height boot sporting a patchy, furry snakeskin-inspired pattern, a shrewd subversion of the current reptile print trend that deftly avoids the realm of costumey kitsch.