Coachella preparation: 3 brands, a lot of sand and a rating system that will help you decide what footwear will truly survive festival turf. – Min A. Lee
Don’t be fooled at the pristine condition of the shoes I will share, because everything I review gets truly worn so I can give a fair review of their durability, comfort and stylish appeal.
I live in the same uniform on a daily basis: denim-on-denim (due to a lasting love for Calvin Klein’s iconic denim campaigns) paired with any kicks that catch my eye, so for this round up I took four brands and tested them through an entire weekend of hot temperatures, walking and desert terrain.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why I found Novesta to be a highly-recommendable brand:
In my backpack:
- GAP Leather Slip On Sneakers ($50)
- Vans Perf Leather Slip On Sneakers ($60)
- Novesta Star Master Sneaker ($89)
- AllSaints Spitalfields S-99 Slip On Sneakers ($140)
- Leather, comfort B-, sole wasn’t as cushioned as others, over time leather expanding started to get blisters from inside rubbing, started to look worn down fairly quick…recommendation: if you’re looking for sneakers to just complete your streetwear look of the day…go for them. Keep them for quick errand runs.
- They’re only $50, so it’s not a total loss if you have to throw them away. The other good thing is, GAP does huge sales, so if you’re lucky you could probably find a pair on sale with an extra 40% off!
- Leather, comfort B+, more cushioned sole, dirt collects in the perforations so have to wipe them clean…though being leather makes it easier. Rubber started cracking at at the forefoot midsole section. The problem with this is once the sole is compromised it just gets worse. Eventually the leather starts to pull away in the area and you have a pretty good hole starting in the shoe.
- I have tried out 3 pairs to test longevity with daily wear. The pairs have averaged out to around 4 months before they looked extremely run down or the sole cracked.
- Cotton, comfort A, it’s assumed that leather would be easiest to care for, but honestly the cotton fabric of Novesta was just as easy to brush off and keep in sharp looking condition. What makes this shoe an “A” in comfort is the insole, contoured for arch and extreme support (while nearly all classic style sneakers and slip-ons are flat inside) you can walk for hours…literally hours.
- Now let’s address the rubber sole. The cracking you get with Vans, and in fact a lot of brands that produce slip ons, you DON’T with Novesta. I’ve been drafting this post April 15th (13 days) and wearing these every day since for long periods of time-standing, sitting, walking and running. I plan on wearing them continually to see the longevity, but the chances are good these will last a solid year.
- It has to do with how the actual sole is pressed into the shoe. You’ll find there is a very thin layer of rubber extending into the body fabric. It provides security and flexibility with movement, which means NO cracking, and helping maintain/extend the life of the shoe. This is the beauty of handmade shoes.
- Given the craftsmanship, the price is extremely fair and affordable.
- Suede/Cow hide, Comfort D, usually All Saints is synonymous with quality…but, their sneaker insoles need major work. The inner soles of the shoe are extremely hard, so there’s not much to be said for comfort. They aren’t the sneakers to wear for walking around a whole day.
- They run narrow, so if you have wide feet…avoid. You will end up with blisters. My feet fall in between, but unfortunately blisters within the first day of wearing for an hour. Once they were broken in after a few weeks—still getting blisters. I tried sizing up to 38 from a a 37, and unfortunately as beautiful as they look…they’re comfort grade for me is still a D. However, the sole has held up really well.
- Now for the die hard All Saints cult fans out there, I will say that their other footwear has proven amazing at times!
FINAL REVIEW NOTES:
Definitely think about how much you want to wear your sneakers and where. This really dictates how much you are willing to spend on your purchases. If you are thinking about sneakers just for some blog posts and quick street style shots, any of these will work great. Though, if you are looking for sneakers to ride-or-die in…really take Novesta very seriously. I am truly impressed with their durability and the fact they are now launched stateside at Madisonlosangeles.com makes me even happier.
Now I’m off to run a ton of errands in my indigo blues no less… I can’t get over the contoured inner sole, it’s proven its weight in gold.
All Photos Courtesy Of Brands & Companies