The premium sneaker market has experienced real growth recently where many people are being lured into stylistically designed sneakers developed with the sort of high-end craftsmanship normally reserved for formal footwear.
However, with the high-end take on models like German Army Trainer (GAT), it isn’t often to see something new in the current footwear labels. Fortunately, New York’s Epaulets bring a shiny, deep premium material to give a new life to the modern silhouette.
The good news is that Epaulet sneakers have been cool for several seasons (since the 1970s). The brand has been producing high-quality sneakers based on canonical styles employing premium materials.
So we know it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. What’s even better, contrary to other high-end variations, Epaulets are offered at a reasonable price of around $255.
Borrowing inspiration from classics like German Army Trainers, Nike’s Air Force One, and Adidas Stan Smith, Epaulet has brought patina to fulfillment for many. Subsequent to the arrival of their popular unfinished Horsehide project, the brand has introduced two new styles into the mix: the Hermosa Low and the Hermosa High.
Choosing Southern California style for this release, the Hermosa Low and High are quite comparable to the Vans Old Skool and Sk8 Hi respectively (except for the side stripe). However, the resemblance ends abruptly at the silhouette. All other things about the shoe have taken a couple of steps up.
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Epaulet Sneaker Construction
The outside of the shoe features a natural, vegetable-tanned Italian front quarter leather. The horsehide has been tanned for several weeks, resulting in exceptionally soft leather that calls for minimal break-in.
Speaking of the interior, you will find kidskin glove leather lining plus a removable leather insole. And the whole thing is then stacked on top of an Italian margom rubber outsole for a complete superfluous sneaker.
Epaulet Sneaker: Price
Regarding pricing, Epaulet’s sneakers generally fall in the lower middle of the market, starting at $195 up to $275. However, although the brand often takes pre-orders, they only have enough leather for a limited number of pairs.
The Hermosa Low is available for $250 while the Hermosa High comes in at around $275. Both options are available on Epaulet’s website. That said, some could end up in their sale section, which usually has some pretty deep discounts. Models at those particular prices tend to be pretty stellar in terms of value for money.
Epaulet New York offers a full line of sneakers alongside many other branded and collaboration products- most of which are popular and most people’s favorite. This includes some great offerings such as the GAT styles and more comparable to tennis trainers.
On their sneaker page, Epaulets states that the purpose of the line was to deliver a “curated range of minimal trainer partners in a wide range of leather and color.”
Made in Portugal, the tennis trainer is available on some great-looking leather-like Portuguese chrome-tanned steerhide and vegetable-tanned horsehide. Most of these tend to be shiny at times in pictures.
Epaulet Sneakers: Style
Epaulet never runs out of luxury sneakers. These days, the NY store releases Sports Trainers, inspired by 1970 athletic shoes for the German Army. Although we can’t tell just what those “army shoes” actually look like, the results from Epaulet indeed seem to have hit the spot.
American Epaulet New York has extended their menswear offering to introduce a selection of premium tennis sneakers.
Manufactured in Portugal from full-grain leather, obtained from the fabled Italian Gruppo Mastrotto tannery (featuring Italian-made Margom rubber sole, the tennis shoes are developed to the highest standards. Some of the best Epaulet Sneakers available for purchase include:
Epaulet Unfinished Horsehide Trainers
In the work of art from Epaulet rests a set of Portuguese-made sneakers that will grow darker as your pants fade to white. The Unfinished Horsehide Trainers are designed to patina and develop a unique character reflective of the wearer. The uppers are crafted with Italian front quarter hide, which has been vegetable-tanned. That means the whole shoe feels soft and supple right from the box.
The inside of the shoe features a leather liner and removable leather footbed, which is also meant to mold to your feet. The Unfinished Horsehide Trainers are available in four classic sneaker styles including Tennis High, Tennis Low, Sports Trainer, and Full Court High.
Epaulets Tennis Trainers Monochrome White
We’ve already heard many things about this brand and it seems to have some of the best shoes in terms of price and quality ratios. Soft and supple, the Epaulets Tennis Trainers Monochrome White is designed to feel much more substantial and real without any sort of waxy feeling, creasing, or loosening grain.
The shoes might not be the lightest out there, probably due to the rubber sole. However, speaking of construction, the whole thing is all about clean stitching, sturdy, with nothing negative to write about. Overall, you’re bound to be impressed and we think these are the best white sneakers under $200 one can buy.
The Bottom Line
Wearing new sneakers is awesome, but seeing those same shoes on five out of ten folks isn’t the best feeling. One way to get around this problem is to suck it up and consider the most generic footwear you can find. Meanwhile, you can order a pair of unfinished horsehide trainers from Epaulet.
This leather-centric New York label is geared towards delivering 500 pairs across multiple styles, including the Tennis High, Tennis Low, Sports Trainer, and Full Court High. These sneakers are meant to be better, and aside from their extreme beauty, the shoes are of great value and will last for a great course.