Kick and Play: Shoes. Party. Go.

Lately, I’ve heard many people talk about the struggle to find the perfect boot – the pair that you can throw on with anything and trust it to look and feel good. Sometimes one pair of boots only works with jeans and not your work pants, and vice versa. Meet the pairs that change all that.

THE KICKS:

Wodehouse Chukka by Timberland (to the left)

A brand known for work shoes and a plain look, Timberland introduced the Wodehouse collection a few years ago, and now it lives in its own realm of personal style and function. You get that same lifetime comfort with these Timbs, but look so damn good doing it.

Wodehouse’s super-comfy Chukka boots are a slightly pointed pair with wax-coated laces. They’re built as a mid-top so you can tuck your jeans in for a refined look, or let them hang for that brilliantly messy feel. Blazer, t-shirt, oxford – who cares. They all work.

Available in both black and brown, no pair is the same, since the shoes are hand-finished, full-grain leather with a worn-in aesthetic. That being said, the more you wear them, the better they’ll look. And most importantly, it’ll be your own unique fit. Nobody else’s. Available for $295 at Nordstrom.

Not loud enough? Let’s get wild.

LunarGrand Chukkah by Cole Haan

LunarGrand Chukkah by Cole Haan

For those who want something a little brighter, Cole Haan has taken their partnership with Nike to a new level by recently borrowing their Lunarlon sole technology and beautifully blending it with their very own chukka boot.

Dressed in a soft black suede with a volt (neon yellow) sole, this shoe is definitely a stunner. It’s a pair that you can wear for hours on hours and not have sore feet. With the LunarGrand, you get a great mix of casual aesthetic with traditional feel.

Also available in camel/red, grey/pink and woodbury/orange. Works great on jeans, but get bold with dark chinos. Available for $228, everywhere and here.

THE PLAY:

Smitten Ice Cream, San Francisco, CA

Hey, ice cream is good. But when you taste it at its freshest point, it just might be the best thing ever. No better way to say it, Smitten prides themselves on re-imagining the ice cream experience. Each order is made fresh, and is created from absolutely raw, organic ingredients and liquid nitrogren. Yes, liquid nitrogren. Why? Because it makes the smoothest, freshest ice cream you will have ever had, literally.

Gjelina, Los Angeles, CA 

A staple in the Venice community, the creative fusion-Mediterranean restaurant is perfect for the foodie. Seasonal menus, beautiful people, and all types of energy are here. Hey, it’s LA, right? Atypical from the typical Los Angeles characteristic, the menu is meant for sharing, so the more you order, the better you eat. Known for eclectic array of pizzas, but so good for their grilled goods like corn, shisito peppers, and carrots, Gjelina gives you great food, the LA culture and, likely, a good story. Rock your boots to brunch or dinner, just don’t ask for substitutions.

Momofuku Milk Bar and Bakery, New York, NY

Let’s call 2013 the year of the cookie. And ice cream. And pie. Is that too much? Momofuku is that creative baker-friend you always wanted. Remember sipping on that bowl of cereal milk after you finished your Cheerios? That’s the milk Momofuku uses to create their fantastic soft serve. If ice cream is too cold, try their famous Compost cookie, made of chocolate, butterscotch chips, oats, graham crackers, coffee, and potato chips. It’s one hell of a cookie. And then…the ultimate dessert – the crack pie, full of butter, cream, brown sugar, more sugar, and corn flavoring to give your palette a hit of salty and sweet. As Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi is known for saying, it tastes better “with your favorite someone.”

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well. 

Kick and Play: Shoes. Party. Go.

Starting in 2013, BlackBook will start talking shoes. With dinner parties, brunches, coffee dates, and friendly catch-up sessions, figuring out the right outfit can become an interminable task. And while so many publications spend their word count on what pants, blazers, tie clips, and watches you need to wear, we’re going to focus on the one thing you’ll always need: good kicks on your feet. So shake hands with our new weekly column: Kick and Play.

Whether you love your skinny chinos, tapered pants, or baggy jeans, we’ll make sure we’ve got you covered in the kicks department. And don’t worry; the full spectrum of shoes will be covered. From limited-edition sneaker releases, to wingtips, to boots that won’t make you feel like a storm trooper, BlackBook’s got your back – and feet. Once you’ve explored your shoes options, we’ll give you the top national restaurants, clubs, and bars to sport them. Kick, play, go.

THE KICKS:

Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro (pictured above)

 

Over the past two years, Nike and Reebok have become crazy for the retro trend. On the regular, the sneaker brands are re-releasing some of their infamous pairs of retro Jordan’s, Iverson’s and throwback player editions of sports legends.

January is no different, with a number of classic Jordan sneakers being released this month. On Saturday, January 12th, Nike and the Jordan Brand will re-release the Air Jordan 13 Retro in black and red, which was originally released in 1997. The shoe, inspired by a panther, was designed by famous designer Tinker Hatfield.

What was known to be a sneaker to collect or play in, now brings a bold yet sleek attitude to skinny jeans at the bar, brunch, or that afternoon weekend discovering the city – just don’t let anybody step on them.

Available on Saturday, January 12th at select retailers. $160. Follow @nikestore or your local sneaker shop on Twitter for launch information.

 

Aldo Nocks

Aldo Nocks

A fusion of a wingtip and a casual-laced shoe, the new Aldo Nocks is a great shoe for nearly any occasion. Though it is a little narrow, it looks great on khakis or jeans, dressed down with a t-shirt and hoody, or up with a tucked-in shirt. The Nocks are available in black and brown. To add a little flavor, these shoes have a surprising, electric-blue sole, giving your step a vibrant bounce. $70 at Aldo Shoes.

THE PLAY:
Perch, Los Angeles, Calif.

A fantastic rooftop bar a whimsical French-bistro feel. Great drinks and damn good dessert. Flanked with fire pits, lounge seating, and an eclectic sound of music from DJs and, on occasion, an indie band. Great for post-dinner with friends or a date.

Chile Pies & Ice Cream, San Francisco, Calif.

Green chili pies with apple filling, a ground beef pie served in a Frito bag topped with Fritos, pie shakes. This Mexican-infused bakery has no rules – just innovative sweet and savory pies, and organic ice cream for the purists. Perfect for any meal, any time, anybody.

La Esquina, New York, New York

When Mexican food is done well, it can be a life-changing experience. Enter La Esquina. Translated as “the hideaway,” this location is just that. It starts off as a three-space set-up which is perfect in its own right – a taqueria, a café, and a brasserie + bar. While you should most definitely try all three, the necessity here is to secure a reservation for the basement: an underground seating arrangement with a menu that boasts 200+ premium tequilas and cocktails and, oh yeah, unforgettable grilled street corn, blessed main courses, and an environment that you won’t want to leave.

Book a reservation a week in advance for a guaranteed good seat. Take a girl. Celebrate your birthday. And wear your new kicks.