How to Make Your Winter Style Iconic

 

Winter footwear should be sturdy and functional, but it doesn’t need to be unsightly. Sergio Rossi has unveiled a lust-worthy line of classic silhouettes with edgy new features that allow wearers to achieve a high-fashion look without sacrificing comfort and elegance throughout the changing seasons.

For the Winter 2017-18 collection, Sergio Rossi writes the next chapter in its journey to rediscover the true essence of the brand, focusing on its DNA, expert craftsmanship and know-how. The inspirational starting point is interior design: Structured and hypnotic geometries evoke architectural patterns where polychrome resins and marbles turn into a multi-color inlay of leather and suede. The result is an “interior-walk,” a handmade couture merging interior décor with footwear.

sr1, the collection that marked a new beginning in the history of the brand, is once again center stage, with precise and clean lines for a seasonless collection. The emblematic leather tongue and its personalized silver plate (the distinctive decoration placed on each creation in the collection) are found not only on slippers and the sabot but also on booties, over-the-knee boots and ankle-strap moccasins.

 

  • The sr1 slipper, with its emblematic tongue and distinctive metallic plate, is the stand-out design this winter -- a new aesthetic of comfort and elegance.
  • The sr1 pump, the must-have shoe silhouette, debuts for the first time with a pointed toe, a tribute to a historic archive piece inspired by the boldness of ‘90s supermodels. The flawless, pointy pumps are a versatile and flattering choice for all femininity and effortless appeal. Available in both neutral and bright tones, they're a wardrobe staple.
  • Complete your look with ultra-modern, dynamic, chic footwear that bridges the gap between style and functionality. sr1 calfskin sneakers feature distinctive metal plates for a street-chic look, and a ladylike heel for an upscale feel.
  • Versatile and comfortable forms are the product of classical lines with character details and an ultra-feminine fit. With a variety of classic colors and sophisticated winter tones to choose from, you can choose the perfect pair for you this fall.
  • The multi-color inlay was entirely created by hand using a multitude of laser-cut leather tiles. The geometric pattern of the sr1 Inlay bootie is made of 150 unique hand-applied pieces, requiring more than 18 hours of work. A masterpiece.
  • These instantly crush-worthy studs put a twist on classic silhouettes to create a look with edgy detail. Add a sophisticated aspect to must-have styles, like ankle boots, slippers or pochettes, for a rocking appeal that amps up the glam of nearly any look.
  • Choose from a special selection of materials, colors and accessories to personalize your exclusive pair of sr1 slippers. The sophisticated daywear slipper is the signature model from the sr1 line, with a square toe and embellished tongue complete with the iconic Sergio Rossi plate for added elegance. Find the combination that perfectly conveys your style, and create a pair that will become the symbol of your unique taste.

Shop now!

Grab Your Latest Sneaker Obsession Before It Sells Out

You’ve gone through this before… the anticipation, the waiting, the hoping… all for a pair of limited collaboration kicks from Nike and A.P.C.

Previously, it was A.P.C.’s take on the AirMax and Dunks that had us all wound up, but the newest edition pairs a newer member of the Nike fam, the Free, with the French brand.

Men and women both have the choice from black, grey, and beige, all described by the brand as “somber” colors. We’re going with grey, and the only reason we’d feel somber is if we missed out on a pair.

The collection launches tomorrow, November 5th, at A.P.C. and Nike Lab stores and online.

PSAAD-F56031_BAA_01 PSAAD-F56031_LZZ_01

Images courtesy of A.P.C

SYOU Makes Sneakers a Truly Global Affair

Chanel will always be French like Acne will be Swedish–but SYOU sneakers will be a product of wherever the brand’s in-logo ampersand, &, takes them. Currently, it’s Colombia, where a team of local artisans talents’ combined to create 5 totally unique pairs of kicks.

Each element of the shoe is part of a collage of Colombian talent: the insoles are inscribed by artist Juanita Olivera, graphic boxes were made by industrial designer Jose Argotty, prints by illustrator Santiago Oliveros, photography by student Diego Chavarro, a short film by Aeroesferas, and further brand imagery by Juan Diez, all of whom hail from Colombia.

Founders Merijn ten Thije, formerly of Nike, and Jaap Spoorenberg met while working for Red Bull in the Netherlands and decided to launch their brand. The project aims to spotlight global talent in a truly positive way: “SYOU also stands for ISEEYOU — representing the fact that we see talent all over the world,” they say. “We believe fashion, commercial success and sustainable production can work hand-in-hand. We pay honest prices for manufacturing and materials and, through our actions, we hope to stimulate the local economy. We pay every contributor fairly for their work and approach the entire value chain in an ethical way. It’s a true partnership — we call it co-design.”

Though they started in Burkina Faso and are now in Colombia, they see SYOU as limitless: “We are forever surprised and humbled by the depth and breadth of talent around the world and these are just the first steps on a worldwide expedition of discovery.”

It’s a pretty cool concept to not only become acquainted with–but wear art of the world–passport or not.

Image courtesy of SYOU

Kick & Play: Casual Sneakers For The Daily Grind

Sometimes, to get noticed, it only takes a little detail. And contrary to the last few articles, you can also do it without a whole lot of color. Leather is always good, and in this week’s feature, we show two brands not typically known for footwear, but put something fresh into your regular sneaker rotation.

First things first: Volcom – a brand known to be successful in skate, snow, surf, and active lifestyles for the past 22 years – is introducing a full footwear collection this summer. The line will feature high and low-top sneakers as well as boots for both men and women. The full line can be viewed here, but let’s take a look at one of their best pairs.

THE KICKS:

The Buzzard by Volcom

The Buzzard is a playful high-top sneaker with a unique leather-patterned design. The outer shell of the shoe is wrapped in perforated black leather. Similar to the look and feel of Volcom’s apparel, you can see designs of subtle, intentional asymmetry. The Buzzard, along with the entire Volcom line, might be great for your jeans, but these shoes will look great on those summer shorts and rolled-up chinos.

Unlike many other skate brands that release shoes, Volcom also made sure comfort was an important part of each shoe design. The Buzzard will also be constructed with the brand’s Recliner Comfort Foam technology. Volcom’s foam is super soft and makes for a good ride when you’re out all day.

Noteworthy mention: The Buzzard will also be released in a navy leather with a beautiful red sock liner trim.

Volcom Buzzard ($80) and the entire collection will be available July 1st online and at most Volcom retailers.

The Leu by Hotel 1171

The Leu by Hotel 1171

Finding a low-cut, round-toed shoe has come to be quite difficult these days. Most brands have become so enamored with wingtips that a plain round-toe is slowly become a rarity. And when there is one, it’s infinitely more formal than you want it to be.

The Leu by Hotel 1171 just might be that pair. The casual shoe is constructed with aged brown leather and a suede trim. What would almost always end up being a pair of brown shoes for your suit and tie goes casual as the designers at the brand wend with a lightweight rubber sole, making them nearly perfect for jeans and khakis on a daily basis. You can throw them on with the laces loose to go with your camo pants or go dapper with fitted, cuffed denim.

Available at the online Hotel 1171 store, $130.

THE PLAY:

The Chocolate Room, New York, NY
It’s all in the name. Pastry chefs here build killer desserts from scratch and often recommend the perfect drinks to go with your chocolate and baked goods, or their specialty chocolate bars. With the word chocolate infectiously littered throughout The Chocolate Room menu, the go-to here actually hides the chocolate. The Black Bottom Butterscotch is a layer of bittersweet chocolate topped with creamy, succulent butterscotch custard. Oh, and whipped cream. It’s just the right thing to do.

Bottega Louie, Los Angeles, CA.
Yes, their flatbread pizza is fantastic. And like many others who are jumping in on the green trend, Bottega Louie has always done Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichokes, and kale in delicious fashion. But there’s only one reason we even need to discuss the vaulted ceiling, minimal in design restaurant in downtown LA – the macarons. Arguably one of the best places in Los Angeles, city-goers come for food and dessert or just a pit stop for their pastries only. It’s a win-win here, but something to make any visit here memorable is the earl grey macaron. Buy two to share, four for yourself.

Kara’s Cupcakes, San Francisco, CA.
Cupcakes are personal. No, seriously. Don’t ever ask anybody to share one. It requires making a mess and is just downright rude. Get your own. And if you do, come to Kara’s Cupcakes and indulge. Whether you’re particular about gluten or not, she has you covered. Peanut butter milk chocolate ganache and java are incredible, while the gluten-free chocolate coconut seems like a lie. Lots of flavors to choose from here, but just stop asking to share. It’s not right. The flavor and experience of a cupcake only comes by eating it in its entirety.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.

AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kick & Play: Finding The Unique Slip-On Sneaker

Casual, conventional loafers and slip-ons are easy to find, but stand-out, unique pairs are not. From clothes to footwear, it seems like every company – from H&M, to Zara, to Banana Republic – is doing the same as the next.

But amid all the generic styles are some that do stand out. Here are some simple pairs that add a touch of flair to your feet.

THE KICKS:

Brooks Brothers Suede Tie Driving Moc (to the left)

Driving moccasins are always good to have – whether as a back up in your closet for those days you aren’t sure what shoes to wear to brunch or as your main dinner party shoe.

The rubber sole with a padded sole makes for a comfortable shoe. But this driving moccasin by Brooks Brothers uses suede to give the boat-shoe style pair a really raw, cozy look.

With this loafer, be a preppy with dark brown or grey or evangelize the hipster inside of you with red, bright blue, or bright green (not shown).

Available at your local Brooks Brothers or online, $148.

Y3 Decade

Decade sneaker

Yohji Yamamoto, aka renowned shoe designer for Y3 and Adidas, is always good at sleek design with a standout twist. For his 2013 collection, he unleashes the Decade, a stunning low-cut sportswear slip-on sneaker in black with a deep purple sole.

The shoe is a cool mixture of leather and mesh, surrounded by an elastic fastening system to give a clean, snug fit. The great thing about the Decade is its cushioned insole, which lets you leave the casual kick on your feet for hours and still be comfortable. Perfect for the gym and street running, but great for jeans and dark pants if you want a dark sneaker with a little pop.

Available on the Y3 website, $290.00.

THE PLAY:

Bien CuitWest Village, NYC
At Bien Cuit, you get fresh pastries delivered twice daily – from croissants, to chocolate bundts, to homemade breads and pistachio roulades. My favorites include the almond chocolate croissant coupled with their frothy cappuccino, and their reuben sandwich featuring their famous homemade bread. Woody interior, marble counter, long front windows – this is the perfect spot for a Saturday morning chat, or casual blind date.

Tavern, Brentwood, Ca.
Tavern might be one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. While Tavern has earned its acclaim and honors, still, nobody talks about it enough. A fine dining experience with a bakery next door, the beautiful space has something for everybody. But their fresh-baked cookies might be the best you’ll have ever experienced. Top that with pumpkin bread pudding, monkey bread, and medjool date cakes, and you have an eclectic vibe of sweets to leave you coming back regularly. Tavern is perfect for brunch, delicious for dinner, but unbelievable for desert.

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco, Ca.
One of San Francisco’s finest characteristics is the city’s openness and diversity. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, is the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Fresh produce, meat, cheese, and pastries come to the city with an international sense of community. Here, city goers are able to try breads, fruits, and creative chocolate flavors and take all types of goods home. While dinners out on the town are always nice, sometimes it’s refreshing to bring home exotic fruits, fresh organic greens, and get creative for a nice hearty dinner at home. The best experience for me at the Farmers Market? Mocha chocolate by Scwarffen Berger.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.

AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kick & Play: Some Spring In Your Bold-Colored Step

Spring is coming. And if camo wasn’t your thing (as featured last week), then maybe color is. But not just a standard cherry red leather or blue canvas. This week we’re talking creative and daring color.

THE KICKS:

Ronnie Fieg x Asics GT II “High Risk”

Need a pair to stand out? Purple suede on a pair of low lace-ups will turn heads and probably take up a good 20 minutes of conversation at dinner. The Asics GT II, a collaboration with renowned shoe designer Ronnie Fieg, features premium purple suede backed by leather, with trims of red dispersed across the shoe.

The lower-cut shoe is definitely meant to be worn with your pants tucked in. So if you appreciate letting your whole shoe show and have a thrill for rocking bright colors, this limited edition is a must-have in your closet.

Release date and price info are forthcoming, but once they come they’ll go fast, so it’s in your best interest to follow these closely. Stay in the know via Ronnie on his blog for future details.

Nike Roshe Run

Nike Roshe Run

Is purple too much? Try olive green with a hint of orange. Enter the Nike Roshe Run. The Roshe shoe is one of Nike’s newer designs, created by a Nike shoe designer in his own free time. The shoe is named after “Roshi,” a title given to a Zen master. The idea behind the shoe is to be extremely minimal in design and only implement the most necessary features. The design itself is a simplistic woven mesh with an extremely cushioned midsole. The result: one of Nike’s most comfortable casual shoes.

The Roshe Run is from the Nike Sportswear Collection, so it’s meant to be more of a casual running and daily wear kick, as opposed to sneakers for long-distance runners and trainers.

The Nike shoe is available in a multitude of colors, but the newest spring colors feature a dominant color with an inner trim. Three other colors are available (Stone/Volt, Black/Crimson, Anthracite/Mint).

Available at CaliRoots or select Nike retailers for $135.

THE PLAY:

Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn, NY
This is easy. Cheddar waffles. Chicken fried in buttermilk. But Buttermilk Channel, this  chic, imaginative eatery, does far more than just damn good chicken. The menu here is full of goodies for a variety of taste buds. Chicken, steak, or steak lovers can find a menu full of charming entrees with assorted delectable sides waiting for you. House pickles are a big hit here while cornbread with lime and chile butter just might put you to sleep before you get home. By the way, the coconut, lime bread pudding with coconut caramel is stupid good.

Masa, Echo Park, CA
A question over lunch this weekend: Why is it impossible to find deep-dish pizza in Los Angeles? Because there is only one place that really serves it: Masa Of Echo Park. Originally a Cuban bakery, this family-owned restaurant serves good baked gems here, but the real reason to visit Masa is the deep dish pizza with fresh cornmeal dough baked daily. From the super fresh buffalo mozzarella to sausage and pepperoni (vegan too!) instilled with secret recipes, their traditional pizzas do the trick. And not to be outdone, but the bread pudding here is unbelievably fantastic. Chocolate, almond, and butter croissants, pan-baked in vanilla custard with caramel? This idea wins. Everytime.

Beretta, San Francisco, CA
When you think Italian comfort food, you think simple pastas and warm mozzarella. Beretta reinvents this idea with thin crust pizza, a tapas-inspired menu, and super creative cocktails. The list of appetizers here is remarkable – roasted beets with ricotta salad, baked polenta, lamb chops with greens and yogurt, and a Dungeness crab you’ll always remember. The menu also includes artisan salami meats and thin crusts pizzas that are worthy of not sharing. A hidden gem on the menu is their squid ink risotto with calamari. Innovative uses of tequila, brandy, bourbon, gin, and scotch turn cocktails into delightful supper drinks or for dessert. Oh, and by the way, house-made gelato can be found here, and is good – before, during, or after dinner.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.

AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kick & Play: Sneakers Go Camo

With all this snow on the east coast, let’s think warm. It’s time to start planning for spring footwear. And for starters, people love camo. The mixed patterned print has been a big hit for chinos and skinny jeans lately, while camouflage military jackets have always been a good go-to. But this blend of olive green, mocha brown, and black design needs to move downward – to our feet.

Here’s a couple looks that are good for the daily grind – snow and sand – or for that occasional dip in neutral colors.

THE KICKS:

Mercer by Thorocraft

Thorocraft is creative footwear company that aims to build bold pairs of shoes using classic designs with a little flare. The Mercer is a simple oxford that features a light combination sole, laser-cut ventilation, and full-grain woven leather. With an extra-cushioned sole and pig-skin inner lining, the Mercer is a very durable pair. In other words, they are just so pretty.

This camouflage oxford is definitely a rare design, but it gives off such a sleek, and unusual aesthetic that it can be used on jeans for casual wear or even on darker pants for a non-conventional formal look.

Available at the Thorocraft online store, $250.

Air Max 1 Camo Pack by atmos x Nike

Air Max 1 Camo Pack by atmos x Nike

Japanese sneaker company atmos has always put together incredible collaborations with Nike. This Air Max 1 just adds to that reputation. Using the 25-year-old silhouette of one of the most popular Nike sneaker designs, two creative color ways are set to come out this week. The shoe is dressed in a jungle camo print with black snakeskin (right) or a desert storm pattern blended with leopard detailing (left). 

For the hypebeasts, matching shirts and hats will also be available. A good look for dark jeans, but so good for shorts, browns, and those cargos making a comeback.

Available on February 13 at atmos or select Nike retailers, approx. $145 US.

Sahara Desert Basso Chukka Wingtip Sneaker by Del Toro

Sahara Desert Basso Chukka Wingtip Sneaker by Del Toro

In case you wanted more than a solid colored wingtip, Del Toro brings an all-over camo print in suede on a low-cut chukka sneaker. The amber-gum sole really gives this pair a great urban feel as opposed to many low-cuts with white soles. You get a carefully crafted leather lining, amber laces, and Italian-made suede and leather stitched on a wingtip design.

The Sahara Desert Basso Chukka Wingtip Sneaker is a name-full, but rightfully so. There are a lot of fine details built into this pair, and all serve good purpose for both aesthetic and comfort.

Chukkas are always a comfortable fit. If Air Maxes aren’t your thing, go with this.

Available at Del Toro’s online store, $325.

THE PLAY:

Max Brenner, New York, NY
An indulgent way to stay warm: hot chocolate. Obviously, the magical bald man that is Max Brenner is well known, but what is terribly forgotten on this menu of perfection is their ChocoPops. Scattered randomly on different menu items, these tiny pops are small, crispy wafer balls dipped in a very rich milk chocolate – miniscule in size but ridiculously filled with flavor. Max has a “noisy hot chocolate” filled with pops to the brim. Or get vanilla ice cream popsicles for fondue dipping with hot fudge, candied hazelnut, and of course, chocopops.  Plus, buy them in packs to take them home for those weekend dinner parties.

Syrup, Los Angeles, CA
For many in LA, an idea of a good Saturday night is a simple dinner followed by a space to just relax and hang out with friends without the loud music and crowded bars. And that’s where dessert + espresso bar Syrup comes in. While this place is open all day and has a breakfast menu full of Belgian waffles and crepes, the go-to here is the sugar-liege waffle – a decadent battercake dipped in caramelized pearl sugars followed by a multitude of delicious options – s’mores, caramel apples, mixed berries, or chocolate. A big win here is their hazelnut latte mixed with nutella. What makes this place even better is their lounge-style seating with couches, and larger tables for big parties.

Philz, San Francisco, CA
While the east coast is dealing with a blizzard, San Francisco regularly gets a glimmer of sunlight. So on the weekend or for an afternoon break during the week, find a Philz and pick up an iced mint mojito, one of the most refreshing coffee drinks you will ever have, and likely only find at Philz. The cold beverage consists of two shots of espresso, a plethora of mint leaves, two tablespoons of almond milk, a little foam, and some sweetener to bring together an amazingly refreshing drink. Philz is known for freshly brewing every cup of coffee individually, making each drink as it’s ordered. Pick a rare brew of your choice or get the mojito. Actually, get the mojito.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.
AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kick & Play: Neon Takes Over The Sneaker World

Neon was once a crazy color on kicks you used to only see at the gym. But slowly, the colors are emerging from the weight room, and settling onto sneakers that are paired with every day, going out outfits. And life just got brighter.

Nike, for one, has taken it to the next level, heavily infusing their vibrant, neon-green “volt” shade into all their collections. From the highlighter tones to melon to candy apple red, it’s safe to say that color on your feet is what’s hot. Just do it.  

This week, let’s talk about a couple sneakers that are great in the gym, but also add a little flash to your casual get-up.

THE KICKS:

Nike Lunar Safari (up top)

The Lunar Safari was released just last summer, and ever since, a spectrum of colors has been continuously introduced. The shoe, inspired by the 1987 classic, the Air Safari, is built with all types of Nike technology to give you a lightweight fit and ultimate comfort. The shoe is supported with a Lunarlon sole and Hyperfuse construction (less stitching, more breathability), making it a fantastically durable shoe.

Sport them in the gym or throw them on some jeans. Keep them loose and unlaced and let that color show. There are over a dozen colors available now so if you’re need of a good-looking hybrid shoe, find a color that fits your style.

(Pictured above: Anthracite-Black/Volt, Black/Crimson, Black-Grey/Orange)

Available at Nike, Finishline, Eastbay and most sportswear retailers: $69.99-$109.99.

Adidas + Hanon: Centaur [CNTR]

Adidas + Hanon: Centaur

Adidas is also knee-deep in the color trend with their bright purples, blues, and teals out there. But this collection they’ve created with Hanon – a sneaker collective in Scotland – is just too good. In the spirit of throwback, Adidas is bringing back the 1984 running shoe, the Centaur. The sneaker is built with a gorgeous trio blend of suede, mesh and nubuck with a snug fit to make it a good daily pair.

In addition to the three colors above (red, navy & grey), there’s a limited special edition inspired by Hanon’s hometown called Aberdeen, featuring grey, white and red accents. But really, do the red.

These kicks go well with almost anything casual. Jeans are the norm, but dust these off with some fitted khakis or even a good pair of cords, and you have a really good combination to work with.

Red, grey and navy:  Available February 2 at select retailers: $150

Aberdeen limited edition:Available now at Hanon: $177.84.

THE PLAY:

Since we’re talking about wild colors, I think it’s only fitting to talk about weirdly-colored drinks that are just so good. This week’s play: juice bars.

Juice Press, New York, NY
The Juice Press is one spot in NYC that purifies the soul of raw foodists. Empowered on the idea that there is a healthier way of living, the founders of this great juicer believe that everything should be fresh, since frozen and pasteurized juices are depressing. The shop is 100 percent organic, so you get great blends of drinks that are actually good for you and not just full of sugar. The default go-to here: the Dr. Green Juice – a fiery blend of kale, pineapple, apple, lemon, and ginger.

Beverly Hills Juice, Los Angeles, CA
Known for experimenting heavily with juicers in 1975, David Otto, a vegetarian who just wanted to improve his health, created Beverly Hills Juice. The motivation behind his drinks: to heal and energize. The menu is always changing, since they only use organic, local, and seasonal produce. The fan favorite here is the Banana Manna Shake, a combination of vegan ice cream, bananas, and almonds or sunflower seeds. The best drink on the menu though…apple, cinnamon, coconut, and pumpkin. Yeah, like that.

Frapez Smoothie Spa, San Francisco, Ca.
It’s common for most juice shops to have their own juice cleanse programs (Both Juice Press and Beverly Hills Juice have their own). What makes Frapez different is the fact that they pride themselves in their affordable program, and was the original reason why the shop was originally created. The Frapez goal: to share passion and knowledge about nutrition and create a positive and caring business. What resulted was a juicery with health-inspired smoothies, teas, juices made from organic and creative ingredients. Stop here for a consultation on what’s the best cleanse program or get a fresh drink with a kick. All sorts of great drinks on this menu, but if there’s one, it’s the Emerald Matcha, a green tea boost juice with matcha, coconut powder, melon, coconut milk, cashews, vanilla, almond milk and honey.

Walk fresh. drink right. Be well.
AS
Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kick and Play: Retro Sneakers For Comfort & Style

Comfort is key. Whether you’re the over-booked weekend eater that has a Saturday schedule of breakfast, lunch, coffee, and dinner or you’re planning on going to Sunday brunch and staying put for half the day, having something on your feet without the worry of tired feet is important.

The easiest solution? Go old school.

THE KICKS:

Vans Rata (to the left)

When a sneaker is too casual for you, allow me to introduce you to a pair of atypical Vans. Known for slip-ons and low-cut lace-ups, the Vans Rata is a unique pair that you can pair with shorts and jeans but still get away with keeping them on at a warm-weather brunch with your non-denim rolled up and no socks.

These Vans have an extra-cushioned sole, and slowly form to the imprint of your foot as you wear the shoe in – a big plus if you plan to wear them regularly. And why not? They work with almost everything. Tired of wearing the same round-toed dress shoe to work and looking ordinary when you meet up for drinks later? This should solve that. If you’re that espresso junkie with your feet up at a coffee shop for hours, the thicker, softer lining on this kick will surely help.

Be mindful of the fact that the Rata comes in a variety of colors and fabrics. But for the best look and comfort, stay away from hemp and canvas, and stick to suede or nubuck (pictured above). They are built better for longer wears, last longer, and give off a much cleaner aesthetic. Good price, great fit, fantastic daily wear.

Available at most Van’s retailers, $60 to $75.

Some recommended finishes: Dachshund brown fleece, pig suede + nubuck

New Balance 1300 series (photo credit: Angel Gonzalez/Vagrant Sneaker)

Nike

I get it. For many people, the consensus is that New Balance shoes are for the 60+-year-olds that spend early weekend mornings doing cardio in the mall. Or the Steve Jobs wannabes.

But the 1300 series changes that. The narrow New Balance sneaker features a rare blend of premium leather, suede, and mesh that results in a good-looking sneaker in almost any color. With its loose laces and popped tongue, the sneakers work with nearly anything, tucked in jeans or cords. The retro vibe on the heel gives this shoe an all-around nostalgia and a perfect addition to all closets.

The best color available now? The grey and navy pictured above, but the good thing about NB is they are always releasing good color combinations on the regular.

Available at most retailers, or New Balance . Find them here. $129.99 to $159.99.

THE PLAY:

Burma Superstar, San Francisco, Ca.
At first glance, Burma Superstar appears a little suspect. A plain dining room with old-fashioned furniture usually is a no-go, right? However, give this low-key restaurant a chance and experience an incredible fusion of Asian food that make long waits and cramped space well worth it. Any foodie – high maintenance or simple – will speak highly of the tea-leaf salad. The renowned salad is a mixture of fermented tea leaves, fried garlic, diced shrimp, and sunflower seeds crafted meticulously to satisfy anybody’s palette with a refreshing, flavorful start to any meal. Other standouts: Samusa soup, coconut rice, sesame beef, and Burmese curries. Easy to get seated for two, but great for big parties if planned ahead.

Escuela Taqueria, West Hollywood, Ca
We all love our fancy dinners, but sometimes, dim lighting, good music, and ridiculous tacos are much needed. Enter Escuela, a small taco shop that defines itself both by its look and food. This taco shop takes décor to a new level with an extensive use of chairs and shoes. But the extra attention to detail doesn’t stop there – the tacos here are legendary. Sure, you get your standard chicken, shrimp and carne asada, but poblano chilies, lobster, and a variety of pork and beef options on the menu guarantee one damn good night of food. But it’s the refined and unique attention to your meal that makes this place so rad. All meals come with delightful pickled cactus and habanero coleslaw.  Something else worth mentioning: Cucumber mint agua fresco. Want to make it a party? Bring your own beer, tequila, or wine.

Café Mogador, New York, NY
One thing about restaurants in New York is their revere for authenticity – the look, the feel, and the food. Café Mogador does this with a vibe that screams Middle Eastern – from the bohemian interior, to the rural feel of both inside the restaurant and on the busy outdoor patio. Yes, the café is open for dinner, but bless your soul by having brunch here. Start with a decadent cup of Turkish coffee and indulge with spicy Moroccan eggs benedict, fantastic pastries, maple almond granola, or a pretty amazing frittata. All are big winners at Mogador. And in the event that you haven’t tried eggs with hummus, it’s most certainly always a good choice. Inspired with flavor and energy from North Africa, this is a must-visit brunch spot in New York. And hey, for what it’s worth, there always seems to be good-looking people here.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.