With the overwhelming number of sneakers releasing every week, it’s sometimes hard to keep track and choose which sneaker deserves a place in your rotation. Some silhouettes are the focus of big campaigns, others gain an inexplicable following through TikTok. And then there are sneakers, that fly under the radar that deserve to be more attention. We picked out five underrated sneakers.
Autry x Staple Medalist Low
Autry somewhat reappeared out of nowhere to turn some heads with its ‘80s tennis silhouette. While most would opt for the traditional all-white colorway or white with striking colorful accents, this premium rendition in collaboration with Staple pays homage to the enduring spirit and relentless energy of New Yorkers and urban dwellers. Nubuck, corduroy, and leather materials have been meticulously selected to provide both comfort and an element of surprise.
Shop the Autry x Staple Medalist Low
Salomon ACS Pro
Salomon was one of the biggest winners of the gorpcore trend with its vast archive of technical trail runners. While the XT-4, XT-6, XT Wings 2 and Speedcross 4 have served as canvases for countless collaborations within the world of fashion, the French performance sportswear brand has a few more exciting silhouettes to offer. The ACS Pro features a more aggressive design with a skeleton cage, strategically placed mesh openings and a metal lacing system on top of a rugged trail outsole stabilized by the Agile Chassis System.
Shop the Salomon ACS Pro
New Balance 996 Made in USA
New Balance has been making sneakers for more than 100 years with some of its flagship silhouettes still manufactured in the USA and the UK. The Made in USA line has gained an even stronger following since the appointment of Aimé Leon Dore’s Teddy Santis as creative director in 2021. While modern, chunky silhouettes such as the various iterations of the 990 have garnered most of the attention, the 996 displays a more subtle, streamlined approach. Originally released in 1988 after six years of development, the silhouette follows the familiar suede and mesh running shoe formula but with premium materials and superior craftsmanship.
Shop the New Balance 996 Made in USA
ASICS x Charlotte Cardin EX89
ASICS is known mostly for its performance running shoes, investing a lot of resources into the research and development of innovative performance technologies. The Japanese sportswear brand has an extensive portfolio of legendary retro running shoes as well as having carved out a niche in fashion with avant-garde collaborations with Bulgarian designer Kiko Kostadinov. Recently, ASICS dug out the GEL-EXTREME from its archive, updating the low-top basketball silhouette from 1989 with modern cushioning technology. Though quite different from what one has come to expect, Toshikazu Kayano’s design still captures the essence of ASICS.
Shop the ASICS x Charlotte Cardin EX89
While not technically a sneaker, Birkenstock rivals many sneakers in terms of comfort and quality. The ergonomic cork-latex footbed has been a signature feature of Birkenstock footwear since 1774. The Birkenstock Boston is a classic clog from the German heritage brand, offered with premium suede that looks just as good at home as it does on a quick trip to the corner store.
Shop the Birkenstock Boston