When it comes to high-end casual footwear and training shoes there aren’t many choices for today’s consumer but Yohji Yamamoto and adidas‘ Y-3 brand is just about the cream of the crop. Sports shoes are inherently casual but the Japanese designer doesn’t play by the rules and his latest silhouettes prove to be just as unconventional as ever.
They have always been known for blurring the lines between fashion and function and usually they do this by transforming typically practical designs such as running shoes with luxury materials and quaint detailing, in turn giving them the top end price.
Mainline Menswear has stocked a few collections of Y-3 now and whilst you will still find the classic Sprint and Boxing trainers, the collection has progressed to feature extremely popular shoes such as the Boost – which is comparable to the Nike Roshe Run or other popular runners from the summer. This winter, the Honja Low and Laver High were introduced for the first time and similarly offer a premium alternative to mainstream sport infused styles.
Y-3 has gone back to basics with the Honja, using a minimalist design to create a shoe which likely appeals to a broad cross-section of the menswear market. Small details such as the studded trademark three stripes on the upper make this easy to identify as the work of Y-3. It is made of a high quality leather and has a durable rubber sole with cushioned insoles, ensuring you get plenty of wear from them. It is a distinctive matted black colourway which is easy to wear in both smart and casual outfits. This solid Y-3 favourite is inspired by skater shoes and finished with tasteful suede panels.
Taking inspiration from the tennis legend Rod Laver’s signature shoe by Adidas, these futuristic high tops are a great example of what Y-3 is all about, adding fresh impetus to a classic design. This high fashion silhouette really catches the eye with extravagant upper detailing; the only gripe you could have is that it isn’t as wearable for everyday style as the Honja for example.
Y-3 as a brand is a bit of a “sneaker aficionado’s” favourite and probably their most talked about silhouette is the the Qasa which has a futuristic look blending sophisticated materials and a curving EVA sole to create a must-have shoe in both high top and low top forms this season. With a striking similarity to the intensely popular Adidas Tubular shoe, this has a clean appearance but doesn’t compromise any of the intricacies we have come to expect of Y-3’s footwear. It takes the popular sock-like feel of runner shoes to the next level compared to the Nike Roshe Run and Adidas ZX series which have both gripped consumers for the past couple of years.
Y-3 is a recognised expert in creating the monochrome look which has peaked this winter season in fashion, if you are looking for what to wear your Y-3 footwear with you need look no further than a dark tonal look. This is actually best achieved with some of the Y-3 branded garments such as the black hoodie and tracksuit bottoms combo. If you are feeling a little more adventurous you might want to try the Wool Shirt jacket which offers a stylish and slightly more formal look which could quite easily work with denim.