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Behold: The Ultimate Summer Shoe

  • Najib Benouar


We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: cotton sneakers are the ultimate summer accomplices.

And we may have found the perfect specimens, courtesy of the newly launched Greats Brand, just in time for high summer.

And we’re not just saying that because they’re only 60 bucks. They’ve also got some high-end tricks: bar-tacked stitching for sturdiness, Italian vulcanized soles for traction and a deerskin toecap for... well, just being way cooler than your average rubber version. The minds behind this new direct-to-consumer footwear venture are a couple of industry vets, including Ryan Babenzian—who you might recognize as the guy responsible for resurrecting prepster-rebel brand Boast. And they’re promising that this is only the beginning of more handsomeness heading toward your feet.

A few more looks at your red, white and blue options after the jump.»

The Stat Sheet: Nigel Cabourn for Converse CT Plimsole Ox

  • Najib Benouar


In the way of warm-weather footwear, you won’t do much better than the classic canvas sneaker—known as the plimsoll to the real heads.

And this pair might be the finest example we’ve seen this season—a collaboration between the military-minded Nigel Cabourn and sneaker stalwarts Converse that’s just landed at End. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: Nigel Cabourn based the shoes on 1940s British military-issue sneakers, built them on a similar-era Chuck Taylor last and sourced the Ventile canvas upper from the material still used in pilot suits to this day. The shoe comes in track brown, gray and the summeriest of all: eggnog.

Who to Channel: Steve McQueen on his day off; a ’40s-era tennis player at Wimbledon; a trad on summer leave in Nantucket.

When to Wear Them: Anytime between today and Labor Day, especially when it’s feeling like a “chinos and oxford-cloth button-down” kind of day.

Degree of Difficulty: About as hard as it is to tie shoelaces. (Once you’ve done that, wear the hell out of them all summer.)

And now: your moment of inspiration, after the jump.»

Three Pieces of Spring Cleaning to Tackle Right Now

You won’t be needing your winter coat anytime soon.

So now’s the time of year when we usually throw all our sweaters and tweedery into a ventilated box under our bed, and bring out the linen shirts and tees. But as you might expect, it can get a little musty in there, so you’ve got some cleaning to do. Don’t worry; it’s simpler than you think. After the fold, we’ve got three places to focus, to make sure you finish off the month as crisp as you started it.

Your spring cleaning playbook, in three acts»

Paint it Blue


Ladies and gentlemen, the perfect pair of shorts.

Now that we’ve sharpened up our dyeing skills, Tenue de Nimes has a handy reminder that all those tricks will work on canvas sneakers too. These white chucks were plunged into denim dye, resulting in the spotty blue you see here. If you want to pick up a pair, you’ll have to jet out to Amsterdam and hope you’re one of the first 50 people in line—so you may be better off with a fresh pair of sneakers and a dye bucket.

Check out Tenue de Nimes dye setup after the jump»

The Sockless Life


Now that it’s warm enough to make every square inch of exposed skin count, we thought we’d offer a few helpful tips on going sockless. As you can see above, it’s a pretty great look when executed properly—somewhere between an Italian painter and an unusually stylish surf bum—but the key to this particular move is finding the right shoe. That means boat shoes, moccasins, loafers, bucks, bluchers and anything canvas. By the same token, we’d stay away from sneakers, wing-tips and anything more formal. And remember: life’s too short to worry about a little sweat.

The Shoes of Summer


One of our favorite parts of summer is going sockless, so it’s good to have a pair of canvas sneakers around. This Chukka-esque pair just arrived from zuriick, and it might be our favorite of the season—especially now that the canvas oxford gold rush seems to have tailed off. And if you’re wondering why it’s so much more than a pair of Chucks, take a look at the sole: that slab of leather should be going strong long after the rubber equivalent has gone to pieces.

Up Front


There are big changes afoot in the sneaker world, but so far, it hasn’t been clear what was going to trickle down to the Reeboks and Converses of the world. But, opinionated gentlemen that we are, we have a thought or two on the subject.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we present the canvas oxford. If it hasn’t gained serious ground in the shoe racks of the world by next summer, we’re going to be very disappointed.

We expound on the matter still further»

Off White


The season for white canvas shoes is almost upon us, and luckily F-Troupe is fully prepared.

Of course, you’ll have to manage bringing it over from Paris (and navigating the European shoe sizing chart), but the flash of color in the laces and soles should make it worth your while. There are also blue, green, and purple versions, but we’re going with the one that matches our Thriller jacket.

Drille-ing Down


With sockless weather in full swing, we’ve been rediscovering an Iberian alternative to mandals or the usual deck shoe. Welcome to the wonderful world of espadrilles.

A footwear tradition in the Pyrenees—where rugged ventilation is a necessity—espadrilles date back to the 1300s, but recent years have seen them adopted as a unisex shoe by high fashion crowds. While they're a common sight on the streets of Paris, they're still catching on stateside. The trick to the canvas wonders is the braided jute rope bottoms, both surprisingly soft and slick enough to keep the shoes from getting too funky over the course of the summer.

More on the rope-soled moc»

Blue Serge Shoes

  • Jared Paul Stern


An iconic French tennis shoe worn by the likes of style heros Serge Gainsbourg and JFK is finally making its way stateside for fall.

Ironically, La Tennis Bensimon, as they call it back home, was originally inspired by American Army surplus following World War II. Made of canvas and suede with rubber soles and a hand-finished look, they have a classic, timeless quality; unsurprisingly the women's version was a fave of Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. We like the basic navy blue cotton toile version pictured here, which comes in 10 colors and several variations.

Canvas sneaks are enjoying something of a vogue at the moment—hello Steven Alan—but we think these puppies will probably outlast the vagaries of fashion.