It’s the golden rule of neo-trad footwear: everything looks better with a red brick sole.
The latest candidate is Keds’ depression-era Booster, the rough canvas version of their classic plim that just got a bright new bottom thanks to Mark McNairy. The result is the best kind of high-low fusion. The bottom is the same kind of 19th century style as your $200 saddle shoes, while the upper is some of roughest canvas this side of burlap. Hopefully you’ve got equally rugged socks.
There are plenty of old school American sneaker brands in need of rehabilitation, but Keds is pretty near the top of the list. And it looks like Richard Chai is the lucky designer who gets to take a crack at it.
Of course, pairing a hungry designer with a classic basketball shoe is a tried and true combination, and it would appear Chai is even borrowing a few tricks from his predecessors, like doing away with laces. New additions include zippers, puffy high tops and an intriguingly sheen finish…but we’ll have to wait at least another few months before we’re lucky enough to see them in person.