If Vans and Converse had a love child, it would be Madewell’s brand-new sneakers


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Photo: Madewell

To the movies. To dinner. To run errands. To walk the dog. Over the past two years, the team at Madewell has been doing some serious wear testing, and this time it has nothing to do with the signature denim or cozy sweaters that we’ve come to absolutely adore. This week the J.Crew sister brand debuted their first-ever unisex sneaker collection, inspired by old-school skate gear.

“We worked really hard to nail the right shape and proportions, paying attention to every detail and measurement to get the perfect fit,” says Anne Crisafulli, head of merchandising at Madewell of their new sidewalk sneaker. “We created countless prototypes to create a style that’s comfortable from the moment you put it on to when you take them off at the end of the day.”

Reminiscent of a Vans or Converse low-top, the sneaker comes in 9 different colorways that will evolve every season, some of which tout rainbow or animal print detailing found elsewhere in the spring collection (though, you’ll always be able to find the classic white). From sun-faded sage and pale parchment to black, the spring release has got options with both white and gum-colored soles. Their goal? To create a core collection for both men and women that’s unique, timeless, and inspired by the colors and themes customers see when they walk through the storefront.

“As a denim brand we’re constantly thinking about what our customer is wearing with jeans, our goal is to be a destination for the best denim and everything you would want to wear with it,” says Crisafulli. “After carrying sneakers since the beginning and seeing a positive response from customers, it felt like a natural extension to create our own that will never go out of style.”

They don’t just look super cute, either. They’re also v-e-r-y cozy. That’s thanks to what they call a “MWL Cloudlift insole,” which offer cushy support that “feels like you’re walking on a cloud,” says Joyce Lee, head of design for the brand. “We really focused on the placement of the cushioning to make sure that we were providing the best support for every foot shape and size.”

Despite being crazy comfortable, this sidewalk sneaker shouldn’t be your go-to for a post-work HIIT class—but would be perfect for Sunday brunch. And clocking in between $68 to $88—you’re looking at spending slightly less than an Adidas Stan Smith, but more than a classic pair of Keds or Vans. Ready to snag your pair? The sidewalk low-top sneaker is available both in-stores and online at madewell.com.

Speaking of sneakers, here’s a baking soda hack that’ll save them if you wear without socks and this is how to wash your shoes so they look brand new again.

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