Everyday before work, I open my closet and peer in at my shoes. What will it be today? Dress shoes to look professional during that afternoon meeting, or sneakers so my tootsies are in bliss as I run from client to client, most of whom are dressed casually themselves?
I'm not going to lie, lately I have been grabbing my sneakers and dealing with being slightly underdressed for those more formal meetings, which is not the right move if I am going to be honest. When it comes to business, you trust the organized and professional, both in how they work and how they present themselves. Looking the part is half the battle, and as much as I love my sneaks, they are not helping me.
I interviewed Canadian footwear designer Patrick Cornish last year, and at the time he was offering luxury sneakers at affordable prices. They were the right material and style, and were made in Portugal in factories boasting skilled craftsmen. I thought he had nailed it and could keep making these shoes forever, but as most designers do, he continued brainstorming and trying to figure out what was next.
And about two weeks ago, Cornish reached out to me to tell me about his latest endeavour: sneakers disguised as dress shoes. Yes, read that one again. Sneakers disguised as dress shoes. What are these, superhero shoes?
It's simple really, but sometimes the best ideas are simple. Keep the concept of a sneaker (think comfort), and then give it the details of a dress shoe. Tapper the toe, reduce the number of laces, add a medallion, finish it in leathers and colours appropriate for a dress shoe, and you have The Windsor by NobleSole.
Leave it to a Canadian... Hey, if we can melt cheese curds and gravy over fries, add some meat and still call it a side dish, why can't we create a sneaker in stealth dress shoe mode and wear it to the office? Only one of these ideas is technically crazy, and it's not the one I plan to wear to my next board meeting.
Check out The Windsor from NobleSole on their Kickstarter campaign, and watch the video below to learn more (while I go order extra cheese curds).