Low-cut footwear is all the rage at the moment, with the Vans Old Skool in particular being the nation’s go-to shoe at the moment – and it’s easy to see why. Slim and streamlined, the shoe is very easy to style because it quite simply works with everything. Higher cut footwear is a bit more polarising – there’s a lot of people that wouldn’t even try a Sk8-Hi, the Old Skool’s hi-top sibling, for the fact that it rides a little higher than your average shoe. The truth is, though, that anyone can successfully pull off any high cut shoe – and there’s only a few things that need to be considered.
The first crucial step is buying the right size shoe to begin with. It may seem like an obvious one, but realistically with most hi-top footwear you shouldn’t be going more than a half size up or down from your usual – obviously for comfort reasons, but also because of how the shoes will then look on feet. If you buy them too big you run the risk of having to tie the laces tight, and that can make hi-tops look very long – you don’t want people thinking they could cross the Channel in your shoes. If you buy them too small, they can look quite short and wide, which again just looks awkward. Go for your normal size or whatever feels genuinely comfortable without the laces having to be too loose or tight.
Once you’ve got the right size, the next thing to think about is what bottoms you should go for. A lot of this comes down to the nature of the shoe – a Blazer, for example is quite a slim shoe and can potentially pair well with more types of bottoms than a slightly bulkier Dunk High. For slim shoes, the CTAS High and Matchcourt High included, you can go for almost whatever you want. Straight cut Dickies trousers, an 872 or 873, for example, with a few cuffs at the bottom is always a good option. The trousers will rest just above the shoe which looks very clean and smart, no matter how beat your shoes are. If denim is more your thing, again there’s a few ways you can go about things. Skinny jeans might be a bit of a push, because the nature of hi-top shoes means they always make your legs look slimmer than they are, particularly if you’re wearing tight jeans. Slim jeans can work very well though, whether you let the rest on the shoe behind the tongue, or cuff them a few times as can be seen on the left above.
The Dunk High is a high top just like the Blazer, CTAS High, Matchcourt High and the like, but is a bit more tricky because of its more bulky style. Don’t be put off by that, though – when styled right, the Dunk High is easily one of the best sneakers out there, one that is utterly unique. Straight cut trousers can still work quite well, and you can even leave them uncuffed for the ultimate old-school skater style. Slim denim is again the key here, particularly because of one thing – stacking. As can be seen above, whether you wear your jeans over or behind the tongue, the key to a real street-ready look is how the jeans sit on the shoe. Higher quality jeans like a Levi’s 511 or Cheap Monday Sonic have a bit more weight and thickness to them than your average jeans. That means when their straight fit down to the foot is interrupted by a high-top shoe, they gather on top of the shoe very nicely. This way, you avoid letting the shoes or your legs look too bulky or slim, and you essentially get the best of both worlds.
There’s a variety of high-top footwear styles available on our website right now, which you can find at Attitudeinc.co.uk. If you want to get some of them in-hand, pop down to our Colchester or Ipswich stores.