Functionality trumps style when it comes to footwear for me, but my latest find from New York-based brand Feit has both in spades. I have long been an admirer of the label’s coolly minimal men’s shoes and bags, and while strolling past its sublimely sleek SoHo store recently I was thrilled to discover its first women’s collection – in particular a neat pair of off-white lace-up leather trainers ($540) in soft yet structured semi-cordovan vegetable-tanned leather. One trial run around the shop and I was sold.
All of Feit’s shoes are made using a single-piece leather upper that is handsewn directly onto the midsole, creating a seamless, smooth silhouette. The emphasis is on excellent materials and lessons learnt from traditional techniques; these are shoes designed to be worn – and resoled – for decades to come. And they are incredibly comfortable. My Court shoes fuse the basics of a sneaker – a sturdy zero-drop sole that keeps the foot solidly on the ground, and a Goodyear construction that provides incredible support – with the aesthetics of a classic handsewn Italian shoe. They also come with two sets of insoles – one in cork ($20 per pair), to be used as a sort of cushioning base layer, and one in buffalo leather ($30) that is buttery soft and has moulded to my feet in a matter of just two weeks.
Other shoes in the range include a Ballet flat ($480) – designer Tull Price’s high-fronted take on the classic slip-on – and the summery Slipper ($520) in hues of sand, natural beige, black and cuoio brown. And there are some fabulous women’s bags too – all handcrafted in Florence. The gorgeous Navy bag (small, $500-$700; large, $600-$1,000) is inspired by a sailing dry bag; the small version can be worn over the shoulder or across the body and would be perfectly suited to day-to-day city life, while the larger version would work well for a weekend away.