The Greats Bab V2. Ideal for Fall
A necessary, reasonably-price palette cleanser in today's more-is-more sneaker climate.
In 2012, longtime sneaker industry heads Ryan Babenzien and Jon Buscemi decided to sell quality sneakers directly to consumers, lowering prices for customers and allowing the guys to compete with major sneaker brands right out of the gate. They called the brand Greats, set up shop in Brooklyn, and made their first sneaker—a clean white tennis style dubbed the "Royale"—that fit into just about every guy's closet. The fact that the Royales were $300 less than a pair of Common Projects and a little cooler than a pair of Stan Smiths made them an instant hit. Since then, the brand has expanded its offerings to include over 15 sneakers, and collaborations with the likes of Nick Wooster, Marshawn Lynch, and NYC skate-prep label Noah (which is helmed by Ryan's brother Brendon). But for all their bolder offerings, like metallic slip-on sneakers and camo chukka styles, it's one of their most versatile and simple shoes yet—the Bab V2—that you'll want to wear over and over this fall.
The Bab V2 has a lightweight upper that takes cues from popular modern running silhouettes, but its minimal styling makes it feel more like a sneaker to wear with jeans, not gym shorts. A thick sole provides the kind of comfort that guys on the move will dig, but where the Bab V2 really excels in its extra-wide mud guard—that piece running the length of the shoe, just above the sole—which will help you avoid wet socks during those inevitable fall rain storms. The Bab isn't waterproof, but on a day when you step in a shallow puddle on the way to work, you'll be glad you had 'em on your feet.
In a sneaker climate where $500 (or ever $800) intentionally ugly sneakers are blowing up, the Bab V2—minimal, modern, and practical—is a welcome palette cleanser. The pair is also affordable. As is the case with every sneaker in Greats' line-up, they deliver serious bang for your buck, providing a designed-in-Brooklyn silhouette you won't find anywhere else for just $79.