Common Projects Achilles Price
Theres no getting around the fact that these are expensive shoes, usually costing between $400 and $450.
Look, I get it. Theyre expensive, and there are similar shoes from New Republic and Kent Wang that look pretty similar, but Ive seen older pairs of those shoes and they simply arent as durable. Its different leather and different craftmanship. Common Projects really will age the best and out of the many alternatives out there, while some come close to replicating the style, they are not going to hold up as well over time.
There are a lot of little things they do, like the fact that the sole is stitched down to prevent it from coming apart, the high quality leather is easier to take care of, the outsole is renowned for its quality, and so on.
Menswear Must: White Common Projects Achilles Low Sneakers
Of the many things you can buy, few things are more satisfying than a new pair of white sneakers. A classic pair of sneakers can go a long way, and when you own the right pair, they can take your style to a new level. The most premium white sneakers out there will cost anywhere from $200 – $400 at minimum, but when you spend that much, you can expect them to last for years. At the top of the sneaker market, our favorite pair of white sneakers is the Common Projects Achilles Low. Not only are they some of the sleekest sneakers available, but you can wear them with anything.
Common Projects started in 2004 with a single pair of sneakers that quickly became one of the most coveted pairs of shoes in the world. After having no luck finding anything other than Chuck Taylors or Stan Smiths, the founders of Common Projects set out to design the perfect sneakers for their themselves .
Inspiration for the brand came from the everyday sneakers of Converse and Adidas while tying in the elegance of Italian leather, hand-stitching, and impeccable quality. Common Projects arent just made of any leather, though – they are crafted from Italian napa leather thats smooth and soft to the touch. This casual-meets-coveted design pulled on inspiration from the founders original love for the classic Converse and similar sneakers, but to meet the needs of men with elevated taste.
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The pinnacle of white sneakerdom.
The greatest white sneaker of all time, thats what people say about the legendary and phenomenally expensive Achilles low sneaker from Common Projects and if youre reading this, your question is probably this: are they worth the eye watering price of $400+?
Well, friend, youve come to the right place. I did not get these shoes for free, this is not a paid post, I picked these up at the Nordstroms in Columbus Circle here in New York City and I felt the gut punch to my wallet just like you would.
Ive been wearing these sneakers on and off for several months so you and I can properly explore the super clean, timeless, sleek, youthful-yet-very-grown-up Achilles low sneaker from the very mysterious footwear company called Common Projects.
- Started by a New York art director and Italian creative consultant
- No money spent on marketing
- Cult-like following
Common Projects started in 2004 as a collaboration between Prathan Peter Poopat, an art director in New York City, and Flavio Girolami, an Italian creative consultant.
If you can believe it, even though its the most talked about white sneaker on Earth and its the cornerstone of every outfit on the malefashionadvice subreddit, the company has never spent a dollar on advertising.
On top of that, their website is complete dogsh*t , is hideous and seldom updated, they really do absolutely nothing to market except let the product itself fuel word of mouth.
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Common Projects Achilles Low Sizing
The sizes of Common Projects shoes are based on European and only in full sizes. Common Projects Achilles runs long and narrow so you should expect there is extra space in the toe box.
From my own experience and what other users reported, you should go down one size if you have normal feet. Choose the same size if you have wide feet.
For reference, I am wearing US 8.5 in Nike and US 8 in Converse and have slightly narrow feet. I tried size 39 and 40 and ended up going with a size 39 as it fits better in terms of width. A size 40 leaves a little extra room for the width and I prefer a size 39 for the sake of sleekness. The shoes did get slightly more comfortable after a few wears.
Common Projects Achilles Low Unboxing
The sneakers are packaged in a sturdy, all-white shoebox with the Common Projects logo at the top.
Inside the shoebox, you will find a white shoe dust bag and an extra set of shoelaces.
The unboxing experience is pretty good, but I would expect the shoes are wrapped separately in plastic bags or paper to avoid the shoes scuffing each other.
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Common Projects Achilles Low Review
Common Projects Achilles has been highly regarded as the gold standard for minimalist white sneakers. And it’s probably the most discussed sneakers on the internet.
While it’s generally agreed that the quality and design of the shoes are second to none, most people are torn between “it’s way too expensive” and “shut up and take my money”.
For once, the Common Projects Achilles united the online community for a good cause. Threads were created in various forums help the people on the fence look out for discounts or other cheaper alternatives.
And I’ve been through all these struggles myself. I have been on the fence of getting a pair for long, but shelling out 400 bucks for just a pair of white sneakers sounds like a crazy idea.
So I searched for Common Projects alternatives and ended up buying a pair of Zespa ZSP4 on sale. They are beautiful and very well made, and I honestly think that they are the best pair of white sneakers you can get at this price range. I love them, and I thought I would settle with them for the rest of my life.
I was wrong.
It was not until I met my friend rocking a pair of Common Projects Achilles and I did a side by side comparison and I finally realized what I am wearing is really just a great pair of white sneakers, not truly Common Projects alternatives. There’s something special in Common Projects Achilles that other white sneakers lack.
And now here’s my review of Common Projects Achilles Low .
Original Achilles Leather Low
Sleek leather sneakers are constructed in a supple finish. Leather upper Round toe Lace-up vamp Leather lining Rubber sole Made in Italy SIZE Platform, 1″ Please note: This style runs large. Order one size down. Men’s Shoes – Contemporary Lifestyle > Saks Fifth Avenue > Barneys. Common Projects. Color: White. Size: 11.
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Common Projects Achilles Aesthetic
- Streamlined and slim
This is the simple mans sneaker.
The Achilles has an incredibly clean design. Its completely free from branding the companys name doesnt even appear on the tongue or the sole. The only bit of design is the iconic gold foil stamp on the outside heel, which is the style, size, and color of the shoe.
Sure, some feel the gold foil stamp is incongruent with the minimalist aesthetic, others love it because it glamourizes something so simple and mundane that its normally only found on the inside of your shoes on the tag.
Otherwise, its a totally monochromatic shoe that manages to be as low key as it is luxurious. Meticulously designed with nice, smooth, white leather overlaid with leather eyelet panels running from the forefoot to the ankle collar, theres also a minimal ankle tab above a seam that splits the leather at the back of the shoe, running up the center of the heel.
White suede lines the inside of the heel for some added traction on rear of the foot, and the rest of the inside is lined with white smooth leather.
A big selling point that some people might miss is that the sole is actually stitched onto the upper. Its glued as well, but that stitching means that you wont get those dreaded holes at the toebreak that so many cheaper sneakers eventually develop, and its one of many very subtle ways the sneakers tell you that they are not your average kicks.
High Snobiety had this great review where the author Aleks Eror said,
Common Projects Achilles Sole
- Thick, good quality Italian rubber
- Stitched and cemented to upper with Stroebel stitching
- More durable than standard sneaker construction
The upper is attached to a one-piece rubber Margom sole, which can take a beating without crumbling and wearing away like most sneaker soles its really thick and great quality Italian rubber, with Gear Patrolcalling Margom,
a revered Italian brand creates many of the outsoles for top luxury footwear brands because they genuinely are the best of the best.
Its attached with whats called sidewalk stitching or Stroebel construction, a mixture of cementing and stitching which is super rare. Most sneakers have the sole glued, on this is glued andstitched, with the stitching being the main method of attachment. That means maybe, possibly you could get these resoled when the time comes. Maybe.
More importantly, as I mentioned earlier, it means that with age you wont get holes around the toe break like every other sneaker you own.
- Thick, soft leather footbed
- Surprisingly heavy sole
There are four reasons the fit & sizing is a bit of a pain in the ass with Common Projects:
After a very long deliberation I wound up going with the 45s: today theyre a hair small, but they stretched a teeny tiny bit and theyre still comfy as all hell.
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Common Projects Pros & Cons
- Can be worn with any outfit
- Stitched sole
- Toe box quite shallow and narrow
- Sizing is tricky
- Can be stuffy in hot weather
- Phenomenally expensive
Good God, these shoes are cool.
Theyre just the coolest shoes. The whole breezy but dressy, casual but formal, minimalist but unmistakably branded look, from top to bottom there just isnt anything quite like them. They go with every single outfit, it doesnt matter how casual or formal it is.
I love the fact that the upper is stitched to the sole so you wont get the dreaded toebreak holes.
Theyre very comfortable, I love the softness of the footbed coupled with the weight and durability of the sole.
Now, theyre not sneakers exactly. That word has connotations of beat around shoes you dont have to care for, you know? Common Projects need shoe trees, for goodness sake they need more babying than the average sneaker out there, which is a turn off to some folks.
Its also too slim and sleek for some people, not only in its width, but the toebox is quite shallow and narrow, squeezing the toes of the bigger-footed among us. They should do half sizes and wider widths, and they dont.
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How To Clean And Care For Common Projects Achilles
- Clean regularly with damp rag
- Occasionally brush with horsehair brush and use leather cleaner
- Use white leather crema for scuffs, like Saphir or Kellys
- Magic eraser on the sole
- Use shoe trees
Cleanliness is next to godliness, and it says a lot about a man if his sneakers are white and spotless. Boys like their sneakers beat up and dirty, but do not be that guy who spends $400 on shoes and lets them get ugly. Keep them as clean as you can itll extend their lifespan and make you look like a guy who gives a damn.
The good news is that this is smooth leather, so there arent many places for dirt to get trapped and its easy to wipe them down with just a damp rag now and then.
Sometimes theyll be a bit too dirty for that, so when it comes to cleaning them:
Treat them well and theyll last you at least five years, maybe more.
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