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A Sneak Peek

Locker-room talk: Your fall boots may be made for walking -- but these hip sneakers will give them a run for the money.

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Do you secretly long for the days when you lived in your running shoes? This season, designers have tweaked the black-and-white Adidas and Pumas from your school days and are selling them for hundreds of dollars a pair. We say: Accept no substitutes -- the originals will get you on the fast track for a fraction of the price.

The season's best styles come in fierce black and white and match almost anything in your wardrobe. For kicks -- of the Italian minimalist kind -- we suggest Puma's Avantis ($70 at Rugged Sole, 7 W. 8th St., or puma.com), which are almost identical to the $200 style the company made for Jil Sander. Or pick up a pair of Adidas' Sambas ($40 at Modell's stores), the model for a similar style by Yohji Yamamoto that sold out the second it hit stores. For a spring in your step -- and a flashback to junior high -- you can't beat Reebok's Classic Ballistic ($40 at Raspberry stores or reebok.com) mesh-and-suede style. And if you want a look that will pass muster at Morgan's bar and at the Meadowlands, Nike's sharp suede-accented Cortez II ($40 at Niketown or nike.com) is your ticket.


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