If The Shoe Fits, You Must Be Trying To Look Like Uma

With sneaker boutiques popping up faster than hipster handbooks, it’s harder than ever to figure out which cool shoe is for you. We assembled a trio of sneakerheads—Bobbito Garcia, author of Where’d You Get Those? New York City’s Sneaker Culture: 1960–1987; Clarence Nathan, owner of Fort Greene’s Premium Goods; and graffiti artist Earsnot—to size up some of fall’s best.

Nike’s Laser Project
The Story: Want a $275 laser-etched shoe that looks like the tattooed face of a Maori warrior? Good luck: 175 people lined up to clean out Nort 235, the only store in the city to get some.

The Wearer: “The dude with those,” says Garcia, “wears sunglasses at night and probably has a trainer.”

Adidas Y-3
The Story: Yohji Yamamoto ignited the designer-sneaker trend ($230!) when he teamed with Adidas three years ago.

The Wearer: “Oh, yeah: fashionistas,” scoffs Nathan. Adds Earsnot: “People who want to say, ‘What can I buy that’ll let people know I can crush them with my wallet?’ ”

The Story: The retro $75 choice of cinematic ass-kickers, from Bruce Lee in Game of Death to Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.

The Wearer: “You’ve got the guy with the corduroys and the leather bike bag,” says Earsnot. Adds Garcia: “Harlem high-school girls also rock Asics wrestling shoes—it’s really trippy.”

Converse All Stars
The Story: Classic Converses (above) have always been cool. Now John Varvatos has taken this CBGB staple to Barneys with a $95 version.

The Wearer: Everyone from punks to models to kids in the projects. “Everybody’s had a pair of Converse,” says Nathan. “It’s in a class by itself.”

If The Shoe Fits, You Must Be Trying To Look Like Uma