We review a lot of comfortable travel shoes on this blog that will feel great after a day of pounding the pavement or trails, but when the time comes to look cool instead, having a Cushe pair in your bag can give you a leg (or at least a foot) up on other travelers.
One of the vocabulary differences between American and British English is for athletic shoes: “sneakers” on one side of the Atlantic, “trainers” on the other. The two aren’t really equal though. While Americans tend to value comfort over all else, the Europeans are all about looking fashionable or at least having the right look for a night of clubbing. So while our sneakers tend to be comfy and clunky, ones like these cool Cushe Boutique Sneaks pictured here will get compliments instead of just being functional. Despite the “sneaks” in the name, with these you’ll almost fit in when you cross the ocean.
These are designed shoes: they don’t just sport a tried-and-true, me-too look that blends in. I’ll go for weeks without anyone saying anything about my shoes, then I’ll put these on and get two or three comments about them in a day. It doesn’t hurt that Cushe is kind of an “in the know” brand that’s not in your local Foot Locker store. You’d have better luck at a high-end department store. They look so different from everything else because they really are.
There are plenty of nice touches though that keep these Boutique Sneaks from being just something pretty to put on your feet. The materials are good quality, from laces that stay tied to a cushy liner that’s about double the thickness of most of the other shoes I review. It conforms well to your feet and holds up on long days. So while these look kind of thin and flat, you’re not getting foot pains after a couple hours in them. There are several layers of canvas and leather on the uppers, with double-stitching in most areas. The tongue and toe both have a pull loop, which I’ve found I use a lot and miss them on other shoes I wear. The sole is rolled on the back so it won’t wear down or start coming apart in the back. Above that is a fleece section that then extends around the ankle.
Plus I like the whimsy of these. As you can see in the photo to the right, turn them over (or cross your legs) and you’ve got a foot shape on the bottom. It’s not just printed on there either: it’s embedded in the clear rubber sole in a way that it looks 3-D. There are also sentences on the bottom, broken up into words that just end up being a design element.
Otherwise there aren’t a lot of features that are going to wow outdoor adventure types—that’s not the emphasis here. Pack something else for braving all elements and hiking through the mud. These look good for less lively pursuits, but are still structured enough for a two-mile pub crawl. They’re lightweight and don’t take up much space in your luggage.
The Cushe Boutique Sneak shoes come in four colors for men and one for women , all with the kicked-back Cushe guy on the side and tw0-tone elements. They list for $100 and $90 respectively if you order direct, but you may be able to find them discounted if you check online at these product links: