After releasing a collaboration with Slack, Cole Haan seems determined to grab attention from the sneaker world in which it has yet to prosper. This time, the footwear brand has found a more worthy partner in Hasan Minhaj, the comedian and bonafide sneakerhead who made an excellent segment explaining the shadiness of Supreme’s former stakeholder, The Carlyle Group.
Unfortunately, teaming up with Minhaj has just resulted in another eyesore. The two have released an unsightly sneaker-boot hybrid known as the 4.ZeroGrand. Jeff Staple, the man behind the infamous Pigeon Dunk sneaker, was even brought in for the design, but his failure to make Cole Haan more appealing serves as more evidence that his best ideas are behind him.
There’s a nice story behind the 4.ZeroGrand, bringing the journey of Minhaj’s father and colors inspired by Bollywood into the mix. Still, the earnestness of his intentions doesn’t change the fact that Cole Haan sneakers are just Allbirds without all the nonsense of disruption.
Let’s humor the story — Minhaj’s father immigrated from India to America, providing the opportunity for his son to become a Daily Show correspondent and host of his own (now cancelled) show, Patriot Act. “Survive” and “Live” are embroidered onto the heel tabs as recognition of his father’s journey, an objectively endearing choice.
The problem is that these heel tabs sit on a boot that was haphazardly given a sneaker’s sole. Sneaker boots can be cool, providing versatility in everyday life and more arduous outdoor activities. The 4.ZeroGrand, however, only looks suited for an apple picking date as part of Christian Girl Autumn and as an acceptable footwear choice for an office that uses a nap room, free beer, and a ping pong table to get you to work far more than is healthy.
The red and gold color scheme could also work on a superior silhouette, say the classic Timberland 6-Inch or one of Nike ACG’s sneaker-boot bangers. Here, it could only be paired with some harmless chinos, a modest sweater, and a leather coat from Burlington Coat Factory.
'Limited Edition' — Ostensibly, Minhaj’s Cole Haans are only available in small supply. But so were the Slack sneakers, and those are still sitting unclaimed a month later. The $270 price tag isn’t doing the sneaker-boot any favors either. Prepare to see these discounted at some point in the future and perhaps on the feet of your high school classmate whose life you envy least.