Hoka One One is so close to reaching its full potential. Its beefy soled sneakers are the most comfortable you can find, and the brand’s highly technical approach to running and hiking makes an appealing argument for utilitarianism as an aesthetic. The only problem is that the color schemes, with rare exception, are either underwhelming or tacky.
Enter Engineered Garments, your favorite menswear dude’s favorite menswear brand. The New York City-based Americana outfit working through a Japanese eye has been collaborating with Hoka One One for a few years now, and each time EG does it solves its partner’s deficiencies in color. Their newest link up, though, is the crème de la crème with a bunch of saucy earth tones.
The Nepenthes-owned brand will soon release a quartet of the Hoka One One Bondi L, a more lifestyle-oriented version of the road running shoe. Calf hair and suede replace the typically mesh upper, bringing with them drool-worthy leopard and croc prints. For the less fanciful, there are also more muted black or sand versions that are no less beautiful.
A “formal” running shoe — The idea behind the collaboration was to create a “formal” running shoe, which sounds ridiculous until you see the end result. Leopard print calf skin is such a superfluous sight on a pair of sneakers, but dammit if it won’t look great with Engineered Garment’s fatigues or some trousers from Our Legacy, another brand beloved by the kind of guy who’ll eat up this collab.
“I wanted to merge some of the staple elements of past Engineered Garments’ shoe and boot collaborations into a sneaker,” EG founder Daiki Suzuki said in a release. “With the functionality and comfort of the Bondi L, I found it to be an open canvas and the perfect silhouette for this project.”
Hoka has no weaknesses when EG is involved — except, of course, in ability of resistance for a very specific menswear guy. If you’re one of them, you’ll be able to cop one of the four pairs come August 19, when they sell for $200 a pop.