Autumn is coming. It doesn’t quite have the same wintry ring to it, does it? And yet it’s true. In just two short weeks, the strangest summer the world has known for decades will draw to an end. After months of being cooped up, locked down and isolated away from our friends and family, we’ll finally be able to step out and enjoy what’s left of 2020. It’s a big moment.
So it’ll pay to step out with some sturdy, stylish shoes. The types of shoes that transcend dress codes, that walk all over inclement weather, that cushion your feet so fantastically that your 14-hour days feel almost effortless. Those kind of shoes. Or, in other words, a pair of North 89’s latest kicks.
We’ve long laced up this Scandinavian brand’s functional, fashionable sneakers. When it launched in 2016, we were impressed by the founders’ pragmatic approach to design — tailoring distinct ranges of footwear to specific Swedish seasons. The latest, autumn-centric offerings are probably North 89’s most innovative yet; using everything from sturdy metal shanks to memory foam insoles to ensure each step is a practical, dependable pleasure.
For darker nights, No-2, Midnight Weatherproof 2.0
The No-2, North 89’s sportier, sleeker sneaker, has always been something of an enigma. With smooth lines and no eyelets, it’s a design that has acted as a blank canvas for the brand — allowing them to experiment with materials including cotton mesh, perforated leathers and now weatherproof textiles. Enter the Midnight Weatherproof 2.0. And yes, it’s as cool as it sounds.
With a calfskin lining and luxurious Italian suede detailing, you’d expect this to be a shoe that shies away from gloomy spells. Yet, thanks to a new midnight blue weatherproof upper, matching nylon laces and a sturdy rubber cup sole, these understated, overwhelmingly practical sneakers may just be your new go-to rainy trainers.
No-2, Midnight Weatherproof
For the autumn aesthetic, No-2, Hunter Green
For the next model in North 89’s latest range, they’ve got all autumnal. And, while that means that these sneakers can stand up to the worst weather, the harshest conditions and the coldest temperatures, it also means that they look the part. In a dusky, earthy colour combination of mid-brown and dark khaki, this Hunter Green No-2 design fits the autumn aesthetic perfectly.
But, while it talks the talk, it also walks the memory-foam-cushioned, metal-shank-reinforced walk. Tied together with tough, dark green nylon laces, this is one sturdy sneaker — as capable of traversing across the diverse dress code landscape as it is at tackling real-world terrains.
No-2, Hunter Green
For autumn showers, No-1, Ebony Weatherproof
Now these shoes break all the rules. The No-1 model, North 89’s original design and one that set the silhouette for most of its trainers to come, has an abrupt heel, chunky sole and elegant profile. Everything you’d expect from a chic, Scandi-influenced sneaker. Or is it? Because this latest spin on the style is dark brown and crafted from suede.
It’s not a hue you usually see on sneakers, but the deep, rich ebony colour works well here with the suede. And the brushed material itself — usually prone to water damage and staining at the first drop of rain — has been created in conjunction with Scotchgard; treated to withstand even the wettest weather. Pair that with a rugged rubber cup sole and you’ve got the most unlikely weatherproof sneakers on the market.
No-1, Ebony Weatherproof
For walking a fine style line, No-2, Mercury
The sneakers of North 89 may be dreamt up and designed in Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm — but they have a decidedly continental European feel about them. And there’s a reason for that. The construction of these kicks takes place in Porto, Portugal, where they are handmade to the highest standard. And the No-2 Mercury shoes look like they belong there; in the heat of a bustling summer city.
Of course, this is the autumn range — but that shouldn’t stop you praying for an Indian summer. That’s where these multi-tone trainers belong; somewhere between a blazing cosmopolitan city break and a workaday working week. And, with that premium Italian suede upper, they’ll pass muster wherever — and whenever — you lace them up.