From Kanye to Balenciaga and Lanvin, the dress sneaker has proliferated since the debut of Nike’s 1995 Air Jordan XI – the first basketball shoe in patent leather – created a new genre of footwear. These are the sneakers you might see Dwayne Wade rock with a good-looking suit in the off season. But those shoes are all going to cost you big time. For sneakers you can wear to the office without having to subsidize the purchase with a second job, the studiously casual should pick up Converse’s newly released Pro Leather Vulcs.
Part of the Cons collection, a less-specialized companion to the Cons skate range, the Vulc offers premium leathers, slender boot laces, and a refined but streetwise look. The Vulc comes in dark burgundy with brown suede details and a vulcanized rubber midsole. The monochrome, stripped-down styling gives the sneaker high versatility – think of it as a comfortable, modern take on that dress shoe classic, the oxblood wingtip. And the subtle, stitched Converse star will still put you in line with the brand’s iconic, century-old all-American look. [$70; converse.com]