Things move pretty fast in the city. If you want to navigate it and enjoy everything that urban life has to offer, you need to be quick on your feet, comfortable, and able to transition seamlessly through a range of moods and environments. Ask any savvy urbanite, and they’ll tell you that having a wardrobe that can keep up is absolutely essential. Which is why we love Kenneth Cole’s new spring collection. Versatile and dripping with style, these picks are a perfect match for modern city living.
We recently put some of KC’s Techni-Cole shoes to the test while exploring New York City with full-time electrician and renowned mens fashion blogger Eric Wertz (how’s that for a resume?). As both an expert on laid-back-yet-tasteful menswear and a Brooklyn native, he was the perfect guide for shopping the Techni-Cole line and seeking out hidden gems across the city. From cutting edge urban farming to making the next great American whiskey and more, there’s so much to discover in New York—all you need is an adventurous spirit, and some quality staple pieces to keep you comfortable and looking good. Read on for our guide to some of the city’s best kept secrets and the Techni-Cole shoes that are must-haves for any urban explorer.
Here’s one thing you probably didn’t expect to find in the five boroughs: A sprawling farm perched on a rooftop. Since launching in 2009, Gotham Greens has become a leader in sustainable urban farming thanks to its high-tech approach to growing crops. All of the company’s produce is grown inside climate-controlled greenhouses—including a 60,000-square foot rooftop space in Queens—and the company uses machine learning technology to monitor plant health, cut back on energy and water use, and produce impressively high yields.
Whether you’re exploring a greenhouse or meeting up with friends, you need footwear that’s up for anything. What you need is a pair of Kenneth Cole Mello Lace-Up Oxfords. With their leather upper and breathable textile sock lining, these versatile kicks strike just the right balance between sporty and refined. They’re also built for all-day comfort: PImpact Pods in the sole provide optimal cushioning, and a grooved outsole helps the shoe flex with your feet. That means you can go from brunch to bike to hurry-up-and-catch-that train with ease.
The Streets of Bushwick
There are few Brooklyn neighborhoods more iconic than Bushwick, a renowned haven for street art and home to a constantly growing assortment of unique bars and restaurants. If you like getting off the beaten path (and avoiding crowds of tourists), this is the place to be. Murals abound, and walking the streets is a great way to experience the incredible range of art. If you’re looking for a guide, check out the guided street art tour from Brooklyn Unplugged—starting at 10:30 a.m. daily, it’s a great way to see some of the neighborhood’s best pieces. Then you can cap things off with a tasty pie from Roberta’s.
We spent some time pounding the pavement to scope out Bushwick’s hot spots, and the Kenneth Cole Liam Sneaker was the perfect companion. With a sleek leather upper that you can dress up or down, a triple-layer cushioned midsole, and a breathable microfiber interior lining, these shoes can mesh with any outfit and keep your feet comfy through a day of urban trekking.
Kings County Distillery
Kentucky isn’t the only place with award-winning bourbon. You can also find top-shelf whiskey in New York: Just head directly to Kings County Distillery. It’s the oldest and largest distillery in the city, and it’s located in a historic building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (an area that’s definitely worth checking out). Every Kings County whiskey is mashed, fermented, distilled, and aged onsite, and there are several varieties to choose from (even a delicious chocolate whiskey flavored with cacao bean husks). Pop in for a tasting at the Gatehouse room any day, or stop by for a tour of the full distillery on Wednesday through Sunday afternoons.
It might not feel like it yet, but spring and summer are around the corner, and the Liam Leather Slip-On Sneaker makes a great addition to any warm weather outfit. Put simply, there’s a lot to love about this shoe. The lightweight sole features the Techni-Cole Rebound System for top-notch shock absorption and extra support, a memory foam insole provides a soft step-in feel, and a breathable lining will keep your feet cool when the mercury rises.
The Yotel makes a great home base for exploring New York for the weekend. Located on the far west side of Manhattan, it’s just a few blocks from the High Line and the brand new Hudson Yards development. It might be the most tech-friendly hotel in the city: each room comes equipped with a smart TV and fully adjustable Smart Bed, and luggage is handled by a Yobot—a “robotic luggage concierge” that will keep your bags safe in one of 150 storage bins. And after a full day of adventures, you can relax and unwind with a cocktail on the hotel’s expansive outdoor terrace, one of the largest of any hotel in the city.
You can’t bring your whole closet with you when traveling, which is why we like the Nolan Bit Strap Snake Detail Loafer—it can pull double duty as a dress shoe and a casual shoe. The rich leather upper is refined enough for formal occasions, but the snakeskin details add some extra personality and help these shoes fit in well with more casual looks. There’s no compromise on comfort, either: A flexible rubber outsole and a padded footbed will keep your feet happy no matter where your day takes you.
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