Common Projects just released a velcro-strapped version of its much-beloved—and perfectly minimal—Achilles silhouette. And though we’re usually unequivocally excited when CP drops a new style on the world, in this particular instance, we have to admit that we’re feeling a little conflicted.
It’s not that there’s something wrong with the execution. The design is pretty much unimpeachable. For a velcro-strapped sneaker. And that’s the rub. Because for all the talk about understated branding and high-end construction, one of the things that made the original Achilles so great was how damn clean the lines were, and how well they flowed into one another. On this updated version, that’s not the case. Those straps—those big, thick horizontal lines—break everything up.
Sure, one could argue that laces do something similar, but they’re far less obtrusive, both visually and physically. The OG Achilles was sleek, low-profile—stealthy, even. This new one has a few more lumps and bumps to it. When Adidas pulled the same move with the Stan Smith, there was a sense of symmetry between the straps and the brand’s signature three stripes logo. Here, it just feels off.