John Legend helped design these cool new Sperry boots

Most of the big news from mainstream brands feels oddly stereotypical. Brand X is announcing a few products and, without even seeing it, you know exactly what to expect. Jordan and a generational basketball sneaker; Timberland and rugged, waterproof boots; Converse and a new colourway of the Chuck Taylor; And so on. But Sperry just broke the mold with his latest shoes

From the American sailing brand, you’d expect boat shoes and maybe duck boots – something water friendly for sure. Instead, they teamed up with singer, actor, producer and TV personality – oh, not to mention EGOT winner – John Legend and his stylist David Thomas, for a sequel of simpler shoes. Nothing revolutionary; just nice slip-ons, sneakers and well-made boots.

Legend has been a long-time fan of the brand, as well as an official ambassador for just over a year. He’s already curated special collections, like the John Legend Edit, but these new shoes represent his first original creations.

“We wanted to include elements of historical Sperry articles, but to marry that with my own sensibility and personal style. [Sperry] had never done tall boots like this before, and we – Dave Thomas and I – thought that would be cool, “Legend tells us. but there are also moccasin elements. Some of the shapes down are reminiscent of in some ways the Sperry moccasins, but with the high boot and heavy sole. “

“We worked together in the right way, starting with a blank slate and then capturing John’s mind,” said Sean McDowell, vice president of product and design for Sperry. “The results have taken the brand to a sophisticated and premium level.”

The co-designed collection includes a Top-Sider slip-on shoe called the Plushwave Boat Shoe; a boat shoe meets a mid-high sneaker, the Commodore; and our favorite, the hand-sewn full grain leather Vibram Lug high boots. They stand out clearly from the flat-footed moccasins that most of us know the brand for. Tall Boots are interesting, and that’s more than what can be said for a lot of Sperry shoes these days. The magic is there, hidden in the story of it all, but it takes an outsider’s sense of direction to find it and resurface it in the right way. Check out Noah and Sperry’s Captain Croc Embossed Oxford, Rowing Blazers ‘Sperry Cloud collaboration, or Beams Plus’ Premium CVOs – and, of course, Legend’s starter debut. Collaboration, it seems, sparks innovation rather than repetitive interpolations of color or texture.

“Digging through the Sperry archives and reinventing their boat shoe; this is the first time this has happened with a collaboration and it’s something we’re very proud of,” said Thomas. The process consisted of trial and error, he adds, of “taking their product apart and putting it back together, adding and removing.”

At this new level of luxury, consumers get full-grain leather uppers, an obvious Vibram lug sole, lambskin lining, waxed laces, laser-cut patterns meant to replicate the laces at 360 degrees on the Top-Sider and a fully functional middle zipper for easy removal. Additionally, you can choose between a natural brown pair with a white outsole or a tonal black pair with a contrasting cream lining.

“A lot of Sperry stuff in the past was pretty laid back and laid back, but this [boot] makes you feel like you can walk the streets of Manhattan or maybe London or anywhere with. And that’s new territory for Sperry, “Legend says.” But I think the public knows when they feel forced or when they feel like it’s not a good fit. I think they will see that it makes perfect sense. “

The black and brown boots are available now through Sperry and Nordstrom.

The Sperry x John Legend Collection


Original Vibram Lug boot


Original Vibram Lug boot

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