Berluti's Fast Track Sneaker: A Move Towards The Streets
Hand-patinated uppers, brogue detailing and a running shoe sole? Berluti got it all sorted.
A company built by four generations of shoemakers has seen its fair share of innovation, but clearly Berluti hasn’t dropped the pace. The new Fast Track sneaker hybrid range is a significant departure from the usual line-up of formal leather shoes that is integral to the mark. Much like the splicing of DNA to create something new, combining the best features of two or more different objects is central to the vision behind these snazzy beauties.
The Parisian brand has put the skills of its artisans to task, and they have met the mark by creating a completely new sportive icon. Combining the elegance of glazed calfskin, which has been adorned by British-inspired broguing on the toe-cap, together with a sporty sole, Fast Track also boasts Berluti’s new vitello unico (Italian for “single piece of calfskin”) leather—the latest lightweight addition to the family that’s created from a whole cut of soft, supple, ultra premium leather.
Purists might complain that Fast Track’s sneaker-dress shoe aesthetic is one step too far from the heritage of the house. But such critics forget that creativity and playfulness are core to the Berluti ethos, and they find perfect form in this contemporary design. After all, it is style with substance. The 21st century man is constantly on the move and his frenetic lifestyle demands much from the objects that he uses, not least his clothes and shoes.
Berluti recognises the need for stylish shoes as befits the man who is on the fast track in life. In one iteration, nylon is seamlessly combined with glazed calfskin, for a striking new form that is both technical and sleek. A ribbed rubber sole curves gently up over the front of the shoe, protecting the rounded edge of the soft leather. And though the upper retains a touch of classicism, let your eye wander a little further and you’ll see bright accents around the welt and the heel, detailing that this time takes its lead from the world of sport.
It’s a youthful shoe, one that celebrates movement and speed. Would you go jogging in these beauties? Probably not (though you could), but you would certainly want to wear them out and about, and Berluti shows us just how versatile they can be for AW16, when models in the runway show at the Grand Palais du Louvre, were dressed in lightly layered ensembles that looked like they had fallen straight from a landscape painter’s palette.
And if you’re wondering how to style them, just relax. Tapered trousers and a knit top go with the shoes, as do jeans and a simple white T-shirt. Or be a little more adventurous and pair them with a sharp suit, specifically the Fast Track in nylon and calfskin, which gives added panache. Those who err on the side of casual may prefer joggers or khakis, but remember to fold the cuffs just so for the latter, then throw on a long-sleeved linen shirt and a slim leather belt in a matching patina. With four different colourways to choose from, and a black or white sole, this new icon from Berluti is turning out to be quite the game changer.