As any frugal sneaker shopper can attest, it’s weirdly difficult to find a solid pair for under $40. Discount retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, which usually sell cheaper knock-off versions of brand-name shoes, have a woeful selection. Even classically inexpensive kicks like Keds and Vans Authentics will run you at least $50.
Knowing this makes these sneakers — from Irish company New Look, which also offers a slew of clothing at reasonable prices — a real gem. Their style is simple and classic, so they’re an easy hit with a wide range of people. These sneakers are an exceptional find for those looking for a regular, no-nonsense shoe that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The first thing people typically notice about these sneakers is their material. While most low-cost sneakers are made with canvas, these New Look kicks are crafted with a thin but sturdy, buttery-smooth faux leather. They have a nice new-sneaker smell and feel comfortable from the first wear. Testers reported that these shoes don’t require much breaking in and mold well to the feet. They won’t make your feet ache, even after a particularly long walk.
These lace-up sneakers have a medium-thick sole and a rounded toe. The monochrome design makes it easy to pair them with most styles and outfits. Testers found they worked best with pants or shorts, but could be styled with a casual skirt or dress. They’re really so simple, it’s hard to think of an outfit they’d clash with; this versatility makes them a great staple shoe.
Perhaps the New Look’s best feature is how pearly white they stay after extended use. Testers wore these out into the soot- and dirt-caked streets of New York City, among other places, and were amazed at how well the shoes retained their glowing, new-sneaker look, even after a month of use. The material repels stains and any blemishes can easily be washed away with a little white toothpaste and a wet cloth. Considering how quickly more expensive shoes can fall apart — testers who tried Cole Haan’s $130 GrandPro sneakers found that the stitching started to come undone after only a week — these truly do give you the best bang for your buck.
Unfortunately, these shoes only come in full sizes, so those who wear a half-size have to size up or down. It’s probably safer to size up, but one size-7.5 tester said the size 8 was a little too large.
Ultimately, these lace-up sneakers are a stylish and affordable choice for people who aren’t looking for anything fancy. They’re comfortable, inexpensive, and timelessly classic.