5 modern upgrades to classic shoes

November 17, 2021

In the last few decades, the development of new types of fabric and advancements in sole technology have led to a notable increase in shoe quality. As we noted in our previous article on ‘Shoes for the Working Woman’, if there’s anything popular shoes have in common it’s that they need to be quality enough for wearing to work, without sacrificing style.

Recent developments in shoe design have made it clear that innovations to older fan favourites are shaking up the market. Below are just a few examples of how classic shoes are getting modern upgrades.

Converse All Star Disrupt CX

The simple lines and fabric of the Chuck Taylor is what most people imagine when someone talks about Converse. This walking advertisement for the brand has remained unchanged for a reason, but the new All Star Disrupt CX aims to satisfy even the most traditional of fans by using a material that adapts to any shape, making it surprisingly easy to take off.

The design also uses CX foam to provide a comfortable insole, and a durable rubber exterior. Some variations are also expected to have a transparent sole, so buyers can appreciate the technology in use.

Nike Cortez Tech Fleece

Originally introduced by Nike for the 1972 Olympics, the Cortez’s simple aesthetic provides a surprising level of comfort and durability that has made it the favorite of several generations. The Cortez is probably one of the best examples of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Recently, however, Nike decided to upgrade their heritage footwear with one of their most well-received innovations: the Tech Fleece. The result is a soft-looking pair that will give a stylish look to any morning runners.

Stüssy x Dr. Martens

The unlikely pairing between the California clothing brand with origins in hip hop and surfer culture and a British store famous for their thick leather, yellow-stitched boots has led to the creation of a quality pair of boots with a very classic feel. Unsurprisingly, the boots take inspiration from an original Dr. Martens pair from the ’60s.

The Stüssy and Dr. Martens workwear-inspired boot brings the streetwear brand’s subtle design sensibilities to the forefront by combining the classic Dr. Martens 939 silhouette and a rugged BEN sole, with Stüssy’s 6-eye signature boot. It’s a perfect blend of hard work, functionality and style.

Reebok ZPump Fusion

There are few models as heavily associated with their marketing campaigns than the famous Reebok Pump. The idea of using air to provide a custom fit proved to be widely successful, turning the line into an instant classic.

The ZFusion won’t disappoint original fans, as it uses both a compression and lightweight fusion sleeve to achieve even higher levels of comfort. The added Rated outsole provides the necessary grip required for a safe running session.

Adidas Samba Sock Primeknit

The classic three stripes and rubber sole makes Adidas Samba one of the most recognizable models in the brand. In 2018, the running shoes brand decided to improve a classic and release a Prime Knit version. The model is covered by a mesh fabric designed to facilitate ventilation, and offers a soft collar and interior that makes it extremely comfortable even when not wearing socks. It’s a beautiful upgrade on a beloved design.

The Past and the Present

Technological innovation led shoe brands to venture into upgrading classic models. The positive receptions to these releases seem to suggest that they made the right choice. Fans know that it’s not possible to go back in time, but they are more than happy to pay to see classic designs take advantage of recent advances.


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