I think about my everyday shoes the same way Mark Zuckerberg thinks about his everyday sweatshirts; find a single style nice enough to wear to work but also comfortable and uncomplicated, then make it the staple of your wardrobe.
Previously, I found that comfort and simplicity in an old Salomon/Topo Designs collab. But those shoes have died from literally thousands of miles of use (ask my co-workers at Outside), and I’ve moved on to a new pair of Saucony Shadow Originals. They meet all my necessary criteria immediately.
First, who doesn’t love the simple, but enduring Shadow design, with the two-tone color blocking set against a chunky sole? They have just enough style to stand out, but not so much as to be obnoxious. Wear them with jeans, slacks, anything really, and they'll look good. The style has proven staying power. Originally launched back in 1983, the Shadows were marketed to aspiring marathoners. As running-shoe design evolved, the Shadows were then picked up as more of a casual everyday item and have occupied that space for years and years. In other words, these aren’t some new, old-school release—they’ve been around for a long time because people dig ‘em.
On the comfort end, they've still got the soul of running shoes. More specifically, they have a shock-absorbing EVA midsole paired with a rigid heel insert, which means they give enough to wear for long miles but are rigid and supportive enough to keep your feet happy if you spend the weekend walking around museum floors starting at paintings. Adventure-wise, I’d gladly wear the Shadows on a mid-range weekend hike or an afternoon bike cruise. If you’re climbing a 14er, however, I’d recommend sturdier and more durable.
As for colors, I’m a big fan of the grey on grey. That design, in my opinion, has the most old-school flavor. But there are many options to choose from. Regardless of which you choose, I hope the kicks help streamline your everyday wardrobe as they've done for me.