For beautifully designed minimal shoes with a difference, look no further than VYN. The Swiss brand produces simple, pared-back trainers crafted from the finest leather and suede, hand finished in a well-regarded, family-owned factory in Italy. But what sets them apart is their sustainability, not to mention the personalisation that comes with their ingenious design.
What VYN has done is innovated with the structure of the shoe itself. Each one of its handcrafted trainers features both a self-repair heel and a replaceable heel tab.
This works twofold. First of all, there’s the longevity element: these are the two most vulnerable parts of the trainer, so being able to replace them helps multiply the lifespan of the shoe. But it also allows the wearer to switch things up a bit. You can mix and match your sneakers to your outfits using different pops of colour, simply by swapping out the heel. Go for flame red, olive green, natural or navy blue, each one injecting a touch of individuality into what is otherwise a neutral trainer.
In doing this VYN has made the world’s first repairable premium sneaker. It’s a beautifully designed thing, with a slightly chunky, contrasting rubber sole, a minimal upper with subtle stitching and no lace eyelets, as well as those distinctive colourful heel details.
The renewable concept makes it entirely unique, while the potential for personalisation as well as the long-lasting materials ensure it’s the only pair you’ll ever need. Plus its minimal design is endlessly versatile. If you’re after a luxury, responsibly-made sneaker that looks as good with jeans and a T-shirt as it does a suit, look no further.
Ape’s Top VYN Picks
Handmade at a family-owned Italian factory, these might be the only minimal sneakers you need. VYN produces two variants: a classic suede version, alongside this leather take. For the latter, the leather is sourced from a gold-rated Italian tannery, ensuring it’ll last while also being incredibly soft from the off.
Other details include a full leather lining to help reduce foot odour; a Portuguese cork footbed which moulds to the wearer’s foot, making you feel at home from the first step; as well as an Italian made outsole produced by one of the most renowned sole makers in Italy.
Easy to wear with both smart and casual looks, this is a sneaker that, with its pared-back silhouette and replaceable heel counters, is designed for life.
VYN Classic Heel Sets
As for the heel sets themselves, the counter is made from the same Italian calf leather as the Classic model – making them durable, soft and long lasting – while the bottom piece is made from hard-wearing rubber.
The counters offer personalisation in four beautiful vegetable-tanned colours that will take on a beautiful patina over time. The soft, breathable lining is from a certified tannery in Italy.
To replace them you simply lift the old one out, along with the insole, and slip the new one in its place. It’s also easy to replace the heel piece by dislodging it with a coin. Simply renew it by clicking in a new one and off you go. It’s an ingenious solution and one that will prolong the life of your new favourite pair.
VYN Cleaning Cream
To further keep those trainers looking their best, you might want to consider a cleaning cream. VYN has made their own to help remove any excess dirt and grime, and to moisturise the leather itself.
Made from a special combination of lanolin, essential oils and waxes, it helps soften the shoes, while also preventing them from drying out and cracking. VYN argues it also has the potential to reduce creases and wrinkles in the leather, helping to refresh the shoes and nurture the leather, keeping them looking throughout your journey with them.
A paid partnership with VYN – words and opinion are Ape’s own.