I love myself as a good old classic white tennis shoe to do pretty much anything and have tried a few different pairs over the years. I actually looked through a couple of other white leather tennis shoes by Cole Haan (the Margo Leather sneakers that are constantly available from Nordstrom Rack) so I was really curious what another style might be from the same brand. Although these come in 14 different colors, some of which are trendier than others, I loved the bright white with a fun little pop of red on the heel – versatile but fun nonetheless.
How I tested
I wore these shoes for all kinds of low-key activities: walking the dog around the neighborhood (about a mile on the sidewalk, up a small hill), meandering the dog through a local park (gravel, grass and dirt, modest incline), errands doing it, walking around town, riding a Citi bike, and hanging out in a park. (Side note: They got a bit dirty after the park, and the smooth leather upper was easy to clean on site with a damp cloth.) My testing was based on criteria set by our experts for our sneaker buying guide for our SELF Certified sneaker Awards; Read more about what they recommend when evaluating sneakers here.
I usually wear a size 1
Shape of the shoe
I have protruding heel bones that create a lot of blistering potential when I wear new shoes, especially the kind of cute tennis shoes I love. So I was very pleased with the way the heel of these shoes mapped onto my own – there was enough room for my heel bones, but also not so much that the shoes moved or slipped off.
My only complaint would be that these sneakers are pretty flat in the arch area and I have high arches. This never really made me uncomfortable wearing them for several hours at a time, but I would consider adding insoles to these if I knew I could walk for a couple of long days, for example. I have noticed, however, that they have recently started to adjust a little more to my arches, probably because the heel and balls of my feet are leaving marks on the footbeds.
Feeling of the shoe
These felt wonderful! The footbeds were soft but supportive and extremely well cushioned – rare for this type of leather tennis shoe in my experience. I loved that they had nice little padded pockets around the collar and ankles. I usually have to break in leather sneakers because they feel a little stiff the first time I wear them, but they immediately felt comfortable on my soles, heels and ankles. These sneakers were also very light, considering how good they look, and surprisingly breathable around my foot. Also, I wore them once without socks (I found my way out of clean pairs) and they were pretty comfortable! No irritation or blisters.
How my body felt during and after the activity
My feet, ankles and calves felt good during and after wearing them – no pain, irritation, blisters or pain.
Company’s right of return
Our experts said knowing a company’s return policy was important, especially if you buy shoes online without being able to try them on. Cole Haan only has a 30 day return window on unworn goods which I found a little short compared to many places these days.
Unless you’re buying directly from the brand, be sure to check the return and exchange policies of the retailer you choose.
The bottom line
These are all-round excellent lifestyle and hiking shoes. Combining a snug fit, comfort and good construction with a sporty, versatile look makes it difficult to find a better choice for classic white tennis shoes. I love her!