Want to try out Common Projects but intimidated by the steep price? Before splurging, read this hands-on review of the Achilles Low!
Common Projects — if you’re a men’s style enthusiast, you’ve undoubtedly heard of this iconic brand.
If you’re familiar with their classic minimal
Today we’ll answer the question, “Are they worth it?”
This guest review was written by The Modest Man reader, James Barrett. James provided photos of his second pair of Common Project Achilles Lows.
History of Common Projects
In 2004, a dynamic pair, Prathan Poopat and Flavio Girolami, set out to make stylish, luxury
Now, almost 20 years later, Common Projects offers a wide range of high-end footwear. Included in their lineup are Chelsea boots, basketball shoes, loafers, desert boots, and more.
Though based in NYC, Common Projects are made in Italy’s Marche region from fine Italian leather. (Source).
My love affair with Common Projects began around ten years ago. I was immediately hooked once I saw the clean silhouette look on the now-infamous, Bradley Cooper GQ shoot.
Though aesthetically, my interests were peaked, it would be for at least another four years before I actually attempted to pull the trigger on a pair. In 2013, I was in an entry-level position so spending hundreds of dollars on shoes was out of the question.
Fast forward to 2017, I finally decided to figuratively dip my toes in the water. I was (understandably) still unsure about spending $400+ on shoes.
At that time, I was a frequent visitor of the Mr. Porter website. I ordered the grey leather pair with the intent of sending them back. (I convinced myself that I just wanted to see how they fit and looked).
After trying them on, sending them back was one of the hardest things, sartorially speaking, that I’ve ever had to do. I was hooked. However, I kept my promise to myself to return them because I still wasn’t financially ready to commit.
When I was financially ready, boy did I commit. By that time, I’d discovered Grailed. Coincidentally, I was in the same class at college as their brand director.
I bought my first pair of Common Projects, brand new, for around $300. This time I opted for the all-white pair.
However, they didn’t match the Common Projects’ slim, minimal silhouette. In retrospect, trying to “make due” with other minimal white
I’m currently wearing the original pair that I bought in 2019. They have become my backup pair and go along with the current well-worn sneaker. Aside from the clean silhouette, the materials just seemed like they were higher quality compared to the other brands that I tried.
The Achilles Low simply blended so well with my aesthetic and became my go-to shoe.
Wondering how to wear white minimal
My Common Projects Cost Per Wear
Now, here’s where things get a little nerdy. I use an app called Stylebook Men to calculate my cost per wear of anything that I purchase. Yes, that means that my entire wardrobe is logged online.
While you might think that $300+
My original pair of Achilles Lows cost around $300 and I’ve worn them in 337 outfits. That’s a $0.90 cost per wear. I’ve absolutely gotten the value out of these shoes.
My primary pair, which I purchased in 2021, has a cost per wear of 1.80 cents based on a purchase price of $329 and is used in 191 outfits.
For me, considering the cost per wear has helped me to realize that these purchases were absolutely worth it.
Now, I have a sneaker cleaning/restoration side hustle, and, as you can see, I’m quite the nerd so I take immaculate care of any shoe that I own.
I still get compliments today on how new they look even after almost 200 wears.
To those of you reading this article that already owns a pair of Common Projects, how does this information translate to you? What would you say is your approximate cost per wear? I’m curious, let me know in the comment section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s questions people are asking on the web are asking about Common Projects:
What do Common Projects numbers mean?
The numbers printed on the side of Common Projects indicate the sneaker’s style number, shoe size (European sizing), and color code. The style number and color code are used internally by Common Projects.
How long do Common Projects last?
Way longer than cheap leather sneakers! I’ve worn my first pair well over 300 times and they are still going strong.
How do Common Projects fit?
Common Projects normally fit true-to-size. However, they only come in whole sizes, so, if you’re between sizes, for the Achilles Low I’d size up.
Common Projects Achilles Low: Are They Worth It?
All things considered, at over $300 are the Achilles Low Common Projects
Well, It depends.
Now, I know some of you will want a clear yes or no answer. However, we all have different circumstances.
Personally, my Achilles Lows were absolutely worth it for me. Not only is the cost per wear quite low, but these were also shoes that I coveted for nearly six years before I actually bought them.
I was more than ready mentally to get a pair.
I’m also someone who’s very meticulous with my shoe maintenance, so I’ve kept them in good shape.
However, if you simply want a beater shoe that you don’t have to think about, maybe Common Projects’ current price tag doesn’t make sense for you.
That’s totally ok! In fact, there’s no shortage of brands that offer similar shoes in many different price ranges.
Check out this video for six great alternatives:
However, if you resonate with my story and have always wanted a pair. Once they’re on your feet, there will be no regrets.
Would you cough up $300+ on a pair of Common Projects