In this hands-on review, I tested the Idrese Nuno sneaker to see if it’s worth the $200+ price tag.
This review was written by Benjamin Leschins, a NYC-based writer and menswear enthusiast.
The goal of a “direct to consumer” company is simple:
Cut out the middleman (retail stores) with vertical integration, produce a superior quality product, and pass the savings on to your customers.
Many menswear startups have tried, but not have all succeeded.Idrese is attempting to break this mold in the luxury shoe space.
I will be reviewing Idrese’s version of the minimal leather sneaker, a bonafide staple for any man’s wardrobe. In all white, this is the black cap toe of weekend-wear.
It doesn’t have any gold lettering stamped on its side, and it’s not made in Italy. But does that matter?
Let’s find out…
Table of Contents
Idrese is the brainchild of four men who quit their jobs in search of a superior footwear brand that is able to deliver on both ends of quality and price.
They were tired of having to pay top dollar for shoes that had questionable quality. None of the retailers they went to were reliable either.
So they set off on a mission to explore the possibility of manufacturing a product themselves. Their travels covered 30 independent European workshops in 6 countries over the course of 3 years.
They were ultimately able to find a way to manufacture the shoes using the highest standards of craftsmanship like Goodyear welting, and high-quality materials like Margom soles and full-grain Italian leather – all without any retail markup.
A similar shoe sold the traditional way via brick-and-mortar department stores and boutiques could cost $400 or more.
That’s not to say that these shoes are cheap. At $235, they cost way more than the average pair of
They are, however, a more affordable alternative to the legendary Common Projects Achilles Low.
To help justify the cost of such a shoe, Idrese includes some interesting information on their website. Each shoe discloses the average lifespan so you know how long you should expect to keep the shoe with regular wear.
The cost is broken down even further. The average cost per wear is approximately $0.21, compared to $0.23 for the competition, presumably another direct-to-consumer shoe company.
At the outset, it definitely looks like a great value on paper if you have the cash to spend. But how does the shoe actually look and feel in real life?
To get a better idea of what actually makes up the Nuno leather sneaker by Idrese, here are the specs:
Upper: Full-grain Italian leather
Lining: Full-grain Italian leather
Laces: Organic Waxed Cotton
Sole: Original Margom Sole
Insole: Anti-microbial leather insole
Stitching and Construction: Goodyear welt
Made in: Spain
Price: $235 (at time of writing)
My size: 8
These are all markings of a quality sneaker, but how does it look and feel in person?
The overall build quality of the Idrese Nuno is stellar. The full-grain Italian leather is soft to the touch, and I’m confident it will hold over time with regular cleanings and maintenance.
The interior of the shoe is also fully leather lined (so you can wear these without socks if you’d like).
When I put my foot into the shoe, it slid perfectly in. Many full-grain leather shoe interiors have the tendency to feel slippery during break-in, but here my foot felt secure.
The laces also felt great. Knowing that this part of the shoe is sometimes overlooked by manufacturers, it was nice to know that Idrese did not take that approach. The organic waxed cotton was knit really tight and I highly doubt that they’ll loosen over time.
My style preference is actually to not tie my laces because it throws off the silhouette and minimalistic nature of the shoe (more on that later). Even though I used a lace hack while testing them out, I know that they will be worn confidently knowing that every aspect of the shoe is of a higher cut than the rest.
Like all Idrese shoes, the Nuno sneaker is manufactured in Spain using imported materials (e.g., Italian leather).
I’ll be the first to admit that the “Made in Italy” moniker is a huge selling point for any brand, especially for footwear and leather goods. While “Made in Spain” doesn’t have the same cache (at least not yet), the materials are craftsmanship are still top-notch (for example, Idrese shells out for Margom soles).
The stitching is incredibly neat, especially for the slightly more complex sidewalk stitch.
This has been a sore spot for me for many reasons. As someone with a body that is fairly difficult to fit off the rack, shoes, unfortunately, are not exempt.
Dress shoes in particular have been difficult for me because different brands have different sizing methods. Not everything is cut and dry.
I am happy to report that Idrese Nuno sneaker did not have a problem in this area for me.
The best advice I could give for finding the right size is to actually go to your local dress shoe store. They were incredibly helpful there explaining to me the differences between each of my feet and what would be the ideal size if I were to shop with them or elsewhere.
My main concern with shoe size is the width. Shoes with normal widths tend to feel too narrow for me, but the Nuno sneaker felt appropriately wide when I put on the shoe with the laces opened and with the assistance of a shoehorn.
There are many brands that have released classic white
I have seen other brands use extra pieces of leather to incorporate a more unique design into the shoe. In my mind, that completely misses the point of the design.
One other aspect of the design that Idrese played up to its benefit is the lack of any branding. Even minimalist brands like Common Projects, Koio and
How to Wear Idrese Nuno
The great thing about the white minimalist sneaker is that you can wear it with almost anything.
For example, the Idrese Nuno goes well with this casual weekend outfit that’s both fitted and comfy, largely due to fabrics with built in stretch.
As part of my style journey, I’ve come to love the performance fabrics, especially in chinos and polo shirts.
Navy and grey is a color combination that can work for any skin tone. The white
I really love what Idrese has created here. While I’m relatively new to luxury leather
Compared to less expensive companies like Adidas or other DTC brands like Nothing New, you are immediately made aware of the higher quality of the shoe the moment you put your foot in.
Idrese currently only offers this model in two other colors – black and oxblood – I would love to see a few other versatile colors in the future, such as off white, grey and a lighter shade of brown.
At $235, it’s not a cheap shoe. Knowing that it’s made well and it goes with so many outfits, Idrese’s valuation of cost per wear is validated. I could easily see myself wearing the Nuno sneakers every day, especially during spring and summer.
If the Common Projects and Koios are the BMW and Mercedes of the world, Idrese is Genesis: relatively unknown now, but produces a superior product at a better value. They’re both going to grow exponentially. It’s only a matter of time.
You can shop Idrese’s collection here.