As an avid sneaker fan constantly scouring for my next stylish and comfortable pair, I‘ve tested out countless brands over the last decade. Recently I came across Vintage Havana – an Italian luxury sneaker brand making waves for quality rivaling coveted designers…at just a fraction of the insane price tags.
Of course the affordable pricing and glowing reviews sparked my interest instantly. As much as I love Golden Goose‘s laidback vibes and buttery leathers, I have a hard time swallowing their $500+ retail costs. And while Common Projects offers unmatched versatility in my opinion, their $300+ tabs still sting.
So I decided to take the plunge and test Vintage Havana to see if their materials, comfort and style truly lived up to the designer comparisons…without emptying my bank account.
Over the last few months I‘ve purchased and extensively worn three Vintage Havana styles – the Aimee, Gadol and Lester high-tops. And I can definitively say this rising brand 100% delivers on their promise of luxury details minus the outrageous designer pricing.
Here I‘ll break down my experiences to help you determine if Vintage Havana deserves a spot in your sneaker rotation too. I‘ll cover sizing, styles, construction, comfort and more direct from the eyes of this in-house tester.
Quick Overview: Vintage Havana Sneakers
First, some fast facts on this hot sneaker label:
- Founded in 1954 in Italy, manufacturing high-quality women‘s footwear and apparel
- Known for handmade Italian leather sneakers rivaling $500+ luxury brands
- Core styles feature distressed soles and vintage vibes paired with modern versatility
- Currently offers 100+ sneaker options ranging from $98 – $160
- Beloved by celebs and growing cult following of 50k+ Instagram fans
- Earned reputation for outstanding materials, quality and comfort
Now let‘s get into the nuances of Vintage Havana for an even deeper dive…
Unboxing My First Pair: Aimee Silver Snakeskin
I decided to start with the showstopping Aimee in Silver Snakeskin since metallic and animal prints remain top trends. I mean, just look how the embossed silver leather pops against clean white!
[image: Aimee silver snakeskin sneakers on feet]
Figure 1. Aimee Snakeskin Sneakers, $155
Straight out of the shipping box I was stunned – these kicks gleamed even brighter than the website images. The cool metallic silver perfectly balances the warm pops of pink and white. Even my fiancé couldn‘t resist admiring them despite his usual sneaker indifference.
I nervously zipped them on, praying they fit well after opting for my normal size 8 instead of sizing up. But my fears vanished instantly; the Italian leather felt heavenly broken-in from my very first step.
I wore my Aimees everywhere those first two weeks – dresses, leggings, jeans, you name it. The metallic leather proved surprisingly versatile, glamming up casual looks while still working for date nights.
And they only got more comfy over time as the leathers molded perfectly to my feet. Now they feel like custom slippers while retaining their shine through months of heavy wear.
For $155, I scored showstopper sneakers handmade in Italy that constantly draw compliments and mingle effortlessly across dress codes. Read on for full breakdowns on two more Vintage Havana best-sellers.
Vintage Havana Gadol: Core Classic That Goes With Everything
Next I grabbed the Gadol in Green Blush Taupe since it represents a brand staple. Between the woven panels and pops of suede, they deliver texture galore.
[image: Gadol green sneakers]
Figure 2. Gadol Sneakers in Green, $105
I‘ve worn these at least 2-3 times per week since purchasing six months ago. They remain impossibly comfortable even during all-day wear thanks to the padded interior, grippy rubber soles and flexible distressed leather. The green heel tab and off-white laces also add just enough subtle flair against the neutral taupe shades.
By following the brand‘s half-size up guidance, my Gadols fit like glove from the first wear. And they only keep conforming better to my feet over time.
While understated, these sneakers literally complete every outfit. Their versatility fully justifies the $105 splurge that saved me hundreds compared to similar Gucci and Golden Goose versions.
Vintage Havana Lester Glitter High-Tops: Every Bit As Luxe As Designers
Finally, I treated myself to an eye-catching high-top pair with the Lester Silver Glitter style. I mean, sparkles, stars and pops of red? Literal perfection.
[image: Silver glitter high top sneakers]
Figure 3. Lester High-Top Sneakers in Silver Glitter, $140
I worried the glitter finish might translate cheap or juvenile, but my concerns flashed away as soon as I slid them on. The silver sparkles shine vibrant as diamonds, while red accents and star appliqués add distinctive flair.
Beyond admiring all the glam details, I fell hard for the plush interior padding surrounding my feet in pillowy comfort. The padded tongue and ankle prevent any rubbing or irritation, even when worn sockless with skirts and dresses.
At $140, these high-top stunners deliver every ounce of bling and luxury as my $600 Gucci Ace pairs…for less than a quarter of the price!
If you lust after disco ball sparkle and unmatched comfort, the Vintage Havana Lester in silver glitter checks all the boxes. They elevate casual looks as easily as they glam up cocktail attire.
Vintage Havana Sizing & Fit Guide
I purchased my typical size 8 in the Aimee, but quickly realized the narrowed Italian shape runs small. Sizing up by a half-size for the Gadol and Lester allowed my toes to spread without restriction.
So I strongly echo Vintage Havana‘s guidance to order a half-size up, especially if you fall between standard full sizes. Here‘s a breakdown of my measurements versus Vintage Havana size:
Foot Measurement - 24cm
Normal Size - US 8
Vintage Havana Size - US 8.5
*Size up 0.5 from your normal size
Beyond the number, Vintage Havana sneakers cater towards narrower feet. So those with wider feet may need to size up a full size rather than just a half-size.
Once you nail the size though, their sneakers hug feet flawlessly. The leathers feel like custom gloves handing directly off the production line. Break-in requires zero effort as the materials out-of-box feel heavenly broken-in for years.
If you typically fall between sizes or sport wider feet, I strongly advise sizing up in Vintage Havana kicks. But for true-to-size fits, going up just a half-size accommodates most feet perfectly.
How Vintage Havana Compares To My Designer Sneakers
Having invested ridiculous sums on multiple Golden Goose, Gucci and Common Projects pairs over the years, I hold strong convictions on luxury sneaker construction.
And I can definitively declare Vintage Havana rivals all three elite brands when it comes to materials, quality and comfort…all at just a fraction of their jaw-dropping prices!
My beloved Golden Goose Superstar sneakers flaunt buttery Italian leathers and signature distressing, much like Vintage Havana‘s offerings. Except GG takes the grunge factor up a notch with addition smudging and scuff marks exceeding Vintage Havana‘s simpler patina finishes.
I own GG pairs in both leather and suede spanning high and low tops. While impossibly cool, their heavy distressing and dinginess limits versatility to strictly casual settings.
Vintage Havana‘s sneakers masterfully balance perfectly imperfect soles with clean, non-distressed uppers. This allows them to mingle more freely across both dress codes and styles.
Oh, and the fact my Vintage Havana trio combined cost less than one GG pair…that math simply can‘t be beat!
As a loyalist of the Ace platform sneaker from Gucci, I constantly seek out similar incarnations from contemporary brands to spare my wallet. And Vintage Havana‘s offerings constantly earn their spot in my collection.
Apart from the interlocking logo, Gucci‘s Ace style mirrors Vintage Havana to a T – right down to the color pops on the heel tab. Yet the nearly $700 designer tag remains the only advantage. Vintage Havana matches every detail in terms of materials, quality and construction for more than $500 less.
Unless you solely care about flaunting labels, Vintage Havana supplies identical style at a literal fraction of the price. I happily choose more variety over a singular logo-laden pair these days.
Finally, Vintage Havana faces stiff competition from Common Projects and their best-selling Achilles Low sneaker. Known for slim silhouettes and clean white leather, Common Projects caters to true minimalists devoted to subtle luxury.
I will say Common Projects edges out everyone when it comes to versatility. Their perfectly blank canvas vibe meshes effortlessly into any wardrobe. However, expect zero personality straight out of the box. And for over $300 per pair, ouch!
While Vintage Havana sneakers may not match Achilles slimness, their touches of texture and color tout far more character and visual interest compared to Common Projects‘ clinical aesthetic. Plus buttery leathers and flawless craftsmanship still elevate any look without emptying your bank account.
Are Vintage Havana Sneakers Worth Your Investment?
In my experience after rocking three Vintage Havana styles over the last six months – a definitive yes! Their sneakers deliver identical luxury craftsmanship as coveted designers for literally a fraction of the prices.
We‘re talking the same buttery Italian leather, precise stitching and vintage patina details…all for just over $100 per pair instead of $500 to $700.
While the brand may lack the instant prestige of a flashy logo, their exceptional comfort, materials and style speak for themselves. Their growing cult following and impressive 4.5/5 star average across thousands of reviews further supports the rave reception.
If you appreciate Italian artistry but refuse to fork over half a grand for sneakers, Vintage Havana checks every box. For the price, you simply can‘t find better quality or comfort in my opinion.
I gladly choose more variety over a singular designer pair these days – and my feet and wallet both thank me! I eagerly await rocking many more Vintage Havana styles for years to come.
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Vintage Havana Sneakers Offer:
★★★★★ Italian Craftsmanship & Premium Materials
★★★★★ Standout Style Catering To Diverse Tastes
★★★★★ Out-Of-Box Comfort That Only Improves
★★★★★ Shocking Value Compared To Designers
I hope my first-hand experiences help you determine if one of the hottest sneaker brands around deserves a spot in your own collection! Let me know if you have any other questions.