For a few seasons now, menswear has been all about finding style in utility. Rugged clothes and footwear have moved from the mountains to city streets—and the likes of Carhartt and Comme des Garçons have been paired with increasing frequency. Closer to the ground, hiking sneakers from the likes of Salomon, The North Face, and ROA suddenly look like hyped-up fashion. Moreover, now ROA, an Italian-based outdoor-focused brand, has a new sneaker that features another new-wave menswear signature: the chest rig.
You’ve seen the chest rig before, in its multiple versions: perhaps on Timothée Chalamet at this year’s Golden Globes, or one of the numerous times that Kanye West and A$AP Rocky have worn the style. But anyone who follows the wild, wild world of streetwear knows the strappy silhouette has a surprising signature accessory of fashion-forward dudes across the globe. By the looks of it, ROA was inspired by that ultra-technical accessory and slapped it on one of their favorite products. We’ve written about ROA’s Oblique Ripstop sneakers before because they're a great pair of shoes; the design is equal parts sleek and utilitarian. Now that same silhouette comes with a rubber rig-like overlay that wraps around the body of the entire sneaker. Are we sure what it's there for? Absolutely not. Are we deeply into it nonetheless? You better believe it.
ROA is a label that has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening in streetwear and fashion. Designer Matthew Williams—the man behind one of the most prominent chest rig bags in the market—has tapped the brand for collaborations before. (So has the Los Angeles brand Brain Dead.) This ever-so-slight tweaking of a popular ROA is proof the label knows exactly what its fashion-savvy customer wants—and that just so happens to be a sneaker with its own chest rig.
Originally Appeared on GQ