Cole Haan makes some amazing shoes, but even if price has never been a barrier to entry for you, it’s quite possible the design of the original ZERØGRAND was too much of a statement for you to make.
The design of the 2.ZERØGRAND, available as an Oxford which I’m currently wearing, and a Chukka which we’re hoping to get our feet in at some point, is far more muted, universal, and just much improved all around. The brogueing juxtaposed with “flex grooves” (spikes) of the previous design has been totally abandoned, in favor of a subtle flex welt and laser perforated leather on top. They look great.
While the 2.ZERØGRAND’s aesthetics may have gotten more familiar, putting them on is an all-new experience. Many casual and dress shoes have incorporated athletic shoe footbeds and/or soles, but the 2.ZERØGRAND is very much a full technical shoe hidden inside an Oxford. The inner-shoe slips on more like a sock, making the shoelaces mostly just for show, and wears like a memory foam insert that covers your entire foot.
The 2.ZERØGRAND is supportive, flexible, cool, durable, and one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn that wasn’t made of wool.
Update 8/13/17: Cole Haan’s Laser Wingtip Oxfords became our all-time favorite dress shoes the moment we put them on. The laser-cut perforations are an amazing and functional update to the aesthetically obsolete broguing still ubiquitous in men’s dress shoes, and the shoes are supportive, flexible, comfortable, breathable- basically everything that every other dress shoe isn’t.