We’re longtime fans of Cole Haan’s ZERØGRANDs here at The Inventory, and as such, we’ve been keeping a close eye on their evolution. What started out as a conservative (but quietly innovative) oxford has grown into line encompassing a full-fledged trainer and even a wool (yes, wool) boot. Now, they’re adding the Generation ZERØGRAND with Stitchlite to the family, a sophisticated shoe that’s light as air and sleek as ever.
Cole Haan is claiming that the Generation ZERØGRAND is its lightest ZERØGRAND ever made, and I believe it. With an ultra breathable, all-over knit upper and fully-padded sock lining, plus an impact-absorbing, compression-molded arched outsole for springy cushioning, you’ll barely feel the weight of these shoes at all—but what you do feel is extremely comfortable, and dare I say, luxurious.
Most striking, perhaps, is the design differences between the Generation ZERØGRAND and its predecessors. This latest release is decidedly modern and minimalist, but the shoes still bear that signature ZERØGRAND segmented sole that’s been around for ages. But unlike past ZERØGRANDs, this line comes in an array of bright hues, including yellow and red for men, and peach blush and rose for women, alongside the more neutral colors that you think of when it comes to Cole Haan. No matter which color you go for, all styles feature bright yellow pull tabs and aglets; definitely an edgier, youthful touch. The brand sent me a pair to try in harbor mist, also known as light gray with blush sole, and it’s a combination I found surprisingly delightful.
My favorite part about the shoes, though, is that they’re basically slip-ons—and not the kind of slip-on that forces you to exert some muscle to take on and off; the upper is super flexible and the pull tab is actually big enough to be useful. With a lacing system that holds your knotted laces in place (see the image above for reference, but I don’t hate the look of leaving having the laces exposed, for the record), you pretty much never need to retie them, making them a highly convenient footwear choice.
Cole Haan says these babies are perfect for “commuting,” “kicking back,” and “city living,” but why limit yourself? If you end up investing $120 to get your own men’s or women’s pair, you’ll definitely want to wear them no matter where you go.