What’s the next best thing to going barefoot? It may be COMUNITYmade’s new sockless silhouette, the Westsider.
The Westider is hand-crafted in Los Angeles, like every pair of shoes that comes from COMUNITYmade. The unisex sneaker, according to the brand, is “reimagined with Los Angeles flair” and fitted with uppers created from a single piece of leather for “unsurpassed fit” and a premium level of comfort. Created without seams or stitching, the upper promises to conform to the wearer’s foot.
“The simplicity of the Westsider is its beauty,” Sean Scott, COMUNITYmade’s co-founder and chief instigator, said in a statement. “The clean look is beyond classic. I love discoverable details, and the cable stitch heel seam and gold foil touches attest to this. The Westsider is the ideal shoe for any occasion because, even when you’re dressed down, this shoe will elevate your style.”
However, the classic styling and top-notch craftsmanship aren’t what make the Westsider an interesting offering for consumers of casual, athletic-inspired footwear. Thanks to the “buttery” unlined leather lining the inside theshow, the Westsider also offers a breathable sockless experience for consumers keen to go without the added layer. Its removable Ortholite insoles were created with an anti-microbial material that wicks moisture and odor—along with giving its wearer a comfortable cushion.
COMUNITYmade has some experience with the sockless crowd, as some of its founding members worked for TOMS during its rise over the past decade. In fact, the brand factors the promotion of social good into its business model in a similar way. Each purchase of a Westsider, as well as any COMUNITYmade shoe, includes a $10 donation to a “local community effort” like ending homelessness in the area or a program that supports the arts.
The brand’s work in the community goes beyond local donations, too. COMUNITYmade insists on using only home-grown labor and facilities. Although it sources its leather from international distributors, COMUNITYmade says it supports the local economy by using only fairly-compensated local artisans. Additionally, the brand rents out its downtown L.A. showroom for local events and for fellow makers and artists.
The Westsider is currently available on the brand’s website and from its local shops and distributors for a retail price of $180.