Common Projects Achilles Low Review
Common Projects Achilles has been highly regarded as the gold standard for minimalist white sneakers. And it's probably the most discussed sneakers on the internet.
While it's generally agreed that the quality and design of the shoes are second to none, most people are torn between "it's way too expensive" and "shut up and take my money".
For once, the Common Projects Achilles united the online community for a good cause. Threads were created in various forums help the people on the fence look out for discounts or other cheaper alternatives.
And I've been through all these struggles myself. I have been on the fence of getting a pair for long, but shelling out 400 bucks for just a pair of white sneakers sounds like a crazy idea.
So I searched for Common Projects alternatives and ended up buying a pair of Zespa ZSP4 on sale. They are beautiful and very well made, and I honestly think that they are the best pair of white sneakers you can get at this price range. I love them, and I thought I would settle with them for the rest of my life.
I was wrong.
It was not until I met my friend rocking a pair of Common Projects Achilles and I did a side by side comparison and I finally realized what I am wearing is really just a great pair of white sneakers, not truly Common Projects alternatives. There's something special in Common Projects Achilles that other white sneakers lack.
So after years of researches and struggles, I gave in. I bought the Common Projects Achilles Low at full price. Worrying it would be a stupid purchase at first, it turns out to be one of the most satisfactory purchase I have ever made.
And now here's my review of Common Projects Achilles Low (even though you may have been on the fence for years and know it inside-out).
The sneakers are packaged in a sturdy, all-white shoebox with the Common Projects logo at the top.
Inside the shoebox, you will find a white shoe dust bag and an extra set of shoelaces.
The unboxing experience is pretty good, but I would expect the shoes are wrapped separately in plastic bags or paper to avoid the shoes scuffing each other.
The sizes of Common Projects shoes are based on European and only in full sizes. Common Projects Achilles runs long and narrow so you should expect there is extra space in the toe box.
From my own experience and what other users reported, you should go down one size if you have normal feet. Choose the same size if you have wide feet.
For reference, I am wearing US 8.5 in Nike and US 8 in Converse and have slightly narrow feet. I tried size 39 and 40 and ended up going with a size 39 as it fits better in terms of width. A size 40 leaves a little extra room for the width and I prefer a size 39 for the sake of sleekness. The shoes did get slightly more comfortable after a few wears.
Common Projects Achilles Low
Discount on pure white Common Projects Achilles Low is rare, and even if there is a discount you will be extremely lucky to find a pair of your size as they are sold out really fast.
It's more common to find Common Projects Achilles Low in other colors on sale.
Discounted Common Projects Achilles Low is normally selling at $250 to $300. You may occasionally see the price goes down to $200 but that is extremely rare.
To summarize, if you don't want to drop 400 bucks on the on pure white Common Projects Achilles Low, here are the options you have:
Wait for a discount, but the chance of getting a pair of your size is very slim.
Compromise a bit and buy white Common Projects Achilles Low with a colored sole, and you may have a much better chance to find it on discount.
Buy a pair of Common Projects alternatives.
The uppers of the shoes are made of full-grain leather allegedly sourced from Italy. I am no leather expert but the bright white leather did give out a luxurious feel. The leather is in perfect condition. No color variances, creases or even minor scratches can be found.
The stitches around the shoes are tight and consistent and I can't find any loose stitching.
There's a soft suede heel patch which prevents the shoes from rubbing your ankles. The inner lining and insole are made soft and supple leather. Walking in the shoes your feet being on soft cushions. Honestly, they're the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn.
The Margom sole is quite sturdy and heavy, adding some heft to the shoes. It was said that Margom sole is much more durable than other rubber cup soles on the market. Whether it's true or not I have yet to see.
Overall, the quality is very apparent.
Common Projects Achilles is expensive and often considered overpriced. The quality of material and level of craftsmanship are top-notch, but people often find it difficult to justify the premium in price given the abundance of choices of white sneakers with equal quality at a fraction of the price.
There are many so-called Common Projects Achilles alternatives on the market, but what set Common Projects Achilles apart is the sleek silhouette that it renders.
With this in mind, every part of the shoe is meticulously designed - a long and narrow profile, a flat toe box, a thin collar, in order to lessen the visual weight that comes with it.
Whether these finer details are worth the money, it's up for you to decide. The choice is yours.
Oh, and as a side note, Common Projects's Chelsea boots are beautiful as hell and I love it so much. Check out my Common Projects Chelsea Boots Review if you're looking for a new pair of Chelsea boots.