With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, the past year and a half has taken a huge toll on the Philippine economy and on businesses of all sizes. However, the smallest and most homegrown of these businesses have taken the brunt with many long-loved local shops and brands shutting down since early 2020. The effects of the pandemic have led many to advocate for shopping local and supporting small-time businesses and entrepreneurs. If you too are looking to make your shopping habits more supportive to local brands and small businesses, you can easily start with your sneakers. Many Filipino entrepreneurs and artisans offer stylish lace-ups and slip-ons in various styles from minimalist to edgy and everything in between. Below, we list 10 Filipino brands you should definitely check out if you’re in search of a new pair of sneakers.
Shop stylish new lace-ups and slip-ons from these Filipino sneaker brands:
Sanbera is a Marikina-based footwear brand that started in November of 2020, focusing on sneakers that embody simplicity and minimalism “to make it easier for a lot of people to pair with their outfits,” says owner Mikko de la Paz. As of writing, they offer one flagship sneaker known as the Sanbera Real, which is available in three staple colors (Classic White, Classic Cream, and Classic Ocean Blue) as well as two limited-edition shades (Summer Blue and Classic Black). The pair sports a slim silhouette composed of a lightweight canvas upper, natural rubber outsole, white shoelaces, and eco-friendly "coconut-shredded insoles, which can even be purchased separately, should they ever need replacement, allowing for a less wasteful approach when it comes to preserving sneakers over time.
You can shop Sanbera online.
2. AVG Supply
Shop AVG Supply’s sleek selection of kicks if you want even your most casual looks to have a touch of elegance. Their line includes lace-ups and slip-ons in neutral tones like black, white, gray, and dusty pink that you can wear with pretty much any of your outfits. Each pair is made from genuine cow leather with rubber soles for a timeless look and a comfortable wear. The fuss-free styles feature wearable silhouettes with no ornamental designs, extra stitching, perforations, or padding—just clean, simple, and great for everyday use.
You can shop AVG Supply online.
Balthazar is all about elegant, no-nonsense styles. We’re obsessed with their Avery Classic sneakers, which are made primarily of leather and feature a no-frills low-cut silhouette that would work for a variety of outfits, occasions, and personalities. They're made for both men and women and available in five classic colors including White, Charcoal Black, Sand Beige, Navy Blue, and (our personal favorite) Blush Pink, with each shade punctuated by a thick sole and fabric laces, both in stark white. You can pair the minimalist style with pretty much any outfit—dress it down for your casual hangouts or dress it up for festive dinner parties. Either way, you'll get lots of use out of these versatile sneakers.
You can shop Balthazar online.
4. Rob & Mara
Check out Rob & Mara’s stylish lace-ups if you love rustic, outdoorsy styles. Many of their pairs—we’re eyeing the Finn and Aries silhouettes—sport textured details and earthy tones that give them a rugged, worn-out aesthetic. You can also go for the no-frills Ashton if you prefer something simple and straight to the point. They also offer other leather styles including oxfords, moccasins, brogues, loafers, mules, and more.
You can shop Rob & Mara online.
5. Finn Cotton
As far as sneaker design goes, Finn Cotton can compete with some of the most famous sportswear and streetwear brands in the world thanks to their modern, one-of-a-kind silhouettes. The star of their selection has to be the Proxima White sneakers, which sport a jagged and translucent outsole with curved lines all round (including on the unique lacing patterns), and you can get it in a variety of stand-out colorways. If you’re more of a minimalist, go for the Moxie sneakers, which come in all-white or all-beige and feature a sleek silhouette, clean stitching, and Velcro straps up top.
You can shop Finn Cotton online.
Local brand Straightforward is a popular go-to for shopping basics and life essentials. Everything in their wide range of vegan leather bags, shirts, dresses, bottoms, and co-ords sports a clean, versatile design perfect for casual, everyday looks. Don’t miss out on their Superlight Sneakers, either. The predominantly white pairs make for a great goes-with-everything style with a cute but subtle pop of color on the heel.
7. Standard Edition
Standard Edition offers hand stitched, Marikina-made lace-ups and slip-ons that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Their uppers are made from denim fabric sourced from Camarines Sur, which gives each shoe a rustic, laid-back look. We’re especially loving their Standard V slip-ons, which are finished off with braided abaca trimmings on the sole and subtle leather accents on the heel and topline.
You can shop Standard Edition online.
8. Habi Lifestyle
Habi was started by social entrepreneur Janine Chiong and it’s dedicated to creating 100% Filipino-made, environment-friendly lifestyle essentials. They partner with communities all over the Philippines to create bags, jewelry, face masks, home decor, and yup, sneakers, too! Their lace-ups feature a distinctly Filipino flair thanks to the woven pattern on the upper, which is made from upcycled fabric. They also offer heels, espadrilles, mules, sandals, and more.
You can shop Habi Lifestyle online.
If you love white sneakers, Rippletwyne’s styles would make stand-out additions to your ever-growing collection. A majority of their kicks sport a predominantly white exterior with handwoven fabric accents made by local artisans. Their styles combine the minimalist aesthetic with a Filipino patterns, both paying homage to our artistic traditions while also giving them a more modern look. They’ve got black pairs in the same style, too if you prefer sneakers in dark tones.
You can shop Rippletwyne online.
10. TARA Wares
TARA Wares combines the boho look of espadrilles—which are typically made of woven uppers and soles—with the lace-up design of sneakers. What you get is a pair that’s both practical and stylish, particularly for those of you who love chill looks fit for outdoor adventures. They also offer sandals, heels, slippers, and bags in designs that honor Filipino weaving styles.
You can shop TARA Wares online.
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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