H&M's "Premium" Suede Sneakers In Review: Are They Worth Your Money?
H&M and “premium” don’t usually go in the same sentence. But, likely in response to so many of the new, online brands offering premium quality at affordable prices, H&M has been making some serious headway into what they call their “premium” line. Each season, they have been adding more and more pieces to their collection of higher end items that still don’t remotely break the bank. So, it’s a bit higher prices than what you normally have come to expect from H&M, but, apparently, the quality is much higher, too.
We ordered their suede grey leather sneakers ($69.99) during a recent sale. Assuming they were any good, at full retail they would be a great deal, not to mention during a sale at a discount. So, let’s get into it.
Packaging & Experience
This was as close to disastrous as could be. Shipping took weeks, and then was cancelled. It took me calling to get them to finally ship the shoes. When they arrived, the box was beyond too big for the shoes, and was difficult to reuse in the case of a return (which they deduct from your return, by the way). Customer service is never something you expect from a brand like H&M, though, so I can’t say I was surprised. C-
Style & Design
These shoes look great. Indeed, tons of stuff in H&M looks great. The question is always about the quality, and whether that is there. But the design here is awesome. The color is great, and looks just as nice in person. It’s a nice, light grey, with a darker grey lace and sole. In honesty, it’s kind of hard to find nice suede sneakers in this color at any price, much less a price this low. The shape is perfect as well, with a nicely rounded toe, and a generally slim profile. And this is all not even to mention the fact that this shoe comes in a bunch of other colors as well. Goes great with jeans (dark or light), chino shorts, or chino pants. Basically, just about anything a white sneaker can do, this sneaker can do as well, but with a bit more uniqueness. A
Quality & Construction
The fact that these shoes are actually 100% leather is, for H&M, a big deal. That is what makes them “premium”, here. Ya know. That it’s actually a naturally occurring substance, and not something utterly synthetic. Is it the world’s nicest leather? Hell no. But it’s not terrible, and cheap suede is always better than cheap non-suede leather. So, this will definitely pass the test and likely last through a nice amount of wear. These shoes do not feel cheap, nor do they feel like something out of H&M. They’re not Common Projects, but they’re better than you would expect.
My problems? For one, they’re not very comfortable out of the box. Haven’t had a chance to wear them too much, but the break-in process might be slow. Also, there seems to be a bit too much room around the arch of the foot. This is a detail that many cheaper shoes miss, and makes for odd buckling and creasing of the shoe leather on the inside edge of the shoe (which you can see in the pictures). As it happens, though, I have flat feet and often put an arch insert into my shoes, which should do something to assist in this problem, at the very least. Other than those points, though, these are solid for the price, no question. B+
I almost always wear a size 11.5 in shoes, and sometimes a 12. (Rarely an 11.) I got an 11.5 in these sneakers, and they were a bit snug, but not enough for me to consider sizing up. Going up would mean they are way too wide. The issue here is length, with the front of the shoe pressing against my big toe a bit. But, like I said above, there is plenty of room in the sides of the shoe. So, sizing is okay, but not great, and is sure to present a problem to different people (the narrow footed amongst the most), and so this is something to consider as well. Again, there will be a break-in period during which these shoes will become somewhat more comfortable, but if they don’t fit you, don’t force it. And they might very well not. B-
Value & Conclusion
H&M suede grey leather sneakers — $69.99): At full retail, and certainly on sale, I actually truly think that we can recommend these shoes. They are a unique, great value at the price. Though we must add in the concern about the extra room at the arch of the foot, and the potential sizing issues. But, if you can see past those issues, or they don’t affect you personally, then go for it. You might well be surprised.
Further, there is the question of the Premium line from H&M as a whole. And since these shoes are mostly, if not totally, sold out at post time, it’s a worthwhile question to ask. If these shoes are anything to go by, then, yes, we think the whole line is worth considering. It may well put H&M back on the map for the slightly more serious shopper and buyer of menswear. It won’t blow minds, but even if these grey suede shoes are sold out, I would not stop you at all from trying out another, newer pair of their premium sneakers. I would give these shoes a B+ based solely on merit, but feel a bump-up is necessary for H&M’s good effort here. It should be commended. Final Grade: A-