Not many sportswear manufacturers can easily find the right balance between style and functionality. Sure, most big-name brands already have it down to every detail. Still, these days most consumers are more discerning as ever. They want to spend their hard-earned money on a fashionable pair of kicks that can also withstand a little more than just urban terrain. Brandblack happily supplies what they need with the Rare Metal II.

Understanding the dynamics of the human foot, the parts that normally make contact with the ground the most are the heel and toes. Therefore, it’s always essential to reinforce these areas of any footwear to minimize damage. With the Rare Metal II, the designers are focusing on performance first without compromising its presentation.

Brandblack is accomplishing this by crafting the forefoot section out of four layers of heavy-duty material. It’s fusing all of these together to ensure optimal durability. Next is the upper, wherein the company uses military-grade mono-filament rip-stop fabrics.

Given the top half of our sneakers are more prone to abrasions as we walk or run, the color-shift toe wrap grants it a bit of resistance. What’s next is the thermoplastic support on the mid-foot of the Rare Metal II. For superior energy return when in use, the shoe relies on a SuperCritical midsole to push you ahead.

Ergonomics has not been forgotten as the high-density perforated foam tongue prevents the lace from digging in too much. Finally, Vibram Wrap Tech is the material of choice to delivers top-notch traction. The Rare Metal II is available in Vapor Pristine, Silver Black, and Black Vapor colorways.

Buy – $250

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Images courtesy of Brandblack