Sneakers FAQ

Sneakers FAQ

What makes a pair of sneakers age? 

The use of lesser grade materials (vinyl and synthetics) and thinner grade hides causes the shoe to break down, lose shape, or crack over time. 

How is HELM construction unique?

Traditional sneakers are made by cementing the upper to the sole of the shoe. HELM sneakers are constructed using a side wall stitch. It’s not uncommon for sneakers to be manufactured in mass quantities, using cheaper materials for the uppers, midsoles and outsoles, and an inexpensive production process with less complex construction. Our manufacturing is in line with traditional shoe-making, working by hand with family owned and operated facilities to create small batches and renewable, integrity-driven products. 

What’s the difference between inexpensive and higher-priced sneakers?

The primary distinctions aren’t just about aesthetics, but also in the production techniques and the materials sourced. Our price points are derived directly from using only the best materials. Use of expensive high-grade leathers means hides crack less over time. Thicker leathers mean the shoe will retain its shape and improve in appearance over time. In addition to our superior hides, our rubber soles are designed to last for years of wear. 

What makes leather odor-resistant? 

The leather type - in general cow leather is more odor resistant than other types of hides, and we never use lesser-grade or alternate type leathers in our interior. 

Why does leather quality matter?

HELM full-grain leathers are minimally processed to ensure the grain retains all of its natural characteristics and imperfections. The grain is not buffed, sanded, or corrected in any way. Our hides consist entirely of bovine side leather, regarded as the most valuable for the consistency, quality, and thickness.

How do HELM sneakers fit? 

Our sneakers run true to size, the same as our boots. The most comparable boot style is the Lou. 

Are HELM sneakers resoleable? 

While a skilled cobbler or shoe worker may be able to resole our sneakers, we intentionally designed our sneakers using a high-quality, long-lasting rubber sole to provide you with years of wear. Our sneaker soles are rubber with a sidewalk stitch construction, and are never vulcanized. They feature rubber vs. EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) providing increased traction and sturdier construction. 

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