I know it’s been a while since my last sneaker unboxing and review but definitely wanted to do one that is still widely available and perfect for the summer. Also, this is a sneaker purchase where I do have some regrets which I do go into more detail below and in the video above. Nonetheless, it’s a still a cool sneaker that you may have not heard about but would like to so definitely watch the unboxing video above and read below for the detailed review especially since I’ve used this for both casual wear and running.
This sneaker was officially released a few weeks back but it got a special early release via ComplexLand which provided a great opportunity for different boutiques to sell their merchandise on a global scale. Fresh Rags definitely did that because in all honesty, I was not aware of them prior to this sneaker. But I am happy I did, because this is far more than just a sneaker collaboration, but we first need to learn more about the brands involved to understand why.
Fresh Rags is a boutique out of Florida who sells streetwear and I believe have collaborated with different brands on past projects. What’s awesome about this is that they got a chance to do their own take on a popular Saucony silhouette, the grid. I go into it in a bit more detail on a prior Saucony collaboration I own but in short, Saucony is a sneaker brand that has been active for a VERY long time and have collaborated with different brands, creatives, and even the Boston Children’s Hospital! What’s great about these collaborations is that the designs are very unique and tell great stories, and this is no exception.
Fresh Rags, based out of Florida, wanted to design their collaboration based on another Florida native, the Manatees. Yes, Manatees, also known as sea cows. They are loveable and friendly animals swimming through the sea that are unfortunately said to be going extinct. That’s why Fresh Rags FL partnered up with Save the Manatees organization with the goal of this collaboration and capsule being to raise funds and awareness for the conservation and protection of manatees. It was unclear how the proceeds were going to support the foundation which is why I didn’t go to much detail in the video but I knew it was raising awareness at least with this concept which is what drew me into actually getting this sneaker, and the aesthetics definitely helped with that as well.
What I love about this sneaker is that Fresh Rags didn’t hold back when making this sneaker dedicated to the Manatees. As you can see there are a lot of striking details on it so it is important to break it down. The first thing I noticed was in the toe area the grey (looks green in the light)algae-textured suede upper design that pays homage to what the Mantees swim in. I love the that the Saucony river logo is iridescent and sits on top of the Grid’s design but in a shiny blue and grey mesh upper which also pays homage to Manatees’ skin and swimming through. The darker grey on the top and bottom part of the tongue area is a great touch and provides a good contrast. Speaking of, the vintage white midsole is perfect for that as it is keeps the balance in comparison to the grey mesh and textured suede on top. Of course, there are strikes of blue and green (heel area) that represents the spring water grass. However, one of the best visually appealing details of this sneaker is the sparkling icy outsole, featuring different tones of green and blue (see below). Also, if you still want more pop you can swap the grey laces with a green or blue (see packaging section for pictures). It really is amazing that they are able to bring awareness but also execute a beautifully done shoe, which is why it’s a shame that this sneaker is not being appreciated enough.
Size and Fit
In terms of sizing, I went true to size and I think that is the optimal fit. I felt there was a little space but not too much and if I went a half size down it would be really tight and if I went a half size up it would be too loose to the point there would be no comfort. Also, as you can see by the special insoles there are cushion support for your feet so I actually did end up running on the treadmill with these. Frankly, after an hour or so my feet didn’t feel all that great especially in the heel area. I am sure some people might not even have this issue but for me personally, this was the only downfall in terms of the fit and comfort, but that’s also why I will just be sticking to wearing these for casual wear and outside. Also, it is important to note that when you first break these out I noticed a sound from the outsole it seemed like it was a bit sticky but not sure if it was just me on my tiles because I didn’t hear that when running or walking outside.
Place of Purchase and Price
As stated in the video I did buy this from ComplexCon/ComplexLand through the Fresh Rags website itself. It was a unique way of purchasing but I decided to go this route because I didn’t know how widely available these will be and if buying via ComplexLand will also come with anything extra. Well the only thing extra was the ridiculous amount of duties at the door, which was just in addition to the high shipping rate. Therefore, unless you live in the US or have a way to avoid paying large amount duties I don’t recommend buying from the site directly until that can be adjusted. Also, I actually ended up paying more (priced at $150 USD) than what I would if I would have just waited and bought from Solestop or Saucony Canada directly (priced at $150 CAD). Once again, it’s an awesome sneaker I would just highly recommend you buy it locally.
Cop or drop? Cop, locally. I think this is a great sneaker to get at a boutique or via free shipping and no duties. It’s a great sneaker, and the fact that is so unique and supports a great causes makes this a highly recommend purchase.
Comfort? It’s not bad at all, pretty easy to wear but I won’t be running in these sneakers again will just leave it for the casual wear and walks.
Aesthetic? It’s awesome. There are so many cool details and Fresh Rags didn’t hold back on making this shoe so distinct with the Manatee elements all across uppers and the choice of colours and contrast especially in the mid panel and that beautiful outsole.
Packaging? It’s great! The box is beautiful with the mysterious green and blue upper with the metallic logo but I really like the fact that it is consistent inside with the tissue paper while also having different messages consumers can read prior to actually opening up the box. Also, the fact that it does come with extra laces is great.
Price? Look, the only thing I regret is just buying it via ComplexCon and through their site because of the duties. If duties were not involved then I really wouldn’t feel any negative thoughts towards this purchase. You go through this when you’re in love with sneakers because you never know sometimes it is super limited with quantity and distribution you can easily not see those sneakers on sale again, which has happened to certain Saucony sneakers I liked in the past. It’s crazy to see that this sneaker is now available in different boutiques and even the Saucony site!
All in all, I regret the method of buying this sneaker but I without a doubt don’t regret having this sneaker in my collection! Manatees are super cool in my opinion, and it’s unfortunate that they are going instinct which is why this sneaker is more than just a unique and visually appealing Saucony shoe. I love that they are bringing attention to the cause through this sneaker while still making sure they execute the final product so well. Let me know your thoughts below about this collaboration, your thoughts on Fresh Rags, Saucony, and even Manatees! Let me know if you’ve ever had to feel regret towards a sneaker purchase because of duties and tax in the comments below or on Instagram and Facebook (Give a follow)! Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel and stay tuned for exclusive offers, deals, and content!