ankle test - novesta star master

Β© ariane poulin

as you know, we're always on the lookout for the most comfortable, practical and - more importantly - versatile pair of sneakers out there. that's why we were curious to try out novesta, a shoe brand from slovakia.

for the story, novesta dates back to the 1930s, when shoemaker jan antonin bata opened a small factory in partizΓ‘nske - a two-hour drive from the capital, bratislava (we google-mapped it).  overtime, it became a footwear staple across europe and, to this day, is renowned for using environmentally conscious materials such as natural rubber and 100% cotton or linen.

after hugging the delivery guy out of excitement, we were thrilled to study the shoe box - made of simple cardboard, it has the novesta logo stamped in white on top, which makes for a timeless and minimal packaging (our fav). then, the best part, unwrapping the shoes.

we opted for the beige / ecru colorway because it looks good with denim and most of our pants, whether they be khaki green or camel. from the outside, you can immediately recognize the tire marks around the outsole - novesta's trademark detail. after acknowledging its sturdy and neat construction, we began lacing up the sneakers to try them on. in the process, we noted that the shoe laces were exactly the same hue as the canvas, and we have to admit they were kind of soft too!

now, the crucial part of the ankle test - how it feels to have our pretty feet in a pair of novesta star master. our first impression? it's like having slippers on! the insole has this little bump supporting the arch of your foot - we don't suffer from flat feet, but we do tend to shift our weight towards the inside part of each foot. plus, it's removable so if you have your own orthopedic insole, you're blessed, and we guess it makes it washable too! walking around the office, the novestas had a pretty intense squeaky noise at first, but rest assured - after a couple of hours it had faded away. like any other shoe, you have to break sneakers in!

at ankle, we want to test products on the long run to give you a truthful and thorough review. so we have been wearing the star masters for a couple of weeks, in all sorts of settings. these sneakers are great to wear when you're out on your bicycle, doing some shopping, or standing up for a while - on a photo shoot for example. one day, we took them treasure hunting with us - you know, to find some more vintage beauties for our online store - and walking restlessly in a quite hot summer day might have been too extreme, as they began to bruise the sides of our feet a little. however, for your day-to-day use, and preferably not during a heat wave, the novesta star masters are amazing sneakers to own. ask our contributors, we haven't stopped praising them!

want to try them too? if you live in montreal like us, head over to ibiki (4357 st laurent blvd) as they have a great choice of styles - from the star master to the star dribble, novesta's high top sneaker. if you don't know this store already, you have to go check it out anyway because it's one of the rare local stores carrying brands we talk about. if you read this from another continent, you should check out novesta's website to buy them online or find a stockist near you.