A Luxury Sneaker That Won’t Crease? Meet the Idrese Nuno

OK, it’s not an uncreasable shoe. But after a few weeks of wearing the Nuno from Idrese, I finally realized what was so different about this particular premium white calfskin sneaker: the leather hadn’t creased.

Between then and writing this review, I’ve worn them for about a month and it’s creased a little, but relative to my other luxury, minimalist white sneakers — Koio, Oliver Cabell, and Common Projects — it’s truly amazing at how much better the Nuno has stood up to daily wear.

Look. I’ve tried all those other sneakers. Click the links above to see thee reviews, I’ve worn them hard and for roughly the same amount of time as the Nunos. Without fail, these competitors all creased deeply, even though they’ve been sitting in shoe trees between wears. 

Check out my video below to see some side by side leather comparisons and a full review of the Nuno:

 

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Idrese Nuno Leather

  • 1.9mm thick, meaty leather
  • Creases very little
  • Tanned in Chiamo, Italy
  • Box calf leather

So why doesn’t it crease much? There are two reasons:

  1. Because it is 1.9 millimeters thick, far thicker than most sneakers. For context, the Oliver Cabell is 1.3 millimeters, the Koio is 1.44 millimeters thick, Common Projects… well, they never communicate anything about their products, but it’s definitely thinner. My point is the Nuno is damned thick, and you can tell in the footage of me walking that it’s meaty leather.
  2. The shoes are made to order, so the leather is very fresh and hasn’t spent months drying out in a warehouse somewhere. That doesn’t just mean it creases less, it means it stretches more easily around the shape of your foot.

idrese nuno sneaker on feet

As you may have expected, like the competing brands, the Nuno is made from Italian leather. These shoes in particular are from a tannery called Conceria Tolio in Chiamo, not far from Verona in northern Italy, and it’s also used by luxury brands like Salvatore Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton.  

Another really interesting thing about this leather is that it’s actually box calf leather, which you normally get on fancy dress shoes like my Carmina Chelseas. Box calf is chrome tanned with an aniline finish and it’s really pliable and remarkably smooth, despite the fact that it hasn’t been corrected. 

[Learn more about the different types of calf leather here]

idrese nuno sneaker soles

Idrese Nuno Sole

  • Margom outsole
  • Thicker than the competition
  • Cork midsole
  • Stitched construction
  • Fully lined

If you know a thing or two about premium minimalist sneakers, you probably know that “Margom” would be the next word you’d read.

All three of the other sneakers I’ve been mentioning are also made with Margom: it’s a brand well-known for their product consistency, resistance to abrasion and splitting, and its elastic quality. 

What’s interesting about Nuno is that once again, they’re thicker than the competition — the sole is significantly thicker than all the other brands. Take a look (the Nuno is on the right):

idrese nuno vs koio vs oliver cabell vs common projects sole

So the sole can take more abuse than competitors. The founder of the company, Jawad, told me that he’s a heavyset dude who “take(s) very weighted steps,”  and he was tired of his shoes wearing out, so he made a minimalist sneaker that’s thicker everywhere than the competition.  

Another curious feature is that it has a cork midsole. That’s common in boots, but extremely uncommon in sneakers. These other three brands have nothing between the outsole and the footbed besides some cardboard in the Koio.

But the Nuno has a cork midsole, an old fashioned way to absorb shock and momentum. Plus, as you release heat from your foot into the footbed, the cork molds to the curves and crevices of your foot, enhancing comfort over time.

Lastly, this is made with stitched construction, not glued. Practically every sneaker on Earth is glued, or “cemented,” but the Nuno is stitched, making it more durable, improving the leather’s longevity, and helping ensure it won’t come apart from the sole at stress points. Ever owned Chuck Taylors? Noticed how the toebreak almost immediately picks up holes? You won’t get that here. 

idrese nuno sneaker nyc

Idrese Nuno Fit & Sizing

  • No half sizes
  • Size up if you’re between
  • Run a little small
  • Good shock asborption

The sizes go from 6 to 14, which is a pretty impressive range, but they don’t do half sizes. That’s completely normal for a newer brand, but to be honest, the sizing is my biggest complaint with the Nuno. 

My true size is 11.5, and for starters, their site specifically says that if you are an 11.5, then size down to an 11. It was too small. I sent them back and after waiting another two weeks for a new pair to get made, my 12s arrived and they were… OK. But I’m definitely a 12.5 on their sizing. In a 12, my toes are ever so slightly touching the end of the toebox, but a 13 would be far too big.

So, I’m waiting for them to get half sizes. I still wear these very regularly and plan to continue doing so, and the leather did stretch. But I would really like half sizes.

My advice is to size up 0.5 to 1 full size when ordering. I have no clue why they suggest sizing down on their site.

idrese nuno sneaker on table

Idrese Nuno Price

A pair of these shoes is $235.

Compare that to:

  • Koio: $248
  • Common Projects: $420
  • Oliver Cabell: $188

I think Oliver Cabell offers the best value of the all these premium leather sneakers, but the leather and sole are so much thicker on the Nuno, it looks better as it ages, and it’s got a cork midsole. I honestly think the Nuno is pretty good value.  

Idrese considers Koio biggest competitor, estimating that they cost 23 cents per wear versus Nuno’s 21 cents, assuming a 5-year lifespan. I suppose that means 10 percent better value, if you want to believe their numbers.

A slight bummer with the buying process is that  you have to wait 2 or 3 weeks for the shoes to be made for you once you order them.

What I like about the made-to-order model is that once you click “buy,” people in Spain leap to life and start assembling your shoes for you. It can feel a bit more special — the shoes that arrive are indeed made for you. More practically, that model also helps to reduce the cost, because Idrese doesn’t have to pay for big warehouses to store product.

Idrese also considers the made-to-order mode crucial for the shoe’s comfort and longevity. The amount of time they exist between manufacturing and wearing, they say, is critical: you want to start wearing them and start molding the cork with your body heat before the cork is too old, and if the shoes sit in boxes for months then the leather will be dryer and crease more easily. The made-to-order aspect is a big part of why the shoes barely crease. 

So, all fine reasons to do made-to-order. You just need to be accept a two-ish week wait. 

idrese nuno sneaker in shorts

Idrese Nuno Pros and Cons

Let’s wrap this up.

Pros

  • Classic, minimalist design
  • And it barely creases
  • Thick leather, thick sole
  • Cork midsole
  • Good value
  • Free shipping worldwide

Cons

  • 2-3 week wait after purchasing
  • No half sizes
  • Not quite as low profile as competitors

idrese nuno sneakers after wear

Look, the big takeaway is that this is a fancy minimalist sneaker that barely creases and it’s cheaper than most of the competition. Fine, it’s not as cheap as Oliver Cabell, but the leather and sole are thicker and it’ll age better, so I’d argue it’s just as good value, if not better.

You do have to wait a few weeks to get them, but them being freshly made is a key reason why it doesn’t crease.

My biggest complaint is that there are no half sizes, and even sizing up — the opposite of what you’re told to do on the site — resulted in a size that is still a hair too small. 

Lastly, I didn’t mention this earlier, but the silhouette is not quite as low profile as the other brands I looked at here. That’s important to emphasize: if you want a carbon copy of Koio or Common Projects, then the Nuno might not be quite what you’re after. The silhouette is a tad bulkier, like a compromise between Common Projects and Stan Smiths. Watch the video of me walking around in them above to get an idea if this is the right shoe for you or if it’s not quite dressy enough.

Work needs to be done on the fit, but I’m planning to continue wearing these — they’re really high quality and more durable any other minimalist sneaker I’ve tried.

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By day: Manhattan-based journalist with reporting experience on four continents, published in Vice, Men's Health, Popular Science, and a bunch of other places.By night: ravenous consumer of anything and everything related to high end men's boots.Stridewise is where I nurture a maniacal obsession with footwear and share my findings. Say hey: [email protected]

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