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22 November 2021
Author: Spiff
We Like Some Sneakers. GAT!

The 70s, Adidas or Puma (there are no clear ideas of who started it), he creates some white leather sneakers or the German army. Today, 50 years later, I still like them. You know what they say, classic never gets old. I know, I've matured and seen that a shoe is a shoe, but come on, there's space for everything. Especially for sneakers. For some sneakers. Nowadays, minimalism, simplicity and Atticism take the lead. Don't confuse simplicity for simpleness. And if you do, it doesn't matter; I prefer to be called simple than tacky. As much as tackiness is awarded by Instagram's algorithm. Get lost, algorithm!

GATs enter into that category of sneakers that are less sneakers... and more market sneakers. They share, along with the Racquet and Achilles, the alpha and omega of elegance made sneaker. There are no air chambers nor bright colors. White leather, gray suede, and rubber sole. Long live normcore!

But, how did they come about? As I already stated, they were made for the German army, hundreds of thousands were made in the 80s, following a contract between the government and one of the two aforementioned German athletic brands (we don't know exactly which one, but it doesn't matter because the creators were brothers and among brothers these things happen), to equip the soldiers of West Germany.

But the Cold War ended and the now ex soldiers began selling their equipment like crazy. Vinted did not exist, but thrift shops did. Jackets -the classic one with the German flag on the shoulder-, pants and GATs flooded them.

In 1998 the designer Martin Margiela entered the scene with his own GAT and the sneaker runs its course among the fashionistas. In recent years among classic fashionistas . In other words, among ourselves. Because yes, we are fashionistas, but also classic, and our defining hashtag is #classicmenswear. The Swedish group knows very well what I'm talking about. If Andreas wears sneakers, he's wearing GATs. And if Andreas is doing it, it must be for a reason.

Andreas Weinas in GATs

The original (the ones produced for the West German soldiers) had a part of the toe made with suede, and an additional piece in white leather sewn into the side panel. It was called the BW Sport. BW because those were the initials of "Bundeswehr Sporstchuhe" which means "federal defense athletic shoe" in German. You can still find them on secondhand platforms such as eBay.

Modern GATs share the same iconic details such as gray chamois on the toe and instep, but they add a patch of the same material and color on the heel.

Out of all the options -of which there are many-, I have chosen the one produced by Novesta. This is because the quality/price relationship of the Slovak firm is almost unbeatable.

Novesta began producing GATs in 2019 taking advantage of the height of popularity of the model. A shoe that presents itself with 100% leather in the exterior and a mix of leather and 100% polyamide fabric in the interior with a sole of 100% rubber.

Novesta GAT

Currently Novesta offers us 4 different options. A first option in navy blue and yellowish sole, a second option completely in black, a third which would be the closest to the original GAT, although with minor variations (piece of suede in the heel and more aded yellow in the rubber sole), and a final option in gray. Even though I like all the versions, I lean, because of course I would, towards the third option. In my hands, sorry, feet, they simply make them stand out; they're a spectacle. Moreover, the sneaker stands out even more with each wear. Do we like sneakers? Some of them. GATs? Of course.

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